Kelly Slater Apologises For Stealing Parko's Thunder
And a short tale about how Parko offered up his '99 J-Bay wildcard to a then retired Slater.
Joel Parkinson just surfed his last heat at J-Bay, and will be surfing his last ever heats in a jersey come Pipeline this December. But Parko wasn't the only one airing their retirement plans at Supertubes...
Kelly Slater (un)surprisingly dropped his retirement bombshell smack bang on top of Joel's live on the WSL broadcast; an announcement similar to when he landed a wavepool on Adriano's world title, or when he declared Jordy Smith the best surfer in the world moments after John won his first title, or even when he stole our hearts as Jimmy Slade on Baywatch.
While it might seem like Kelly's retirement announcement on the WSL broadcast was poorly timed – and possibly 18 months too early – his latest addition to his abundance of retirement claims was nothing of the malicious type. Despite these honest intentions, Kelly received a little splash of public backlash after his announcement.
In addition to the typical array of social media commentary, Dingo Morrison compared the retirement spiel to Filipe announcing he'll be retiring in 2040, and satirical Instazine, 'The Greenroom Times', alluded to Kelly spending a year on the QS before retirement.
After Parko's final heat out at J-Bay yesterday, Kelly took to Instagram to both celebrate Joel's career, as well as offer a small apology for what may have been interpreted as an egotistical attempt at re-shifting the focus back on himself.
"Congrats to @joelparko on an amazing career and showing us all how to carve and smooth it all out. I came to #JBay in 99 when I was off tour and didn’t have a wildcard into the then Billabong Pro. I saw Joel the night before the event and knowing I’d love to surf it, he offered me his wildcard. I’ve always had huge respect for Joel cause that showed me the kind of person he was so also a big thanks and I’ll never forget the gesture. He went on to win the event at 18 years old later that week. I’d first like to say congratulations to Joel for a long and successful career and also for his beautiful family. It was awesome to see his final JBay event as he’s one of the greatest to ever grace its long walls. Here’s to hoping we can get a last heat or two together before the year is out. #CheersParko!
"On a side note, if anyone took my mention of retiring at the end of next year as any disrespect for Joel’s moment, I‘d like to apologize. I’ve threatened to retire for ten years now and I was feeling inspired by Joel’s announcement was all and really didn’t think about it."
And despite Joel's kind-hearted offer, Paul Fisher (we highly recommend following @followthefishtv), the Aussie ex-pro surfer, turned part-time IG comedian and full-time musician, thinks Joel might've had other underlying intentions.
"@joelparko was never giving ya that wild card although it was a very nice gesture. Cunt was probably hoping you would say yes so he could tell ya to get fucked [insert a few laughing emojis] @kellyslater yeah the ladsssssss (sic)"
To which Kelly agreed, albeit a little more politely. "@followthefishtv hahaha. Guaranteed!"
Oh, and for the yanks and the rest of you out there who's appalled, "cunt" is the highest form of endearment down here in the great land of Oz. If anything, it's more offensive to call someone your "mate".
Now their dual retirements are all out in the open, let's just hope we get to see Kelly and Joel surf it out one more time this year, Kelly did say he'll be turning up to Chopes after all.