Kelly Slater is back. In a showdown that we had all been waiting to see go down again since 2014, Slater stole the win over John John Florence at the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
It couldn't have been a more exciting final with the greatest of all time taking on the next generation's golden boy. Although it's been more than two and a half years since Kelly last won a world tour event – his last victory was in the 2013 Pipeline Masters when he defeated none other than John John Florence – he pulled into some seriously impressive waves that landed him a 9.77 and 9.9 in the final heat.
We could give a blow-by-blow of what happened, but you really should just watch the the recap of the heat below.
Slater's victory marks the 55th world tour win for him, and his fifth Teahupoo victory with previous event titles in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011, the most of any surfer. With the victory, Kelly Slater now jumps 11 places on the leaderboard into 8th. Florence now takes holds first on the WSL Jeep Leaderboard.
Slater also received the Andy Irons Most Committed Performance Award, which is given out every year to the standout surfer of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
The tour now turns it’s focus to the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles, taking place at Lowers from September 7 -18. From there it will be the European leg of France and Portugal before the final stop, the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii.