Kelly Slater does very little wrong. From inspiring shrines to crafting the world’s first turtle moon sandal, our 11x champion is singular. So many accomplishments, in fact, that some get lost in the mist. But do you recall when he wowed the public while shaming Adriano de Souza by releasing that first clip from his Lemoore Surf Ranch? It seems three lifetimes ago but, really, it is only seven years in the rearview.
Well, the GOAT is back.
Seconds ago, the spritely 57-year-old just dropped the very first clip from his new Abu Dhabi facility.
“I’ve surfed hundreds of incredible waves across the world and this wave in Abu Dhabi stacks up well against some of the best waves on earth,” the living legend wrote, comparing the wave to Cloudbreak, J-Bay and the world’s greatest venue Lower Trestles.
Watch and then let’s discuss.
Artist defaces historically significant surfboard to make Kelly Slater shrine!
If we are honest with ourselves, Kelly Slater is surf history. The world’s greatest ever surfer has been at the top of his game as long as many of us have been alive. His eleven world titles. His Eddies and Pipe Masters. His most special and exclusive wildcards. Slater is, of course, a singular force but there was a era that he was not. Back in the before-times.
Now, surfers were mostly pre-literate then leaving social scientists to collect bits of chatter from grumpy locals in order to get a sense of the way things were. Some speak of grifters who lived in the shadow of Malibu. Others of a surfboard shaper-cum-designer named Shaw Stüssy.
According to legend, Stüssy got into the fashion game in 1980. He sold hats and t-shirts from the trunk of his car. His scrawl was instantly recognizable.
It became art though one piece, which has survived, has just been defaced to make a shrine to the aforementioned G.O.A.T.
Artist Victoria White has a very distinctive style and often uses surfboards as her canvas. Most recently she created a shrine to the current world number twenty-three.
Kelly Slater Is Basically Divine
Taking to Instagram, White declared:
“MOTIVATION IS TEMPORARY. INSPIRATION IS PERMANENT.” — KELLY SLATER
I PAINT WHO I LOVE. i do not choose the subjects of my portraits on a whim. before i ever pick up a brush to paint a portrait, i have to get to know the subject, try to understand them, and decide whether i love them, whether i feel inspired by them.
for my first portrait on surfboards, i watched a few surfing documentaries, read a few books, and then finally ended up reading @kellyslater ‘s autobiography, Pipe Dreams. I was so inspired by Kelly’s undeniable and unwavering commitment to his goals, his ability to transform his fears into fuel, and the discipline and devotion that have made him the G.O.A.T. of surfing. there was no question in my mind that I LOVED EVERYTHING KELLY SLATER STOOD FOR, and i had to paint him.
i have unending gratitude for you, @kellyslater, because of the inspiring way in which you have lived your life and for recognizing my work; for the @usopenofsurf and the @wsl , for helping me share my creativity and inspiration; and for my amazing community for supporting my authentic and vulnerable creative process.
Very powerful but let us look at the boards before they were made holy.
Do you notice the penmanship on the middle board there?
The one that became Slater’s nose and earlobes?
I guess better for all, though, that all surf history simply becomes Kelly Slater.
To the turtle moon.
Surfing progressives describe fragile Jewish state as “grotesque” and “at the nexus of colonisation (and) white supremacy” in latest salvo
Israel is “a deviant grotesque charade that’s fundamentally racist and segregated”
One of the more ironic things of Israel’s latest existential war, see War of Independence (1948), its sassy sequel The Six-Day War (1967) and the almost tragedy of the Yom Kippur War (1973),is the universal support of surfing’s progressives, the queers, the gender fluid, the feminists and so on.
These included a reelfrom Al Jazeera showing Hamas terrorists in paragliders landing in Israel and about to murder hundreds with the caption, “Palestinians in Gaza made history as they escaped the world’s largest prison”.
Whatever your view of the Jewish state, men with machine guns executing boys and girls, men and women, the old, the infirm…the gay… would warrant at least one post, no?
The surfing writer Andy Saint Onge has taken it one step further, however.
The Hawaii-based surfer posted a swastika in a Star of David alongside a screed apparently justifying the October 7 massacre.
