Gallery: Kelly Slater Breaks Foot At J-Bay
A highline to closeout tube means Kelly now has to fly 30 hours to the US for surgery. Stab is on the scene.
After a relatively slow start to his competitive year, Kelly Slater was looking in peak shape and performance this week out at Supertubes, South Africa. He looked to be a contender to take the win from Jeffreys. All that was before he pulled into a warped barrel up at Boneyards and damaged his back (right) foot.
While Kolohe Andino and Jadson Andre battled it out in the fourth heat of round two to stay in the competition, in-form Slater was tearing up the heavier waves atop the point at Boneyards. Paddling for a bigger one, Slater stood up tall, highlining the first few sections before driving into the infamously heavy end section of Boneyards. "I thought about jumping off," commented Kelly, "but I drove deep inside and got hit by a shock-wave of whitewater which exploded back against the back of my board, and right foot. I think there is a hole in my board where my foot was forced through it. I think I've broken my metatarsals."
The fateful highline.
Moments later Kelly was seen struggling over the rocks in obvious pain. A local surfer (and the man behind the opulent contest build) Donovan Zoetmulder, photographer Maarten van de Velde and I assisted Kelly to the beach and on up to Grant Twiggy Baker's aunt and ex-Billabong Africa CEO Cheron Kraak's home under arm and shoulder. Kelly unable to put pressure on his back foot. Twiggy on site for the same heavy surf and to watch the comp promptly instructed his wife Kate to get ice while he fetched a pair of scissors to cut Kelly's suit for ease of removal - much to Kelly's disappointment.
After a quick phone call the crew from WSL - together with local charger and man overseeing everything for the event Koffie Jacobs, arrived with paramedics to assess and transport Kelly to the local hospital for X-rays.
Kelly will be out for Chopes.
Sitting quietly alone after getting warm, Kelly looked up at a set unloading on the point into the contest area. With ice on his foot he leaned down with his hand over his forehead, processing what this injury meant before posting to Instagram:
You ever folded your entire foot backwards? If you try it sometime, this is what it might look like. I pulled into a barrel this morning and the whitewash bounced the board back into my foot as I hit the closeout, taking all the pressure into the metatarsals. Kinda like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can. Sorta feels like I'm giving birth out of my foot right now! I'm guessing surgery and 6 week holiday is in order. Not looking forward to 30 hour flight home before surgery though. Ouch! It sucks but so many people deal with such horrible things around this world every day that a broken foot is pretty minor in the scheme of things. Sometimes a bad thing is a good thing. I'll make the best of my time off. #ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark#INeedElephantTranquilizers
That means Kelly is definitely out of Teahupoo and the Lowers world tour event is a dubious one.
The broken foot of surfing's most dominant competitor.