Kelly Slater Pretty Much Retired Today

Photos: Jimmicane

Taj Burrow retired today. Kelly Slater did too — just not officially.

Taj won his heat yesterday, so he didn’t have to surf today — but he still woke up bright and early to sit down at that desk Strider always gropes and tell the world that he’ll soon be taking a step away from CT competition. Kelly Slater did have to surf today, and he did make an announcement. But it wasn’t so formal.

Kelly got last place today, at the hands of wildcard Leonardo Fioravanti, and he killed the idea that he’ll win another World Title in the process. Weird that he went with 11 last year when the WSL gave surfers the opportunity to pick a jersey number, isn’t it? Why not 12? Even 13 seems nice.

Anyway, it wasn’t the wildest day of surfing as all we saw was Round 2. Still, Taj’s retirement coupled with Kelly’s impotence made today significant. If nothing else, it’s a glaring testimony to the change of tides. Gone are the days of old World Champions. Here are the days of new. New style, new strategy, new surfing — it’s all here now. And that’s worth getting excited about. Even if we still are at Main Break and they call the comp off right when the wind gets good for airs.

Learning curves, we suppose.