I wanted to see what everyone's take was on Slater and if he should or should not continue next year. Surfline posted two good articles, each taking their respective sides to the issue. I feel like he should continue into next year and as many years as he see's fit. The one article states that him continuing into next year would further shadow the careers of Jordy, Taj, Dane etc. While I can see how some would take it in that perspective, I've always felt that in surfing you should push your own limits and try to be better than the other guy, in this case Slater. I want to see Kelly continue on and not bow out simply because of timing. I'd also like to see Jordy, Dane, or someone become his kryptonite and give him a go the way A.I (rip) did. Curious what everyone's take is on it. Enjoy the swell.
as good as jordy is (sorry...dane's a great surfer, but doesn't have the requisite drive, IMO), i don't see him making a serious, protracted run at slater anytime soon (assuming slater stays on tour). there's a certain amount of awe when you go up against your heroes, & that is exactly what jordy (& others) are doing when they pull slater in a heat. they grew up watching slater, machado, dorien, etc...change surfing forever. there are probably guys on tour who weren't alive when slater won his first world title. add to that the fact that slater can & is continuing to improve & refine his already stellar surfing, i think you've got one near-unbeatable surfer. each year that slater's on tour & really wants to win, he'll win as long as there's no AI-like presence also on the tour (& i think a lot of the AI thing was that slater was coming back on tour, used to winning, & trying to get his momentum going, whereas andy already had the momentum going for him). & i don't see jordy working that way. he's got nothing to prove. everyone already knows he's a ridiculous surfer, he pulls in a massive paycheck just by pulling on a pair of boardies, &, if he wanted to, he could simply go around the world & surf the best waves & get clips & photos of himself for editorial pulling off the most ridiculous moves. in terms of desire to win a world title, jordy is going to end up a case of too much money.
as for kelly, i read somewhere that he felt like it would be disrespectful to his competitors to walk away while he still feels capable of winning a world title. to me, that indicates that he's going to be back for the 2011 tour. i think he'd like to win another back to back title, since it's been a while (2006?) since he's done that. & as long as he can keep himself interested, i think he will win. i'd love to see taylor knox win a world title, heck, even an event at this point, b/c i just love his style of surfing & the way he approaches the wave, but i think the judging criteria has shifted away from rewarding his style of surfing as much as the more aerial-based approach.
If he feels he has it he should go for it. If he didn't he would be stealing the chance for his competitors to beat the best. Would winning a title because he dropped out "to give everyone a chance" be as sweet ? I don't think so. Remember - you gonna be old for a long time and dead a lot longer.
if kelly walks away competitive surfing will lose its apex benchmark. He drives the entire competitive level of surfing. As for runner ups, I think an aussie will be the next world champ. I think dane is an unbelievable surfer bit like mentioned above i think hes comfortable in his ranking. I think either Joel Parkinson or Mick Fanning will take it next year with my money on Parko. I watched him at 2010 triple crown contest and he was very hungry. I'm sure he feels that he missed a big opportunity since being injured by nearly slicing his heel off.
Surfing is an individual sports. Screw everyone else on tour. As long as you can dominate, you should choke people out left and right in heats. Until Kelly stops innovating surfing, year after year, I hope he continues to compete. Because all these acrobatic young guys just cant keep up.
I hate to say it, but without all the fake retiring, he needs to be brett farve and ride till the wheels fall off..
Think about The few guys that won when kelly took time off the tour. All of those years have asteriks next to them in everyones eyes.
10 is not enough. His skill level and style is still effortless. At this rate, he will be winning titles 10 years from now. Kelly has been "old" by surfing definitions for a while now, and he hasnt really lost a step...
11, 12, 13, 14???? Who knows. Go for it. At least he is from the USA, and the east coast for that matter.
You should have to kill the king (in competition) and pry the crown from him. If kelly retires, it will be a cake walk for the next few winners. The king should have to fight for his crown. Its no fun if he just walks away. And someone may eventually take it, and then they will be a king. Not just some guy who won in 2012 because kelly wasnt competing.
i agree with what everyone else is saying. he shouldnt just bow out while hes at the top, i think he should just keep dominating for as long as he can. i would personally like to see him compete and get beat by someone. not because i dont want to see him win but surfing needs someone to beat him so that when he does step down everyone wont be thinking "these guys wouldnt be winning if kelly were still around." the rest of the guys on tour need to prove that they can win a title regardless if slater is competing or not.