It’s good to be king. The surfing world is all things Slater right now, and for good reason. Since winning his 9th world championship last week in Mundaka there has been an absolute whirlwind of fresh press popping up regarding Kelly’s run. The chatter surrounding Quiksilver’s offering Kelly Slater a $10,000,000 bonus for winning #10 started long before he took to the water for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast to kick-off his campaign for #9.
Kelly accomplishing that remarkable feat in Spain last week has eliminated the variable from the issue and turned speculation into a legitimate question. While it’s still officially unknown whether or not Quiksilver has thrown out such an offer, the mere fact that this is even a consideration is unreal. I would be through the roof if someone was even considering paying me $10 to surf the best waves around the world for a year, let alone $10 million.
Surfer Mag’s Chris Mauro penned a solid Kelly piece that sheds some light into just where Kelly is at in his career and puts into perspective the fact that he has reached a point of dominance at 36 yrs. of age. Will a 36-year-old Andy Irons have it in him to win a title in 2014? Will a 36-year-old Mick Fanning have it in him to win another one in 2017? Will Jordy perhaps stand a chance in 2024? I guess anything is possible, but the chances of it being their 9th world championship for any of the surfers mentioned by Mauro are, at best, very slim. Especially given Irons apparent disinterest in the tour at the moment.
Surfing guru and WQS Tour Manager Al Hunt brought up an interesting comparison between Slater and his reign and Lance Armstrong’s 7 Tour de France victories. Over the past few weeks that have led up to Slater’s #9, stories of Armstrong’s return to cycling and the drama surrounding that have far outnumbered any mentions of Slater’s utter dominance in competitive surfing. It’s never really bothered me that networks like ESPN don’t as much of a mention in respect to Slater. I’ve just never really understood the rationale behind it.
Apparently there is more of an interest is an MMA brawler named Kimbo Slice getting knocked cold in 14 seconds then Kelly Slater winning his 9th world championship in a 16 year span. It’s too bad, but for whatever the reason the vast majority of news/sports networks would rather cover some big dude get pummeled for a few seconds over the brilliant performance that took place in Kelly’s title-clinching heat (pay attention to the 00:45 second mark, how he pulls off that floater is still beyond me)
Regardless of how the rest of the world regards Kelly Slater and what he is accomplishing, the surfing community is well aware of just how incredible what we are witnessing Slater do really is.
It’s definitely good to be king, but right now, it’s even better to be Kelly Slater.
Posted by Shaun on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 in Surfing.