Slater Wins The Hurley Pro

| posted on September 18, 2010

Prior to the final day of the Hurley Pro, Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith put together some of the most impressive rides in the history of competitive surfing. But during Dane’s semifinal, his girlfriend Courtney said what we were all thinking: “Oh no, he’s gonna have one of those heats again.” And sure enough he went on to post a trademark pair of two’s as his high scores after falling on every wave he rode. Jordy suffered a similar fate in his quarterfinal heat. But Jordy isn’t completely to blame though, because he broke two of his favorite boards on Friday, and the one he was riding during his heat against Bede Durbidge didn’t look nearly as sharp.

Similarly, Mick had ridden every wave flawlessly the entire event, but in two heats today he made more mistakes than he’ll care to remember. Meanwhile, Bede hadn’t made a mistake the entire event. The Hobgoods and Coach Gallager have a saying: “What would Bede do?” And on the final day he could do no wrong. Just like that he rolled over his competition—claiming the scalps of both Dane and Jordy—and found himself in the final up against the surfer who, no matter how many years he’s been in the game or how high the performance level rises, has no equal.

Watching Kelly gain momentum through the Hurley Pro was to see him at his best. He was the only surfer to freesurf before and after every day of competition and this allowed him to keep pace perfectly with the continually increasing swell—a swell that peaked in the final with a massive set that had him scoring a near perfect score on a tube-ride at Lowers of all places.

With Kelly’s victory today he jumps into a healthy lead in the ASP rankings. Looking ahead to the Europe leg, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him extend that lead because, right now, Hurricane Igor is marching toward the North Atlantic and ison its way to turning extra tropical. If the Dream Tour continues its run of luck from Lowers they will be looking at big and perfect barrels for France.

Can anyone match Kelly in big hollow beachbreak? Andy can, but he’s not in the world-title race. Dane can, but he probably won’t be able to do it heat after heat. Jordy? He can get extremely shacked on his frontside at New Pier, but in a shifty lineup with an equal number of lefts on offer, I’m not sold. It looks like Kelly is well on his way to Number 10.

Kelly Slater's classic combination of power and progression was too much for Bede Durbidge in the final. Photo: Van Swae

Kelly Slater ripping his way to victory and getting one-step closer to his tenth world title. Photo: Van Swae

It was Bede Durbidge's consistent surfing that allowed him to overtake Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds in back-to-back heats. Photo: Glaser

Bede Durbidge's consistency allowed him to overcome the progressive surfing of Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds. Photo: Glaser

Immediately following his quarterfinal loss, Jordy Smith had enough of his board and gave it to a lucky grom. Don't expect to see that board on eBay. Photo: Glaser

Immediately following his quarter final loss, Jordy Smith said goodbye to his board and gave it to a lucky grom. Photo: Glaser

"This was the best Lowers I have ever seen," said CJ Hobgood. Photo: Glaser

Nate Yeomans was a victim of the recent Tour cut-off, but had the opportunity to surf in the Legends Expression session, which he won with this wave. Photo: Glaser

Nate Yeomans was a recent victim of the World Tour cut-off, but yesterday aired his way to victory in the Lowers Legends expression session. Photo: Glaser

To beat Slater in perfect Lowers it has to be black and white. Owen Wright launched one of the biggest air reverses ever seen in competition to get a 9.2 and it still couldn't stop Slater. Photo: Van Swae

Owen Wright was unable to repeat his Day 3 performance against Slater, despite this huge air-reverse that earned him a 9.2. Photo: Van Swae

To beat Dane Reynolds in perfect Lowers you're going to need a little luck. Taj Burrow feeling lucky. Photo:Glaser

To beat Dane Reynolds in perfect Lowers you're going to need a little luck. Taj Burrow, feeling lucky. Photo: Glaser

Not known for getting rattled, Mick Fanning struggled to find a rhythm after Slater jumped to an early lead in Semifinal Number One. Photo: Van Swae

