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Beach Grit

Expert: “Slater scamming system!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Is the world's greatest surfer gaming the WSL?

Now that J-Bay’s dust has settled and the rightful winner dutifully crowned let us return our attention back to Kelly Slater. Have you forgotten, amidst the flurry of airs the barrage of wraps, that the world’s greatest surfer broke his foot and had to withdraw from not only the South African leg of the tour but maybe the rest of the year?

It is truly a shame.

Many posit that now is the time for Slater to trot into retirement. His body breaking down etc. Many more are confused about what would bring him back to the World Surf League Championship Tour. One dashing expert, though, interviewed for Australia’s ABC news suggested that Kelly is gaming the system. Shall we read?

The Jeffreys Bay event again garnered international attention due to several stoppages due to sightings of large sharks and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater breaking bones in his foot while preparing for a heat.

Slater hinted on Instagram the injury will see him out of action for up to six weeks effectively ending his 2017 campaign and chance of winning at 12th world title.

“The challenge will be healing with awareness, patience and good health,” the 45-year-old posted.

“Not one of the better days in recent memory, I can’t even touch my foot right now.”

Surf writer and author Chas Smith was one of many to speculate the injury would not lead to Slater leaving professional surfing after over 25 years and 55 professional wins.

“He is way past the point of no return as it relates to retiring gracefully,” Smith told the ABC.

“Kelly can’t stop traveling the world and loves surfing the world’s most iconic waves with just one other man in the lineup. He will continue surfing professionally-and is good enough to do so-until the WSL pulls him aside and says, ‘Kelly-you’re fired'”.

And what? Could this bald-faced conspiracy from one Chas Smith possibly be true? Might Kelly Slater be surfing on tour not for championships or even heat victories but merely to surf basically alone?