No, Kelly Slater is not retiring (yet)
By Elliot Struck
This morning, Kelly Slater announced his retirement from professional competitive surfing.
Currently, I’d be quivering in a ball on my Ikea rug, tears of mascara staining my cheeks, were it not for one thing: It’s April 1 in the US, aka April Fool’s Day.
Last year, Mr Slater announced to the world, on this very same day, that he was parting ways with Quiksilver after 24 years with the brand (signed before Filly Toledo was born!) – and that one turned out to be legitimate. Amazingly, April Fool’s just happened to fall on the same date that Kelly’s contract ended.
In this age of “Lemme just ‘gram that” it’s hardly unusual for Kelly to make big announcements to his adoring public via the image-sharing smart phone application (don’t we live in a strange nu-world!); He’s dropped bombs on us like the Quiksilver departure, the purchase of options to a story about weed smuggling, his new line of furniture for kids (more on that below) and various others. So, his post this morning was convincing:
“Big decisions in life don't come easy and it's taken a lot of quiet time and personal introspection to come to this conclusion...The #RipCurlPro was the first event I surfed on tour and it's fitting that this will be my last @wsl. There are too many people to thank and memories to go over but here's to hoping I can pull a rabbit out of the hat and win one last event this week.”
But if I know Kelly as well as I think I do (which is not at all… Kelly if you’re reading this, can we be pals?), he loves the retirement conversation, and taking his Jedi tricks beyond heats, out into the world, and trolling the shit out of all one million of the people who turned the blue button on his profile green.
There’s also that cheeky little #HappyApril1stEveryoneBackHome at the bottom of his post.
Plus, like, we checked with some people who’d know. “We have received no word, officially or unofficially, that Kelly is retiring after the Rip Curl Pro,” said the WSL’s Dave Prodan. "That said, it'd be appropriate to add that Kelly breaking news on Instagram is not unprecedented. We'll all wait and see how he feels on April 2."
And, Stephen Bell, Kelly’s long-time pal and international Quiksilver team manager, told Stab: “I haven’t seen the post yet, he hasn’t said anything to me, but… take a look at the date.”
And! Kelly ain’t going out on waveless Bells Beach when the Pacific leg is still to be consumed. C’mon.
But if it’s so obvious that this is an April Fool’s, why are you even reading this? Because it’s Kelly Fucking Slater and surfing without him isn’t quite surfing (at least until the new emperor finds his groove). That star’s way yet to fade.
Oh! And… Kelly designing environmentally-chill furniture for PBTeen is officially a thing. See: