This Week In Surfing: The End of Kelly Slater & Life Itself? Quik Parts Ways With The Eddie? Plus Dreamy Sri Lanka
Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was November 4, 2016
1.Kelly Slater Is Going To Retire
Can you imagine a CT year without Kelly Slater?
"Umm, yeah," you reply, "1999 to 2001, man. He took those years off. It's really easy to imagine." Ahhh, you ruined my intro. Anyway, I'll try again.
Can you imagine a CT year without Kelly Slater? Well, as hard as that is to do (sigh) it's going to happen and happen soon This week Kelly Slater kind of announced his retirement saying in an interview on the WSL site, and on his own personal Instagram, that he's going for one last crack at the title in 2017. His Instagram caption read "next year I'm gonna get my shit (and my body) together for real and see if I can make a last run at a title. Then I'll go find the best waves on earth 'til my last day before" blah blah bah, you get it.
So next year will be his last on the tour full time, his last shot at a title. Wow. And after more than 20 years on the tour, giving it his all, producing the best performances in the history of the sport and culture, entertaining us, and representing us as a community so gracefully to the rest of the world to no end, let's say this to Kelly in tribute: Who do you think you are, mate? You don't get to take a break. My dad worked as an accountant till he was 70 years old. Retiring at 45 years old? Pfffft, you slacker! Get back out there.
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The idea of Kelly winning another World Title is really not a far-fetched one. All he needs is good waves. If Huey comes to the party, and provides good conditions for the majority of events, it's no question that Slater will be in the mix. But if it's 2-foot and sloppy and off again on again, the fighting junk yard dogs of the WSL will have it over him, easy.
Just check back to the Tahiti comp for proof of that, one of the most dominant performances ever, in a year where the greatest of all time looked pretty rubbish (by GOAT standards) for more than most of it. Here're those stats again:
– There were 36 waves scored 9 or above at the Billabong Pro Tahiti this year. Kelly Slater had ten of those.
– There were six 10s in that competition. Kelly had four of those babies too.
– Kelly's average heat score was the ridiculously high 18.6. To put that into context, that heat score would have won every single heat Kelly wasn't in except for one
So yeah, a Kelly Slater 2017 Title, if the waves are there then why not? (Because Gabby and John, that's why not)
SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast – 4-6 November
2. Eddie and Quik Break Up
So the Akaui family and Quiksilver have parted ways in the running of the prestigous Eddie Akaui Invitaional? Yep. Apparently after the spectacularly good 2016 event in Feb that John John won, the WSL, Quiksilver, and the Akaui family spent several months negotiating the future of the event, but communication broke down, and they couldn't reach an agreement. So now the partnership is over. Kaput.
Here's a snippet of Quiksilver's press release on the matter, following the announcement by reps of the Aikaus:
"As reported by the Aikau family, the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, a World Surf League (WSL) Specialty-sanctioned big wave event at Waimea Bay, will no longer exist in its traditional capacity. Quiksilver had every intent of continuing to run the event it created 31 years ago in partnership with the Aikau family, but Quiksilver’s multiple offers of substantially increased monetary support for future events were declined by agents of the Aikau family over months of negotiations."
What a strange time in surfing we live in. Just how unrecognisable is Quiksilver going to become? No Kelly? No Dane? No Ando? No Eddie?! What's next? No Tom Carroll? No Snapper? No surfing? The future is bleak, my friends, we are all just dust in the wind, darkness is coming for us all.
3. Jack Lynch Goes To Sri Lanka and Other Places
Oh those wonderful sand bottom right points of Sri Lanka, and the wonderfully stylish surfing of Jack Lynch, and a song by Television, and a curry. I’d love to eat a curry in Sri Lanka while listening to Television. This place is really the ultimate fantasy spot for people like me, as in people who are afraid of surf over one-to-two feet.
Sweat, by the wonderful Josh Simpson, features some cold water point break surfing too. And some Ellis Ericson surfing. It's all rights and all pretty good.
4. Ry Craike In The Desert Being Ry Craike (eg: Stand Up Barrels)
This clip is actually two weeks old but only now is it unlocked for us to watch wherever we damn well please, and because Craikey is a top dude who lives a top life with all the top surfing and top fishing and top living, we’re putting it right here. Onya Craikey, stand up pits for days!
5. Shark Times In Byron
Byron Bay’s The Pass is so bloody croweded these days, not just with surfers, and not just with sharks, but with logos, and links, and captions, and pop ups of other videos, it’s a circus out there.
6. Torren Martyn Twin Fins In Central America
Byron Bay’s Torren Martyn sure likes twin fins, so here he is riding one in Central America and it’s really nice. He’s such a smooth surfer, and he makes those slopey fat waves look so terribly fun. Some people have it all worked out.
7. Weak Wrap, Also, Reelers Is Back!
It's episode 12 of Weak Wrap, hooray, where Daniel Johnson explains how technology has ruined everything and also announces the return of the best surf film comp in the bizniz, Reelers! Get shooting.
8. Arty Surf Movie Is Pretty and Arty
The horny for aesthetics peoples of the French crossover mag Desillusion this week released this pretty clip of a guy named Pedro Boonman full all the pretty things Weak Wrap’s Danny Johnspn loves: drone footage, slow motion footage, eating tuna in the office. Maybe not that last one, but there’s also some backwards underwater duckdive footage, and it impressively uses music that is both atmospheric techno, and that heavy piano + strings combo that adds drama to everything. I just can’t believe it’s not in black and white. Ball = dropped.
Desiullusion once used an Ozzie Wright interview I did without telling me and have never paid me for. Thumbs up.
9. A Board and 30 Seconds of Jordy Shredding
A neat little spot for Channel Islands, Jordy Smith explains his Flex Bar while on the set of Narcos before half a minute of all killer no filler freesurfing.
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10. Lost's Shredding Apeman!
And another ad for a surfboard, this time a super fun one from the guys at Lost/Mayhem mimicking the beginning of Space Odysey 2001's dawn of man, and evolving to surfing Trestles, skating, and drinking PBRs to The Kinks’ Apeman. The best!
Bonus... Sabre Norris Cracks Up Stefanovic
Have you checked out the Norris Nuts gang's Mick Fanning series? It's gold. Anyway, Sally Fitz is behind a QS6000 that started this week in Cronulla called the Sydney International Women's Pro, and everyone's favourite 11 year old shredder scored the wildcard. Naturally, she appeared on the Today Show or Sunrise or whichever one Karl is on, to help promote it. Ripping of her dad and funny times ensued.
And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.
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