“I sometimes wake up and feel totally alone in the world. I think it happens to people that have had great success in their life. I feel super alone, and people don’t quite relate to me.” | Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Kelly Slater: “I sometimes wake up and feel totally alone in the world…people don’t quite relate to me.”

Eleven-time champ opens up on Olympic podcast. “The way to fill that hole in my heart was just to win.”

Remember back in July 2018 when Parko announced his retirement at J-Bay, and Slater immediately plonked his own end date announcement (end of 2019) down on top like it was a game of Snap?

(Read: Of Course: Kelly Slater Steals Parko’s Thunder here.)

T’was much outrage at the time. Kelly controlling the narrative, smothering yet another moment to make it his own.

The evil king’s magic mirror etc.

(Kelly said he was so inspired by Joel’s announcement he wanted to follow suit.)

Recriminations aside, it now is the end of 2019.

And Slater’s still back and forth on his retirement like a yo yo.

Will he or won’t he? The question has dominated two of his three decades in the biz.

Maybe it’s a case of Kelly’s infamous mind games. But at this late stage in his career whose head is he getting in to, other than his own?

Or could it be genuine indecision? The bizarre Sound Waves episode still looms large in our rear view. What was left of his veneer was peeled back way too far for comfort.

Was the GOAT really taking life advice from a faith healer? Could our king really be that… vulnerable?

The Olympic podcast may provide some answers.

This semi-regular offering has again smashed through the WSL’s wall of positive noise like a doped up Ruski. The unaffected, spartan illumination of its subject matter is of a class E-Lo and his saccharine sweet offerings could only dream.

It’s the ‘Enough Rope’ style of  interviewing: if you give the subject enough rope they’ll hang themselves.

Kelly’s certainly not turned into a spectacle as he was in Sound Waves, intentionally or otherwise.

Like with Owen Wright before him, Kiwi journo Ash Tulloch gives Kelly space to breathe. And we get to dig a little deeper into what drives the goat.

But are we just looking at another mirror? Another patented Kelly smoke show?

Make your own judgement, here.

(A quick aside on Dave Prodan’s new WSL podcast. Dave comes across as a nice guy with core credentials. The intent is there. But the interviews still play out like extended post heats. No new stones are unturned. The decision not to grill Toledo on his big-wave game, despite multiple opportunities, was telling. There’s a way to go yet.)

Some highlights:

On his early career (Kelly speaks about his poor upbringing, and negative influences in his early life on tour): “The way to fill that hole in my heart was just to win.”

On being Kelly Slater:
“I sometimes wake up and feel totally alone in the world. I think it happens to people that have had great success in their life. I feel super alone, and people don’t quite relate to me.”

On his legacy:
“If I’m not happy with what I’ve done (in my career) I have a serious mental issue.”

And, his retirement:
“I had a lot of sadness this year. As you come to the end of a cycle of something in your life, it’s equally exciting and sad. (Competitive surfing) has been such a big part of my life. I don’t know when I’m going to retire, I will announce it the day it happens. But I feel like it’s an impending thing.”

But also:

“I can’t retire before 30 years as a pro. In fact, when the Olympics start (in August 2020) it will be thirty years for me.”

Kelly the prankster, still playing this game better than anyone else. Even the indecision is calculated.

That competitive drive for success, for relevance, is always there. We know it.

But each apparent contradiction, each second guess, take us closer to his polysemic truth.

It’s a mirror, held up to another mirror.

Just how he likes it.

Listen here. 

"Tastes like free coleslaw alongside a fried shrimp po' boy and..... a hint of heroism."
"Tastes like free coleslaw alongside a fried shrimp po' boy and..... a hint of heroism."

Hero: Cardiff-by-the-Sea boy rushes headlong through raging house fire in order to save Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” screenwriter!

Made not born... or wait. Is it the other way around?

BeachGrit has truly become the home of heroic. I am so against alliteration, bristling every time master shaper Matt Biolos posts an Instagram message, but don’t know how to swap either “home” or “heroic” out as that’s what we are.

Did you already forget the Filipino surfer who forewent a gold medal to save a fellow competitor? The Florida surfer riding a storm who saved an entire boat? The other Florida surfer who was chomped by a shark and instead of going to a hospital treated himself to a bar?

Well, welcome Aidan Cohen into their ranks, a local Cardiff-by-the-Sea boy who saved the screenwriter of Bruce Lee’s greatest (only?) film and very good friends with my older daughter. How many times can you count yourself personally acquainted with a legend? How many fried shrimp po’ boys has a legend served you at Fish 101 with free coleslaw?

But let’s read his harrowing tale together first, before getting to your answers.

