Slater vs. The Locals

Kelly Slater defeats Fanning and Parkinson to win the Quiksilver Pro. So begins the march towards a 12th World Title.

| posted on March 12, 2013

Kelly Slater rarely comes clean about how he’s feeling or what he’s planning. He analyzes and talks and breaks things down—especially the past—but rarely does he give true insight into how he’s feeling in the present. The inner-workings of his mind usually remain there, under his control, and his actions and their results often leave the rest of us scratching our heads. The final day of the Quik Pro was different. Heck, the entire Quik Pro was different. You could see it on every wave Kelly rode. His body English spoke volumes. He was there to win.

By his own admission Kelly was overly anxious driving to the event today, but instead of letting it get on top of him, he recognized that he would have to stay patient, disciplined and stick to his plan if he was find the quality tubes on offer. He would need the best waves to stay ahead of three very talented surfers—Parkinson, Fanning, and Bourez—who stood between him and the prize.

And he had masterminded that plan before the contest had even relocated from Snapper to Kirra. There was no doubt that he intended to catch the lion’s share of waves, giving himself the best odds at making the relentless cylinders that spun down the bank. Survive and you get the scores, fall and there’s a Jet Ski waiting to whisk you back to the lineup in a matter of seconds. In Slater’s capable hands the plan was almost foolproof.

Predictably, it unfolded precisely as planned as he racked up tube time that bordered on ridiculous. A deserved 10-point ride handily dispatched Mick Fanning in his semi-final. But it wasn’t one-way traffic. Joel Parkinson recorded his second perfect 10 of the event en route to the final and looked nigh on unstoppable as he threaded barrel after endless barrel.

In the final, the difference came down to strategy and one Dane Reynolds-esque turn at the end of Slater’s highest scoring ride. The turn alone was worthy of a $75,000 check and indeed the victory. In truth, the maneuver separated Slater from Parkinson by far more than the 2 points indicated on the final score line. Sparingly, the judges did leave the door open for a comeback from Parkinson, but when Slater used his priority and faded Parkinson on a certain 10 point ride, it was the equivalent of slamming the door in the current World Champ’s face.

Slater using priority to slam the door on the current world champ. He wasn't happy about it. Photo: ASP/Carey

  • Hurricanematt

    Kelly knows the game.

  • jesse

    tha picture of joel is hilarious. congrats to the champ.

  • Steve Wimer

    What’s worse, fading the World Champion on an all-time tube or flipping off the best surfer of all-time because he knows the rules?

  • small b

    That’s B.S! The judges robbed Gabrielle Medina!!!! Viva la Brazil!!!!

  • tommy

    Yeahh love it! To see kelly demolishing aussies is so good, sweet, fells really good.

    Yeah Kelly, you tha man, keep going bro, cant wait to see bells !!!

  • SoCalGary

    Although I have never been a big Joel fan, I always felt there was a bit of a jerk in him. This is why he will never be a super popular surfer like others will be or have been.

    I would have been rooting for Mick over Kelly, but not for Joel. Total lack of class by the current world “chump”. Take it like a man and paddle back out and get another one. The wave was NOT gonna be “a certain 10 point ride” as Joel never would have made it out. Wait for all of the “I was just joking” spin to begin.

  • Ryan

    Kelly is the Champ and made sure that Joel knew that.

  • Curi

    Amazing photo. You rarely see someone upset while being in the tube. Great mixture of feelings is shown.

  • rafael

    Kelly 100% in that Game,the best surfer in the world.

  • Comeeds

    Joel “hey Kelly you’re number 1”

  • http://surfer Kimbo

    Kelly should be thankful of the support he receives in Australia . The fans just want to see the best surfing in the best possible conditions and Kelly delivers. in saying that it would be nice if he would acknowledge the sufing of his fellow competitors.

  • Analog

    Can someone shed some light on this? So even though Joel is on the wave and has been riding the wave, Kelly can drop-in and take over the wave b/c he has priority? And this can apply to any surfer on the WCT in any situation with priority?

