Within the past five years, Kelly Slater has lost in Round 1 of an ASP World Tour Event seven times. That includes Round 1 of the ongoing Oakley Pro Bali. Interestingly, five of those Round 1 losses have fueled him to the final, resulting in three overall event wins.
At the 2010 Quiksilver Pro France, Slater lost to Patrick Gudauskas and Maxime Huscenot of France in Round 1, but made it all the way to the final where he was defeated by Aussie Mick Fanning. Another close revival was during the 2010 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Brazil, where he lost to Tiago Pires of Portugal and Brazilian Messias Felix. Despite the Round 1 defeat, Slater surfed all the way to the final, where Brazilian Jadson Andre beat him out of the winning title by a mere 0.4 points.
More notable are Slater’s dominant recoveries after a Round 1 mistake. Take a look at his 2009 win against Brazilian Adriano De Souza at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro in Brazil. Before making his way to the final, Slater had to redeem himself after a loss to fellow American Tim Reyes in Round 1.
Similarly, Slater’s Rip Curl Pro 2010 win against South African Jordy Smith in Portugal, was not predicted from the start. In Round 1, Slater lost to Aussie Tom Whitaker.
And yet again in 2012, Slater lost his Round 1 heat versus Aussie Mitch Coleborn at the Volcom Fiji Pro in Tavarua, Fiji. However, he turned around and scored an 18.16 to beat out Brazilian Gabriel Medina in the final.
While most would be frustrated by a losing outcome, Slater remains philosophical. After Slater lost a heat in 2012, he commented in an ASP interview,
“It’s not the end of the world, nobody died, I just lost a heat. It’s a bummer for me, but it’s just the way it is.”
During Round 1 of Oakley Pro Bali, Slater was defeated by fellow American Damien Hobgood. Yet, in Round 2, Slater’s score improved from a 12.00 to 18.17. Although Slater lost a close heat to CJ Hobgood in Round Five, the Oakley Bali Pro marks one of the rare contests where he was unable to stage a comeback.
Tune in to the live webcast at www.oakleyprobali.com to see how things shake out.