Dane and Kelly OUT   Leave a comment

With J-Bay underway, two major players in the world title race are missing from the draw: Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds. While the new ASP system allows surfers the ability to miss certain events, their absence signifies a shift in the world surfing powers and their own priorities. I’m not one for reading too deeply into things like this but the writing is on the wall and here is where I come out.

With a massive swell hammering Tavarua, Kelly made it clear a few days out that there was a good shot he wouldn’t be making it to J-Bay. It’s understandable. The swell angle was perfect along with the waves and the way things are now he can have two bad results. One is a 17th in Brazil and the other is a 33rd from missing J-Bay. It’s interesting…the Kelly of old never would have missed a contest especially when he’s spoken in the same breath as the top three surfers in the world and still has a legitimate shot at an unprecedented 11th world title. But this is not pre-10th world title Kelly. This is semi-retired Kelly. Him releasing a statement about not attending would have been interpreted as a mind game in the past. But clearly his priorities have shifted and it’s no longer about world titles. It’s about surfing the best waves whether it’s at the contest site or halfway around the world.

As for Dane, that knee is fine. We saw him at Lowers and at Mexico via his blog. He’s over it and Quiksilver is fine with that. As much as they’d love to see him contend for a world title alongside South African counterpart Jordy Smith, they know it’s not happening. They’ve accepted that and waved a white flag in the form of a six-year extension, which they presented him with this May. Personally, I don’t see him surfing one more event this year on the WCT. He has no reason or incentive too. Quik is content to let him be the best free surfer in the world and take weird photographs and make legendary acceptance speeches at the Surfer Poll Awards. But if this is the road he’s headed down then I ask one thing…can we please band together and vote him into first? I can only imagine that his speech for first will be even better than this…




“The question isn’t who’s going to let me. It’s who’s going to stop me.”-Ayn Rand




Posted July 21, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

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