Analysis: World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater outshines halfpipe aficionados Tony Hawk and Shaun White at Oscars delivering poignant performance bordering on self-aware!


Well what a night that turned out to be. The 94th running of the Academy Awards was supposed to be a bland, dull affair that would, likely bring about the end of their television broadcast. What we were treated to, instead, was a smorgasbord of jokes and action, culminating in a wild face slap delivered to Chris Rock by Willard Smith.


But the highlight, for sure, was the appearance of Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and Shaun White who shuffled on stage at around the .45 minute mark to introduce the James Bond franchise and early returns are suggesting that it was Slater who delivered the most stirring performance of the trio.

Hawk began first, mentioning that Dr. No was the first Bond film with a little shake in his voice. Slater took over from there, dominant and sure. Shaun White, looking like their progressive son, kept having to lean in to the mic setting up the joke, that it would be impossible to pick just one Bond as the “GOAT” to which Hawk delivered that laugh line… that the three on stage were, in fact, GOATs.

But let’s be honest, quickly. While Slater does have a claim to being the greatest surfer of all-time, neither Hawk nor White are anywhere close to the greatest in skateboarding or snowboarding, respectively. The most well-known, maybe, but not greatest and they should both be publicly shamed for claiming.

Back to Slater, though, it is undeniable that he shined in front of Hollywood’s glitterati. Self-assured, handsome, in control.

Critics, and the World Surf League’s CEO, are swooning.


Great White shark threatens spear fisherman, forces closure of Sydney’s Maroubra Beach only three weeks after surfer attacked and near site of last month’s fatal attack at Little Bay! “There is no doubt that larger Whites are along Sydney coastal waters right now”!

“Estimated the gills were 70cm from top to …size minimum 3.5 metres, probably bigger.”

A Sydney diver has taken to Instagram to warn oceangoers of a feisty Great White shark that had a swing at his buddy at Maroubra Beach, only three weeks after a surfer was hit there and a month since the fatal Great White attack on a swimmer at Little Bay, a few clicks north.

“Hey spearos,” writes Simon Betteridge. “A dive buddy of mine asked me to put this up.

“He was separated from two other divers today. He was in close to the rocks about 8m of water, he got up on his float to look for them seeing them 15m away, his head now back in the water and here he sees a big white on the surface moving towards him, it had a crack at my buddy where he had to jab it on the snout and then again when it turned and came again onto him.

“Please be careful out there. We are experiencing conditions I have never encountered in 45 years of diving and there is not doubt whatsoever that larger whites are along Sydney coastal waters right now.

“Estimated the gills were 70cm from top to …size minimum 3.5 metres, probably bigger.”

Back in Feb, a swimmer was hit and killed by a fifteen-foot Great White shark at Little Bay.

Simon Nellist, who was thirty-five, was practising for an upcoming charity swim when the White hit.

Fisherman Kris Linto said he saw the White attack.

“The shark came and attacked them vertically,” Linto told Nine News. “We heard a yell and then turned around. [The splash] looked like a car just landed in the water.”

Another fisherman said the man was in front of him when he was dragged underwater by the Great White.

“When he went down there were so many splashes. It was terrible. I am shaking,” he told ABC news. I keep vomiting. It’s very, very upsetting “He just …enjoying the day, but that shark took his life.”

Three weeks ago, a surfer had to fight off a shark at Maroubra; he was ok, although Pyzel was banged up pretty bad.

Ross gets carted from the set after rope swing breaks. | Photo: Network 10

Big-wave icon Ross “Mad Dog” Clarke-Jones settles injury claim following TV show stunt gone horribly wrong that left him “totally incapacitated”, depressed, broke and anxious.

"His wipeouts are right up there with Evel Kneivel’s."

Ain’t no intro’s necessary for former world number 24, the Australian big-waver and 2001 Eddie Aikau winner Ross Clarke-Jones. 

(Jamie Brisick summarises his career thus, His wipeouts are right up there with Evel Kneivel’s.)

Two years ago, Ross, now fifty-five, appeared on Australian Survivor, a worldwide reality television franchise where a group of celebs are dumped on an island and compete in various survival challenges to avoid elimination etc.

Last person standing wins. 

Ross, who was cast as “Mad Dog”, broke his ankle in a rope-swing challenge gone wrong. 

As Who reported it, 

In a shocking moment during last night’s episode of Australian Survivor, contestant Ross Clarke-Jones was horrifically injured after a rope he was swinging on broke.

The big wave surfer was sent hurtling towards the edge of a wooden deck, causing him to hit his leg and snap his ankle.

While his tribemates made it across, the rope broke during Ross’s swing, sending him plummeting to the ground below.

The 53-year-old could be seen laying on the floor after his fall as a medical team rushed on set.

“The rope just broke!” Ross cried out in pain as the medics treated him.

The medical team deemed the injury serious and could be heard saying:

“The injury is serious enough that we need to take him off.”

Following the injury, Ross sued hell out of the producers of the show, taking his case to the Supreme Court, claiming, “At the date of injury, the plaintiff was a professional big-wave surfer with sponsorship arrangements, including with Red Bull and Quiksilver…The plaintiff is and has been since his injury totally incapacitated for his previous employment and claims past loss of earning and future loss of earnings.”

Ross, who was paid twenty-five thousand dollars to appear in the series which featured a half-a-million dollar first prize, said, “I haven’t felt pain like that.”

Before the case could hit the Supreme Court, howevs, Clarke-Jones and the producers he was suing, clearly realising there’d be nothing left in the kitty after lawyers fees,  sorted out a settlement beforehand.

The amount is confidential, although I’m guessing 150k or thereabouts.

Watch rope swing fail here. 

World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater presents… something to the James Bond franchise at the 94th Academy Awards before actor-rapper Will Smith punches out actor-comedian Chris Rock tossing the whole affair into complete madness!


I will tell you a truth long known in surf circles but maybe new to gilded Hollywood. Let Kelly Slater into the room and who knows what will happen.

The Academy Awards has gone on for ninety-four mostly dull years until this one here where the world’s greatest surfer stood between the world’s greatest first person to land a 900 on a vert skateboard halfpipe (Tony Hawk) and the world’s greatest American Olympic snowboard halfpipe champion (Shaun White).

The fact that Hawk and White try to position as “GOATs” in their respective pursuits is utterly laughable but not more so than the Oscars descending into utter madness when the very famous Will Smith socked Chris Rock in the mouth over mentioning his wife Jada in a reference to G.I. Jane and, likely, Slater’s overall weird presence.


What was Slater thinking?

Is he Team Smith or Team Rock?

Will he get blocked from future Oscar appearances like he has blocked so many before him?

More questions than answers.

Open Thread: Comment live as world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater takes the stage at the 94th Academy Awards to hand out nude gold plated doppelgänger to winning actor!