Is it too early to talk about retirement?

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

So Slater is out of J'Bay, and probably out of Tahiti, and even Trestles if the diagnosis is right. Six weeks rest to mend two broken metatarsals, that puts him back in the water just before the Quiksilver Pro France, the third last stop on the Tour.

Considering the impact it'll have on his CT ratings is it too early to talk retirement?

God knows that wasn't the case when he scooped his tenth title and free retirement advice was proferred from all quarters. Yet lately such talk has become a DMZ for journalists and no-one, save for the ever-combative Steve Shearer, is ready to shoot straight.

But here's the deal as of today: Kelly Slater is sitting in 18th spot on the CT and he's already dropped one result - he didn't go to Brazil because of a back 'injury', though the sceptics among us will note that he didn't go last year either and he's admitted it's his least favourite stop on tour.

If he misses three more events he'll be counting just seven out of nine events - i.e dropping four events not two.

He's currently in 18th spot with 10,950 points, while there are five surfers sitting between 10,950 and 10,700. They'll all overtake him after this comp.

There's next to no chance of qualifying through the QS where he's currently 485th. So it's requalifiy through the CT or nothing for the GOAT, but he'll almost certainly have to come back from the injury and win an event to make the cut. A long shot, but Pipe is there so it's a possibility, though he'd likely also need a back up to get inside the cut based on past year's cut off marks.

It's not the first time such contingencies and questions have been thrown around during Slater's career, but in the past they've always been the odds of winning another title not surviving relagation

And what if he doesn't make the cut? What then...?

Would the WSL offer an injury wildcard allowing the then 46-year-old to go around again?

How is this gonna end..?

Comments

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:04am

I was discussing the prognosis with a friend who has lived through a car crash and knows broken bones. He says they look quite splintered, like an impact fracture, not a clean break like a stress fracture would be. So you need rods to help the bone heal, which would be next to impossible in that position. Rods also bring up a fresh round of mobility issues. My mate thinks 6 weeks is way undercalled, unfortunately.

lolo's picture
lolo's picture
lolo commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:16am

I've had a similar injury mountain biking, although only small breaks in two metatarsals, not smashed like those are. No way he is back surfing competitively in 6 weeks. He might be able to stand up on a board if he's lucky but the weight bearing demands of HP surfing will keep him out for a lot longer than that.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:24am

16 weeks minimum.

mackdog's picture
mackdog's picture
mackdog commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:26am

Gotta agree. 6 weeks is being very optimistic for competitive surfing. The 4th metatarsal has a small butterfly fragment and given he's broken two adjacent bones he'll likely need a plate and screws in both. Injury wildcard for 2018 if he still has world title ambitions

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:33am

You reckon he'd even take the injury wildcard if offered?

I mean, KS has always been ultra competitive, he ain't there to fulfil a contract or sign autographs, he's there to win. Considering the past three years does anyone really think he can win again? He'll be 46 years old. JJF, Toledo, and Medina will be in their utter prime. Owen is making good on his talent. Jordy has finally figured out to surf a heat. And no-one on the CT is afraid of Slater like they were through his glory years. The magic is drying up.

The other thing: if he takes the injury card then he's obligated to make best use of it. No skipping events cause he dont like the people or food.

Fleazool's picture
Fleazool's picture
Fleazool commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:41am

Age + injury = retirement.
Sorry Slats but that might be it.
I reckon he'll aim for pipe this year as a lap of honour then call it quits.

wesley's picture
wesley's picture
wesley commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:42am

They look like spiral displacement fractures to me. I had one a couple of years ago in a metacarpal. Surgery a couple of days later with a few rods and screws etc and I was back to work by the end of the week. My finger is now bent a little and slightly shorter than it used to be but otherwise it has been no hinderance whatsoever with the use of that hand. Not really comparing apples with apples though I suppose.

DaButton's picture
DaButton's picture
DaButton commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 11:53am

Did very similar injury plus some ligament seperation. Surfing all good but skating won't be the same again. I didn't have surgery and it's been 6 months recovery. Couldnt walk properly for 12 weeks alone.

Like a button up

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 12:02pm

Agree with Fleazol he won't be back until Pipe and yes i think there is a chance he retires, but I'm guessing even Kelly doesn't know yet.

Spewing he hurt his foot was really looking forward to seeing his next heat, he was looking really switched on and his board looked really good under feet.

It's going to be a sad day when he retires, but he is 45 when he started on the tour nobody would have ever believed he or anyone would be competing at 45 and still winning heats or that he would have 11 world titles.

