So, after originally being called on at The Box, suddenly being jolted into the stark reality of 12- to 15-foot Margies Main Break in the first heat of the morning would have been confronting.
He asked Kelly about the future of the Margaret River event on Tour (knowing full well Kelly isn’t the number one ticket holder) and it seemed the best Kelly could offer in Margaret’s defense was the wineries.
It was Jack Freestone who beat Kelly in the first heat, by the way, looking physically assured in a lineup that was brawling like a drunken Irishman.
Writing a post mortem on Kelly’s season before the South Pacific leg is the oldest trap in the game, but the performances of some guys later in the day (John John alone) hinted at a big gulf opening up.
Drawn in the first heat this was good news for Kelly, and good news for anyone from the ‘90s.
But the thing with a building swell hitting the front edge of the continent is that there’s no offshore swell indicator to go by, no phone call from down the coast to tell you something beyond the forecast.
It was a worst-case scenario that manifested on his first wave, when Kelly knifed in late, just holding on, before finishing on the inside shelf with a figure-eight roundhouse that was too high and too late.
My personal thoughts on wavepools is that surfing stops being surfing when the unknown is taken out of it, and I’m sticking by that until the day they can recreate random 15-foot clean up sets in chlorinated koi ponds.
After watching Kelly in the first heat, you wondered how tough it was to surf.
Kelly has spent has spent a hundred GoPro hours and the past two days tuning up at The Box in readiness for today’s call.
Read more here: Surfer Mag