kelly slater
The GOAT after his 2022 World Surf League Billabong Pro Pipeline win; (photo/World Surf League - Brady Lawrence)

Kelly Slater Wins Record 8th Pipeline Title; May Push for World Record

This weekend’s Billabong Pro Pipeline on Oahu’s legendary North Shore was a big one for the GOAT. Slater topped the Pipeline podium for the eighth time in his career just over a week shy of his 50th birthday.

On finals day at the first event on the 2022 World Surf League Championship Tour schedule, Kelly Slater knocked off Hawaiian phenom Seth Moniz, further solidifying his status in Pipeline surf history.

The win was Slater’s first at the Pipeline since 2013 and came nearly a full 30 years after his first Tour win there in 1992. Slater quaked with emotion in an interview back on the beach.

“I was out there just telling myself, ‘Be in the moment no matter how much tension there is, just breathe,'” he said after the final. “I said, ‘Just stay in the moment, just soak it up, even if he beats you, just love it all.’”

Slater and Moniz traded competitive rides for the duration of the 20-minute heat. In defeat, Moniz showed deference to the legend.

Billabong Pro Pipeline
Slater during heat 1 of the Quarterfinals at the 2022 Billabong Pro Pipeline; (photo/World Surf League – Brent Bielmann)

“It was really special just sharing a final out there with him,” he said on the winner’s stage. “It was an honor to surf against him and a big privilege for me to be out there with him.”

Kelly Slater: Retirement vs. World Record

While rumors about Slater’s retirement have swirled as he’s aged, the season-opening win seems to open the door for the GOAT to keep paddling out. He’s an 11-time World Champion, and a 12th title would put him alone at the top of the list.

Slater did address the topic after the Pipeline but steered clear of committing either way. The Championship Tour‘s next stop starts this Friday at Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

“I committed my life to this. To all of this,” Slater said. “To all of the heartbreak and winning and all this crap, you know, I’ve hated lots of it, but I savor this and this is the best win of my life. This may be it for me; I’m going to have to have a talk with myself before Sunset.”

Michelle des Bouillons (BRA) races a Nazare bomb; (still/Laurent Masurel for the World Surf League)
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Sam Anderson
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Sam Anderson is a staff writer at GearJunkie, and several other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about climbing, cycling, running, wildlife, outdoor policy, the outdoor industry, vehicles, and more for 2 years. Prior to GearJunkie, he owned and operated his own business before freelancing at GearHungry. Based in Austin, Texas, Anderson loves to climb, boulder, road bike, trail run, and frequent local watering holes (of both varieties).