Tears and shock as Kelly Slater loses in last-minute boil-over at Tahiti Pro, likely bringing his professional surfing career to an ignominious close

"It's the most upset I've ever seen him."

The greatest surfer ever Kelly Slater has been bundled out of the Tahiti Pro by the Brazilian world title contender Yago Dora in a buzzer beater boil-over. It brings, likely, an end to the Champ’s thirty-year professional surfing career. 

Yeah, there’ll be a wildcard here and there, definitely Pipe, possibly Tahiti, but you ain’t gonna see Slater on the tour full-time, in 2024. 

There’ll be no complaints about Slater’s performance in Tahiti. The 11-time world champion controlled the heat with Dora until the very last minute with a series of imposing rides, a seven-five and a six-nine-three pinning the Brazilian against the ropes. It was a masterful performance given his frantic odyssey from Namibia to French Polynesia just to surf.

Needing a 7.76 and holding priority with two minutes left, Slater, a man in his fifty-second year, gives his twenty-seven-year-old foe an inside drainer, a wave Dora expertly threads. There is shock as judges barely give it a five. 

Slater uses priority and threads a smaller wave. The man whose popularity is such that it has shattered any other surfer is assured of his place in the next round. 

As the clock runs out, the best wave of the heat appears and Dora, angry, insulted by the previous low score, puts the result beyond any question. 

Still, the judges only give the wave an eight, but it’s enough to end Slater’s career, the pain clear, probing his insides, the heart going out of him along with the blood. 

As the numbers were read out, delivering the fatal blow, Slater sat in the channel, head bowed, appearing to weep.

“It’s the most upset I’ve ever seen him,” said WSL commentator and long-time friend of Slater’s, Strider Wasilewski.

More at the completion of the day’s play.

Not how Teahupoo looks today (pictured). Photo: ASP
Not how Teahupoo looks today (pictured). Photo: ASP

Surf fans flock to Tahiti Pro webcast to witness potential last ever heat of “world’s greatest athlete” Kelly Slater!

Ready the Kleenex.

“Where were you when Kelly Slater surfed his final ever heat” is, maybe, going to be a question asked by children and their grandchildren into eternity. The world’s greatest athlete will come up in heat 5 of the Tahiti Pro, today, against Australia’s Ryan Callinan.

The elimination round.

Commentators in the booth are calling conditions “challenging” i.e. “bad” and Strider Wasilewski let it slip that Slater had not caught a wave in the morning warm-up session.

A goose egg.

So, where are you going to be in just a few short hour’s time?

Taking time off work, heading down to the local bar and hugging patrons tightly?

Alone in your house, lights darkened, candles lit?


Click here to live comment with friends wherever you may be.

If Slater loses, remember, he will be finished for the season and will only be back next year if granted a special season-long wildcard by the World Surf League itself.

Almost impossible to imagine.

Oh wait.

As you were.


Kelly Slater made it past R. Cal in the Elimination Round! Will surf against Yago Dora in Heat 3 of the upcoming Round of 16.

Open Thread: Comment Live on day two of the Tahiti Pro as professional surfing collectively “goes to turns!”

The End of the Road.

Hayes (right) and the big time.
Hayes (right) and the big time.

Influential political writer lists former top Hawaiian pro surfer and RVCA co-founder Conan Hayes as one of 30 mysterious unindicted co-conspirators in Trump election saga!

"Minor celebrity" turned major.

Former top Hawaiian pro surfer Conan Hayes is, now, clearly the most interesting man born in our world. The onetime Momentum Generation star and co-founder of RVCA who sold his share to PM Tenore for $7.5 mil then became erased from the brand’s history, has been on a Kafaesque tear since spreading his wings and leaving the surf industry nest.

In 2015, Hayes was hit with grand theft charges by the Orange County DA, who alleged Hayes had committed short sale fraud against the Bank of America “by providing Bank of America with false information concerning his financial net worth, which was in the millions of dollars, in order to qualify for short sale relief.”

The charges were dropped two years later “among a myriad of scandals following the prosecution.”

Later, he opened a warehouse in Los Angeles that imported children’s toys.

Then, two years ago, he was introduced as a player in the Donald Trump election kerfuffle of 2020.

