Kelly Slater Teahupoo
Have you ever seen Kelly Slater, who turns 45 in February, so…loose? | Photo: Peter King

#TourNotes: Slater Releases Hounds!

Behind-the-scenes with Kelly Slater, final day, Tahiti Pro… 

As I’ve become fond of saying, is an event really over until Peter King has dropped his final #TourNotes?

Who can miss an episode? It’s disposable pop art that’s perfect for Generation Self; a yowling discharge of all those down days, all that… nothing but everything… that surrounds those two-week waiting periods at contests. It’s peculiar, it’s memorable, it’s a surface with slips but no adjustments.

In this episode, we’re on the boat with Kelly Slater on the final day of the Tahiti Pro. His girlfriend Kalani (hot! hot!) is there in her little Mikoh bikiniJohn John reveals a sense of humour normally reserved for close pals, Kelly does a very good impersonation of Hawaiian pidgin and we see Kolohe Andino, who says he wants Kelly Slater to win the event, rib the commentator Kaipo Guerrero for his one-time affair with the singer Madonna. 

It’s a subtler episode that most, subdued perhaps, because of the gloomy skies and the smallish, if good, waves, but it serves, as it always does, to remind us that the professional surfer is more human than the post-heat interviews reveal.


Image taken from @wslwaveco Intagram!
Image taken from @wslwaveco Intagram!

Blood Feud: WSL vs. Wavegarden!

WSL CEO Paul Speaker loves to kick men when they are down! Apparently!

It is rude to kick a man when he is down, is it not? To really bury a boot into his already beaten ribs? To just haul off and punt as he bleeds into the ground, tears streaming down bruised cheeks? Gasping and wheezing?

I think rude but what do I know! I’m not the 16 x world champion! I’m not Kelly Slater!

Let’s study the above Instagram picture and ponder the rudeness of the question asked. Does anyone… anyone at all… think that Wavegarden’s offering is even in the same league as Kelly’s? Anyone? At all?


It is a rhetorical question, no? And one asked to inflict maximum damage. To maybe rupture kidneys. To break two ribs at once.

Oh but wait! Let’s look a little bit closer. That’s not Kelly Slater’s Creedler doing any kicking… that’s… that’s…

…that’s WSL CEO Paul Speaker’s Sanuk (he’s taken off his Roger Goodell Rockport Essentials with ergonomic back support to try and fit in)!

Yes, the Kelly Slater Wave Co. has apparently changed its name, or at least its Instagram handle, to the World Surf League Wave Co/@wslwaveco (remember WSL purchased!) and then went looking for a fight!

It had to go all the way to Wales, England to find a man already badly beaten, laying on the ground, struggling to breathe before taking a running start and…


Will you teach your children to follow Paul Speaker’s example? To pick on those already abused? To wail away on opponents who cannot defend themselves?

Do you think Paul Speaker should run for President of the United States?

Perth wavegarden
Here, the new version of Wavegarden, a joint where even middle-aged men can swing into a wave every fifty-five seconds

Believe it (or not): A Perth Wavegarden!

Smoke! Mirrors! Etc.

Are you getting a little over, maybe even a little suspicious, of all these announcements for Wavegardens in Australia?

Already, we’re apparently going to get man-made waves in Melbourne, Sydney, and revealed today, Perth, or if we’re going to be specific, the suburb of Alfred’s Cove, midway between Perth and Fremantle.

One year ago, Wave Park Group CEO Andrew Ross told BeachGrit he was aiming for ten pools in a decade. Australia’s vast continent sprinkled with the fairy dust of wavepools. What could be finer?

From the PR spin: “Wave Park Group is thrilled to announce the location of WA’s first Wavegarden, to be located at Tompkins Park in the City of Melville.  With river frontage and lush green surroundings, the A$25 million URBNSURF Perth development is set to break ground in late 2017…”

Is it really set to break ground in a year?

That would presume the site had been acquired, that all development approvals had gone through, the poor old bastards whose lives revolve around the Melville Bowling Club (lawn bowls, not ten-pin) had been given somewhere else to shuffle their balls.

How close is Wave Park Group?

The local council hasn’t even considered let alone endorsed the project.

Does a press release that trumpets 300 jobs and a $250 million injection into the economy (“over the life of the project”) seem a little presumptuous to you?

Smoke? Mirrors? Right now, yeah it is.

And, if you were the local council, and if you had even an ounce of research behind you, wouldn’t you wait to at least see commercial applications of the WSL/Slater tank before you threw prime riverfront land away?

Welcome to URBNSURF Perth! from URBNSURF on Vimeo.

Parker: “I’m Gonna Be a freedive hero!

Can Rory hit two-hundred feet on one breath?

Back home for a minute. Just enough time to wash my clothes, repack my shit. Hop back on a plane to BI. Gonna try and be a freedive hero. We’ll see how that goes.

Shaky moment last night. Sleeping at the in-laws. Fancy pants in Manhattan Beach. Started running a high fever around bed time. Total delirium all night long. Finally broke before dawn. Shit came out of nowhere. No lasting ill effects.

But it was dicey there for a moment. Airlines don’t smile on sick people leaving a third world country. Kept telling the wife, “Don’t say anything about me being sick. I don’t want to get stuck in LA.”

She’s no fool. Didn’t need to be told twice. Especially didn’t need me to ramble on incoherently about it.

We had a very good time. Living in the lap of luxury. Granada hotel houseboys bringing the mojitos. Wake up to massages on our private veranda. Breakfast brought up soon after. Spinach quiche and excellent french press Nica brew.

Ruined an Australian group’s dinner one night. Paid a street musician to play Guantanmera and La Bamba for them. On repeat.

One guy got so upset!

“Please stop! We’re not paying you!”

“It is okay, you no need pay. Would you like a different cancion?”

Musician guy totally got the joke. Was playing well at first. Worse and worse as he went on. Basically banging on his guitar and shouting. Big shit-eating grin on his face. Comedy all around.

Drunk wife had to spoil the joke. Asked if they enjoyed our gift. But they were good sports. Laughed it off. We bought them a round. Made some new friends.

Shit got weird when we unlocked our front door. Someone’s been in my home. Muddy boot prints through every room. I don’t own a pair of boots. No way they could’ve been mine.

They dug through my closet. Nothing in there but clothes.

Laptop still sitting on my coffee table. No surfboards missing. Spearguns where I left them. Wife’s jewelry box in plain view, but everything still there.

Place was closed up tight. Put new locks on a few months back. No one else has a key.

Very unsettling. Might be time to buy a gun.


Blood Feud: Surfing mag vs. Slater 10!

"The second one was a piece of shit..." says the mag!

Kelly Slater’s final day at the Billabong Tahiti Pro could not have been any better. He won the event, beating the world’s newly minted number one. He won the AI commitment award that has a light inside. He won 10s.

Except Surfing magazine’s very wonderful Michael Ciaramella hates one of those 10s! The second one! He writes:

The second wave was a good wave. That’s about it. Kelly took off deep, no-hand pumped, set his rail, and shot through it. A nail in the coffin, sure, but not a goddamn sledgehammer to Keanu’s head.

And ouch! Such a stinger! Such passionate defiance! Such a rock through heaven’s window!

Should we watch it again?

Does Kelly not come out with the spit? Is he not maxing out speed, power and flow? Would it not be a 10 any and every day of the week?

What the hell is your fucking problem Michael?

But do you agree with him? Was Kelly’s second wave “shit?”