Kelly Slater's Instagram post showing Staci from Hermosa Beach, the winner of the trip to Fiji, who DOES NOT surf...this created quite the hullabaloo. Via Instagram

Kelly Slater’s Instagram post showing Staci from Hermosa Beach, the winner of the trip to Fiji, who DOES NOT surf…this created quite the hullabaloo. Via Instagram

The Inertia

The ears of surfers everywhere perked up when Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian announced a sweepstakes for the trip of a lifetime a few weeks ago. An all-expense paid getaway to Tavarua island. Surfing the heavenly perfection that is Cloudbreak and Restaurants. And becoming besties with Shane and Kelly, two of surfing’s biggest icons.

And after weeks of entries, and large contributions to a handful of multiple charities, a winner was selected – Staci from Hermosa Beach, CA. Kelly announced the news via his Instagram, mentioning that Staci will be bringing her niece with her and how happy he was and how great of a cause the competition is…oh and the fact that Staci from Hermosa doesn’t surf, nor her niece.

290 comments (and counting) later, and the Internet has officially lost its shit.

Commenters berated Staci and her niece for winning the Surf Trip of a Lifetime when she doesn’t even surf. People were pissed. The trolls came out from under the bridge. It got so bad that Kelly even decided to start a discussion about it. About an hour after the original post, he put up another one – a screenshot of some of the harshest haters’ comments, calling them to publicly stand behind their words, or as Kelly called it, a #SocialExperiment. He also mentioned that he was “gonna take this down shortly,” but here’s a screenshot:


The bottom line is that only one person out of how ever many hundreds (thousands?) entered was going to be chosen and it was at random. Staci won because she donated a hundred buckaroonies to one of four awesome charities – SurfAid, MORE Than Sport Foundation, Skate to School Scholarship Fund, or Smile Train – and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. Who cares if she doesn’t surf? More waves for Kelly and Shane-O while Staci sips mimosas by the pool!

Here’s the full text from Kelly being blind to the haters:

I’m gonna do a little #SocialExperiment here. @shanedorian and I just had a giveaway and raised a phenomenal amount of money for four wonderful charities. A random winner was chosen as was promised and there are lots of people upset they didn’t get chosen or that a non surfer won. I get that. There are some wonderful comments from many people but a serious tone of negativity from probably a quarter or more of the comments. Just know that if you’re gonna comment publicly that you’d better be able to stand up for your words and that I’m happy to give you the stage as I’m gonna right here. I’m gonna take this down shortly but I just want an honest discussion about your thoughts on this sort of thing. Some serious haters and trolls came out of the woodwork to bash me personally and this process..some confused, some harsh. I’ve been called every name in the book. It’s actually entertaining but it’s kinda sad. I mean, I didn’t ever call up and yell at the people from Publisher’s Clearinghouse after I was promised $3M in the mail but didn’t receive it. Why ya’ll mad? All I can say is I am truly glad someone with these kinds of attitudes didn’t win and get a chance to experience Fiji in two weeks. Who knows, Staci and her niece might just leave this trip with a newfound love in their lives.


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