Per Vice:

In recent years (Hayes) has become somewhat of a minor celebrity in election fraud conspiracy theory circles, under his anonymous Twitter handle We Have Risen. He has worked on an election audit in Antrim County and has suggested on social media he was in Phoenix where the Arizona audit is currently taking place. He also has links to Doug Logan, the Cyber Ninja CEO who is currently running the sham audit in Maricopa County.

Further evidence that Hayes was the person who captured the images was provided by cyber security experts tracking this situation, who found Hayes’ initials in the downloaded files:

Clevenger confirmed to VICE News on Thursday that it was in fact Hayes who had provided the data from Mesa County to Watkins. What Clevenger, who represented the Seth-Rich conspiracy theorist Ed Buttosky, was not able to say for certain was if it was Hayes who also provided the video clip to Watkins, who Gerard Wood was, or if, as some open sources investigators tracking this situation believe, that Hayes and Wood are in fact the same person.

Well, that “minor celebrity” title has expanded over the years which includes costume changes, being on Trump’s legal payroll, using a fake ID to copy election software and other such star turns.

Now, it appears, he has arrived in the upper echelons of Trumpian fame. The influential political writer Seth Abramson, Harvard grad, former attorney, has dug through open source media and guessed the thirty formerly unnamed unindicted co-conspirators in the federal case against Trump and his election tampering.

Conan Hayes is either number 21 or 22.

The big time.

But where did it all turn for the man who once had it all?

Quite possibly Teahupoo, where our current crop of championship tour surfers find themselves at this very moment.

Per the Encyclopedia of Surfing (subscribe here):

Hawaii’s Conan Hayes got a pair of 10s in the (1988) final, and a 7 (it was best-three waves back then), but one of his 10s was so much better than anything ridden in the event that the number was meaningless. Koby Abberton meanwhile got two 9s and a 9.1, and won the event. People who were there still recall Hayes’ loss as the single most wrongful call in ASP history, made worse by the fact that Abberton (below), having necked a half-dozen Hinanos between the final horn and the presentation, galloped onstage, took the check, and bellowed out to the still-stunned gallery “Whoooooose the man?” Silence. ‘Whooooose the man?” Still no reply, so Koby helped out. “Me! I’m the man!”

Professional surf judges planting the seed of conspiracy.

On the plus side, and according to Vanity Fair, there is worry in Trump’s camp that one of the unindicted co-conspirators could flip. Per the piece:

The possibility that one of Trump’s former advisers could turn state’s witness and testify against either him or his aides or close associates is already apparent to the twice-impeached former president. This summer, Trump has asked some of his political and legal advisers to name who—especially among those investigated or questioned by the special counsel’s office—they believe to be the most “vulnerable” and likely to crack under pressure from prosecutors, according to two people who’ve heard him ask about this.

What do you think the Justice Department would offer Hayes for some damning testimony?


A major come up.

More as the story develops.

Breaking: All four Australian surfers missing near Nias in Indonesia found alive!

An Indian Ocean miracle!

Sources close to BeachGrit and the family of the four surfers feared dead after their boat went missing in a storm near Nias have reported the group has been found alive and floating on their surfboards, although the fate of the Indonesian crew is still uncertain. 

The four surfers, Elliot Foote, Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short had been travelling through northern Sumatra to celebrate Foote’s thirtieth birthday, a gift from his father. 

The boat went missing on the fifty click trip between Nias and the island of Pinang in the Bankyaks, separated from another boat carrying eight other friends, during a storm.

The missing charter boat.

Even as the hours ticked by, Foote’s father Peter remained optimistic his son and his friends would be found, telling Today, 

“They have food and water on the boat and the boat has a roof so it should be all right,” adding, “It is going to be a long, long day for them. I don’t know how long their supplies are going to last for. Every minute counts.”

Peter Foote just wrapped an interview with Sky News this afternoon when he received a text from his son.

“Hey Dad, Elliot here. I am alive, safe now, love you. Chat later.”

Prior to boarding the ill-fated vessel, Foote, who would be the last of the surfers found, had posted a series of photos on Instagram and wrote of the “kind people.”

oho gulah Sorake … so good being back in Indo after so many years. Sharing waves with mates and the queen 🙌

Starting the trip off with hiking in the North Sumatran jungle and seeing Orangutan’s was an amazing experience and something that I look forward to doing again for a longer time and going deeper. Bukit Lawang is a beautiful spot with such kind people.


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A post shared by Elliot Foote (@elliotfoote)

An Indian Ocean miracle, sure, but three Indonesian crew members are still out there.