  • Rob

    whatever how many world titles he has, he is just the best surfer in the world. At 41 yrs old he is still on the top… the guy is rad

  • Florida Surfer

    In the interview after the heat Slater did say he was happy to surf against Mick and Joel, and knew these were the guys to beat. I think he was pretty modest and gracious all in all. Don’t watch the edited clips, watch the heat recap on the quik pro website (I am biased though)

  • http://surfer Kimbo

    to “Florida Surfer” . i,m not sure if isolating certain surfers as the ones to beat would be considered praising their efforts during the competition or in heats just surfed against them . its a worry that the majority of the script( his own) in Kelly,s post heat interviews is self adulation about what he scored and also what he could of scored .

  • Max Emberson

    Great final and waves. Have to say Kelly was awesome and his airs are still some of the best around. Joel surfed really well and the fade by Kelly shows how much Joel can push Kelly – Joel was in the tube about 3 seconds already and Kelly dropped in and got a 7.73 so this would have been a 10 for Joel to give him 18.8 to beat Kelly at 18.56. Joel can push Kelly to the limit, but all credit to Kelly surfing amazing at 41 he is a legend.

  • Gael Arnold

    Oh, and the generosity of signing my shirt and then providing me with an expected ‘hug’, for a grey haired nomad, now living on the Gold Coast amongst all you beautiful young things, that was special. Thank you Kelly, Kia kaha 🙂


    I never really liked Kelly’s surfing style. I think he never came close to Carroll (well, nobody did that), and he is not as easy to the eye as style masters Curren & Occy. But of course he does stuff that none of these guys could dream of doing. But the thing is: the more I watch Kelly surfing contests, the more I find myself rooting for him. His desire to win and everything he puts in competition, make him so much better than everybody else. It all seems like a big game and Kelly seems to have the joy of a kid having a great time doing it as well as the seriousness of an adult man who puts all his heart & mind into the thing. It is just great to watch and of course Kelly has a massive surfing ability that allow him to win (unlikely, say, Adriano de Souza). Watching the webcast I just couldn’t care less about Joel (surfs too safe), Dane (surfs too ugly with his feet planted too much in front of the board), Taj (surfs like a 14 year old grommet) or Mick (I just don’t like his style). Michel Bourez was the only other surfer worth watching. Great competition, thanks ASP for the webcast, thanks Kelly and all the other surfers for the show.

  • drumwell

    kimbo – are you serious? kelly paid respects to mp’s mum/family, called out mick and joel as the bst of the best and the people to beat (repeatedly) and thanked the locals for letting them (ie, the quikpro competitors) clear out the surf at kirra for a few hours. i love parko, but i don’t remember him saying anything like that when he won at pipe last year. what more do you want?

  • Thelane

    Yes, Kelly knows the game enough to win even when he’s not the best surfer.

  • http://surfer Kimbo

    Drumwell – Kelly to stop beating our best .

  • Norcal

    Why you guys hatin on Kelly or Joel. Champs did what anyone would do to a friend?!?

  • TR

    Who shot this Photo?
    ASP Credit but which Photog?

    This Photo is legend ~

    Such a great event with the best surf for the finals.
    Gonna be a great year for the ASP tour!


  • David Nelson

    Reminds me a little of Kelly & Andy…oh, those were the days…a little flip of the bird and some potential rivalry again would be great – bring it on!

  • David G

    Totally agree with SoCal Gary (and not just because I’m from SoCal!) Don’t know what webcast y’all were watching but to my eyes Kelly was underscored on all 3 of his top waves, including a million hours in a spitting, below sea level tube that got him a 9.83 or whatever? Are you kidding me? If that’s not a perfect ride, relative to all the other waves he and Joel rode in that heat, nothing is. On the drop-in, Parko was really deep and it may have sectioned on him, so not a “certain” 10 point ride. And while we’re on the subject of Parko – did this guy cast a spell on the judges, throughout 2012 and now again in 13? Kelly’s surfing is the most exciting, unpredictable, and dynamic on tour, with Dane, John-John, Medina, Owen Wright, and other young guns close behind. Mick Fanning is great, lightning-quick power (old school) surfer who is really fun to watch and he deserves any win he gets. But Parko, to my eyes, is just so boring. He can obviously ride the tube, but which of the those 44 guys can’t if a perfect wave comes their way? Never thought I would see Kelly Slater being “underscored” as throughout his career he seemed to be judge’s pet, with good reason! Now he’s surfing better than in his entire life, especially given how old he is, and they are pegging him down to keep things competitive – Huh?

