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Beach Grit

Calm down: Kelly Slater gonna surf ’til 50!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

He is out of Snapper but here for ten more years!

Much consternation is ripping around the globe right now as the great Kelly Slater just let it be known, via Instagram, that he will not surf at 2018’s Snapper opener. That his foot is ouchy and panicking is not the right call and… oh what am I doing paraphrasing the man. He has fingers. He can speak for himself.

I have officially withdrawn from the #QuikProGoldCoast. For many months, my gut feeling has been to use this injury as a platform to overhaul and reset my mind and body. The looming excitement about a new year starting, my foot sort of magically allowing me to surf the past couple of days, and a number of other factors had me talking myself back into jumping in as soon as possible against my better judgment. I feel I’ve had a couple of half hearted attempts these past couple of years fighting injury and desire. The foot injury symbolizes a lot at this point in my career both as an ending and as a beginning. Hearing @mfanno talk about his reasons for retiring at the upcoming Bells event yesterday rang true for me also around going in the direction of doing things that make you uncomfortable. Competing is a natural environment for us both and it’s the easy route for me. I think it best that I properly rehabilitate the injury and choose to surf wholeheartedly, not from the excitement or stress of a last minute arrival. It’s not very professional or responsible and it won’t allow me to be at my best potential. I really love the energy around the events, especially a new year, and I find myself at odds especially with a potential Kirra swell approaching. I wish the best for everyone this event and a special good luck to @mikeyfebruary who will surf in my absence. Let him know if he wins I’m requesting a 10% caddy fee!😀🤷🏽‍♂️ Thanks to the WSL and crew for helping accommodate my predicament and I’ll be back when the time is right for me.✌🏽

Long, I know, and those inclined to dismal outlooks/ in bad relationships will read the parts about Mick and taking 10% of a poor South African’s winnings as tacit admission of defeat. That the end snuck up on them while they were… checking Instagram.

But here is the thing. Kelly Slater is not Mick Fanning. He is not a fast bogan who hunchbacked his way to three accidental world titles and a fortuitous shark punch.


Kelly Slater is the greatest athlete of all time. He is even greater than Tom Brady and Tom Brady has vowed to play professional football until he is 50.

Professional football, for those unaware, is a difficult game. A hard game where men leave and commit suicide because their brains are so rattled and bodies so broken.

Professional surfing is not professional football and moreover with the new changes. Do you not think Kelly will surf at his own Surf Ranch? Do you not think he will surf in the four global Surf Ranch events that will define the tour in four years? The future is Kelly’s and he knows it. He will surf professionally until he is 50 or maybe even 60 in pools that he invented because what the hell else is he going to do? Launch a beer company?