Kelly Slater to miss Keramas

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

It's a tale of two camps: Right now the CT surfers are squatting in rice paddies around Keramas waiting for the Bali Pro to begin, while the XL Lords are winging in to Fiji for the mother of all swells.

So what happens if you've got an umbilical connection to Cloudbreak, yet you're contracted to surf the CT?

Well, if you're Kelly Slater then you blow off professional obligations, maybe withdrawal through...ahem, injury, as if Bali was Brazil, and then it's next stop Nadi.

What, me worry?

Kelly's photographer, Todd Glaser, is currently on Tavarua and was expecting Slater to arrive this morning. He missed his flight and will now arrive tomorrow.

Word is, Slater wanted to be at Cloudbreak for what could be a historic swell. He'll be joined in the water by a roll call of XL surfers with both Tavarua and Namotu booked solid.

PS: Word from Tavy was that Restaurants was 6-8ft this afternoon and roaring.

Comments

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 5:51pm

Yes !
How many others will be a NO show for Keramas i wonder
Im calling JJF as a no show ?

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 5:50pm

If you had a spare $5000 and some big boards (and skills and balls). I could imagine, though, that the atmosphere at Tavarua and Namotu might be cloyingly over-amped and testosterone laden.

And back to the main issue: how much slack will WSL cut Slater?

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 5:55pm

I thought after all the bullshit hype withy that stupid swimming pool gimmick
Slater would never want to leave fresh water. Yes real waves real water and real
elements will even drag him out of his wonder pool.
Say no more.

IF im not surfing im racing

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 6:01pm

Slater is the WSL......but i cant stand the bullshit about his injury stopping him from competing ........Kelly retire and do your thing but stop playing your game ...should have retired a couple years ago.

simba

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 6:35am

Totally agree, its actually boring now - almost feels like he is afraid of not being relevant/in the discussion but comp surfing has left him behind (still probably best on planet in truly pumping surf)

B Dub

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 6:10pm

So a comp requires max 100 minutes a day surfing. How many hours a day will Kelly put in at CB?
Lost a lot of respect for him lately, that founders cup look at me was pathetic.
Just retire, mate.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 7:13pm

What a total Croc Slats is turning out to be. Seriously the WSL should call him out as retired because that is what he is. The bullshit games of I'm injured then surfing around the world, then surfing his own event and this. Truck you Kelly, stop being a dick. Move on. If WSL let him surf the pond event then there should be a riot. Give his spot to someone else, it's not like he can win even in his own pool.

knB

stickyson's picture
stickyson's picture
stickyson commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 7:20pm

Why call him out for wanting to go surfing!!! Obviously the WSL still need him as a drawcard so if they haven't got the balls to call him out why would you go to a third world country and surf with the plastic and pollution when you can catch the swell of a lifetime. Or in KS life just another swell of a lifetime.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 7:21pm

Good decision. Go Kelly

johnson's picture
johnson's picture
johnson commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 8:22pm

I guess even pro surfers have to chuck a sickie when the surf is pumping. Anyone who's criticising Kelly for this is either a hypocrite, or not a real surfer!

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 9:08pm

+1 on this comment.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 8:52pm

No ones saying he shouldn't go and hell i want to see him surf huge cloud break but hes supposed to be doing the tour remember ,hes a fukin bull shiter.........if he dosen't want to be on tour ...retire....simple.

simba

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 8:57pm

Yep, it's the 'I'm rehabbing my foot' lie that is off putting. Just be honest.

FunkyCole's picture
FunkyCole's picture
FunkyCole commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 11:08pm

mate, i'm pretty sure YOUR saying he shouldn't go. Kelly+max cloudbreak? stop hating buddy

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 12:33am

You don’t see Federer pick and choose his tournaments. Do you?

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:52am

Actually goofyfoot I think you’ll find that the Fed has been a lot more selective in his older years, same as Tiger (wouldn’t call tiger old for a golfer but again his body is cooked,) Usain Bolt, Chris Mayne etc ... maybe it is a right you earn??

mredhill's picture
mredhill's picture
mredhill commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 12:53pm

Umm, well, actually he does...especially now which is why he's still at or around the top, relevant and winning Grand Slams. That said, it frustrates me too but Kelly is just doing what the system allows him to do.

Redrum

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 2:00pm

I need to watch more tennis!

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 2:54pm

I think your point stands. WSL has what 10 events?
Tennis there is more than 50 ATP events, with 4 grand slams. More like the QS where you pick and choose the events to get the most points, with different events being scaled to be worth more than others. e.g. They have 250, 500 and 1000 point tournaments.