  • Matt

    Kelly Slater is pro surfing. All pros owe a percentage of their income to the existence of Kelly much the same way that pro golfers owe it to Tiger. Kelly took down the “Coolie Kids” in their backyard in a dominating competitive demonstration. Hats off to Jake Paterson for his masterful performance as contest director.

  • http://surfer Shawn

    Joel sat on Dane in their heat and time piddled away as Dane was starved out of a last wave…If Joel is pissed about Slater using his priority, he shouldn’t use it his advantage as when it suits him! I would love to see a surfer in a heat not use the rules to win so to speak and just let the surfing happen, but rules are rules!

  • Carol Philips

    Flipping people off while wearing an ASP Jersey should be discouraged. It does not promote a family friendly image for the sport etc….

  • drumwell

    Kimbo – hahaha, ok. Fair point. But Parko’s still the champ!

  • Ben

    I think people are taking Joel’s middle finger out of context. The guys get along pretty good outside of the water, but in the water they’re competitors, period. I think it was done in jest.

    Regarding quality surfing, anybody who doesn’t think Kelly is still the best in the world is delusional. Who else could have completed that tube ride to lip bash at the end? You could maybe put Dane and JJF in the conversation, but it ends there.

    And yeah, Parko fvckin shreds, especially in right hand tubes (check his perfect 20 heat), and he probably would’ve made it. Haters need to recognize. His style ain’t boring, it’s sublime.

  • Jimbob Sullivan

    As usual Taj chokes.
    Get a new trainer brah, Johnny Gannon is a shit surfer and you don’t need his tips. Just get someone who is fit because you’re surfing is amazing and doesn’t need Johnny G in your ear telling you what to do. You’ve gone worse after having him train you. The end. Congrats Kelly on the revenge heat.

  • TP

    Its pretty obvious, like everyone is saying- don’t hate the playa, hate the game Joel.
    That being said both were surfing great, only complaint would be Parkos pseudo soul arches, rather see a fist pump, its a contest not some feral trip in the wilds.

  • Chase

    Joel, said in a post-heat interview, that he would have done the same thing to Kelly, if the situation was reversed. That was an amazing final day and I’m stoked Kelly isn’t being his usual cryptic self about his commitment to the tour this year.

  • Owlbyrd

    Kelly obviously LOVES to win as much as he loves to surf. No-one can take anything away from his competitive drive or from his one-of-a-kind ability and talent. That being said, it would of been ultra cool, as in soul-surfer cool, to give some respect & let Joel finish the wave he was so perfectly slotted into on his own home turf after working so hard to get a well deserved championship. Otherwise can’t complain when the tour pitssome of the best guys at the best spots. Great contest overall!

  • Matt O’Brien

    Owlbyrd : Joel got dropped off from the ski after already getting a wave. Kelly was waiting for his wave [the wave Joel took]. have you ever surfed a pointbreak? furthest inside doesn’t always mean right of way. Joel was pulling the classic “dick on a pointbreak” and Kelly took what was rightfully his [kelly’s]. All that without even having to bring up the priority situation: which was Kelly’s at that time. so your “soul surfer” nonsense is irrelevant. they were in a heat! tyr this: surf a pointbreak, get a wave, walk back to top of point and then go on any wave you want with out any regard for the other surfers waiting for a wave and see how much you are appreciated. oh yeah, Joel also had the use of jetski assist so he got right back out because that is where the skies dropped them [surfers] off. Enough of this nonsense! Joel knew it was Kelly’s turn and took a chance that Kelly would let him take the wave. Kelly knew differently. cheers…

  • Bruce Sancho

    The one good thing about this Aussi contest is that Rastabitch, Machado and C.Anderson were not in it. Talk about a some of overrated hippies/gypsies/patrulli or what ever you want to call them. Go Slater, win another dozen titles!!! Surfer mag more pics of Alana PLEASE!!!!

  • shea

    thank you and Happy Saint Patrick’s day Matt O’brien
    You explained the incident to a tee