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Mark Occhilupo, Eleven-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater, Eight-time WSL Champion Stephanie, Three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson prior to surfing in the Snapper World Champs Heat (Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League)

Snapper Goes Off: World Tour Champions Trade Barrels in Unforgettable Exhibition

Snapper Rocks ignites as Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson & Mark Occhilupo went head-to-head in an exhibition clash.

The final heat of the Gold Coast Pro wasn’t your typical competition. Instead, it transformed into a legendary exhibition, with a combined 24 World Titles paddling out for a dream session. Surfing royalty Kelly Slater (USA) shared the lineup with Snapper locals and fellow World Champions Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), and Mark Occhilupo (AUS).

The exhibition serving as a tribute to Slater, the 11-time World Champion and four-time Gold Coast Pro winner. The shore erupted as the five surfing icons traded perfect waves, showcasing their signature manoeuvres and tearing apart Snapper Rocks. The energy was electric, with thousands of fans packing the beach and even wading into the water, creating an atmosphere that rivalled the biggest CT final.

“That was so much fun,” said Gilmore after the session. “Parko gave me that good one, and it was just incredible to see these guys out here doing their thing.”

Slater, ever the gracious champion, acknowledged the electric crowd. “Steph definitely beat all four of us,” he said with a laugh. “It’s amazing to see this turnout and the passion surfing brings to the Gold Coast. That was a truly special experience.”

The exhibition heat was a fitting end to a remarkable day, showcasing the sport’s return to the Championship Tour and all of the action that took place earlier in the day as part of the challenger series.

Owen George
Owen George

Editor & Chief of Gold Coast Magazine is a lover of great coffee and sharing the stories of the people, places, and events that make the Gold Coast such a great city

Mark Occhilupo, Eleven-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater, Eight-time WSL Champion Stephanie, Three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson prior to surfing in the Snapper World Champs Heat (Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League)

Snapper Goes Off: World Tour Champions Trade Barrels in Unforgettable Exhibition

Snapper Rocks ignites as Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson & Mark Occhilupo went head-to-head in an exhibition clash.

The final heat of the Gold Coast Pro wasn’t your typical competition. Instead, it transformed into a legendary exhibition, with a combined 24 World Titles paddling out for a dream session. Surfing royalty Kelly Slater (USA) shared the lineup with Snapper locals and fellow World Champions Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), and Mark Occhilupo (AUS).

The exhibition serving as a tribute to Slater, the 11-time World Champion and four-time Gold Coast Pro winner. The shore erupted as the five surfing icons traded perfect waves, showcasing their signature manoeuvres and tearing apart Snapper Rocks. The energy was electric, with thousands of fans packing the beach and even wading into the water, creating an atmosphere that rivalled the biggest CT final.

“That was so much fun,” said Gilmore after the session. “Parko gave me that good one, and it was just incredible to see these guys out here doing their thing.”

Slater, ever the gracious champion, acknowledged the electric crowd. “Steph definitely beat all four of us,” he said with a laugh. “It’s amazing to see this turnout and the passion surfing brings to the Gold Coast. That was a truly special experience.”

The exhibition heat was a fitting end to a remarkable day, showcasing the sport’s return to the Championship Tour and all of the action that took place earlier in the day as part of the challenger series.

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Owen George

Owen George

Editor & Chief of Gold Coast Magazine is a lover of great coffee and sharing the stories of the people, places, and events that make the Gold Coast such a great city