Just hope he doesn't just fad into obscurity and we still get to see plenty of footage of him once retired and really hope he does some commentary with WSL analysing heats etc

Ada gula, ada semut!

dr-surf's picture
dr-surf's picture
dr-surf commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 1:22pm

Take the rest of the year off and go the Wildcard in 2018.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 8:24pm

Should have quit a few years ago....gone out in style like the champ he was .......

simba

kresto's picture
kresto's picture
kresto commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 9:42pm

No way fingers crossed he competes as long as possible... imagine the case study for science he will be?! As long as he is competitive enough to mix it with the WCT he has every right to be there. Come on Slater make it to competing at 50!

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 at 10:33pm

Haiku Poetry
I bet you couldn't Kelly.

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 12:03am

'But here's the deal as of today: Kelly Slater is sitting in 18th spot on the CT and he's already dropped one result - he didn't go to Brazil because of a back 'injury', though the sceptics among us will note that he didn't go last year either and he's admitted it's his least favourite stop on tour.'

There is an entirely different way to look at the situation with Slater, based entirely on facts. Firstly, the facts are that his back was giving him real grief, it has been worsening, and after and during Margaret River, he discussed this with professionals and sought professional treatment in Australia.

It is no secret that Slater has had back issues for a very prolonged period. And knee issues, and shoulder issues. Looked at correctly, professionally, this issue has dire, underlying effects for any athlete, let alone an aging athlete. Those injuries drastically effect loading, or weight bearing, in both every day life and training. Optimum load bearing means optimum bone mineral density (BMD), thus ever strengthening bones (to a point, plateauing at levels only elite strength athletes reach), and supporting muscles/structure. The opposite, long term less than optimum load bearing means ever lessening BMD, and ever weakening, brittle bones, and weak supporting muscles/structure.

https://www.outsideonline.com/1927961/why-kelly-slater-still-worlds-grea...

'Slater does almost no dry-land training—no weight rooms or beach calisthenics. He’s a big believer in the power of regular, deep-tissue bodywork, “where they walk on you and use their feet,” and has recently started traveling with a hard plastic roller with a vibrator inside that he uses to work out the kinks in his muscles. Recovery after a contest can mean a couple of weeks of no surfing at all. When he retreats to his Florida home (he also has properties in Hawaii and Australia), he’s likely to spend days by himself, doing nothing other than taking hot baths and listening to music.

The one thing that stands out in his otherwise low-key program is his yogi-style diet. Most days his breakfast is a homemade pudding made of chia seeds, raw nuts, goji berries, and yogurt. At home he makes his own almond milk in a blender, straining it through cheesecloth. He frequently drinks a concentrated dose of omega-3 fatty acids from marine algae. Over the past couple of years, he’s cut out almost all caffeine. When he’s traveling for surf contests, his “very big suitcase” is packed “half with clothes and half with food.” He even pays close attention to the texture of his stools: “If you’re going to the bathroom regularly, and it’s a healthy stool, your body is ­probably ­doing good.”

https://www.outsideonline.com/1927961/why-kelly-slater-still-worlds-grea...

The above regime/nutrition, combined with his restricted load bearing issues/injuries is the ultimate scenario for creating weak, brittle bones. To a trained eye, it shows in many ways. Then there is also the combination with this scenario, as highlighted, common to surfing.

http://mobile.surfline.com/#!/surf-news/inside-australia-s-surf-training...

'Almost every surfer I've ever trained lacks adequate leg strength. They are literally weak in the part of the body that provides some serious propulsion. I think traditionally people have thought strength training meant getting injured or getting heavy, or getting slow, but there's no scientific evidence for any of that. Stronger people get fewer injuries because weak things break. That's just physics.'

Slater literally snapped like a toothpick. Not from being hit by a quote 'sledgehammer', but from contact with an extremely light weight, highly breakable, flimsy object. In small, weak surf that even at its best is not rated at all in power stakes.

Bottom line, nothing matches weight training for increasing long term BMD and strength. Or for being able to safely and fully monitor and control the load necessary. Nutrition is also paramount.

Ignore the facts at your own risk.

Even though facts are facts, maybe he was unlucky. However, its not professional or worth ignoring blatant facts, and leaving things to chance.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 12:25am

You talk shit.

wesley's picture
wesley's picture
wesley commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 5:06am

Hi Herc, why would his diet contribute to brittle bones? Surely the guy eats well by the sound of things?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 12:09am

So, this means he could attempt Haiku Poetry?

Larry Lee's picture
Larry Lee's picture
Larry Lee commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 12:17am

Larry's always sifting through his stools to recycle the excellence . Just like Herc's superior professional advice . Imagine how successful Kelly could've been if had powered up at a young age .

Gary, now I know I was wrong
I messed up and now you're gone
Gary, I'm sorry I neglected you
Oh, I never expected you to run away
And leave me feeling this empty
Please come home 'cause I miss you, Gary
Gary, come home
Gary, come home

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 7:47am

4-6 months according to Kelly now.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 8:35am

Now that sounds more realistic.

