Kelly Slater’s guide to the Internet
Words by Ali Klinkenberg Do you ever feel like you’re naught but a puppet on a string? We live in an age of uncensored information. Well, the information’s still censored, but there’s so much of it that what’s being censored by whom is so discombobulating that it’s hardly worth thinking about. This leaves the door […]
Words by Ali Klinkenberg
Do you ever feel like you’re naught but a puppet on a string? We live in an age of uncensored information. Well, the information’s still censored, but there’s so much of it that what’s being censored by whom is so discombobulating that it’s hardly worth thinking about. This leaves the door ajar for someone who’s been around the block and seen a thing or three, to royally take control and pull strings whatever which way they please. Enter one Robert Kelly Slater. Kelly’s clearly the most active and influential member of the surf community in the social media sphere, and doesn’t he have some fun with it. Kelly Slater is the Lord of the Trolls, and here’s the King’s key laws to rule them all:
Surfing will never see a better social media moment than this. Ever.
1. Aim high. Remember how on the first day of school, to gain respect you’re supposed to pick the biggest, meanest kid, jump him from behind, slam his head into the lockers, and flex your puny muscles of superiority? The same principle applies in jail, apparently. The Internet’s the same as school, and jail. It’s full of insecure savages who’ll do or say anything to render you weeping into your pillow, questioning your reason for existing. Kelly’s in the perfect position for a troll of being virtually un-mockable. What you gonna do, tell him he’s bald?
During his ascent to Lord of the Trolls, Kelly carefully analysed the most followed peeps of Instagram, and methodically picked his target. Number one’s Beyonce with an obscene 29.9 Million followers. But, she’s a woman, and, she black! That’s a one way ticket to being labelled a sexist, racist bigot. Numero two’s Kim Kardashian with a cool 29.8 Million. Again, a woman, and, she’s Armenian! Again, straight to Chateau D’if. It just so happens that one Justin Bieber’s the third most followed human of Instagram, with 24.9 Million followers. Perfect. White trash pecker-wood with more pennies than brain cells. KS finds pic, draws on intricate knowledge of nineties pop culture, “Sickest shot of Vanilla Ice.” Flawless.
This shit was even on major news channels. Oh, to be the champ and roll the earth around on your carpet like a marble.
2. Keep ’em guessing. Freedom of information leaves rife opportunity for conspiracy, and it’s no secret that Kelly Slater’s a big conspiracy theory fan. Kelly uses this enthusiasm to terrorise the surf world, and we’re all the richer for it. On April 1, 2014 (Australian time, because Kelly was in Australia), Kelly Slater announced that he was leaving Quiksilver, on Facebook. His contract ‘happened’ to be up that day, apparently, but you’d be naive to think that Kelly didn’t know exactly what would happen if he released the news on April Fool’s day. Chaos ensued, and Kelly loved it. This one, turned out to be true.
This year Kelly announced that he was retiring from competitive surfing. This time, on Instagram. It was April 2 in Australia, where Kelly was currently situated, but due to the slight tilt of the earth, it was still April 1 in the States. It’s a classic double bluff, but KS took it one step further. He knew that everyone would immediately think it was an April Fool’s prank. Which they did. But all it takes is one person to cast the invisible net of doubt to set thumbs a tap tappin’, “But Kelly’s in Australia, it’s not April Fool’s there anymore…”
Clockwise from top right: “Check it out, I went surfing and when I came in, #Fuckwit had autographed my car in wax!” “Sunny Garcia and I get our nutrition on at CostCo.” “If I were some sort of effeminate mannequin… I am getting into fashion, ya know.” “#CrowdSelfie on the 18th hole of the #PebbleBeachProAm today. I would’ve tagged everyone in this photo but I didn’t want to miss any of you so i hope you find your heads.”
3. Keep it real. No one likes a wealthy, successful, self-righteous prick. Do you follow Piers Morgan on twitter? Jeezus. No, KS knows how to take the Michel out of himself, and it’s one of his most endearing qualities. Remember folks, if the words don’t have faces, then it doesn’t hurt. So have some fun with it. Life’s not one big serious marathon, it’s a smorgasbord of fun runs, you’ll still get there in the end!
Note: 144 unread texts.
4. Trash talk, with a touch of class. Coco Chanel said that “the most courageous act is still to think for yourself, aloud,” and she invented the suntan, so if you’re going to listen to anyone… Kelly’s well and truly in control of his own voice. There’s no ‘kellyslater_official’ here. KS maintains a high level of dignity at all times, but when he’s baited, well he doesn’t hold back. It doesn’t matter who you are, how many Open’s you’ve won; If you poke the bear, he’ll bite ya.
When Kelly landed a 540, he posted the video of it with no caption. 68.7k people liked it. Straight power.
5. Keep up with the kids. Kelly Slater is the cultural chameleon. Part of Kelly’s longevity is undoubtedly due to his passion for evolution. He’s insubordinately talented on a surfboard, of that no troll can deny. But Kelly’s also got an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and it’s this that’s lead him to his current position atop the Internet. Kelly’s got the whole of the surfing world eating out of his palm. All it takes is one post to set the surf site numbers spinning. It takes a long time to become young, and KS is getting younger by the day. God bless you Kelly Slater, I don’t know what we’d do without you.
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