Author and screenwriter Michael Allin, known for writing the classic Bruce Lee film “Enter the Dragon,” was rescued from his burning Cardiff home late Thursday night by two teenage neighbors.

“It got close there for a second,” said 17-year-old Aidan Cohen, who lives next door to Allin.

At around 11 p.m. Thursday, Aidan and his 19-year-old brother Ryan Cohen were sitting in their home eating late-night snacks of cereal and ice cream.

But their meal was interrupted when the power suddenly went off in their home. The two heard an explosion and rushed outside to see their neighbor’s house on fire.

They instinctively began shouting: “Michael! Michael!”

“We’ve known him forever. He’s lived there all our lives … Our first instinct was to scream his name,” Cohen said.

The boys ran to the back of the home and heard a disoriented Allin from inside.

“I told [Aidan], ‘Please don’t, please don’t.’ Aidan ran, pushed the door open and Aidan ran into his house and dragged him out and literally saved his life,” Ryan said.

While his house looked hollowed and badly charred Friday morning, Allin suffered only scratches and bruises.

You must finish the wild ride on your own time but back to my questions.

1) How many heroes are friends with your daughter?

2) How many of them have given you free coleslaw (with or without a fried shrimp po’ boy)?

While you’re thinking, raise a non-alcoholic beverage to Aidan Cohen and another to Bruce Lee.

Joined forever in Valhalla.

Forever heroes.

Run don't walk! A diamond may be forever but these prices won't last!
Run don't walk! A diamond may be forever but these prices won't last!

Opportunity: Russia seeks to end ban on “Blood Diamonds” sending hordes of “thrifty” surfers in longterm relationships to mall-based jewelry stores!

Strike while the iron's hot!

Surfers are known for very many things, being stupid, being dumb, being cheap, but in my experience none of these stereotypes are true. We are elevated, able to think through myriad complexities with clarity. Able to problem solve etc. and also prioritize.  Yes, none of these stereotypes are true except for surfers being cheap, though “thrifty” is a much better descriptive adjective.

The surfer has many important things on which to spend her or his money included but not limited to wax, Futures Fins, BeachGrit outerwear (buy here) and wetsuits. He, therefore, must economize. She must pinch pennies when there are pennies to be pinched.

And recent news coming out of Russia and Africa is very welcoming to the thrifty surfer in a longterm relationship.

A possible end to the ban on “Blood Diamonds.”

As you well know, the traditional diamond engagement ring is supposed to be worth three months of salary. That is a small-ish diamond and especially for surfers employed by the surf industry where a fifteen year apocalypse rages even through the greatest economic run in modern history. Many layoffs. Much depressed wages.

In any case, Russia and Africa are seeking to solve this problem and let us turn to Bloomberg for the very latest.

Russia is proposing to move toward ending the ban on selling so-called blood diamonds from the Central African Republic, a former French colony that’s struck recent military and commercial ties with Moscow, amid resistance from the U.S. and Europe.

The CAR, which is mired in civil conflict, should be granted a “road map” outlining the steps it needs to take to get the suspension of diamond sales lifted, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said in an interview in Moscow.

“We need to ensure that illicitly traded diamonds move to the legal marketplace, bringing income for people and taxes for the state,” Moiseev said. “The situation in CAR isn’t getting any better, and we can’t delay this any more.”

Russia’s pressing for action as President Vladimir Putin seeks to challenge the U.S. and other major powers in a new push to restore Soviet-era influence in the resource-rich African continent. He hosted more than 50 African leaders in the first Russia-Africa summit in October and his ally Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary venture is active in about a dozen countries, including the CAR.

So, are you in a longterm relationship? Is a ring expected soon, maybe even this holiday season? Aeroflot flies non-stop from LAX. I have flown many times and cannot recommend highly enough.

First wave, day one. Butchered, of course. | Photo: URBNSURF/Jarrah Lynch

Report: Mysteries revealed, weaknesses exposed after ten hours and 150 waves in Melbourne tank!

Can a kook finally reach nirvana if given enough pool time?

I’m an intermediate surfer, lower intermediate for the sake of precision, and will never be anything more.

This isn’t a new revelation.

It’s a truth the has been demonstrated to me at various times and at various places, Cloudbreak Teahupoo, Ours and, twice last week, at Australia’s first commercial wave pool, which can be found just a mile-and-a-half from Melbourne’s international airport.

On Monday, I enjoyed Urbnsurf’s hospitality from one through til six as part of a media reveal. The catering was excellent, Cliff bars, Poke bowls, spring water in plastic bottles, beer and coffee from an on-site van. I discovered the CEO of Urbnsurf, Andrew Ross, and I grew up, in the same era, lived roughly one mile apart and attended neighbouring schools. Eerie.

