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Northland surfers given unforgettable day as they share waves with greatest ever, Kelly Slater

Imagine heading down to your break and getting a front row seat to the greatest ever surfer carving it up on your waves.

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Kelly Slater was supposed to be competing at the Piha Pro this week before it was cancelled, instead, he was spotted in Northland. Source: 1 NEWS

Well that’s just what happened for some Northland surfers with Kelly Slater.

Slater was supposed to be competing at the Piha Pro this week before it was cancelled.

In a settlement of fewer than a 1000 people, word was always going to spread quickly about Slater around Pataua, east of Whangārei.

"Some people told us, 'Are you going to go and see Kelly?' and I didn't know what they were talking about,” one local said.

"I looked really close, and I kind of had a bit of a shock," another told 1 NEWS.

"Got off the bus, came over and Slater was in the water,” a disbelieving local said.

The 11-time world champion gave an impromptu masterclass for disbelieving Northland riders.

"Before we knew it, we were in our wetsuits and in the water, and there he was."

"When I saw him, my heart was just pounding of excitement," a local surfer said.

"He did some massive turns and stuff," one local said.

"He did a 360 air straight in front of me, it was pretty cool," one surfer said.

The 48-year-old spent two hours in the water before happily hanging out with a fast-growing crowd of admirers, signing surfboards and t-shirts.

The dads were as excited, if not more, than the kids.

"One of the guys brought down a guitar that he signed, plucked a few chords. Played with the gods, had a beer with him. Offered him a beer really awkwardly. He was keen to have a beer, he was awesome."

"Absolute legend, amazing," one man said

"He was nice. He told me what waves to go to and stuff. It was so cool," one surfer said.

A day these young surfers could say: "I surfed with Kelly Slater."

It was a pinch yourself moment with the greatest ever giving a small community a moment they'll never forget.