Posts Tagged ‘Surfers’

After work tonight I cruised to Rincon for the last hour of light.  There was a new NW filling in, but strong NW winds had picked up tearing the ocean to bits.  Driving down I could see nothing but white caps.  I knew the cove would be somewhat protected and the conditions would at least keep the crowds down.  I pulled into the lot and there were ten cars at the most.


I got a close parking spot to the trail and began turning my suit right side in when I noticed a rather large congregation of people on the other side of the parking lot.  They were taking pictures and all scrambling around something. Then I saw the man, or legend, ten time world champion Kelly Slater in midst of this mob.


Ironically I was just thinking yesterday after watching some video of him surfing Pipe recently on surfline.com that I had not seen Slater out here in Santa Barbara yet.   I was being to wonder if he was going to find his way here at all this year considering the surf has been less then average.  What a shame it would be if he did not put some time in at Rincon.  There is no one I would rather watch surf it then him.  Of course he would come here now its almost time for Snapper and he always says that Rincon is his favorite training ground for the Gold Coast.


Upon seeing him I smiled to myself, but was saddened as well.  You know I understand that Kelly Slater is a huge pop icon as well as surf these days and is a celebrity. You think though at a place like Rincon on a Sunday afternoon with shitty two foot blown out surf and almost no one around Slater could have a moment of peace to get dressed, run down the trail and surf a few waves.  No that was not the case; the poor guy was mobbed by his own kind, brothers and sisters of the ocean.  If anyone should understand it should be surfers.


I mean the guy just wanted to go shred some waves.  Maybe he just got in town today and it was his first surf back in Santa Barbara.  I have not seen or heard that he was in town so I am assuming such was the case.   I know when Im fresh off a plane the first thing I want to do is hit the ocean. You could see it in his eyes that Slater wanted to get in the water, but he had to spend over 15 minutes shaking hands, taking pictures and signing autographs.  He finally got into the water, but with only a half hour of light.


What is the big deal?  I love Kelly Slater and would probably take a bullet for the guy if I were ever called into such action.  I have surfed with him a number of times at various locations all over.  Never once was I temped to go over and be a fan.  I respect him as a fellow surfer first and a pro second and understand that when he is not shooting photos or surfing in a contest all he really wants to do is surf and be treated like any of other surfer in the Rincon lot.


How important is that photo of you and Slater anyway?  And why?  So you can hang it on the wall (post it on facebook.com) and show all your friends how cool you were to go bother the poor guy when he was just trying to have a surf?  Or wouldn’t it be cooler to just know that you shared a session with the greatest surfer who ever lived and it was like surfing with anyone else except the dude absolutely killed it.  Isn’t it better to tell Slater as he is changing next to you “some funs out there eh?”  Instead of “dude your Kelly Slater let me take a picture with you”.  I will let you be the judge.


All I can say from my own personal experiences with Kelly is that he loves to surf first and foremost even after all these years and amazing waves.  Here it was an absolute shit day at Rincon by local standards and an atrocious for someone of Slater’s standards yet he was stoked to be there.  He sat out in the line up and did not jockey anyone.  He waited his turn, got his waves and from the smile on his face had a good time.  Just think a few days ago he was riding firing Back Door and today he was groveling with me at Rincon.


I guess all I am saying is that maybe when we see high profile pro surfers just free surfing we should try and treat them as we would any other surfer out surfing and let them enjoy themselves, not making a big deal about it.  Their lives are so sold out already with all the commercialism bull shit that has made their careers.  Be stoked they are out with you and that they rip, but please just let the guy surf.

Slater enjoying a far better day at Rincon then the one in this blog.

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