Kelly Slater lands the weirdest air of his career

September 13, 2015 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: the uncontrolled backside air reverse | Photo: WSL

Kelly Slater pulled off one of the most creative air rotations ever in pro surfing history.

The Floridian master was surfing his Round 5 heat at Lower Trestles against Mick Fanning when, suddenly, his aerial move decided to defy physics.

Slater gets airborne, spins, disconnects with the surfboard, but rapidly reconnects and rides away for a backside 360, and a couple of turns. Unfortunately for him, the judges didn't think the whole stunt wasn’t that special.

He got a 4.17 for that wave. Some say judges thought this air was a mistake, an uncompleted maneuver. Others may argue that a recovery is never good, especially in a pro surfing competition.

But the fans loved it, and this air rotation will certainly feature in Slater's ultimate career highlights. The short video clip has been aired all around the world, so sometimes it's just better to lose heats and win the hearts of everyone.

"You've got to remember that this is the top 34 in the world. This is the best surfers in the world and they have to complete these maneuvers. If you do the most amazing air in the world and you land in your belly, it's an incomplete maneuver," says Richie Porta, the head judge at World Surf League.

"The surfers know that. I understand people are so excited, amazed and feel a little bit let down because it was an amazing spectacle. If he landed on his feet it's an obvious."

How would you name the latest air by Kelly Slater? The uncontrolled backside air reverse?