The legendary Kelly Slater has pulled off yet another World Surf League triumph, with the 44-year-old defeating young Hawaiian John John Florence in the final of the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.
After recording a perfect 20 in his earlier heat, Slater tallied 19.62 for his two best rides in the final, while Florence could only manage 19.62.
This unbelievable air drop was arguably the highlight of Slater’s stunning performance.
Widely regarded as the greatest surfer of all time, Slater said “I’m gonna look back and that’s for sure going to be the best wins I’ve ever had.”
“(It’s) as good any of them,” he said of his fifth win at the event.
“To have John John in the final, it’s a dream for me. It’s no secret I’m towards the tail-end of my career, John John and Gabriel (Medina) are on the way up, those guys are just monsters. John John’s one of my favourite surfers.”
The remarkable triumph was Slater 55th tour win and lifted him 11 places to eighth in the world rankings to keep his hopes of a 12th world title alive.
Florence took over the No.1 spot with four events remaining, with Australian Matt Wilkinson slipping to second.
More to come…