The most famous surfer on earth, Kelly Slater, has a special relationship with the World’s most famous and dangerous, wave, The Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore. For over three decades Slater’s love for Pipeline has helped define his outrageously successful and long-lasting career.
On Tuesday, January 31st, during 2017’s first major surf contest, The Volcom Pipe Pro, Slater and Pipeline will dance together once again, as Slater defends his win at the event last year and launches his final bid at a 12th World Title. Streaming live on Red Bull TV, with a solid swell forecasted to hit the islands calling for triple overhead (15–20 feet) waves during the contest window, even if you’ve never touched a surfboard in your life, it’s worth tuning in to watch the master at work in one of surfing’s most dramatic and awe-inspiring liquid arenas.
Pipeline will mark both the beginning and the end of Slater’s competitive year, his last as a full-time competitor before he retires. “I’m going to give it one more shot,” Slater, who will turn 45 in February, told the World Surf League, “I’m finally feeling 100 percent healthy and am focusing all my energy on competing full time and trying to win the World Title this year.”
Beginning tomorrow with the Volcom Pipe Pro and ending back on the North Shore at the Pipe Masters in December, Slater will surf against an extremely talented field of competitors, many of whom are half his age. This list includes current World Champ John John Florence, Pipe specialist Jamie O’Brien, and a host of local Hawaiian surfers. While the Volcom Pipe Pro is always one of the most exciting and viewer-friendly events on the North Shore with a special focus on sustainability. This year, it will most certainly set the tone for surfing’s 2017 competitive season.
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