Kelly Slater won the Hurley Pro at Trestles this week, beating his most formidable opponents Mick Fanning in the semi finals, and Joel Parkinson in the final. What really makes this amazing is that he is beating guys who are more than half his age at their own game. Slater pulls the best airs, catches the best waves, and makes the best turns. Unlike other sporting endeavors where better equipment or being 10 years younger than the competition can allow one competitor to dominate for a long period of time (Michael Schumacher with Ferrari, and a young Tiger Woods come to mind), Slater is on the same boards and dealing with the same conditions as all the competitors on the ASP Tour. He just does it better. What other individual athlete can claim such dominance? Even when he wasn't on tour he was still pushing the limits of the sport. Mental focus, physical conditioning, and extremely healthy diet can outweigh age.

He's also so unassuming that you would probably miss him on the street if he walked passed you. This happened to me last year when I met Kelly Slater last year after the Quiksilver Pro at my favorite health food spot. It wasn't until my boy P-Dog pointed out that I was sitting right next to him that I noticed the champ. A few exchanges about health foods and yoga, and he was gone. Yup, he's just like us, only better.

(Both pics on this page are Ray's original work, don't steal or repost them or we will hunt you down and let all the air out of your bike and car tires. Our pic page will be up soon, until then check out pics on our facebook page.)

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