The 11-time World Champ has officially pulled out from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.
Many were surprised when Kelly Slater was a no-show during the WSL opener at Snapper Rocks. The heat happened with Mick Fanning winning over Brazil’s Jesse Mendes but Kelly was still nowhere in sight. The King finally offered an explanation for his absence.
“I had surgery 3-1/2 weeks ago and am not quite out of the woodwork yet,” he shared on Instagram “I was looking forward to having what could be our final heat together with @mfanno but I’ve only surfed 4 times since my latest surgery while getting work on the foot and letting it heal.”
As it turns out, his foot injury from JBay is still bothering him forcing him to skip possibly his last heat with Fanning and Mendes. Nonetheless, Slater was still hopeful saying, “If round 2 men’s does not run tomorrow, I will most likely make it to surf my heat.”
No one knew for sure if Kelly would compete until he made an official announcement of his withdrawal from Snapper on yet another Instagram post.
“I have officially withdrawn from the #QuikProGoldCoast,” he said. “For many months, my gut feeling has been to use this injury as a platform to overhaul and reset my mind and body. The looming excitement about a new year starting, my foot sort of magically allowing me to surf the past couple of days, and a number of other factors had me talking myself back into jumping in as soon as possible against my better judgment. I feel I’ve had a couple of half-hearted attempts these past couple of years fighting injury and desire. The foot injury symbolizes a lot at this point in my career both as an ending and as a beginning.”
Taking his place in the lineup would be South Africa’s rising superstar, Mikey February, and Kelly had a special request of the young surfer. “I wish the best for everyone this event and a special good luck to @mikeyfebruary who will surf in my absence,” he said. “Let him know if he wins I’m requesting a 10% caddy fee!”
We at BlinkSurf wish Kelly Slater a speedy recovery.
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