2010 Hurley Pro Final Day: Kelly Slater

posted by / News / September 19, 2010

Kelly Slater

Photos by Sherm
Words by Jed Smith

“No! I can’t believe it. This guy — he’s unbelievable,” cries an American fan, both hands clasping his head, as Kelly Slater exits a barrel. He’s right. It’s the final of the Hurley Pro at Trestles and the 38-year-old, nine-time world champion has just found himself a deep tube at a wave that typically doesn’t barrel. It earns him a 9.53 and the contest win over Bede Durbidge. More importantly, it furthers his ratings lead over Jordy Smith, who relinquished the No. 1 slot after losing in the quarterfinals.

“He’s the man to beat at Trestles and he dominated. He’s got every move in the book, he knows the wave so well. Everything is going for him,” said Bede after the final.

The flawless conditions were an extra sweetener for Kelly. The playing field was even and his win was a further reminder of his brilliance despite the fact he’s nearing middle age. There was also a sprinkling of fortune for the champ on the final day: His Round 5 opponent, Chris Davidson, failed to show up after falling ill with a violent fever. The Australian had been hoping to make it his second final at Lowers in as many years and had gone to bed early the night prior, only to wake at 2 a.m. with the sweats.

“He was in good spirits when I went up and checked on him,” said the event’s head security guard. “He just wanted to sleep it off.”

Kelly Slater - Semi Pro Take a closer look at the Semi Pro model, Kelly’s go-to board.


Kelly took on reigning world champ Mick Fanning in the next heat — a match-up that brought together two of the sport’s most intense athletes.

Mick began his pre-heat psyche up 30 minutes before their clash. He pedaled an exercise bike in the competitors’ area with his Skullcandy headset on and left for the heat wearing the blank face of a boxer.

He walked through the crowd alone, shoulders broad, the outline of his back muscles visible through his wetsuit and competitor’s jersey. He received pats on the back and a man seized his hand and shook. Mick stared ahead.

But the man they call White Lightning turned to white chocolate and melted against Kelly. In a heat that saw paddle battles, jostling and dummy take-offs, the Coolie kid made a rash of errors and admitted to coming second best in the battle of wits.

Kelly Slater


“I don’t know – when Kelly (Slater) tried to pull those silly tricks, it made my brain explode and it sort of took me too long to get my head back together,” Fanning said.

On the other side of the draw, the event’s form surfer, Dane Reynolds, said he was “lucky” to beat Taj Burrow in his quarterfinal. But in the semis, the percentages finally caught up with his risky brand of surfing.

“I was totally mindfucked. I lost the mental picture of surfing a wave well and from then on I was done. Two minutes in I knew I was gonna lose. I was defeated from the first bobble,” Dane said of his loss to Bede Durbidge. His measly heat total didn’t break the six-point mark.

Dane also revealed he suffered from exhaustion, like he did during the climax of last year’s event when he was placed on a drip before the final.

Dane Reynolds


“I surfed too hard yesterday. I felt really weak today. Trestles makes you work hard on every wave because it’s kinda soft. You’re so tired by the end of them. And surfing four heats in the one day like that is crazy,” he said.

His third place result will not be enough to put him ahead of fellow tail-high gen-er Jordy Smith, who lost in the quarters; the South African will head to France rated second in the world. Following his loss, Jordy returned to the shore and paused on the pebbles as Dane raced down the line on his opening wave and stuck a full rotation air reverse.

He was then mobbed by kids for an autograph and gave his board to one of them.

“It was a little funky out there,” he said of his heat.

Jordy was a victim of strategy by his opponent, Durbidge, who later said, “All contest I was just applying pressure and they would crumble. That doesn’t work against Kelly, though.”

Asked what else was critical to his success, Bede pointed to his board, revealing that it was the same he’d ridden to his last two semifinal finishes at Trestles. It is unlikely he will challenge for the world title due to the impending birth of his child. Bede has decided to forgo the Portugal event to be by his wife’s side in Australia.

“It’s pretty important to see my kid’s birth. Whatever’s gonna happen will happen,” he said.

Bede Durbidge

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  • Billy Tomita

    Is Steve Briggs a old grumpy man? Sure sounds like it…

  • Pete

    When Kelly feels threatened he uses those silly tricks. Ultimate competitor but not ultimate surfer.

  • peanut

    Kelly not ultimate surfer? Have you been watching the same dude everyone else has for the last 20 years?

  • craig

    i agree with pete. kelly is the best competitive surfer in the world. not best surfer, everyone who truly knows surfing knows this. expert at mind games, expert at manipulating the judges, far too many kelly overscores are going down. he didn’t beat owen in that quarter final. kelly wants his own tour? ha, he already has his own tour, its called the asp world tour.

  • ido from israel

    did any one think how committed and loyal is bede to his family?
    the ultimate competitor and family feeder.
    respect bede from all surfing fathers-
    being with your babe and baby in real time birth is equal to getting out from big tube!
    go bede!!

  • Steve Briggs

    Hey Billy why go to the hater card when it was just a question. Get out of bed on the wrong side or what?
    The question was directed at the antics of Sherman and how he prowls the competitors area. Does he shoot surf or just guys standing around? When he did his film stuff his photos looked much better perhaps digital has turned him into just another digi shooter. So take it easy Billy and contribute to the dialogue and not the hate.

