SYDNEY, New South Wales/Australia (Wednesday, April 11, 2012) – The world is still recovering after five electric days of surfing at Bells Beach for the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach won by Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, respectively. The surf pumped, the sun shone, the winds were variable offshore and high-performance surfing in the Bowl was categorically redefined. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Final between Fanning and reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40. The momentum had built throughout the event to the Final’s crescendo with both surfers taking the waves apart with very different approaches. In the end, Fanning narrowly edged out Slater 18.80 to 18.07. One man who was there to witness was current ASP World No. 5 Josh Kerr (AUS), 28. STAB Magazine recently caught up with Kerrzy to get his take on the Final. This…is their story…
Josh Kerr has straw-coloured hair, a scar on his cheek and the world tour’s most consummate aerial swagger. He invents swirl-flavours (the Kerrupt!) and makes any lineup look like a skatepark. So, when Kelly Slater threw the most impressive full-roter ever seen in a jersey, during the final of the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, we could think of no one better to break it down for us. But that ain’t all we talked about. Josh also says Kelly would’ve won the contest if it’d been in the US, that it should be the Winkipop Pro and that he’s ditched the headphones and pre-heat focus for 2012. Kid was ‘sorting some things out’ on the Gold Coast before heading back to Cali when he clicked green on Stab’s call. Read on, we dare!
Kelly’s 10 in the final. Discuss.
That thing… was… absolutely… messed up. And really, really well executed. It was definitely one of the bigger no-grab to-the-flat full-rotations I’ve ever seen. I think Wade Goodall is one of the only other guys who would try a big spin out to the flats like that. That one Kelly did… it’s an ankle-breaking manoeuvre. That’s all I think about when I see that – just broken ankles. When he’s combo’d is the only time he does those things, in those situations. I’ve never seen him do something like that freesurfing or on video or anything like that. He’s a proper, ridiculous sportsman, because he rises even above his own level when he’s in the heat of competition. It’s the biggest frontside full-rote ever done in competition, for sure. He hucked that thing and didn’t get one bit of cushion before he landed on the flats. He had a long way down.
He literally threw caution to the wind.
If he was gonna do an air into that side/offshore wind, that was the only real option. The only way to get your board into that wind is by projecting out when throwing the rotation – that’s how you get your board flat against the wind. He knows that. He’s smart as hell. He knew exactly what he was doing and knew he had a chance. And I’ll tell you what – out there, it’s frigging close-to-impossible to do airs.
Who, in your eyes, won the final?
You know what? Kelly obviously did the best manoeuvres in the final, by a mile. But, it’s one of those ones where it could’ve gone either way. Generally when it can go either way, it’ll go Kelly’s way. And that’s why it’s kinda weird that it didn’t. But you know, it can’t always go his way and that’s what…
For the full breakdown, check out STAB Magazine’s ‘Tomorrow Gets Me Higher’
For more on JOSH KERR, check out his ASP WORLD TOUR PROFILE