Every player has to pick and choose because you can't play them all.

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 8:55pm

So if you were Kelly and had a choice between surfing in yet another surf comp in the sort of waves you’ve spent half your life riding, or surfing one of your favourite waves in what could be absolutely epic conditions with your buddies, what would you do? Bet you’d be on your way to Fiji. Who hasn’t bailed on few important things in persuit of the perfect surf. It’s all relative.

SoCal Steve's picture
SoCal Steve's picture
SoCal Steve commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 3:55am

If any of us had the kind of options Kelly has as a career "surfer", we would likely make the same decisions he can make.

adamm's picture
adamm's picture
adamm commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:51am

Competitive surfing and freesurfing surely place totally different stresses on your body. It’s feasible to be physically fit for a big wave session, but not at the peak of your fitness for small wave WSL Comp ripping.

Besides, if you COULD surf giant cloudbreak why the fuck wouldn’t you? 4 foot Keramas can happen any old day. 15+ cloudbreak is a rarity.

Duesouth's picture
Duesouth's picture
Duesouth commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:54am

Kelly deserves to have his cake and eat it, you can’t compare surfing and tennis. I like it how he gives the finger to the wsl

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:08am

Not giving the middle finger to the WSL - hell, his manager runs the thing. It appears he's just taking whatever liberties he can get away with.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:57am

I think a few people are missing the point.

If Kelly has committed to the Tour for a year, then if he's fit enough then he should surf every scheduled event. If he doesn't want to surf every event, that's fine. But why not then move aside permanently and allow someone else a slot on the tour?

This isn't a debate as to whether someone of his calibre should 'chase the swell of a decade' instead of heading to Bali. If that's the case, then why doesn't the rest of the tour also drop their Keramas obligations and fly to Fiji?

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:07am

Completely agree. By all means go chase a amazing swell but stop pretending you are in any way committed to competing or the tour.

knB

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:12am

I think we were typing at the same time :-) (@ Ben)

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:09am

If I was the WSL I'd take the emotion out of it and say there's now sufficient evidence that he can't receive a season long injury replacement ticket for 2019 so if he doesn't get the 20,000 odd points to qualify for 2019 in the remaining events he's off the tour, simple. I'm sure they'll give him the odd event specific wildcard but that's neither here nor there. It's not like he'll do the QS. He's a great champion but can't help of think of the team sport analogy where he's now keeping a young bloke off the team (ie tour).

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:09am

I'd go a step further and remove his spot this year. It's plane obvious he only is only interested in surfing his pool event so he can have a repeat look at me look at me for the first WSL pond skim

knB

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:19am

Even then I thought it was kind of symbolic that when it came down to it he couldn't match Jordy on the last wave shoot out. Jordy no spring chicken now and imagine what Felipe will do to the pool when he fully nails it ;-)

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 8:36am

Kelly can do what he likes, he has nothing left to prove or lose, I’m sure if Cloudbreak wasn’t going to be on, he would be happy to surf Keramas with just one or two other guys. If the WSL fine him or whatever I’m sure he will say it’s worth it, if he doesn’t get a free pass or whatever because of his foot and has to try to requalify, I’m sure he will just call it a day.

Anyone that says he should have retired years ago because his chances of clinching another world tittle are slim, well the reality is he has still finished top ten every other year and even at his age is still a better chance than half the guys on tour to win a comp especially in good waves or even a tittle (even if very slim) he is also making history every event he surfs and getting paid to surf generally good uncrowded waves.

It’s always a win win for Kelly better to go and know than not and not know and when he does decide to end it or if he is forced to end it, he is always going to hold his head up high, it’s kind of hard to ever see there being a greater surfer or another achieving what he has not just the world tittles or wins or his age, just the way he has changed surfing through his approach and board design and yeah even first to show the world it’s possible to create a decent wave that is man made.

PS. Let’s also remember Fiji got canned from the tour this year, so has the bonus of making a statement of how important it is as a surfer for him to surf one of the best waves in the world comp or no comp.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 2:16pm

Pretty well my sentiments exactly I.D.

Plus.......the WSL needs Slater a lot more than he needs them and I'm sure they know it hence cutting him a lot of slack.

shorebreak's picture
shorebreak's picture
shorebreak commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 9:12am

Truely over the KS self centred Show, Kelly please gracefully step aside from the WSL, and give someone else a go.

rj-davey's picture
rj-davey's picture
rj-davey commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 10:35am

Work is in Bali atm and Kelly is chucking a sickie. Good on him. He's earnt it. As with anyone rorting the system it's up to the employer to rein it in. As for those kids allegedly being kept off tour cos he's overstaying his welcome, they will get their shot on the big stage. If they're good enough they'll keep him out but I suspect they're not. He may not consistently best the top 5-10 anymore but he'd certainly pants the bottom half of the pack every day of the week. He deserves his place.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 10:55am

Who gives a flying fuck, it's his life to do whatever the fuck he wants.

