Surf: 4- to5-foot liquid drain-o
Events held: Men’s round 4
Nature’s call: Don’t forget the Bactine.
Predicted: Once again, 8-foot

Kelly Slater is a grown man.

He acts that way and, of course, he surfs that way. Today at Teahupo’o we learned that in more ways than one. Matched up against another man, master carver Luke Egan, the bald one ripped — plain and simple. He wasn’t forced into showing off, as he surely can. Nor did he need to craft two tens out of the dying moments–yet. No all of that will have to wait. At least until tomorrow.

Earlier this afternoon was when these two heavy weights met. Big Luke sat alone low on the reef, near the barrels exit. No one gave him advice and no one bothered him at all. In a word: focus. Opposite him, further out, sat Pat O’Connell sitting on a spare K-board. From this vantage point you can see straight into the takeoff spot. Kelly was hidden back in the pack of photogs and frenzy, also focused; but not letting Luke know. But ,come on, how couldn’t he? As the starter buzzer fired, Kelly stormed out of the gate and joined the veteran Oz man at the peak. What transpired after was all too familiar. Do you remember how Kelly won all of those shiny world titles of his? He destroyed them. The competition, the waves– you name it, he did em’ up. So, if you’re not a fan, pray coincidence, because today things were looking awfully similar. Sticking that agile frame of his into a fun platter of bending waves, this was classic Kelly. And that means it it’s as much his fortune and strategy as his surfing.

With five minutes remaining Big Louie free charged into a lancing west bowl in search of a big score. KS had him rattled to a place of unmeasured commitment. Taking a high line, Egan drove down with all his might hoping for a miracle second pump to escape from out the exploding guts of this life-threatening, last-chance glutton of a wave. He didn’t make it.