A few months back, veritable G.O.A.T., Kelly Slater, told the WSL in an interview that 2017 would effectively be his last “stab at a world title.” Days later the champ took to Instagram, as he often does, to explain in further detail his retirement plan. But in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times after being eliminated at the Volcom Pipe Pro, Slater walked back the idea that 2017 would be the last year he’ll be competing at all.
“People took it that way, but it’s not necessarily the case,” Slater told HB loc Joe Haakenson of the Times. “But I may pull back and just not do any full years. I don’t foresee myself stopping doing contests anytime soon, but that full tour thing might not be too appealing.”
Slater went on with more detail, and explained that in the years since he’s won a title (mind you these are years he’s finished second, second, fourth, ninth, and seventh), he’s felt like he’s sandbagging.
“If I feel healthy this year and give it my all and don’t win, then I doubt that I’ll do more full years,” he said. “I feel like I’ve put in four or five years just now where I honestly didn’t give a full effort. Not that I didn’t try when I was in heats, but it’s a lot of the preparation and mindset going into contests and being excited about it and finding a reason to want to win and to want to be where you’re at, even if the waves are terrible or you feel sick or you’re on the other side of the world and you have a family issue. You have to push past all that and want to be there and want to be prepared.”
In the interview with Haakenson, Kelly also discussed why he’ll probably never compete in a U.S. Open in HB again, why surf corporatism is a necessary evil, and finding the confidence to compete. Check out the full piece here.