"Like a liquid fever dream. She's in denim cut-offs, of course. The left leg comes out first, emerges like a butterfly wing from a chrysalis. Then the left boob emerges, barely contained by a flimsy crop top."
Happy Birthday Kelly Slater.
Here he is, about to line up again for another go round, our GOAT, the GOAT of GOATS. Forty eight years old, Happy Birthday Robert Kelly Slater.
We know you are a bit tender around the tummy when it comes to criticism, and we know you’re reading so let me take the opportunity to speak on behalf of the room and say from the bottom of our dark hearts: don’t go.
Please don’t go.
A glance around the sporting firmament at ageing athletes gives grounds for cautious optimism.
Forty-eight-year-old Julius Boros won a PGA Championship in 1968. Seventy-three-year-old Israeli goalkeeper Isaak Hayik is still playing full games with Ironi Or Yehuda.
Hershel McGriff competed in the K and N West race at Tucson speedway in 2018 at the age of ninety. Ida Keeling completed the one-hundred-metre race at the age of one hundred in 2016.
Based on these facts, the best case scenario is Kelly Slater isn’t even halfway through his career.
In May last year at an open Q and A session during a showing of the Momentum Generation Kelly said, “Part of the challenge of getting better as you get older is believing your best days, including physically, are still ahead of you.”
Get Cloudbreak back on the schedule, and Trestles and solidify an Indo leg and a sixty-year-old Slater is still not a back marker in the thirty-four
There’s still unknowns unknowns for us to ponder.
Kelly’s next appearance is pegged for the first event of the QS Challenger series at Piha in March. How Kelly fares at a rambunctious black sand beachbreak in New Zealand is a total mystery bag.
The only certainty is I’ll be watching, and so will you.
It’s customary when pals gather around to celebrate a loved ones birthday to share stories about the birthday boy.
Kelly, before I share my favourite story about you, could you please make sure your significant other or mother, or mother-in-law is not reading over your shoulder.
It concerns one of your famous girlfriends.
Early nineties in the Pipe carpark opposite Sunset Elementary school. A rusted out two-door Honda Civic pulls in. Out pops a very follicularly fulsome Kelly.
In the front seat, a skinny, rockered Merrick, I think with the stork sharpied out on the bottom.
You know the one?
Kelly leans into the back seat and pulls forwards the drivers seat. Slowly and somehow communicating a very clear sense of disgruntlement Pam Anderson emerges from the back seat.
Kelly Slater has stuffed the most famous babe of the nineties into the backseat of a rusted-out Japanese shitbox.
Is Kalani out of the room?
How does Pam Anderson get out of the backseat of a Honda Civic?
Like a liquid fever dream. She’s in denim cut-offs, of course. The left leg comes out first, emerges like a butterfly wing from a chrysalis. Then the left boob emerges, barely contained by a flimsy crop top.
I recall an audible intake of air, I think my ears popped from the sudden pressure drop, but that could be imagination playing tricks on memory. Then the right leg, the right boob and she was clear of the rust bucket.
A little shake and shimmy and there she was.
What did Kelly do?
Took the Merrick out and surfed Pipe.
Was Pam impressed? Apparently not.
Within weeks she was back with Tommy.
How amazing that when we consider the life and times of RK Slater-Pam Anderson is a B-character.
Equally amazing to me is that with a once-in-a-lifetime superstar like Slater at their disposal pro surfing still couldn’t crack the market as a mainstream sport.
I think an appropriate remedy would be for Kelly Slater’s Birthday henceforwards to become an international public Holiday.
A day that could truly unite all of humanity would be an appropriate gesture of thanks to Kelly Slater for all he has given us, and continues to give us.
Happy Birthday Kelly.