Episode two in 11-part series, redemption of sorts…
Over the next nine weeks, the 2019 WCT season, as viewed through the strikingly pretty eyes of a then forty-seven-year-old Kelly Slater, will unfurl.
Episode one, A New Year, and we find Slater posted up at his Palm Beach apartment on the Gold Coast, current value around three mill, as he prepares for the opening event of the season.
A pre-contest session is shown in all its horror, drop-ins, mistakes, a white-water takeoff any surfer shucked of confidence will relate to.
“Fuck, sometimes I just don’t have the patience,” he says.
A sharp and candid and surprisingly filmic opening gambit from creator and long-time Slater collaborator Alek Parker.
In this episode, Kelly, begrudgingly I think it’s fair to suggest, arrives in the little holiday hamlet of Jan Juc, where he stays with Quiksilver founder Alan Green and his wife Barb.
This is 2019, the year of the biggest waves at Bells since 1981, and it’s difficult to say what happens but…y’don’t see Kelly get near a wave over five foot.
“I’ve never seen Bells that big! It was bigger than ’81 maybe,” Slater says following footage of him on a head-high fatty.
The episode reflects the often gloomy nature of a Bells campaign, the electricity only fizzing into life briefly at a taping of Ain’t That Swell.
Again, as we don’t see Slater on any waves of note, his stunning performance alongside Jed Smith and Vaughan Blakey is edited of colour and verve.
Next week, Slater in Bali, y’know, the year he smoked Filipe Toledo at four-foot Keramas.
I predict a quickening of the heart rate.