Kelly Slater falls off board, recovers and exits the barrel

December 17, 2018 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: an unbelievable mid-barrel recovery | Photo: Heff/WSL

Kelly Slater shocked surfing fans with an unbelievable mid-barrel recovery at Pipeline. Yes, that's it, the magician is back with his latest surf trick.

The internet is calling it "the Houdini tube ride" - a nearly impossible move in one of the most challenging waves on the planet.

While surfing against Filipe Toledo on Round 3 of the Billabong Pipe Masters, Kelly Slater took off on a wave, got himself tucked in a wide open pit, got knocked off his feet by the spit, and exited the barrel standing up.

So how did he do that?Is there anything King Kelly can't do? To understand the trick, you've got to dissect Kelly's wave from a side angle.

The 11-time world surfing champion sat underneath the ledge for a super late drop, went through the early barreling section, fell off, grabbed his board mid-flight, pulled it back underneath him, bodyboarded the wave for a second, got back up onto the surfboard and stood back up inside the barrel.

The stunt even impressed the magician himself. Slater claimed the wave by throwing his arms up in disbelief. The judges awarded him 3.07 points.

"Well, that was interesting. I thought I just fell straight onto my belly and bodyboarded out. I didn't realize I had to grab for it! Haha! Hope I did Mike Stewart and Mark Cunningham proud! Fun day!" said Slater.

But recoveries aren't a new thing for the Floridian alchemist. In 2016, at Lower Trestles, Slater went for a backside air reverse, landed prone and got back up to finish the ride.