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 11:20am

Fullfilling his last 2 years of his contract for the OK pro in Fiji ;) Go Slater. I would too if 15 foot Cloudbreak was my thing. Every keen surfer chucks a sickie or 5 during a work year. Isn't that in our DNA?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 1:13pm

Yeah, but we also haven't spent the last two decades strongly advocating for pro surfing to be taken seriously as a sport.

FunkyCole's picture
FunkyCole's picture
FunkyCole commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:11pm

I'm guessing u spent the last two decades bitching

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:43pm

C'mon mate, you can do better than that.

pittsy's picture
pittsy's picture
pittsy commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 12:22pm

for those who don't mind a flutter, Griffin @ 2.40 against Ace and whoever fills in for baldy seems pretty good.

*gamble responsibly

mackdog's picture
mackdog's picture
mackdog commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 1:08pm

I’m fairly sure I recall the big CB swell in 2012, Slater sat it out saying he doesn’t get paid to surf waves that big.
Mick, Parko, Pat G and JJF all had a dig with the rest of the big wave paddle guys. Wouldn’t be surprised if he says he doesn’t get paid to surf in plastic laden Bali waves

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 1:41pm

Maybe he regrets it and making sure he doesn't miss the next similar swell.

carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 6:09pm

He surfed the morning and then sat it out in the arvo saying “something doesn’t feel right”. Nothing to do with money from my memory. A lot of the CT guys who didn’t surf got a lot of shit for it and he got pulled into that group cause he didn’t surf the afternoon.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 2:35pm

"PS. Let’s also remember Fiji got canned from the tour this year, so has the bonus of making a statement of how important it is as a surfer for him to surf one of the best waves in the world comp or no comp."

Lets remember why and how Fiji got canned from the Tour. It got canned because Slater reneged on a 3 year deal that he made to sponsor the comp, after only one year and then blamed the Fijian government.

Weak sauce.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 3:23pm

I rekon he should be like the rest of us 40 somthings, loosing his hair, bad back ,coupla old footy injuries starting to flare up but still having a dig when it pumps. And maybe even spend a bit more time in the front bar, blowing the froth of a couple and put the cue in the rack when it comes to the tour. Like me right now sittin back and bathing in the glory of days gone.

Mango Carafino's picture
Mango Carafino's picture
Mango Carafino commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 3:53pm

All KS will do is be a commentator in Fiji. KS has never had the balls to ride with the big boys who dream big walls of liquid water. All of KS limited big wave performances have been pushed upon him by his contractual commercial obligations. Compounding these facts, his foot is only well enough for the tidal push in the wave pool, completed by pain killer pills at the end of the day. The foot is not repaired enough for the swirl and unpredictability of the forces of Mother Ocean currently traveling towards the reefs of Fiji.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 27 May 2018 at 12:10am

Big wave surfing is a total different sport really but that said he is one of the very few to have won an Eddie Aikau.

Please Stunet just give me that ignore button for Crypto (Herc, uplift or whatever other names he has used)

Mango Carafino's picture
Mango Carafino's picture
Mango Carafino commented Sunday, 27 May 2018 at 1:09am

Thanks for the reply Indo dreaming; Indo Dreaming: KS contractual competitor for Quiksilver won a close race in the Eddie, a Quik event which goes back to my original statement posted of contractual commercial commitments. KS is not a big wave surfer unless he has been pressured to perform by commercial contractual obligations. To define big wave surfing, I am not referring to Tow in surfing. Specifically Cloud Break, where are the pics of KS in those conditions? As a habit, KS has never operated outside of his comfort zone.

Tazydevil's picture
Tazydevil's picture
Tazydevil commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 5:00pm

Isn't this just like calling in sick for work and going surfing? Come on guys, who on here can say they've never done that.

Hand butchering boards for fun.

