Kelly Slater. What in the name of professional surfing? A week and a half shy of his 50th birthday, the GOAT just won the Pipeline Pro (er, Pipeline Masters) for the eighth time, defeating Hawaiian wunderkind Seth Moniz to capture arguably his most magnificent win and one he called the best victory of his life.
“I said just stay in the moment, just soak it up, even if he beats you, just love it all,” he said in the WSL interview after. “I committed my life to this. To all of this. To all of the heartbreak and winning and all this crap, you know, I’ve hated lots of it, but I savor this and this is the best win of my life.”
For Moniz, it’s an incredible way to start the year. For Slater, this could quite possibly be a Swan Song, as many throughout the industry have projected. He’s always been ho-hum on Sunset, the next event, and the current pandemic restrictions in Australia may keep him from continuing on. But if this is it, what a freakin’ way to go out.
“This may be it for me, I’m going to have to have a talk with myself before Sunset,” Slater said during an awards ceremony interview.
The World Surf League has yet to make the call on the women’s final day. Stay tuned. You can watch the full heat above with more analysis on Slater’s epic win to follow.