Stab Magazine | Has Kelly Slater Been Night Surfing To Get The Edge On The Rest Of The Pack?

Has Kelly Slater Been Night Surfing To Get The Edge On The Rest Of The Pack?

Gossip Girl: Dispelling rumours poolside at The Surf Ranch Pro

news // Sep 8, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the first round got underway yesterday at Surf Ranch, the commentary team made note, as Kelly Slater pushed through a few frontside hooks and ducked into another barrel, as we’ve seen him do now hundreds and hundreds of times, that Kelly’s familiarity in the pool wasn’t as much of an advantage anymore, given the rest of the World Tour had all taken plenty of practice swings in the pool over the last year or two. 

Sitting atop the leaderboard, Kelly got in the commentator’s booth later in the afternoon, and doubled down on the commentator’s dismissal of his perceived home field advantage. 

“You know, I don’t get to surf it as much as people probably think,” Kelly said. “I’m here a lot, but it doesn’t mean I’m in the pool surfing. A lot of people have surfed it as much or maybe even more than I have now. I mean, Steph’s gotten to surf it a lot…”

While countless visitors to the pool have returned with stories of Kelly’s unshakable habit insisting on the first wave of each day—the cleanest, squarest, most pristine—none of our colleagues have returned claiming a Slater sighting and no waves ridden. 

Sitting poolside yesterday, a couple chirpy birds tweeted in our ears: “Bullshit. Kelly’s been studying everyone’s warm-ups, and surfing at night when no-one else is around.” 

Imagine, the elder watching on during the day, taking notes of the lines surfers half his age are taking on his creation, which sections they’re flaring on—and, not wanting the prying eyes to see his potentially failed attempts, waiting for the cover of darkness to flip the lights on and try his 46-year-old hand. 

We hit Kelly to dispel the chatter. 

“No Night surfing. Fake news,” Kelly tells Stab. “They wouldn’t possibly let anyone. Strider keeps trying to push for it, though… Eventually we will get lights and surf at night. But the only lights now are on the wrong side of the foil. Need them on the beach side or you get blinded.”




Bathing beauty Strider Wasilewski, dreaming of manufactured drainers under starry skies.


Sam Moody.

So no secret late-night training sessions under the Friday Night Lights, burning the midnight oil to get the competitive edge?  

“Totally false. That would be lame of me to pull shit like that. I can practice when I need. It wouldn’t be fair as a competitor to do that. If I wasn’t in the know and able to have something like that as a possibility and it happened with someone else I would feel wrongly done. But don’t let the truth get in the way! Haha.”



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