In semi final number one, Mick Fanning couldn't find his rhythm and became another Slater casualty. Photo: Van Swae

Kelly Slater can now remove the Number Two jersey and hand it off to Jordy Smith. Photo: Van Swae

Kelly Slater can remove the number two jersey and hand it off to Jordy Smith. Photo: Van Swae

At only 17 years old, Luke Davis is already considered a Lowers Legend and was allowed to surf in the Legends Expression Session. Photo: Van Swae

At only 17 years-old, Luke Davis is already considered a Lowers legend and proved why in the expression session. Photo: Glaser

After Dane Reynolds posted the second highest heat score of the event against Taj Burrow in Quarterfinal Number Four, Dane looked like he

Another equal third for Dane Reynolds--his first World Tour event win still just out of reach. Photo: Van Swae

The Hurley Pro was Slater's second World Tour victory this year and 43rd of his career. Photo: Van Swae

The Hurley Pro was Slater's second World Tour victory on the year and unprecedented 43rd of his career. Photo: Van Swae


1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.13
2 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.13


SF 1:Kelly Slater (USA) 15.87 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 10.43
SF 2:Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.67 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.63

ASP WORLD TITLE RACE TOP 5 (After Hurley Pro at Trestles):

1. Kelly Slater (USA) 40,000 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,500 pts
3. Taj Burrow (AUS) 30,500 pts
4. Dane Reynolds (USA) 30,250 pts
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 29,500 pts

  • Richy

    Kelly earned every bit of it

  • Mickey Dora

    Could he do it with 150 others in the Lineup?

  • Lance

    Always the cream rises to the top, and Kelly is on top and likely to stay there.

  • http://SURFER Jackson

    Fanning’s 15 minute ‘skull-sessions’ before heats left
    him ironically fragile to an interference “trick” which
    only he ‘called’.
    It may empower him for the remainder of the season.
    More likely to show everyone he’s wound WAY to tight.

  • Paul

    I was there to see Kelly surf on the final day. All the guys were ripping but Kelly has got such style and fluidity there’s just no comparison. He is the best in the world…. He’s a legend.

  • craig

    kelly surfed well as always, although he was lucky to get past owen in that quarter final. its common knowlege that kelly gets overscored more than most.

  • zach

    Slater wins! He deserved it!

  • pat judd

    Absolutely astounding. First rate waves, powerful surfing throughout. And Kelly is the master. Two style gurus in the finals made it all time. Everyone just absolutely blew it out every freakin heat. I just wish Bobby Martinez had gone further. Dane your surfing is so cool, I’d buy a used car from you right now!

  • zach

    Now that the adoration is over it’s well past time to consider ending contests all over the world not just SLAN SCUMENTE WHERE THE SEWER MEETS THE SEA but everywhere.

    How much money does the surf industry invest? Just think of the option for all that money.
    Buy a D-8 Caterpillar and some islands all over the world and build artificial reefs for everyone to enjoy.

    Enough with promoting representatives of the SURF INDUSTRY. ( every surf related business)

    Kelly Slater and all the rest are great surfers.

    I’ve had connections with SURFER AND SURFING in my lifetime. Took photos from Seversons deck in Cyprus Shores.
    Know photogs from some mags both alive and deceased.

    Time for optional course in SURFING’S future. Contests are not the answer!

  • Changopelon

    @Paul. I agree. Dane, Jordy, and Owen are the next in line behind Mick. But, Kelly is still tops!! His power, style, fluidity and versatility rules it! While still being one of the top innovators. Incredible!

