Kelly and the only thunderous perfect 10-point ride of this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro. Photo: Volcom/Bielmann
Seriously, with John John out of the equation following an unexpected early exit, what were the chances of Kelly NOT winning this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro?
Well, the four-man heat format (which always adds an extra X-factor) along with the usual strong field of local Pipe specialists might well have shut down the 11-time champ at some stage. But it’s not like Kelly really needed the points or the 20,000$ prize purse. So with no pressure and more epic 10-12 foot conditions on hand, the opportunity to back up his dramatic PipeMasters win with yet another awesome display of Banzai brilliance was simply too good to resist.
“This was some of the best Pipe I’ve ever surfed in my life. There were some really gnarly, intense, kind of vicious waves this morning. It was really doubling up, a new swell, it was a little bit wonky,” commented Kelly. “It did feel like there was definitely some room out there to work on things and the opportunity was there because when the wave gets really intense, you’ve got to just totally commit, and you can see if a guys committed or not, and you can choose to be like that.”
Netting the highest heat total of the day in his first heat of the day (including the only perfect 10-point ride of the contest), Kelly looked unstoppable from the get-go, and fellow final opponents Mason Ho, Adriano de Souza and Wigolly Dantas never looked like catching him after his opening-minute excellent 9.57 ride.
Volcom Pipe Pro 2014 Final:
1. Kelly Slater, USA – 15.7 (9.53, 6.17)
2. Wiggolly Dantas, Brazil – 13.77 (8.27, 5.5)
3. Mason Ho, Hawaii – 11.5 (7.7, 3.8)
4. Adriano De Souza, Brazil – 10.7 (8.43, 2.27)