Kelly Slater bodysurfed Mark Cunningham’s shoulders to victory, the first time he won the World Title in San Francisco. Cunningham is tall and was clearly visible down at the water’s edge when Kelly emerged victorious and it was Mark who lofted Kelly onto his shoulders and “chaired” him to the podium – high above all the photographers and autograph seekers and worshippers and idolators. A nice thing to do, but when word got out that Kelly hadn’t actually won the World Title, and would have to surf one more heat, someone suggested that before that heat, Mark put Kelly back on his shoulders and walk backward to the water in a ceremony to undo that what had been done.
Cunningham was game. He was up for whatever. He has been there for Kelly for many many years, and wasn’t against walking backward across 200 yards of sand with Kelly on his shoulders.