  • Mik

    There is only one flaw in this commentary. Did Owen Wright outsurf Kelly in the Quarter final? Kelly’s first 9 was overscored, maybe. Owen’s first wave with that massive air was equally underscored. Had the two waves been reversed, Owen might have been in the final. Also, I flat out do not get how Bede Durbidge makes it through heats. There are a zillion guys who surf at that level, and he is nowehere near as high performance as most of the top 15. He reminds me of that Kennedy guy who the jusdges gave scores to in the 80’s. You’d just think, wtf? just doing a maneuver doesn’t equate to high scores. It is how dynamic it is done. Bede has some power, but he is generally slow. He is way overscored. The ASP / WTC judging needs scrutiny.

  • Mik

    BTW: Slater is awesome, make no mistake. He’s the King, and it is going to take a significantly more exciting surfer to take his crown this year. 10 in 2010.

  • peak firstly

    Crap reporting by another semi-literate writer, but a nice short recap for the ADD crowd, they’ll buy it? I don’t follow your musings Shea, so I apologize if you feel like you wanted to really examine minds, approaches and history…oh well.

    Dane can surf good to great, BUT if his chosen career path (or is he forced into it by sponsors) is to WIN contests well then the go for gold or fail miserably approach is getting old. Get in shape, surf within your capabilities and ride waves to their end.

    Jordy is a pig-faced monster freak but is probably more focused on rooting Newps ladies (yuck, smelly ho’s no doubt) than making the most of his talent. It’s his ride for at least the next few years, then he can be a cabana boy in Malibu or go back to SA and drift away?

    NO one will be able to play the “surfing game” better than KS. He’s been in it so long he knows his and his opponents inside and out. He’s been a “brash young upstart”, a winner and now a competent elder statesman, who by the way can surf circles around most pros on a daily business. And he does. I’m happy for his success, he’s earned it. He will be able to retire AND still be involved on a major level, hopefully making things better for surfers and the contest world in the future.

    I’m so happy Rob Hair said what he wanted to see from the contest was, “someone getting spit out of the barrel”. Premonition, or just dumb luck for KS?

    I saw lots of over/under scoring in the judging throughout the contest not just w/the major heads.

    I’m so glad a Hurley rider did not win. That business Bob H pulled w/Bong, then Nike was wack. TOO MANY kooks into surf these days, for all the wrong reasons.

    More hurricane swell for Europe please!!!!!

  • craig

    i agree with mik. sometimes the judging makes me scratch my head. the judges are too influenced by the crowd around them. like with dane for example, he is my favorite surfer right now, he rips the bag, but every now and then he will just bog rail, and the judges will still throw down big scores out of habbit or something. same with kelly. a lot of the spectators at these events dont know that much about good surfing, but they will cheer for him, because he is kelly and this often helps his scores. however i have seen it go against kelly too, in south africa kelly got screwed by the judges when the crowd went wild for sean holmes. i dont have the answer to this problem, i just think that no longer does the world title reflect the best surfer, but then it never did

  • Mik

    Response to “peak early”: RE: Bob Hurley: your comments on Bob Hurley are based on what? Whatever. You have skewed understanding of who Hurley is. Bob Hurley pretty much MADE Billabong USA. He took an offer to bring an unknown Aussie brand into the USA, and then he built it into a company that dwarfed its Aussie founder by millions of dollars. My direct experience of working with Billabong under Hurley was always incredibly positive, and generous, including loaning me his personal Tavarua gun, to take to Cloudbreak. He made everyone feel respected and part of the company. Then, at the peak of Billabong’s success, if I understand things clear from the outside, he appears to have decided that he wanted to have a company under his own name, and family run. An incredibly bold move. Yet, he pulled it off. And then he was professional enough to get Nike’s interest, so he could expand, and he expanded his success into professional surfing. I can tell you with absolute certainty that every professional surfer in the world has a 100% favorable opinion of Hurley. He, with Nike support, is raising the bar for contest win money, and also presentation. Putting on surf contests is hard work.Hurley events are freaking awesome. And professional surfing is awesome because now the whole world respects our freedom based sport, and countries are valuing their surf breaks. It’s good. It is what it is. BTW: I doubt that you would call Jordy Smith any kind of kindergarten name face to face. Eh? I like to vent in blogs too, but name calling is lame.

