Is Kelly Slater The Best Surfer At Pipeline ?

Is Kelly Slater The Best Surfer At Pipeline ?

Kelly Slater is no stranger to one of the worlds most famous waves. Pipeline the pinnacle of  Hawaii north shore  and the ultimate proving ground for any surfer this isn’t your regular beach break of France or the UK this is the real deal. Pipeline is know as the Ultimate wave on the north shore because of it intense tube rides and is shallow bottom, all whilst being so close to shore you can taste the sand. its got deadly rip currents, hard reef with plenty of holes and caves to get stuck in on wipe out, not to mention its one of the more hollow waves on the planet, its no wounder then that pipeline is the hub of action every winter with the final contest of the WSW ( world surf league )being held at pipe every December and the Volcome pipe pro in January. Its no wounder that careers can me made and end here. Surfing this waves come with consequences a lot of great pro surfers have died at the famous waves or had near death drowning experiences. Its a wave that’s so demanding that getting the perfect shoot of clip hear can make or break you. Just look at the careers of legendary locals that become pipe specialist and boosted a pro surf career form surfing one wave. With so many pro surfing pipeline incredibly well over the years i might be difficultly to say who’s the best at surfing one of the gnarliest wave son the planet.

Well we think there is one true stand out and it may come as no surprise to you that we think Kelly Slater is the best to ever to surf pipe now sure i know what your saying surfers like Andy irons , john john Florence and Jamie O’Brien are defiantly some of the best but if there has to be one best, our pick is Kelly and here’s why

5 Reasons Why We Think Kelly Slater Is The Best Surfer At Pipeline 

(1) Experience

Its no secret that Kelly Slater is getting older hes no longer the Baywatch 18 year old he used to be but with age come the all important wisdom that’s needed to surfing a place like pipeline now Kelly hold many pipeline records he has one the pipeline masters more than any other surfer  he first one it in 1992  and has been the most consistent surfer in the vent winning it 7 times with the last being in 2013  hes also the oldest Pipe Master  ever to win at age 41.

Now being an incredible all-round athlete and having incredible desire to win might help you be the greatest surfer of all time with a casual 11 World Champion titles to his name  Kelly Slater’s record is undeniable and after surfing pipeline for over 20 plus years every winter, You can safely say his experience of the spot is like none other on the tour and we have seen just what Kelly can do when his back is up against the wall. Although the champ is on the other side of 40 with a long list of injury’s as well as physically double the age of some of the competitors on tour you have to wonder how long he can keep doing this. but thinking Kelly is out would be like keeping Michael Jordan out of your all time fantasy basketball team.

(1) Experience

Its no secret that Kelly Slater is getting older hes no longer the Baywatch 18 year old he used to be but with age come the all important wisdom that’s needed to surfing a place like pipeline now Kelly hold many pipeline records he has one the pipeline masters more than any other surfer  he first one it in 1992  and has been the most consistent surfer in the vent winning it 7 times with the last being in 2013  hes also the oldest Pipe Master  ever to win at age 41.

Now being an incredible all-round athlete and having incredible desire to win might help you be the greatest surfer of all time with a casual 11 World Champion titles to his name  Kelly Slater’s record is undeniable and after surfing pipeline for over 20 plus years every winter, You can safely say his experience of the spot is like none other on the tour and we have seen just what Kelly can do when his back is up against the wall. Although the champ is on the other side of 40 with a long list of injury’s as well as physically double the age of some of the competitors on tour you have to wonder how long he can keep doing this. but thinking Kelly is out would be like keeping Michael Jordan out of your all time fantasy basketball team.

(2) Consistency 

Kelly Slater is probably the most consistent surfer on the planet he just loves to surf but his greatest strength is his consistency with all the smaller details Kelly’s not just catching fluke waves or the boom sets that come through. Hes consistently there every winter on all the good days hes even got wave of the winter in 2014 and wone more peiple line events than any other surfer let alone be the top 2 in a pipeline event for the best part of 20+ years.