“The Palestinian response, however militant, is altogether rational — not ‘terrorism’ but armed resistance,” he writes. “Furthermore, Israel’s experiment in so-called ‘Jewish democracy’ has failed miserably. It began with (and was sustained by) theft and brutal apartheid and has finally degenerated into genocide subsidized by the United States — which is complicit (and rightly condemned) for its aid and abetting mass murder.”
Ray Trautz, a stand-up paddle boarder, surf-adjacent as they say, although he appears very good in his self-published photos, described the Great White hit on Facebook.
“I took overnight to bring myself to write these words,” Trautz writes.
“Yesterday on November 4th 2023 at about noon my cousin Pete Emond and I were surfing by ourselves over in front of the VIP house at Coast Guard beach. Pete was sitting on his board and I was standing on mine when I looked over my shoulder and a ten-foot Great White shark was on track right at Pete’s legs.
“The shark even turned on its side as if to take a leg. In that moment I yelled SHAARRRRK as Pete was still unaware. As I yelled, I stabbed my paddle into the water at the back of the shark. It violently turned at me, tail and head thrashing back and forth erupting the water.
“The shark’s massive tail section almost hit Pete in the face. I was yelling for Pete to go and get to shore as the shark circled behind me very aggressive and agitated.
“As the shark circled I circled and kept him from being behind me. In that moment a small wave came across the bar and in two quick strokes I was flying towards the beach.
“We both escaped unharmed and a little shaken. I’ve seen a hundred white sharks while surfing but this takes the top of all my shark interactions.
“Had I not been on a SUP this event would have played out very differently.”
Great Whites and surfers have had a pretty ordinary relationship, at least of late.
It’s one of dozens of peaceful interactions with a fish that, in southern California, seems mostly docile.
“It’s important that people realise the truth and that we protect these amazing and vital animals,” Fairchild told Oceangraphic. “I’m very direct with saying that my images are not allowed to be used unless it’s a shark positive piece…I have literally filmed hundreds of hours of footage and watched an incalculable number of encounters with great white sharks swimming right next to swimmers, surfers, stand up paddlers, and so on. This is the truth, the norm, the day-to-day reality of what happens in the ocean. Yes, bites tragically do happen but they are incredibly rare considering the hundreds of thousands of interactions around the world and the millions of possibilities if sharks really wanted to hunt humans.”
He also said, “I can typically find a Great White within two minutes…”
“Embarrassing” Surfer Magazine implies Andy Irons killed by wife
Re-animated corpse of once-proud "Bible of the Sport" does it again.
The reanimated corpse of Surfer Magazine has been ticking right along, embarrassing itself daily. The once-proud title was purchased by The Arena Group as part of an alleged $25 million package a few months ago. Chairman and CEO Ross Levinsohn was extremely bullish on the purchase, citing “synergies” etc.
Surfer immediately hired a young woman who lived in the shadows of Tennessee’s Smokey Mountains to cover the “Sport of Kings.” Emily Morgan enjoyed “strong coffee, spicy food, and live music” alongside hikes with her trusty Pyrnesse-mix. She was let go after leadership realized her home was 20 hours from the nearest beach. And that she didn’t surf.
Undeterred, the editorial chiefs made a decision to simply copy BeachGrit.
But making ultra hard surf candy is not as easy as it looks. Surfer writers poured shame on the memory John Severson early and often.
Now, in the most awkward turn yet, the “bastion of kook” has suggested the great Andy Irons was killed by his wife. Lyndie Irons, last week, posted a moving tribute to her husband on the 13th anniversary of his death. It was beautiful and surf world came together to celebrate.
Surfer awkwardly attempted to join with the headline “Surfing Great Andy Irons Remembered 13 Years After Death by Widow.”
Oops Surfer Magazine Did It Again
Wives do, of course, sometimes murder their husbands. A famous example is Brynn Hartman, who shot the Saturday Night Live legend Phil after a night of boozing. Patrizia Reggiani also hired a hitman to kill her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci. Usually, though, the husband is responsible for the terrible act.
Oscar Pistorius and Paul Snider come immediately to mind.
Lyndie Irons, to set the record straight, did not murder Andy Irons. Someone should maybe deliver the message to Surfer.