  • Jeff

    I wish Sherm still shot all film, but I understand deadlines for contest stuff. Still a legend, just hope you don’t ever let the Hassy get too dusty my man…

  • Negnan

    Kelly stinks like champagne.

  • Negnan

    And as for the “silly tricks”, don’t take Mick, who is always a good sportsman, if not a good sport, the wrong way on this. It’s exactly like a chagrined NFL defender talking about having tried to ignore Payton Manning’s pre-snap antics, but nonetheless having had his “brain explode”. And Mick knows Trestles wasn’t a very predictable single peak lineup at that point, so there weren’t THAT many surefire waves to go around that they could really just take turns… he’s just cultivating some anger for the next go, as would Kelly. Too bad they’re such jocks and can’t just put on a show like Dane did in the semi-final….

  • Jackson

    Remember when Mick said Kelly won’t be getting a Christmas card this year? It’s cause he’s a slithery snake! WAHAHAHA!

  • Beau Jeste

    I once met Kelly’s Mum in a supermarket in around ’95 at Cocoa Beach.

    I was buying a copy of Surfer and she asked me if I knew her son ‘Keeely’ who at the time was at a contest in Japan…

    She was working on a checkout…

    A very sweet lady (milf).

  • Pingback: Kelly Slater Wins Hurley Lowers Pro 2010 Channel Islands Surfboards Blog - Team, Events, News, Videos, Photo, Press

  • Kelly4Life

    Kelly won, plain and simple. It’s takes strategy and skill to win an event, and 9 world titles. No one was doing turns like Kelly and no one had better wave selection. Hands down, best 30 year old plus surfer. Dane is so gifted but doesn’t know how to close in events, yet. Jordy is a natural but just isn’t Kelly, yet. Until Kelly is gone we won’t have another Kelly so keep the Kelly hating to a minimum, he wont the event, no question hands down.

  • Adam

    “Were all just friends..no sex….Sherm”

    Just blowjobs…that’s it.

  • Danny

    In Lower’s is Jordy and Dane surfing are better than Kelly? Yes, but Kelly won. And fare. And what about Pipe and Teahupoo? Kelly, no doubt. What about Waimea? Kelly. And all the airs that Dane and Jordy are doing ate amazing. But kelly aerial maneuvers were amazing 10, 15 years ago. In 10 years some kid will be doing better airs than this guys. And will Jordy and Dane will be considered the best surfers? Time will tell

  • joe strickland

    i feel lame even contributing to this nonsense, but i had the overwhelming urge to tell all of you that have posted remarks on this: you guys gotta get a life….let go and be free.

  • ray

    I remember Taylor’s aggressive style in Pismo Beach when the Bud Tour was around along time ago…he had a sliding/open style where he would bring his board around… nowadays he just seems to be holding back or just waiting for a carve. T-Knox needs to watch some his Taylor Steele footage (momentum 2) and get charged up.

  • Disckson Cider

    I’ve not only met Sherm but had the priveledge of having team mates, guys with marquee names in pro surfing (unlike myself),
    that have a great respect and affirmation of Steve, as if he were family. Sad every thread has to have baseless haters. Sherm’s captured some of the greatest moments in our sports history, and most of those moments were out of the water, showing the exhileration of triumph and the agony of defeat.
    Those who criticise are too scared of the latter to ever acheive the former. Easier to punch the clown and hate on message boards.

  • Enrique Glez

    C´mon can you guys just chill, iknow is a marketing strategy (i´m a marketing executive) to position Kelly as a Jordan type of sports man, but just be happy for the guy, he does surf good and he has influence surf in so many ways.

    Let´s be happy for the triumphs

  • El Snatcho

    Sherm has bad grammar? Who gives a shit about grammar on message boards? Hey Professor Briggs, please let us know which university you teach at so we can come enjoy your amazing insight on the world of professional surfing, photography, and proper use of the English language. You are a jealous prick! Pizz auf!

  • El Snatcho

    What are the odds that Briggs will now write some crap joke about my mother? More predictable than writing off Surfer and Surfing for being the same mag with different names.

  • coconut’s

    !! All i have to said to all of YOU Kelly is the KING of SURFING. !!

  • leifo

    I think that it is great that Kelly is number one at the moment. At the beginning of the tour this year he was counted out. I remember reading an article that said that the judging criteria was against his kind of surfing. Well they backed him into a corner and he came out swinging like a true champion. He has definately contributed to professional surfing and the industry in the most positive ways. Most of his rivals and critics would not be making the money they do off of the industry if it was not for him and his positive impression on the sport. I hope he gets 10 in 2010. Go Kelly.

  • Dickson Cider

    Kelly gets so ripped whether he does good OR bad. The guy can’t win. If he loses the sport has passed him by. If he wins the judges juiced him. Such BS. Check out the latest Surfline vid called Kelly’s Road to Victory at Trestles. There is a backside tail waft he throws so hard he winds up sliding on his chest with half of one foot on the board, then recovers effortlessly right into a bottom turn. Maybe three guys on tour right now could do that free surfing, but I haven’t seen anyone pull something like that in competition, and that wasn’t even the gnarliest thing he’s done. Let’s not even discuss the barrel in the finals.