Kelly Slater won his 53rd elite ASP world tour event on Wednesday in Fiji. (Photo by Kirstin Scholtz/ASP via Getty Images)
The perfect 10 is a rare and remarkable feat in any judged sport. In surfing, earning two perfect 10s in the same 30-minute heat is next to impossible. Only four surfers in ASP history have managed the feat since 1976. That makes “the perfect heat” even more rare than a perfect game in baseball. Not surprisingly, Kelly Slater is one of the few who’s pulled it off. And on Wednesday morning at the Volcom Fiji Pro
, the 41-year-old with 11 world titles became the first surfer in history to repeat the feat. He did it with the help of some big beautiful waves heaving over razor sharp coral at Thundercloud Reef. After weaving his way through a pair of giant spinning caverns, Slater finished his quarterfinal match with a full 20 out of the 20 available points. This is what perfect looks like in pro surfing…
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Naturally, he celebrated his perfect moment by winning the Volcom Fiji Pro and making it a perfect day. The victory is his 53rd at the elite level. He dedicated this one to his brand new nephew, Van Carter Slater, who arrived Monday. This was Slater’s fourth time winning in Fiji. He’s now back in the ratings lead as the ASP World Tour heads to Bali for the Oakley Bali Pro. Mick Fanning, who joined Slater in the final Wednesday, is right behind him in second. The threat from Fanning is very real. He took the title away from Slater in 2007 and 2009. Only four surfers have managed to wrestle world titles away from Slater since he claimed his first championship in 1992.
His two-decade reign at the top of the surf world is one of the most remarkable reigns in sports, and the craziest part of all is he seems to only be getting better.
The Volcom Fiji Pro will be airing on NBC July 7.