Just in time for pipe

Ada gula, ada semut!

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 9:48am

Gidday Wesley, its basic really, despite the avalanche of drivel in the nutrition field.

First things first, which highlight the above.

'But here's the deal as of today: Kelly Slater is sitting in 18th spot on the CT and he's already dropped one result - he didn't go to Brazil because of a back 'injury', though the sceptics among us will note that he didn't go last year either and he's admitted it's his least favourite stop on tour.'

The above is pure bullshit, pure talking 'shit', a new idea, in women's day, or week, 'journalism'.

This is fact.

'Firstly, the facts are that his back was giving him real grief, it has been worsening, and after and during Margaret River, he discussed this with professionals and sought professional treatment in Australia.'

But, as you can see, its not hard to print and sell 'shit'.

If you have been in the health and fitness industry a long, long time, you see it is no different to any other dollar driven activity. People are just a product of our culture, robotically driven to make a buck. Constantly figuring out how to make a buck. What to sell to the punters? Trying to invent 'shit', value add 'shit', to bottom line, make a buck. 'New' sells. Emotion sells, crowd control sells, belonging sells, even if its 'shit'. Adolph's dream come true. Nutrition is no different.

But there are basic facts. It boils down to are you anabolic, or catabolic. And juggling that ratio. Hormones rule. Hilariously the 'new', is surfacing again, for about the fourth time, and the role of hormones is again being 'questioned'. Stupidity in white coats. Again. Any athlete wanting to build tissue and bone, and nervous system, following slater's diet would fail dismally. So, the facts are he is perpetually injured. No where near enough building blocks.

People are suckers, like larry lee. Knee jerks. Slater is only young, and he's going to end up on the commodity junk pile, like all the other crippled 'athletes'. Another worn out product left to deal with another 40 or so years 'results' of 'intelligent', 'professional', 'fitness training' (sic) that made them so 'fit' and 'healthy', that it forced them to cease, and retire injured and crippled. Dumb, beyond all dumbness.

Look how fit that tour de france guy is! That guy is in reality a fucking mess. The hormone and bone density profile of an aged care patient.

Building muscle, bone, attachments, nervous system, blood etc, etc, etc requires an ever evolving nutrition plan to match the growth, and all that means. 2 bricks, the building blocks, will only ever be two bricks. If you want to build something more, you need more bricks. So basic. So many idiots. Constantly running around getting their 'bloods' done. I wonder if its glandular fever? Maybe a new mystery virus? Maybe chronic fatigue? They reckon...

Building blocks are protein, fat. Saturated fat... hormones rule. Carbs are fuel. Vitamins and minerals are catalysts. Hormones rule. Cholesterol rules. It makes human life. The new idiots are arguing again. Da, do awl vem sthtewoid dwugs weawy do ennyfink? Fucking idiots. Another one on the pile. Neeeeeeeexxxxxxxttttttttt!!!

wesley's picture
wesley's picture
wesley commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:23am

Ok well nuts have plenty of protein and good fats don't they? Chia has amino acids etc and omega 3? Gluten free appears to work for some people and surely cutting right back on added sugar is one of the best things anyone can do? I'm not winding you up it's just that you always hear how fabulous Kelly Slater's diet is and how well he looks after himself etc etc. I've never really read anything that said he's doing a shit job of taking care of himself so am curious about your point of view.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:04am

Sounds like the eggs have gone to your head, Herc. There are only two facts in that statement:

1) He didn't go to Brazil last year.

2) He's admitted it's his least favourite stop on tour.

And both are correct.

Nexxxxxxtt...

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:09am

Desperation. Your 'skeptical' allusion is clearly there to see. You fucked up. He was genuinely injured, genuinely sought treatment. Despite trying to sell 'skeptical' bullshit.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:12am

Who to believe ?

The most accomplished athlete of all time with his unprecedented longevity and unquestionable physicality coupled with his questioning and skeptical mind and his access to every expert in the world .

Vs

The bloke that posted a shot of himself taking a stiff legged pin drop on a four foot wave as evidence of his longevity ?

It's a hard one....

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:13am

Another crippled, and by his own admission, chubby, half blind, psychotic knee jerk. And its a soft one.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:17am

And I still surf better than you did at my age .

Which admittedly ain't a very high bar to leap, but there you go.

Im in the camp that hopes Slater doesn't retire. I don't care if he's not dominating beachie s as long as he's legitimately making the cut same as anyone else. Let's see how far he can go . It's inspirational .

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 10:45am

Either way, it's a shame. Would have been great to see him tear into double OH J'bay.