(3) Performance 

There is no argument that Kelly Slater isn’t a good surfer, he has taken on the worlds best at pipeline and won many times beating surfers like Andy irons Jamie O’Brien and john Florence in an epic final at pipe in firing waves,  not to mention this hes an 11 time world surfing champion won more events that anyone in history and won the pipe masters 7 times. Kelly has won against almost every other great or good surfer at pipeline because of his performance in the tube aswell as wave knowledge, hes just incredible on a surfboard coming out of waves that would don’t think its possible. Even at 46 yeas young he competed at the 2018 pipe masters and Kelly fell off his board in the barrel and some how managed to get back on his board and come out the tube if this isn’t a true sing of the best pipeline surfer ever i don’t know who is.

(4) Knowledge 

Surfing pipeline isn’t just something your average Jo walks up on the beach and paddles out and drops in first wave, the locals might not be to happy with you. its a whole new experience for surfers with some times 40-70 surfers in the water, you could say the line up is pretty crowded. Pipeline has its own pecking order and strictly enforced with localisum. Kelly Slater has earned his right to be in the line ups because of his time spend at the spot hes taken his fair share of beating over the years and showed just what hes capable off when the waves get big. To become a pipeline expert you have to know everything people line up the best way to do that is to surf it  “a lot” and that’s exactly what Kelly has done for almost the last 30 years from a young grommet working out the take off points, learning how different swell directions and trade winds affect the waves, which ones to miss and which ones to go on all comes with experience. Most surfers on the world tour would come to Hawaii for 4-6 weeks but Slater would come earlier that most others and stay later than anyone else just to learn everything he can about pipeline as well as master other Hawaiian waves.  Putting in that extra time over the years and really helped him command the line up and he know every spot.. He even said hes been snorkelling over the reef when its flat to learn what the reef looks like underneath the waves. now that’s dedication 

(5) Motivation 

Most professional surfers Kelly’s age have retired from professional surfing years ago, even world tour veterans like 3 time world champion mick fanning retired at 37 compared to Kelly’s 46 with a 9 year difference why does Slater continue to push the boundaries of what he can do at pipeline. If you have ever read anything about Kelly Slater or seen any interviews you will know hes a smart guy and knows his body will get weaker with age but his mind is stronger but he also loves to win, competing is a driving force for him to progress and to be fair hes been doing it his whole life, so you can guess hes got pretty good.  Staying fresh and staying in the mix with the new younger generation gives Kelly that fire of competition and also gives him that motivation to keep improving and stay in shape to even extend his surfing career longer. Who knows, we might see Kelly Slater crowned as pipe champion at 50 or 60 you never know with Kelly Slater.

We want to know what you think  

Is Kelly the greatest pipeline surfer ever or is he just over hyped, we want to know if you think differently and who you would put as the best pipeline surfer ever. 

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Kelly Slater’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Kelly Slater’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Kelly Slater’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Kelly Slater is not only an 11-time world surf champion and all around surfing legend he also a business owner clothing brand owner and wave pool frothier. He has tonnes of life experience

Kelly Slater’s Top 10 Rules For Success

1 – Desire to win

2 – Think Big

3 – Be competitive

4 – Find Joy

5 – Find Inspiration

6 –  Structure things your way

7 – Find Excitement

8 – Get better

9 – Work with like-minded people

10 – Care Deeply

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How to do a Top & Bottom Turn in Surfing

How to do a Top & Bottom Turn in Surfing

How to do a Top & Bottom Turn in Surfing

 

better turns

 

The bottom turns along with the top turn are probably the 2 most crucial and fundamental moves in surfing. They are used every time you catch a wave, and every time you perform a manoeuvre. Mastering the basics of a good bottom and top turn is essential to improving other areas of your surfing. It is the basis upon which all your other manoeuvres can be built upon.

Bottom Turn

KEYS: Start your bottom turn as soon as you get to the flats.

Carry your speed up the wave by bending your knees, and putting pressure on your back foot.

IMG_5195IMG_5197

 

Visual Cue: After dropping down the face you will want to create speed by bending your knees maintain that speed until you reach the flatter section then start to initiate your turn.

Tips: When dropping down the wave focus on your next turn and maintaining speed from your tack off maintain bent legs in a stable position then right when you reach the flats start your bottom turn so you don’t lose any speed.

