Kelly Slater seems skeptical of current plans for Olympic surfing

Since its announcement, there has been a mixed reaction to the news that surfing and skateboarding will be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And now it seems like Kelly Slater may be among the people who aren’t completely stoked about surfing plans for the Olympics:

Video: Courtesy of AT&T Audience Network

The above clip comes from Wednesday night’s episode of “Undeniable with Joe Buck” on the Audience Network, in which Slater sat down with sportscaster Joe Buck for a conversation on all things surfing.

RELATED: Surfing, skateboarding officially added as sports for 2020 Olympics

The interview, which apparently took place before the official announcement of surfing’s inclusion, turns to the topic of Olympic surfing and the 11-time world champion seemed to express doubt about how much weight can be put on one contest to determine the best surfer in the world.

“What you're going to do is you're going to determine a world champion or an Olympian or the most famous surfer in the world by one event in one type of condition,” said Slater.

“Surfing is not really that. If you told me what the conditions were going to be, I could pretty much give you three guys that … are going to win. But we have a title [the WSL’s Championship Tour] that does it over different types of waves in different geographical locations over the course of a year.”

As we reported at the time of its announcement, surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympics is currently planned to be staged in natural surf conditions.

RELATED: Kelly Slater is opening his wave pool for 2 lucky surfers

If the above clip with Joe Buck also makes it seem like Slater might be subtly advocating for the use of wave pool technology in the Olympics (which Slater just happens to have perfected), a March interview with reporter Graham Bensinger is more forthright.

“I think a wave pool in Japan makes a lot of sense,” Slater told Bensinger. “It would make sense because you can have exact start times and know how to control your field. Japan has great amazing surf on its day, but it’s a little inconsistent, especially in the summer months.”

Despite his doubt about hosting Olympic surfing in variable conditions, Slater did mention to Bensinger that he would be open to surfing in the 2020 Olympics.

As for the rest of the interview that aired Wednesday with Buck, Slater talked about growing up in the surf culture of the late ’70s and revealed he can do a pretty spot-on impersonation of Jeff Spicoli:

Video: Courtesy of AT&T Audience Network

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