Wow, what an incredible couple of days in Hawaii! The Volcom Pipe Pro consistently delivered some of the best waves in recent memory and the greatest surfer of all time (we can say that now, can’t we?) stepped up in a big way.
Slater built throughout the entire event, had a few close calls early on and then just threw himself fully into the fray at the business end of proceedings, ultimately walking away with his first win in a couple of years, which sounds crazy. Maybe 2016 is his year!?
We had a proper chat with the champ last year and you can read the full interview in the brand spanking new Wavelength mag dropping in the next couple of days. The best way to make sure you get your copy is to subscribe, it’s pretty easy and it even saves you a few quid. Here’s an extract from our conversation:
“WL: So I’m going to ask the retirement question, but in a different way. You are into numbers, numerology, so is 11 fine or would 12 be better?
KS: No you know, 11 is cool, I think 11 is sort of better in a way, but 12 is pretty cool. I mean it’s just about being satisfied when you are done right? The numbers are just numbers, fall as they will. I mean it’s obviously getting harder and harder to win heats. There are more guys that are good, there is more depth in the field. I mean, when you see a guy like Kolohe, I don’t take him lightly at all, but he’s down in the 20’s ( in the WSL ratings) but he’s a factor I think, for almost anyone at any break. You got Parko down in the 20’s. You just look at how many guys there are in the field that could, or have won events.
WL: Yeah, but to be honest I think you’ve still got a title in you if you got excited.
KS: I think it comes down to motivation, and preparation, you know.
WL: You’ve been so dominant in surfing and it’s both in the public eye and by the numbers, do you, and without being too sycophantic about it, realise that? Do you look in the mirror and say “Jeez boy, you have done alright”
KS: Yeah sometimes I give myself a little pep talk
WL: Do you?
KS: Yeah but I mean at the same time I think as an athlete
you have to border on a little bit cocky sometimes and humble. In other words you kind of have to be a little bit arrogant to make yourself believe sometimes even if you’re not feeling
it. But you have to be humble so you don’t end up being an asshole!
SL: It’s a fine line though
KS: Well I think it kind of is you know there is a certain level of selfishness of narcissism and stuff that goes into creating your bubble , your surrounding…”
When we caught up with Kelly he had just been awarded the first ever Purple iAM Band. If you are not familiar with iAM Bands, it’s an ability measure that can be applied to any any sport, that started in surfing, right here in the UK. It’s a whole new concept, the system is popping up in surf schools all over the South West and it’s an amazing framework to help surfers to progress to the next level. It’s simple, fun, and looks like it’s growing fast, check out their Instagram, get involved.
It’s incredible to see the greatest surfer of all time embracing such a new concept, especially one that was created over here, keep an eye on it!
Kelly’s an Icon, that’s Purple. What Colour are you?