At some point, you'd think Kelly Slater would get tired of trying to top himself. And that is really all he has to shoot for. The 10-time world champion has had no equals in the sport he's dominated for over a decade.
And he just pulled off one of his most amazing runs yet.
The US Open was marred by less-than-optimal conditions for the surfers. The waves were marginal at best, but that didn't stop Kelly from pulling off the amazing run in the attached video. He opened up the competition with a 360 leading into a reverse on his first run, and the competition was all but over, a fact that was not lost on his closest competitor Yadin Nicol.
"Yeah, that sucked for me," Nicol said. "Whenever someone opens up with a good score, you have to wait, and I think I waited a little too long.
"I was kind of thinking that something has to come in a half an hour—you would think."
This frustration led to the gracious champ throwing his competition a bone. Slater let Nicol take his spot in the rotation.
"When you're that guy that's leading, you're just hoping time is running out," Slater said. "And then I just started feeling so bad. I came up to him and said, 'Man, I am so frustrated for you right now. I have priority, but you can have whatever wave you want.'"
It was a grand and unnecessary gesture from the champ.
Well, it was unnecessary unless you see it through the eyes of Slater. Slater is more concerned about the sport he loves than just another trophy. Slater has enjoyed the growing crowds for the sport he has helped build.
"When I got into surfing, this is where I dreamed surfing would be," he said.
It is there in large part to Mr. Slater. And at the rate he's going, I don't think he's done building it yet.