Shame he'll miss Chopes too, he rocks out there when it's big.

Ignorance is Zen

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 12:52pm

Thank goodness, the squwarking, terrified flock has settled. Their little hearts pounding!

Wesley, the idea is that nutrition and training prevent, and heal injury. It shouldn't cause or perpetuate it. Slater is a business. Injury, especially non healing, long term multiple, perpetuated injuries are hard to sell. So you don't hear a lot about it. Although, gotta hand it to him, the meta toe story will attract buyers. In the same vein, although an entirely different scenario, armstrong sold gazzillions of nutrition and training advice pearls of wisdom. He just left out the real secret truth. Suckers are born every second. Deep down they still love even lance. They need it all to be safe. The 'king'.

I train a lady that does this sort of thing all the time. In her 50's. She was one of the few finishers in the 75km event.

http://marathons.ahotu.com/event/buckley-s-chance-survival-off-trail-events

'Fuego y Agua’s signature Survival Runs take that extreme experience one step further, producing the ultimate hybrid event where the world’s best obstacle racers, sky runners, adventure racers, trail runners, survivalists and military personnel go head to head in a battle of mental, physical and emotional endurance.

'NOTE: The 75km Survival Run is an application onlyn limited place event. Please purchase a registration ticket and an application pack will be sent through to you. Successful applicants should be prepared to spend a minimum of 24hrs on course.'

She has completed ultra marathons in Antartica, Mt Everest, and is a world ranked triathlete. She is heading off to climb the world's most dangerous mountain in a few weeks.

She would collapse, especially in the gym, in no time if she ate anything like slater. That's a simple fact. Make what you want of it.

I also hope that slater figures out how to get stronger, get anabolic, and heal. I hate seeing the endless pile of athletes retire crippled. Fitness training?

MR won world titles with a fucked back. Briley ruled pipe. Reynolds is king. Surfing as a fitness routine isn't that good for you, worse than most. Look at the endless, ever growing list of complaints, in all ages, on this site alone. Eyes, ears, shoulders, necks, weight problems, backs, skin, knees, elbows, ankles, wrists, hips, viruses, malaria, mystery red mists, one knee jerk has the whole lot! Even though he is a reflex trained heavy bag crunching, shredding bleeder! So you had better balance that if you surf. Or don't. Our 'health' system is already completely swamped though.

wesley's picture
wesley's picture
wesley commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 1:39pm

Ok my understanding of anabolic/catabolic is pretty basic. Would you say that he is eating the wrong foods or just not enough to fuel activity and help repair muscle/tissues/bone density? Also, how do vegetarians go with this sort of stuff?

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 1:58pm

Vegetarian is more difficult. I am to an extent, so I have figured a lot out in that area, because I don't eat anything that you have to kill. That is a difficult one re eggs. But I eat any milk product. I have to go and train people but will try and put more later. Cholesterol is a comedy of laughs. Ask 99% people what it is, they haven't a clue. Hilarious shit. They literally fear their whole body.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 2:05pm

Pretty sure that you kill plants in order to eat them.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 2:34pm

I know little about nutrition and health but i know one thing, if humans weren't meant to eat meat, it wouldn't taste so good.

That may seem like a joke, but there is truth in it there is nothing in the world that is made by nature that humans eat that taste good that we are not suppose to eat.

Ada gula, ada semut!

wesley's picture
wesley's picture
wesley commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 3:09pm

Sugar is an interesting one though mate.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 3:34pm

Not at all sugar is totally natural, things like fruit are sweet on purpose to attract animals and humans to eat the fruit hence spreading the seed to different locations ensuring the survival of the tree that grows the fruit.

Sugar is only a problem when eaten in excess especially in foods that are not natural like Sweet drinks and food very high in sugar and even fruits now that have very high sugar content are not actually natural they have been selected over generations and bred to be much sweeter.

Ada gula, ada semut!

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Friday, 13 Oct 2017 at 7:52pm

Sometims i wish we could eat and survive on grass or leaves like koalas and cows. you could go anywhere and survive.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 3:13pm

Regardless, not a good one for him. Thats a serious compound fracture. They are crunched. Im sure he can come back but not this year. Next year, would love to see him back but geez, there has been some great surfing at J Bay. The kids are catching up and overtaking on their day. It would be an opportune time. Pipe - what a place for swan song.

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 3:54pm

Just going on a friend of mine who had a simular breaks and knowing how long
it took him to fully recover I would say Slater is finished.

IF im not surfing im racing

fengzhu's picture
fengzhu's picture
fengzhu commented Friday, 13 Oct 2017 at 9:53am

There is no better commitment or passion than trying your best regardless of age or any other challenges in life. Quitting is the easiest thing to do. Saying no to retirement is the truest grit.