It’s Official: Kelly Slater wins his 10th ASP World Title and The Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico

posted by / News / November 6, 2010

By Jamie Tierney
Photos by Sherm

Kelly Slater delivered hands down one of the best performances of his career in winning his 10th ASP World Title and first Rip Curl Pro Search today. Pick your superlative – amazing, ridiculous, incredible, outrageous. He was all of them and more. How can a guy who is 38 years old be getting better? And what is he going to do next?

Who knows.

The past few days of sorrow and grief were tempered with joy and celebration today. On Kelly’s last wave of his title clinching quarterfinal heat against Adriano De Souza (where his first two waves were a 9 and a 9.97) Jordy Smith recreated the famous 1995 Kelly/Rob high five by reaching out and slapping Kelly’s hand as he rode past.

“I felt like Andy was with me today,” Kelly said. “And I dedicate this to him.

After rolling past Taj Burrow in the semis and then unleashing a flurry of airs and crazy hacks in the final against Bede Durbidge, Kelly put an exclamation point on his day by walking away with the Search trophy in one arm and the world title one in the other.

“I feel relieved, honestly,” says Kelly. “It’s been the most stressful title I’ve ever had, because it’s sort of an unknown place and you know at my age people say ‘you shouldn’t be doing this.’ And all the young guys are getting better and it’s a challenge to believe in yourself and not believe what other people tell you. I know how good Jordy, Dane, Mick, Taj and all those guys are, and it’s a marathon, you know? It’s not one wave, it’s not one maneuver, it’s not one contest. It’s a year-long thing and I know how to focus and it came together and I’m just so relieved.”

Here’s what some other folks had to say:

“A long time ago Kelly asked himself the question if he had what it takes to win a world title and the answer was he had what it takes to win 10 world titles.” Tom Curren

“It’s been an emotional week to say the least. To sit here now and watch Kelly make history like this it’s a beautiful thing and more than anything in the world he did it in Andy’s memory. I’m sure Andy’s looking down and he’s happy and proud.” Sal Masekela

“Kelly threw a 9 and a 9.8 off that bat in his quarterfinal and everyone was pretty much celebrating from there. Kelly’s always put in the hard work and dedication throughout his career. Congratulations, buddy!” Mick Fanning

“It’s rad that Kelly won his 10th. He was shredding today.” Dane Reynolds

“Kelly’s been on tour since I was born and now he’s just won his tenth world title and I’m really stoked to be a part of it.” Owen Wright

“I probably wouldn’t have gotten four titles without Kelly to push me along. He was in my dreams the other night before I won.” Stephanie Gilmore

“I’m very excited for Kelly and very proud of him – what a way to do it. As a brother I’ve always expected him to come through on days like today because he’s so competitive and dependable.” Stephen Slater

“Kelly’s had an unrivalled career and it’s something that will never surpassed in my lifetime or probably in my kids’ lifetimes. To win 10 world titles is a milestone in itself, but I’d love to see him retire now. It would be the cherry on the top to retire after ten world titles.” Martin Potter

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  • BK

    Sad day for AI and a Great one for surf-star-extraordinaire – Slayin’ ’em again Slater.

    RIP AI – Congrats KS !!!

  • Sebastian

    Unfortunately could not make it to the surf comp in Isabela, but I’m sitting at my desk in San Juan. Great job to all the surfers, especially KS!!
    RIP Andy Irons

  • Mik

    In the past week, two surfing legends have been immortalized in an emotional roller-coaster of emotional intensity that will have us whirling for the rest of the year: The rise of Kelly slater to a perfect 10 World Championships, and the loss of Andy Irons to the unexpected hands of fate. Kelly has achieved his greatness by utterly dominating the competitive world of surfing. Andy achieved his through his ability to do major maneuvers in the heaviest places on the heaviest waves. They pushed each other to the heights of stardom, and I think God/Nature has cemented their uniquely complementary personalities in our hearts, in indelible ways, this week. The rainbow that shined down on from the heavens at the start of the Kelly/ Bede final gave me the teary-eyed feeling that Andy was showing his admiration for Kelly from the Heavens. Believe what you will, I will never forget this week, and I will live out my life admiring these two kings of surfing. The King has passed on—long live the King.

  • joe strickland

    well said, mik.

  • Leslie

    What a week.. an incredible major down and a supreme major up.
    Thank you surfing for the love that we all share!


  • mo

    absolutely – bravo mik!

    and i fully agree with martin potter – i think its a good moment to retire for kelly slater, there isnt much more to achieve! he has done it all! now its time to shine for the younger generation…

  • Imaikalani

    And you wonder why your local beach is increasingly packed with novices. For the masses!

  • Ramon

    As usual – the best images of the day came from Sherm!!! Fantastic work, buddy.

  • Doctor

    I saw the magic happen and it was a show from the heaven! After that minute of silence it was just his presence with all of us who where there. Andy will live forever and this moment in PR will show the world that we should believe!

  • woods

    does it make sense to retire when your the best in the world.?

  • Chris & Debby Van Lennep Cowies Hill Durban

    Time for another challenge PGA

  • Enrique Glez

    Venga Kelly echale compadre!!!!!!!!!!!