When Kelly Slater bailed to Bali last year, Troy Sinclair got a call. Kelly knew Troy had a slick boat and a good act and was running chartered surf trips to Lombok and Sumbawa. There’s a little more to the story, but you’ll have to check out issue 578 to get the details. Here’s an excerpt from the feature in the mag, detailing the session Troy shared with Slater at a lonely Sumbawa reef.

… A little bruised and fatigued by the journey the rest of the crew elected to recover on board while Troy, an accomplished goofy-footer with 15 years of Indo experience, enjoyed an hour and a half of writhing six-foot barrels all by himself. As the swell grew and the eight-foot sets began rolling through, Kelly was the first to join him. And so ensued a one and a half-hour session where Troy shared a reeling, Indo lineup with the greatest surfer ever to bury his toes in a bead of wax. While the growing swell commanded his focus, Troy concedes there were a few moments where he had to pinch himself to make sure it was all real.  

Troy Sinclair nonchalantly navigating a dreamy, Indo funnel. Photo: Evgeny Ivkov

“It was pretty radical. I was sitting out there going, to have this by myself was great, but to have this for an hour and a half with the G.O.A.T. – are you serious?’

 Between sets, Troy and Kelly chatted freely about everything from wave pools to the nuances of the break they were surfing. Meanwhile, a gentleman’s approach was adopted to determine who had the next wave. “It was very much ‘do you want this one?’ ‘Nah you have it’. There was definitely no hassling or heckling,” insists Troy.

Instagram archives show Strider and the crew slipping into commentary mode, cheekily labelling Troy the ‘current heat leader’, just after Kelly had joined him in the lineup. “Of course, it wasn’t long till he caught up,” declares Troy.  

For Troy, it was an opportunity to witness the wizardry of Slater at close quarters. “When I started really paying attention it was like, look what he’s doing and where he’s doing it on the wave. He’s doing that there and doing it so smoothly that it almost doesn’t look technical or hard… Once you start processing it you go what the F&*k?” …