It’s been three long years since Kelly Slater was on his WCT warpath that earned him six multiple world titles. Much to the adulation and excitement of surf fans everywhere, he’s regained the hunger to compete regularly on the newly “revamped tour with progressive judging criteria” that has “contests at the greatest waves on Earth.” It’ll be interesting to see how Kelly fares against the new Australian talent-Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, and the like.
It seems that Slater finally has some competition now, so hopefully, the governing body of the ASP will be more prone to reward progressive surfing at all the major events now. Message to contest organizers everywhere: It’s 2002! Get with the futuristic program, already. I’m sorry, but it’s not 1985 anymore, guys. The old format is boring us to death. (Three safe flicks to the beach? Yawn.) The kids want action!
Kelly will make his grand entrance this March at the first event of the WCT 2002 season-the Quiksilver Pro in Kirra on the Gold Coast of Australia. A recent Quiksilver press release stated that Kelly is super-pysched to climb aboard the tour bus again: “I’m extremely excited, and I think it’s a good time for me personally to get back on the Tour. I also hope to be able to help the ASP make some positive changes within the sport of surfing itself.”
The only strange thing to this whole equation of Kelly returning to competition is that Michael Jordan is also coming out of retirement and making his return to the NBA. Over the past decade, the Slater/Jordan comparison has been uncanny (This time I think Kelly called Michael to see when he was coming out of retirement so they could have even more in common), and now it’s downright eerie. On a final note: Does anyone out there think Rob Machado looks like Scotty Pippen?-A.S.