Kelly Slater Wants The Triple Crown, Will Attempt A Beach Sign-Up At Sunset
But first, he attempts to win Haleiwa.
Kelly Slater will soon surf his quarterfinal heat at the Haleiwa Pro.
Whether or not he will ride the 5’3 Cymatic, one cannot be sure. However, we do know that Kelly wants to win the event. He said as much in his post-heat interview, going so far as to declare Haleiwa as one of his favorite waves on the North Shore.
We now also know that, win or lose today, Slater wants to win the Triple Crown. In a recent chat, Slater revealed that he will attempt to surf in the Vans World Cup at Sunset despite not having an official slot in the event. That means he’ll be standing on the beach, twiddling his thumbs (likely on a phone screen), and hoping that whatever number of surfers are ahead of him in the queue don’t show up.
Kelly, the alternate!
There are a couple of sub-stories here.
First of all, the WSL reported yesterday that John Florence had applied for and was granted a wildcard slot into the Vans World Cup. This goes against all perceivable logic, as John is still nursing a knee injury and has nothing substantial to gain from competing at Sunset.
The ongoing narrative has been that John will attempt to be ready for Pipeline, reason being that he wants to protect his Olympic slot. Which makes perfect sense.
Surfing Sunset, does not. There’s no logical upshot for John. It’s all risk, almost no reward.
Armed with this info, we asked Nate Florence yesterday if John truly planned to surf in Sunset (or even Pipeline, for that matter), and he gave us the evasive, “John’s taking it day by day,” response. But if we can assume that John might not surf at Sunset, that could open up a spot for Slater.
Another potential slot could come from the South African Title-contender, Jordy Smith, who remains in California following his rib injury. According to inside sources, if Sunset starts tomorrow (which is likely), Jordy will not be back in time to surf his heat. Depending on how high up the ladder the WSL places Slater as an alternate, he could potentially take Jordy’s slot as well.
We’d be remiss to ignore Slater’s tumultuous relationship with Sunset. Over the years, Kelly has revealed that Sunset is not one of his choice haunts on the North Shore. As a result, he’s spent limited time out there in comparison to Pipe, Haleiwa, etc.
But that’s started to change this year.
“On that swell a couple weeks ago, when everyone was getting tubed on the west bowl, Kelly ripped out of his driveway and was like, ‘I’m going to Sunset!’” Nate Florence revealed. “I was like, what?! [laughs] I’ve never even seen him drive that direction.”
And that’s the beauty of Slater. He’s ever-evolving. Always in motion. Never predictable.
We’ll see how this story develops, but first, Haleiwa.
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