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.