Kelly Slater Wins The 2013 Volcom Fiji Pro
I really wanted to just cut and paste the same article from 2012 and join the wild dance party currently going on in front of the Tavarua bar, but I know ya’ll are smarter than that, so here goes… Kelly Slater wins the 2013 Volcom Fiji Pro!
By now it’s almost comical. Dude is 41 years old and hands down (duh) the best surfer in the world. He’s like the character out of Brad Pitt’s movie Benjamin Button; reversing in age and getting better and better as time passes. But if you look at the details it starts to make sense: He barely drinks (even after winning $75,000 on a tropical island in the South Pacific). He knows his equipment better than Al Merrick. He doesn’t get worked up over a perfect heat. He recalls minute details from years ago like they were yesterday. We just did a Cote’s Cube video interview with Kelly, and, without spilling the beans, the guy finds motivation and drive via his extended network of family and friends that spans the globe—his nephew was born yesterday and a dear Fijian friend passed away today.
Cycle of life I guess.
One cycle that doesn’t change is that Kelly keeps winning and winning and winning. Below are the notes I took while posted up on the floating contest headquarters and front row seats courtesy of John John Florence letting me be his board caddy… By the way, with his win, Kelly takes the ratings lead going into the Oakley Bali Pro. And no, it’s not too early for marketing types to start formulating witty little ways to mesh “Kelly Slater” and the number “12” into tee shirts and hats. “Sla12er” perhaps?
John John Florence vs. Jordy Smith
John opens up with a long barrel ride that nets him a 9.1. Jordy can’t answer despite his brutally powerful man hacks. With a minute remaining John puts the nail in the coffin and drops a 9.93. ‘Must be the caddy,’ I quietly gloat.
Kelly Slater vs. Sebastian Zietz
Kelly takes off on a foamy monster of a wave and drops the first 10 of the day. Five minutes later he drops another 10 and registers a perfect heat. “Guarantee he stays out there and tries to tie Beschen’s record of three tens,” says Jordy Smith as his bombshell model girlfriend consoles him after the previous loss. When asked about riding a 5’9″ in 8-foot surf Kelly said, “I just widen my stance. Riding that size of board isn’t for everyone but works for my kind of surfing.” For the record, it’s the second time Slater has pulled this feat—the first being at Teahupo’o against Damien Hobgood.
Josh Kerr vs. CJ Hobgood
The judging scale is harsh on the two surfers and what a normal person would consider the ride of his or her lifetime only gets CJ a 3. Doesn’t matter, CJ squeaks out a win over Kerr and moves into the semis. “Perfect Cloudbreak and I can’t get over seven points!” he yells out from the water. “Not the way I drew it up but fudge, I’ll take it. I could have got those scores on a boogieboard!” And yeah, he said, “Fudge.”
Mick Fanning vs. Joel Parkinson
The battle of the Coolie kids goes the way of Fanning. “So shitty,” he moans to me as I take position in the channel as John John’s board caddy. As a wide one bowls up in front of us he says, “Why couldn’t I get one like that? Gonna be sooo good tonight!”
John John Florence vs. Kelly Slater
Working as John’s board caddy I had front row seats to what I hoped would be a shootout of two of the worlds most exciting surfers. But the particles never aligned and John couldn’t find any rhythm. Meanwhile Slater chipped away with searing turns and take off on anything wave selection. The defending champ moved into the finals… While disappointed John should be stoked on a 3rd in what’s really his first event of the year.
Mick Fanning vs. CJ Hobgood
“I was channeling Seabass!” said an ecstatic Mick Fanning after his last minute come from behind win. “If Seabass can do it I figured I could too!” Mick’s win sets up a classic Namotu vs. Tavarua and Australia vs. America final!
2013 Volcom Fiji Pro Final
Mick Fanning vs. Kelly Slater
Mick opens with a 9.2 right off the bat, Kelly is on a screamer right behind him and get a massive barrel with his arms spread wide open, but gets clipped trying to sneak out the doggy door. You’ll no doubt see the photo of the wave in magazines and websites worldwide. As the heat wears on, Kelly gets better and better, eventually claiming two rides—an uncharacteristic move but completely warranted. Kelly goes absolutely berserk and nails his third perfect ten of the day.
“What an incredible day!” beams Kelly after making it back to the floating contest headquarters. “I want to dedicate this win to my brother Steven and his new baby Van, I love you guys!” For more on his 53rd ASP World Championship Tour win, check out the upcoming episode of Cote’s Cube…trust me when I say it’s a banger!—JC
VOLCOM FIJI PRO FINAL:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 19.80
2 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.87
VOLCOM FIJI PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.17 def. John John Florence (HAW) 14.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.07 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.70
VOLCOM FIJI PRO QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 19.06 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.67
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 20 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 4.10
QF 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 7.77 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.50
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.13 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.83