Senior Editor

The Inertia

Kelly Slater recently dropped out of the Portugal event, citing hip pain from a relatively recent (and invasive) surgery. But then he headed to Australia and surfed Kirra at its finest. Can you blame him?

It’s safe to say that Kelly Slater doesn’t need the Tour. Depending on what you think of as reward, the WSL benefits more than Kelly does from his presence. But Kelly Slater is Kelly Slater, and if he’s not feeling like he can be the best he can be, he’s got no hesitation around hanging up the jersey for a while. But just because he doesn’t feel as though he’ll be able to compete as well as he can doesn’t mean he can’t surf, despite what many on the internet seem to think.

“The Goat ( Kelly Slater) paddled out at the Superbank on the day the swell sized up and cleaned up,” wrote Surf Today. “He made his way down to Kirra and minds were blown. We spoke with him after his session and he was stoked to get some high speed Kirra glass funnels … Goodbye WSL, hello Kirra!”

Kelly, as usual, seemed to have found a rare window in time when Kirra was pumping but the crowd was relatively relaxed. While there are indeed some who feel that if Slater is on the Tour, he ought to surf if he’s able, but Slater appears to disagree, as do some of his friends/WSL employees.

“Kelly Slater, right where he deserves to be,” Strider Wasilewski wrote on Instagram. “That’s the first thing I thought when I saw this image. If the waves were like this at every event he would probably still be right there going for a world title at 52 years old and that’s fucking crazy.”

The Woz went on to explain that he’d prefer to see his old friend surfing perfect waves more than surfing possibly sub-par conditions that events sometimes need to run in. “Personally, I don’t want to watch him strain himself for a good score,” he said. “I’d rather see him surf timelessly in perfection like this. If there is an epic forecast for an event and he wants to surf, that would be epic too. Either way stoked to see my bro scoring.”


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