Senior Editor

The Inertia

Twelve days after Sunny Garcia tragically attempted to take his own life, Kelly Slater was in Bali. They’ve been friends for most of their lives, and as you would imagine, it was not easy on Kelly. Not easy on anyone else, either, but not everyone else had a camera pointed at them as they worked through the emotions of it all.

It’s been about three years now since Sunny’s attempt. It was touch and go for a while there, with doctors deciding to put Sunny into an induced coma, and since then updates on his condition have been pretty sparse. We gather it’s due to some family issues involving lawyers and such, so for now, it appears that all anyone can do is keep Sunny in their thoughts and give the family their privacy.

In the most recent episode of Kelly Slater: Lost Tapes, a film crew was there, 12 days afterwards, when Kelly Slater got the news that doctors were going to pull the plug on Sunny Garcia.


“I found out this morning that they’re going to turn the machines off on Sunny,” he said. “So he won’t be with us tomorrow.”

Now, with hindsight, we know that didn’t happen. But it’s a hard thing to watch; an intensely personal moment caught on camera of the moment a man learns one of his best friends isn’t long for this earth.

“I’ve been thinking about all the years, all the memories, all the things we did,” Kelly continued. “Places we went, things he said. I was just in the water thinking about him. Just to be alone out there. Just to not think when I’m on a wave. I haven’t been feeling what I’m doing when I surf. It felt like that session broke something loose and made me feel again.”

He went on to talk about what he’d been feeling since hearing the news. “The not knowing was the hardest part,” he said. “Wondering each day whether he is going to pass away today. Is he going to make it through tonight? What’s going to happen if they turn the machine off? When you’re stuck in your emotions and you can’t evolve from that… that’s a hard thing. When somebody dies, you can deal with it somehow. If they’re right on the verge, weeks or days or hours, whatever, you’re holding out hope.”

A crowdfunding campaign for Sunny’s family is still active. You can donate here.



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