  • peak firstly

    Go the Mik!,
    ahhh, name calling is what the www is for ain’t it? I’m not scared of that guy, he’s my size (I was this size first) AND I’m more angry, ha!

    I’m more saddened/angered that the world is progressing too fast for me. Real prize money and major sponsors brought to surfing+contests will mean that the rich execs in the surf world OR the sponsored pros will need to get a paycut if “surf brands” want to pay to play on a real world of “what we put in vs how much we rip off the consumer to the tune of $60 trunks and $28 metrosexual t’s. It WOULD be good to see how COKE or McDonalds would LAUGH at the paltry amt of $ that it takes to throw a week’s event on a beach somewhere. I bet it’s way less than they drop on the big city bus side placements for a month. What gets more eyeballs? Or would they think it’s core to be so under the radar. Or then again, maybe they will just make a $100 pair of shorts to make up for the losses? oops too late. a select few in the surf industry have it ($, power, control) on lockdown and down at the trickle down out here on the mean streets, the reps who work hard day to day get paid what, 10% of sales. How about 5% of sales and 1% of overall corprate profits? Maybe a bit more evenly distributed share of “what WE ALL are building”? and NO I’m not a rep, I just hear their sob stories, even the top 3-4 brands.

    I guess I’m happy for Bob H? He did good stuff saturating the Bong brand to a certain level in the USA, but if you think that setting up Hurley and then in a short matter of time selling it out to NIke is a “let’s keep this family business” you must be on the mull.
    If he REALLY wants to be core and keep it real as surfers are want to do, he should be a full time shaper. I’ve seen some shapes, not too bad.THERE’s where the $$$$’s at! AND the recognition. Who needs to be authentic (to a true surfers needs) when one can sell a watch or hoodie w/earphones in the strings or sneakers, all things a surfer “needs”, or I guess all things an aspiring surfer should want to wear/look like?

    I work a lot of other sporting events in the field and it’s always a downer when one sponsor has such a branding/logo dominance to an event. Like I said, if it was “verizon, coke, hurley event at Trestles”, guess who wins??? the PRO surfers, they would get paid 2-3x as much, but at a loss to one companies monopoly/dominance.

    surfing is surfing, it’s all supposed to be fun, but when the pro level contests it’s so heavily saturated with this “fame/guilt by association” it seems forced, flat or just played out.

    I would not have even browsed over to see any of the contest was it not for the good swell promise and when I did I felt glad I was not a part of the Hurley Tribe (or any surf brand per say).

  • Mik

    Peak-ster: Surfing is whatever you want it to be. If you don’t like surf industry stuff, by from someone else. but be aware that it may actually be very different corporate reality wise. The surf Industry is killer. full of fun creative people. And most companies treat their people well. Employees are very loyal for that reason. Whereas in th etech world, apart from Apple, people come and go like the wind. I’m sure Hurley’s family will enjoy the $ he made in his business deals, and that Nike will want to keep his sons in the game. None of my business, so I hope I am not insulting anyone by sharing my appreciation of what Hurley stands for. BTW: Bob was a shaper to start with, and still does make some killer boards. Order one from him. Hurley is core.

  • Ace Cool

    Jimmi Slade is back in the drivers seat.

  • dogtownsk8whore

    My vagina hurts

  • craig

    hey peak and mik. your wasteing time arguing when you could both be telling the world how much you love kelly

  • zach

    Does the Surfing community really want more contests?

    Why doesn’t SURFER bring this up in the mag.?

  • Andrew

    @ Zach:

    Your idea sounds a little far fetched. Ending contests would take the sport out of surfing. And if you lose the sport you end up with a hobby. I don’t see too many hobby organizations who have the money to buy islands and build reefs. Put down the pipe, bro. Surfing contests and the sport of surfing are what help the industry actually make so much money. Without competition there would be no surfing organization to buy these private surfparks you speak of.

