What the hell was that? Kelly Slater–who apparently was giving Filipe Toledo lineup advice going into the Pipeline Masters, according to the WSL narrative–pulled the magic trick of all magic tricks in Round 3 as he ousted the Brazilian from the event, ending his world title hopes. Slater’s Backdoor wave was his best but this save at Pipeline exemplified his heat and the competition overall for the 11-timer. Basically that he’s kinda feeling it (and the foot isn’t giving him hell). He obviously didn’t want to help Filipe that much or he would have winked at him to sit farther in.
In the save of the year, the foam ball knocks Slater off his feet and he somehow reconnects with his board in the barrel before belly riding and popping back up (here’s another view at the 25-minute mark). “I was just reaching for anything,” he said. There’s a clichéd phrase for being able to find something when you’re surrounded by nothing: it’s called being “in the zone.” With Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson still in world title contention, Rosy Hodge asked Slater his pick to win it in the post-heat interview: “Who wants some? Let’s go,” he said. Yeah, he’s definitely feeling it.
Slater meets Joan Duru and Jesse Mendes in a three-man, Round 4 heat when action resumes.
You can find all Round 4 match ups here.