Why Parko Won’t Win the Hurley Pro

Joel Parkinson may have the world title in the bag, but if he’s going to keep his winning ways going at Trestles the odds say he’ll have to go through Kelly Slater in order to do it. Slater’s total dominance at Trestles (where he won his debut event as a pro 19 years ago this summer, just in case you’re counting) is almost beyond comprehension.

The following Slater stats were compiled by CJ Hobgood, who’s currently sitting second in the ratings and undoubtedly hoping his buddy Kelly can help him slow the Parko express at Trestles. He has good reason to believe it can be done. Slater has won at Trestles three of the six times he’s surfed in it. All three wins have come in the past four years. In 2006, the last year he didn’t win, he finished 2nd to Bede Durbidge.

Translation: Kelly’s made four finals in a row. He’s riding a twelve-heat win streak after only losing three times there in six years.

Slater, en route to one of his three ASP World Tour victories at Lower Trestles. Slater’s winning ways at Trestles began all the way back in 1990, when he won his debut as a pro. Photo: ASP/Keaton via Getty Images.

Adding to all this, Slater has been spending a lot more time in San Clemente with his girlfriend, Kalani Miller, so he’s been surfing far more often at Trestles than usual. Rumors about Slater even buying a house in the area have been circulating for months.

Then there’s the pesky little stat that rarely gets mentioned, one that ultimately sums the bigger picture of Slater’s dominance. Even after Parko’s recent tear in 2009, Kelly Slater has as many world titles as Parko has career wins. Chew on that for a while.

Slater may have a lot on his mind these days. Indeed, my sources in Kelly’s camp have gone silent again. And given what I’ve heard from my reliable second-hand sources, that’s understandable, because word is the ASP is playing hardball with the whole ESPN rebel tour thing. So in the near term could things get a little funky between Kelly and the judges? Stranger things have happened. I won’t be the least bit surprised if the close calls don’t go his way this year the way they have in the past. Meanwhile, Parko seems to be the annointed one this year.

All that said I’m playing the odds.

My not-so-bold prediction: Slater wins.

My wee-bit-bolder prediction: Parko finishes = 9th after losing to Bobby, Dane, or Damien Hobgood.