Video: Kelly Slater Lands Amazing 720 Aerial, Isn't Human

18 Oct 2014 9 Share

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Kelly Slater just landed one of the most incredible airs in surfing history while free-surfing durfing the waiting period for the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. The degree of rotation for this air-reverse is being debated all over the internet at the moment, but no-one can deny how incredible it is that the oldest surfer on tour, the greatest surfer in history, is 42 years old and still setting new benchmarks for what can be achieved on a surfboard.

Why do they call it a 720?

In skateboarding or snowboarding terms, the aerial above would be called a 720. In skateboarding, the measurement of rotation is counted from the nose of the board being perpindicular to the coping (0 degrees). So if the skater does an aerial and lands tail first (or fakie) he can only have rotated 0, 360, 720, or 1080 degrees (and so on). In snowboarding, the same logic applies, even though quite often a snowboarder on a half-pipe doesn't launch into the aerial completely perpindicular. Basically the degree of rotation is measured by whether the rider lands with the nose or tail first – the level of rotation only ever increasing in increments of 180. The realistic number of degrees rotated while in the air is never actually measured accurately.

The problem with this measurement in surfng is that we ride parrallel with the wave, and not perpindicular to it like a skateboarder on a half-pipe, and very rarely would a surfer's air-reverse be launched with the surfboard facing perfectly perpinduclar (or at 0 degrees) as it hits the lip.

So, Kelly launches, rotates one and a half times, and then lands with his tail facing the ocean, and in snowboarding or skateboarding terms, has just performed a 720. By the same logic, alley-oop airs are 180s, despite often rotating further. 

Whether he actually rotated 540, or 630, or 720 degrees, is up in the air. There's a clear lack of consensus on that in the surfing world... but the maths doesn't really matter, this is amazing.

What do you think this air should be called? 540? 630? 720? Double Air Reverse?

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