Kelly Slater is…

image © Association of Surfing Professionals

He is the ASP. It’s been said in various ways before, but it’s never been so evident and there for the world to see. Appearing on the Jim Rome Show, Slater was direct and self-aware, as per usual.

Rome teed up the pink elephant in the room, delving into the debacle during the San Francisco contest last year, when the ASP proclaimed Slater the champion too early. But it wasn’t Rome pulling the dirty details out of Slater, it was the king himself who let loose that the ASP tried to put the muzzle on him about it.

Maybe Rome was hypnotized by the Slater stare, or maybe there was just no need to do anything but let the best surfer in the world completely discredit the governing body of his sport. One can only respect Slater’s decision to self-report the error to the ASP and through social media, and do things the right way. That’s what his whole career has been about. Check the video for yourself, then keep reading below.

It’s never been more obvious that the ASP is Kelly Slater. Without him it is a torpid, stumbling, banana republic of an organization. The world wants to see Kelly; the rest of the field is only there as attractive fodder. Sad but true.

Once Kelly decides to ride out into the sunset, what then for professional surfing? There is no one surfer that will replace him and what he represents to the sport, in terms of legitimizing it in the mind of the average sports fan. Now that’s not the death knell of surfing, as Kelly will always be considered a master of the art. And surfers will keep surfing on as always. But it certainly could be the final blow for the sport as administrated by the ASP.

 

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