  • zach

    @Andrew. Use your imagination. Charge admission. Build a 100,000 seat venue. The money is more than there. Call it an “Expression Session” and let the fans decide.

    Ever hear of the Surfer Poll Awards?
    All those miles of beach-break waiting for a simple plan. HEY ! They build marinas for sailboats. Did any microbes complain? TheSurfrider foundation stopped a freeway -take it a step further !
    Tell me to put the pipe down. How about you use what’s in your skull cavity – brah ?
    Did skate comp sites appear magically ?
    Only thing standing in the way is not believing it is possible.

  • peak firstly

    it’s all good. I never entered the surf industry world by choice as an employee. Just do it myself at a smaller scale, happy and on my own, slow path.

    DAMN straight! Slates is HELLA COOL! Represent East Coast. How do you come from crumble slop to world thorough dominance??? Hard work, freak talent and a pinch of playing the game right (thankfully he does not thanks God when he wins).
    DOMINATE!!!!!!!! 10 should be easy. Will he get paid (by Hurley, Bong, Rip Curl, etc) to stop competing on the tour?

    they knock him over and over and he comes back.

    ps – ain’t someone supposed to rag on a Brazillian in the next post or two? Keep the quota up commentators!

  • Mik

    Craig: I totally respect Kelly. Totally. He is our Royalty. Still, I am an Andy Irons fan, as well, and Kai Otton, Taj, Martinez, Jordy, the whole WTC. Its all good.

    Peak: Kelly rips because, face it, he left that southern east coast political hell hole and lagging surfline for everywhere else: Hawaii, Cali, Tahiti, Bali, Oz, Fiji, where the real waves are. I have no idea why anyone who surfs would stay in FLA. The pictures of head high or plus surf that sends the entire East Coast into a frenzy, basically happens all the time in the real surf regions, only bigger and better. Just sayin? Just said.You do have some nice looking women, so maybe that’s it.

  • craig

    if you guys haven’t guessed yet, i am an aussie. and i was being a smartass when i told you guys to talk about loveing kelly. but seriously i think kelly is the best surfer of all time, i was about 13 when ks in black and white came out, i watched it 1000 times, for a decade he was head and shoulders above the next best guy, he was the best and it was recognized on both sides of the pacific. i was lucky enough to surf with him a bunch of times at burleigh, kirra, and d/bah, man he was good compared to the level of other pros of the day. but i think kelly is making a mistake by hanging around on the tour, let me explain. kelly no longer stands out. he was once the fastest, most inovative, stylish, and hardest charging surfer in yhe world. but today he’s not the fastest [ mick is] or the most progressive[ dane, jordy, taj] most stylish [parko] or the hardest charger [andy]. sure he can still win contests off the back of experience, his cheering fans and the good will of judges, but im sure this not how kelly will want to be remembered. 19 years ago kelly was critical of the pros of the time for toneing down their surfing to fit the judging criteria, he said their surfing was “gay”. well look who is running off to the judges to find out how he can fit his surfing into a criteria now. kelly. it is without doubt that owen beat kelly in that quarter, the judges stuffed up big time and they know it. the surf media are onto it already, heads may roll. if you asked kelly off the record he would tell you the same. a similar thing happend at bells, kelly won that too. if kellys not careful he will be badly remembered. many of the groms today dont know the mindblowing kelly of the 90’s, they just know the bald, sneaky, overscored kelly whose recent victories are questioned by many. kelly its time to go, there is nothing left to prove, buy a boat, sail to indo, retire now with the knowlege that you were the best.

  • zach

    Stop all contests.

    Force Nike and Target to pay surfers for the use of Lowers, or any other surf spot where contests are held.

    I want to surf, not watch a contest.

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  • Ray Man Zerick

    Anyone who buys clothes from a surf shop is a complete idiot. Go to Marshalls or Ross. The bro industry is run by family suck ups.