IMG_5199IMG_5201

Visual Cue: now you hit the flats your will need to initiate your bottom turn start to lean toe side of the board and look to where you want to make your top turn as this will be a good reference point for your body to follow try not to bury your feet under water during the bottom turn.

Tips: Bend your knees slightly, and lean on to your toe side edge to initiate the bottom turn. Be careful not to lean too far because you will bury your feet under water and lose all your speed, and fall off your board. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your front foot and your back foot, and you should be focused on the part of the wave where you want your bottom turn to end.

IMG_5202IMG_5203

Visual Cue: You will feel the board start turning, maintain eye contact with the next section you want to perform a manoeuvre keeping your shoulder angled towards your destination. Carry your speed up the wave by bending your knees, and putting pressure on your back foot.

Tips: Hold your line, keep your knees bent, and when you come off the flats on to the transition shift most of your weight to your back leg. Push on your back foot in order to gain as much speed as possible while driving up the face of the wave. The more speed you have the more powerful your turns will be and after a while you will be able you start leaning into them by putting your trailing hand in the water.

A well-executed bottom turn is always the start of a well performed top turn which is your next manoeuvre.

The Top Turn

The top turn snap is a perfect set-up move that can be used on any wave in all types of conditions. Points, reefs, beaches, anywhere, It’s one of the best moves to have in your bag of tricks.

IMG_5204IMG_5205

Visual Cue: Whilst traveling up the wave make sure to initiate your turn before you reach the peak, start to initiate the turn with your head shoulder and arms. How fast you do this will influence the severity of the snapping action created.

Tips: As you lift from your bottom turn, keeping your board flat on the wave face to retain full speed, unweight your foot and lean slightly back. But keep most of your weight and body over the midpoint of your surfboard.

IMG_5206IMG_5207

Visual Cue: Push hard on your back leg, this will cause your back leg to straighten out, your front leg to bend and spray to fly out the back of your board. Push hard through the snap until your back leg is fully extended. Your weight should be over your front foot, but your back leg needs to be powerful and solid. Stay low and solid over top of your board. Your eyes should be focused on the shape of the wave, and the nose and toe-side rail of your board. You want to be sure to keep your nose up if the wave is steep so you don’t stick it in on your next bottom turn.

Tips: Just as you feel the friction of the water grabbing your momentum but before losing too much speed begin your turn. Push down on your heels and lift the balls of your feet, thus submerging a small portion your inside rail to give added traction and avoid spinning out whilst keeping most of your weight and body over the midpoint of your surfboard.

IMG_5208

Visual Cue: You will feel your fins and angle your board down the line into your next move. This will give you speed but you may need to generate more by pumping depending on how close to the pocket you are. You will be able to feel and judge whether this is necessary.

Tips: If you are flowing into a combo you still need to be conscience of digging your nose, but you need to know what’s going on down the line so you either have to see your section before you start your bottom turn or right after you complete the snap. Once you’ve pushed the snap as far as it’s going to go, and your fins have caught back into the wave your board will start moving down the wave again. Keep your momentums going by flying straight into another snap or by pumping down the line towards the on-coming air section?

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Improve Your Round house Cut back

Improve Your Round house Cut back

Improve Your Roundhouse Cut back

roundhouse cut

The roundhouse cut back is one of the most stylish and functional manoeuvres in a surfers arsenal. The roundhouse cutback is a move that is used by surfers of all skill levels. It allows great rail control whilst being functional by bringing you back to the source of the power of the wave where you can generate more speed for your next manoeuvre. The idea of the move is that a surfer will turn their board in the opposite direction of the wave’s breaking motion.  The cut back its self is completed on the wave’s open face by applying pressure on the inside rail and maintaining weight on the tail and fins to create a 180 degree direction change. After changing direction (or cutting back), the surfer will attempt to bounce off the whitewater or angle into the wave’s trough with the intent of returning to the original direction.

 

4 key principles to keep in mind when doing any turn in surfing

4 key points

Eyes: Your eyes, and more specifically “sighting” to help project where you are headed on a wave. A great surfing technique to improve your surfing performance is using your eyes to help initiate, and make solid and stylish turns. All have to be able to visualize and see where they want to go using your eyes to lead the movement will be the initiation of any good turn. Look where you want to go, and your hips, then your board will follow.