Waves were, mostly, a three-foot ledge called The Beast, although there were waves in some sessions where turns could be employed. It was very hot, one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the wind was a northerly offshore and I surfed, first, in trunks, but was soon forced to dress in a short-sleeved steamer as the water was cold. With fourteen surfers in the water and eight-wave sets every two minutes only one wave was caught every four minutes. There was no paddling in between to keep heart-rate up, body warm. An estimated fifty waves snatched.

One head injury was sustained. Stu Nettle, a very good surfer and editor of the Australian surf forecast site swellnet.com, was sucked up the face of a lefthand tube and into the concrete bottom when a layback went awry.

That same week, on the Friday, I joined the party of an old friend who had hired the joint from nine am until eight pm, although the pool was switched off at seven, much to the chagrin of the two surfers left out the back and who were forced to paddle in.

I spent seven hours or thereabouts in the water and caught, at a conservative estimate, one hundred waves. It was cold (eighteen degrees C or sixty-four F) and the wind blew onshore from the south. A four-three was the suit of choice although my Rip Curl 3/2 sufficed. Over the course of the ten hours the pool was open, I sustained myself by taking hot showers and eating handfuls of the protein balls supplied.

One head injury was sustained. David McArthur, a very good surfer and newspaper cartoonist, was sucked up the face of a righthand tube and into the concrete bottom. The way he staggered out of the pool suggested a mild concussion was also included in the deal.

What did I learn from the experience of two days, of one hundred and fifty waves under my feet? That I suck. Yes, that, but that is hardly news.

I learned that all those elements that I can disguise in the surf, the indecisive takeoff, the mistimed turns, the habit of staying ahead of the pocket, the back foot refusing the plastic of my tail-pad are magnified ten-fold in the pool.

And, yet.

Ah, yes, there’s a yet.

It is only through the reveal of our flaws that we can improve.

What good is it to tell a child he’s clever if he’s stupid?

Or a painter that she has something unique when her work is derivative and poorly drawn?

I find my best moments when I’m overtaken by an anger at the repetition of my mistakes and the slap in the face of being reminded of my inability to surf. Usually, I’l rectify on a wave, get my back foot on the tail-pad, actually locate and hit the lip, then go in, mission complete although new approach not ingrained in muscle memory.

At the pool, I was there for an extended period – what was I going to do, sit and watch? – and there was no escape from the truth.

In the Monday session, I couldn’t understand why I was missing the tube. I sent an email to the professional big-wave surfer Mark Mathews who, perversely I suppose, has been to the pool five times. He told me to forget turns, stomp on the tail on the take off, sit in the one allowable groove, and you’ll be caved from ass to mouth, as they say.

Even if it sounds straightforward enough, it took me all of day two to understand what he meant and to…see…the groove. It was only on the last wave of the day, at one minute to seven, I completed a ride satisfactorily.

Backside, less successful, although I’m starting to see the line on that side, too.

I won’t bother you with my philosophical take on pools or whether you should spend eighty Australian dollars on a one-hour visit there, that’s up to you.

What it gave me was a reminder of my frailties and an extended period to, finally, address these multiple errors.

I’m back, I believe, next Thursday.

Paige Alms, winner of $20,000. $80,000 less than her short wave brothers and sisters.
Paige Alms, winner of $20,000. $80,000 less than her short wave brothers and sisters.

Opinion: “The World Surf League’s bald-faced hypocrisy regarding ‘equality’ mocks the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Paine, Susan B. Anthony etc!”


Oh how Santa Monica pounded its chest in announcing that its World Surf League was the world’s first, first, sporting organizational body to provide equal pay for both men and women. That it represented the largest civil rights shift since Russia freed her serfs. But do you not remember? Do you not recall the breathless press release? Let’s practice retroactive journalism together here and now.

The World Surf League (WSL) today announced that it will award equal prize money to male and female athletes for every WSL-controlled event in the 2019 season and beyond, becoming the first and only US based global sports league, and among the first internationally, to achieve prize money equality. The WSL is proud of its commitment to gender equality, and proud to join other organizations beyond the world of sport reaching this important milestone.

Of course the WSL’s public relations busy bees, trapped in reclaimed cubicles, slaving under the ominous glare of Erik “ELo” Logan’s pearly whites, pushed the narrative out to the mainstream media.



First in equal.

Except it’s all a damned lie. An absolutely egregious display of bald-faced hypocrisy not seen since… since… Mark Zuckerberg.

For how much did our big wave brother and sister make after surfing heart-stopping Jaws?


And how much does the winner of every Championship Tour surfer make?


This discrepancy sickens me as it should sicken you.



Obviously yes, troglodyte.