Kelly Slater's Opinions

  • 04.16.2021

Kelly Slater

Yesterday, after winning his first round heat at the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast, Kelly Slater went for a long paddle. Rather than come in at the end of the Rainbow Bay bank where the contest was being held and walk back up to Snapper (which could easily have turned into an hour-long exercise, thanks to fans), Kelly chose to paddle back out to the point, through a whole lot of moving water, and come in at Snapper. When he got in, he was met with the usual swarm of autograph-hunters and media. With 20 personal recording devices pointed a little too closely at his face, Kelly lit up on the tour, his recent interview about performance-enhancing drugs, and Dane Reynolds. He was lucid and intriguing. If you’re like us, you’ll be interested in everything he said. So, here it is. All of it.

On keeping up on tour: It’s spread out to a point where guys are older. The average age on tour has gone up and I don’t see why guys should get worse as they get older. Maybe at a certain point, like by the time you’re 50 and you start having chronic injuries, that’s gonna hold you back. But also it’s a mental thing. There’s a lot to keeping your mind open. You have to really get into the changes. When you’re not looking ahead to guys older than you anymore, you’re looking to guys younger than you for inspiration. You have to be open to that dynamic.

On competing against Dane: I’m just trying to hold on against Dane. He hasn’t beaten me and that’s only because I end up getting the better waves. I think that proves that it doesn’t come down to surfing, ’cause Dane’s pretty much everybody’s favourite surfer. Heats are a different thing, there’s technical things, and to be honest I don’t think Dane wants it for the same reason that people do, competitively. He likes to perform and that’s the beauty of Dane. It’s not his contest results, it’s the beauty of his expression. I love surfing against him, I wish I could surf against him at every event. But I know he’d start smashing me.

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  • 04.16.2021