Shoulders: Naturally wherever your head goes your shoulders will follow and with them your arms directing your movement. They are used to gain momentum in the turn as well as acting as a pivot point in which your body can move around.

Hips: Your upper body is starting to turn but now the momentum created

buy

your shoulders and arms need to be transferred to your hips to start making the turn. Your hips will start to indicate the pressure in your feet when to start to turn the board.

Board: The board is the last and final stage of the turning sequence your hips will transfer pressure to your feet which in turn will put pressure on the board and guide it the desired direction; if the 3 previous stages have been performed correctly your board should have an adequate drive and grip on the wave to make a smooth and balanced cutback.

#1

111

Visual Cue: The wave in front is not walling up but instead has a flatter section

Tips: As you paddle for the wave and make the drop, immediately look down the line to see how the wave is breaking. Once this quick assessment is made, look five to six feet ahead and look for a good section for a bottom turn. Speed is the key in the beginning part of this move; generate as much speed possible, using a high angle on the wave close to the lip/crest whilst pumping will create lots of power and speed for your next move.

#2

222

Visual Cue: As you go into your bottom turn you are already looking to the next section the mid-face or even top of the wave. This is the critical part of the turn and looking where you want your body and board to go, will help you get there. Pick your point on the wave

were

you will initiate the turn.

Tips: Always keep your eyes on where you want to execute the change of direction. You don’t want to make your turn too early when the wave is too vertical, but you also don’t want to

glide

too far out beyond the shoulder where the wave is too flat as you won’t retain enough speed to get back into the

whitewater

#3

333

Visual Cue: keep your eyes fixed on the turning point until you want to indicate the turn

Tips: coming from your bottom turn, keep your board flat on the wave and maintain weight slightly forward to retain full speed, when reaching your turning point unweight your foot and lean slightly back. Whilst still maintaining most of your weight and body over the midpoint of the surfboard.

#4

444

Visual Cue: You will start to lose speed your eyes should be focused on the bottom of the wave progressing back to the whitewater

Tips: As you approach the top of your turn start to think and look towards the bottom of the wave, the next place you want to go You will feel the friction of the water grabbing the board and speed will be decreased depending on how aggressive you want your turn will

depend

how hard you push down on your heels and let the balls of your feet lift up, your inside rail will now be submerging hold this position until you have performed a full 180 direction change. Through this movement try to keep most of your weight and body over the midpoint of your surfboard to maintain your speed.

#5

555

Visual Cue: Halfway through the

turn

your leading arm should be touching the wave face. This keeps you low to your board as well as providing a point for you to pivot around

Tips: As your board changes direction, so must your body and mind. Another golden rule of wave riding: Where your eyes look, your board will follow. This means that you must turn your head and upper body back toward the whitewater as your board turns. Halfway through the

turn

your leading arm should be touching the wave face. This keeps you low to your board as well as providing a point for you to pivot around. Lean on your rail as hard as you can during this part of the turn to create a tight powerful arc. Be sure to watch the tip of your board as you turn because you want it to fit into the transition of the wave perfectly in order to maximize speed. As your board turns back towards the

whitewash

you want to finish the turn. Stay low and focused on the front rail of your board, and how it fits into the transition of the wave.

#6

666

Visual Cue: The nose of your board will be pointed toward the oncoming whitewater Finish the turn with your back leg straight and your weight over a bent front leg.

 

Tips: Once you have completed your turn the nose of your board will be pointed toward the oncoming whitewater, here you can be creative in your choice depending on the size and power of the wave, you can either aim high for the crest of the white water and essentially end your cutback with a lip re-entry or aim for the mid-section. Doing this will result in a very quick burst of speed from the waves power. (This does require great body & board stabilization). Or you can aim low and attempt to avoid the wave’s power and avoid being knocked down by the swirling foam. This may the safest route in bigger surf, but it does offer the best chance of losing the face of the wave and being left in the whitewater. Now that the turn is finished turn your board back towards the open face of the wave by pressing on your back foot. Watch the transition of the wave as you pivot so you don’t nosedive, and go straight into your next bottom turn.

777

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