Thank you GOAT!
Can you believe? Surf news? Actual real surf news and I had to rub my eyes too. I had to rub them then do a double take* but there, in front of me, remained an old friend, the greatest surfer of all time, heading to New Zealand in order to take a spot from a young hopeful, play golf and give a “stamp of credibility” to the local scene.
And let’s tuck into the press release, very quickly, before having an important discussion.
The Piha Pro, which takes place between March 16-22, will be the first time Slater has competed in New Zealand since 1993.
The Piha Pro is one stop on the newly-announced WSL Challenger Series which will see more than 100 surfers chasing qualifying for the elite Championship Tour in 2021.
“I’m excited to be surfing again in an event in New Zealand and seeing all my fans there. I love the country and all it has to offer… incredible surf, golf and so much more,” Slater said.
“I’m also looking forward to starting my 2020 WSL season by competing at a Challenger Series event.”
Event director Chris Simpson was pleased to see Slater will compete in New Zealand for the first time in 27 years.
“This is a real coup for the Corona Piha Pro; to have the greatest of all time in our first year goes to show how well-regarded Piha is as a surf destination,” said Simpson.
“It gives us a real stamp of credibility and is going to create hype around the sporting community in New Zealand.”
Now, this new Challenger Series sounds like it might be a good time, no? But I’m still utterly confused. Does it replace the QS? Is it a bridge between the QS and the CT or is it like the XFL a “different” league for athletes who are “almost good?”
It’s nice, in whatever case, that Kelly Slater is going and taking a slot from someone who, best case scenario, might end up on the CT someday as a number 23 spot and annoy us for one entire half of the year in that bottom half of the draw.
An act of mercy.
It’s also nice that Kelly Slater is giving New Zealand a real surf stamp of credibility but, and correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t Luke Cederman from the country?
Didn’t he provide that stamp years ago?
Negatron? Any insight here?
*As “President of Content, Media, Studios, Etc. Erik “ELo” Logan was an utter failure. Never before in my years as a surf journalist have I seen such an absolute dearth of professional surfing related content.