“Grandpa” Slater Is Not Fucking Around In 2020
This will be his 30th year on the Championship Tour, and still he’s playing mind games.
We’ll save you two minutes: “I’m gonna give her another run on tour this year.”
That’s the takeaway from the newest installment of Peter King’s TourNotes in which Kelly Slater makes his most emphatic commitment yet to his 2020 agenda.
Testing boards at Haleiwa, the king appears to be in a good headspace with the right equipment under foot. In a chippy bit of banter in the beachpark, Leo Fioravanti calls him “grandpa,” while Kanoa Igarashi chirps about Slater playing head games in the lineup. Clearly, Slater owns the space between Kanoa’s ears — a fact which seems lost on Kanoa.
And we’re calling bullshit on Leo’s grandpa quip. At 48 years old, Slater still surfs better than Leo. Period. End of story. Leo may have spent more time at Gucci shows this offseason, but Slater’s been surfing … a lot.
Maybe this is the year of the Italian Stallion and we’ll eat crow. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, for the last 30 years, Slater’s been fucking up every generation that’s dared to step to him. Leo and Kanoa would be best served wiping those shit-eating grins off their faces because Slater appears intent on give number 12 a serious run.
Based on Instagram fodder, for most of the offseason Slater’s been on the North Shore, dialing in his equipment, getting into a good flow state, feasting on chia seeds, that kind of thing. He freely admits that last year was a challenge and that he’s in a much better space now.
And here’s the rub, Slater’s always done his best surfing when he’s happy, things are good in his personal life and he can just surf. Think “Letting Go” a la 2005. For him, age is a mere number.
He finished 8th in the world last year, admitting he was in a “dark place” at the start of the season. Twelve months later, he’s got the injury well behind him and, in the words of Herbie Fletcher, the thrill is back, man!
Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine
Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.
The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo
Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast
Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.
Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”
"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…
How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months
Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.
Sweeter Than Stolen Honey
A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.
15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event
And Clay Marzo takes the dub.
Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way?
The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.
The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together
Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.
Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave
Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge
A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…
First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards
Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?
How Boardshorts Work
They are your one chance to look cool while actually surfing. Don’t blow it.
A Surf/Snow/Music Fez In The Heart Of Melbourne
URBNSURF is throwing an action-sports/live music DOOF this month and Stab Premium members are getting…
Peace, Love, And Mung Beans: 7 Things I Learned From Mick Fanning
Ranging from surf travel hacks to philosophy to jingle lyrics.