01 May Callinan takes down slater
I still don't really believe it. He's the best surfer to ever live.
Newcastle surfer Ryan Callinan has claimed the biggest scalp in world surfing taking out 11-time world champion Kelly Slater in the opening round of the Lowers Pro in California.
Callinan posted a two-wave total of 13.97 in the opening round heat of the QS10,000, narrowly edging out Slater who scored 13.74.
Fellow Australian, and former CT surfer, Mitch Crews finished third while West Australian young gun Jack Robinson finished fourth.
So far 2015 has been one of Callinan’s best on the QS and he currently sits inside the top 10 in the QS rankings after a semi-final finish at the Australian Open at Manly earlier this year.
This was the first time the goofy-footer has clashed with Slater and he admitted to being a little nervous before his heat.
‘Too be honest I was pretty nervous, but there is always tough heats on the QS, so I had to just approach it the same as I would any other heat.’ Callinan said.
Conditions were a little tricky in the three-to-four foot waves with each surfer grabbing no more than six waves.
Callinan did enough with his five waves, scoring a 7.17 on his second wave and backing that up with a 6.8 on his third.
Slater finished strongly posted a 6.67 and 7.07 on his final two waves, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Australian.
Callinan said that there was a good vibe in the line-up and that helped in relax a little.
‘He (Slater) was really talkative in the water which was pretty cool.
Callinan was still on a high after his win.
‘It was amazing.
‘I still don’t really believe it.
‘He’s the best surfer ever to live.
Callinan will now take on CT surfer Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ricardo Christie (NZ) and fellow Australian Perth Standick (Bondi) in round two early tomorrow morning (AEDT).