Can Anyone Stop Kelly Slater at Trestles?

11-Time World Champ Looks for His Fourth in a Row at the Hurley Pro!

Kelly mid-way through an unsuccessful Rodeo Flip on the left at Lowers during the 2011 Hurley Pro.
Kelly mid-way through an unsuccessful Rodeo Flip on the left at Lowers during the 2011 Hurley Pro. He went on to win the contest over Bede Durbidge.

Kelly Slater’s ability to dominate any lineup is a well known fact. But for some reason, Slater truly dominates the Lowers playing field like no one else in the history of surfing. The question is . . . can anyone beat the guy at Trestles this year?

Power Hack in the pocket at the 2012 Hurley Pro.
Power Hack in the pocket at the 2012 Hurley Pro.

In 2013 Kelly looks for his 8th win at the iconic peak, and his fourth in a row! While there have been some close calls in the judging department, and even one that he shouldn’t have won, Kelly’s performances throughout the entirety of the events cannot be denied. His surfing the last three years in particular have been all time. From 2010 through 2012 he schooled the new school and blew the power surfers out of the water with smart board choices, excellent wave judgement, and sublime heat strategy.

At 41 years old, Kelly defines state-of-the-art surfing and regularly schools the new school with futuristic airs and maneuvers.
At 41 years old, Kelly defines state-of-the-art surfing and regularly schools the new school with futuristic airs and maneuvers.

But he can be beat. It can be done. In the past 13 years, he has been beat by six men – Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge, Joel Parkinson, Taylor Knox, Luke Egan, and Shane Dorian. Each of these six surfers are Hall of Famers in their own right, which helps when tackling the Slater juggernaut. But when you analyze his most recent heat losses, its clear that reverse psychology and mind games are the key to catching Kelly off guard. Kelly is well known for playing his own mind games with his competitors, but when these tricks are turned back on him, he tends not to handle it well. Also, if there is a bad judging call on a wave score or priority decision, Slater gets flustered like he did versus Ace at Teahupo’o this year.

Kelly carving his way to the podium in 2012.
Kelly carving his way to the podium in 2012.

Regardless, it will be a nearly impossible task to remove Slater from the podium at Trestles. “Lowers is one of my favorite places in the world….,” claims Kelly. “Sometimes you have a deeper connection with a place. It may sound corny, but I feel like I have it at Lowers.” With statements like that, it’s going to be a real challenge to dethrone the King of Trestles in 2013.

KELLY SLATER’S TRESTLES FINISHES:
2012: Winner
2011: Winner
2010: Winner
2009: 3rd (lost to eventual winner Mick Fanning in the Semifinals)
2008: Winner
2007: Winner
2006: 2nd (lost to eventual winner Bede Durbidge in the Final)
2005: Winner
2004: 2nd (lost to eventual winner Joel Parkinson in the Final)
2003: 5th (lost to Taylor Knox in the Quarterfinals)
2002: 3rd (lost to eventual winner Luke Egan in Semifinals)
2001: No event
2000: 33rd (lost to Shane Dorian in Round 2)
1990: Winner – Body Glove Surfbout

Watch Kelly take on the ASP Top 34 at the 2013 Hurley Pro!

2012 Hurley Pro Recap

2011 Hurley Pro Finals

2010 Hurley Pro Finals

All Photos Courtesy ASP Images.

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