Mitchman's picture
Mitchman's picture
Mitchman commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 5:13pm

I’d let him compete when and if he wants and hold a spot on tour for as long as he wants it. The bloke’s a bloody legend! Don’t be hating on him for missing an event and going surfing. He’ll be gone soon enough so enjoy the last period of his tour career and stop whinging ;)

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:24pm

Its all good and well what Slater does but to be fare he should of said at the beginning
of the season I wont be competing this year because of foot injury I know his injury
does take a year or more to heel properly . So take the year off give some other
competitor the slot and come back fully fit 2019 maybe make a deal to do Pipeline
as a wildcard but he strings WSL and public on.
If WSL could get Mikey Wright and Mason Ho full time on tour with their ability and
crowd pleasing antics the surfing world would move on from Kelly Slater and WSL
needs surfers like that because no matter what Kelly does he can not go on forever
and will leave a very big void to fill.

IF im not surfing im racing

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 7:55pm

I think he has earned the right to use maximum grey area of the rules. Should he though? I don't know!

What is his thought process on the subject?
Does he have a mission requiring him to hold onto the WCT?
Is he just finding it too hard to let go of the structure that has given him Father figures and family?

Perhaps it's not "too hard' but he needs to do it when the time is "just right". Knowing that he is a tactical thinker makes me wonder.... It would be nice to compete in the "Future of Olympic Surfing" in its first WCT contest.It might even be important for surfing?!?! Perhaps he want to retire but is being a touch selfless? Or simply tactical and sensible?

Probably the latter.

We love ya Slatz!!!

Billie

AaronS's picture
AaronS's picture
AaronS commented Saturday, 26 May 2018 at 9:10pm

From the WSL website - “First, Kelly Slater has again withdrawn, citing his ongoing foot injury..” & “Slater, meanwhile, expects to return to full competition mode in July, at the Corona Open J-Bay.”

I fully get Slater’s desire to chase epic swells but the fact that the WSL seem to think the rest of us won’t twig is pretty bizarre. As others above have suggested, how could surfing XXL Cloudbreak be good rehab for his foot? The WSL is a farce.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Sunday, 27 May 2018 at 5:55am

This is a bit like your colleague who starts developing a cough two weeks before scheduled to work over a weekend. Who takes all the sick leave he can get away with and lets someone else pick up the slack. Who is happy to ask for favours, but never returns one. I.e., a right c*nt.

It's pretty ugly (whoops, sorry), when someone blatantly plays the system, while lying through his teeth. And it grates, when it's someone who's seen as a leader, and indeed sees himself as a leader.

Slater is competing on a tour which he partly owns, sometimes in a pool which he partly owns, having close relationship with decision-makers. This should bring very close scrutiny from us and the surf media, and it demands very high standards. I'm not seeing those.

He's earned his spot on tour, and should just compete on it while he can and wants. It looks like he doesn't really want to anymore, but is possibly terrified of not being in the spotlight. Why not be honest, bow out, say thank you for the fish, and let someone else have a go. It won't be easy, but I bet you it'd be a relief for him. Nobody likes living a lie.

honest john's picture
honest john's picture
honest john commented Sunday, 27 May 2018 at 8:04am

He either wants to be on tour or no. Not fit enough for keramas but fit enough for a XXL cloudbreak swell. He'll end up taking a legitimate injury wild card at years end from someone who actually wants to compete and be there

HJ

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 9:41am

Kelly on Instagram last night:

"Today will never be forgotten. It was an honor to be in the presence of an ocean doing this. There is no better wave on this earth than #Cloudbreak. Lots of questions about competition and the event in Bali...Long story short, I am not on the level I want and need to be to compete. I did catch one really nice wave today, went straight perfectly well, and saw a hundred other good waves. When I’m ready, properly healed, and able to compete with the world’s best, I will."

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 1:40pm

Blah blah blah......lets remember that Kelly and his american Tavarua buddies kept Cloud Break locked up for their personal use and $ for years and years. Fijian locals and the all the fly ins couldn't have ever dreamed of surfing this wave 5 years ago. It was local surfers who fought for years to surf here and a unlikely Military commander come coup leader come PM who opened the place up.

knB

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 9:49am

All good, Slater can do what he likes but didn't he just compete with the worlds best at Lemoore?
Engineered it, in fact, so he would ride the last wave there?

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 9:53am

How to talk about someone's unreal wave and make it all about yourself :-)

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 1:42pm

Regular pattern lately. Look at me, look at me. JJ wins world title (look at me with JJ). Kelly gets beat in his own pool....look at me look at me.

knB

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 9:54am

I love the line: "I did catch one really nice wave today, went straight perfectly well".

Reminds me of that time I got home around 3am, and told my wife "I only had one beer at the pub, honest!".

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 1:42pm

and how about the guff to keep his WSL folk happy.

knB

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 28 May 2018 at 5:13pm

smoke and mirrors.....he will compete when he wants too...mmm......so he will do what ever the fuk he wants to.....in other words.

simba

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