Return of the king

Jason Kenworthy

Old school, new school, on rail or in the air, Kelly Slater's dominance at Lowers can't be overstated.

"I was a little nervous last night when I went to bed," admitted Kelly Slater, minutes after winning the 2010 Hurley Pro and taking a commanding lead of the ASP World Title rankings. Slater nervous? Given what was on the line, it's understandable.

Vying for a record tenth world title, in conditions that had ASP CEO Brodie Carr claiming this was the "best event of the year," the performance bar had long since been sufficiently elevated, and in hot pursuit of a record tenth world title, the embattled champ would have to overcome the youthful vigor of Owen Wright, Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith.

But just when the butterflies were starting to settle in, Slater was given at gift. At approximately 8:30 in the morning he paddled out for his Round 5 heat and heard over the announcer's PA, "Kelly, Chris Davidson is a no-show for this heat, you are advancing directly into the quarterfinals. You may still stay out and surf if you choose."

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