Just hours after Joel Parkinson announced his retirement, Kelly Slater confirmed that he is also bookending his competitive career next year.
“He kind of beat me to it,” Slater said as they were talking about Parko’s retirement. “I was already retired when Parko started on tour – literally. I think the first year he was on tour was my first year back in ’02.”
At 46, the King has achieved so much. He has won 55 tour titles and 11 World Titles, and he’s currently the oldest surfer on tour. He is also both the youngest and the oldest to get crowned as World Champion. Pretty impressive for someone who wanted to be a professional ventriloquist growing up.
And though his announcement was pretty informal, it was a long time coming. Rumors have been circling about his impending exit from the CT, and his injury added more fuel to the fire. And though Kelly stayed coy on the topic, he was aware that his time in the CT was over.
“I’ve never had a long time out [with injury]. I’m obviously in the back end of my career,” Kelly said.
“I’ll make an announcement. My basic plan is to get myself really healthy, get ready for April next year and make next year be my last year on tour and just be done with it.”
The 2018 CT has seen a lot of retirement announcements – from Mick to Parko, and now Kelly. And though some of surfing’s greatest are hanging up the jersey, we still have a few more months to enjoy them.
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