Kelly Slater. Photo: Glaser
Kelly Slater. Photo: Glaser

Will Slater Return To Pipeline?

Early WSL heat draw slots the injured 11-time world champ in Round One

Kelly Slater is a professional of the dramatic news leak. When Adriano de Souza won his first World Title at the Pipe Masters in 2015, he slid his first edit of the Lemoore Surf Ranch across the table, and suddenly, the WSL season couldn’t be less relevant. Same for September of this year, when he held a ‘CT exhibition at The Ranch, one that was (officially) promoted by the WSL only days before the event. Discussions on the future of pro surfing began in earnest and haven’t stopped since. Broken foot or healed, it doesn’t matter, Slater loves to play the wizard behind the curtain.

And though Kelly hasn’t said so directly, the WSL seems to have beaten him to the announcement: Kelly Slater is listed on the early heat draw for the Billabong Pipe Masters in December. Take a look yourself. He’s there in Heat Eight, right next to Kolohe Andino and Joan Duru.

Granted, we still have over a month to go before the waiting period begins. It’s early. But as of three hours ago, you can trade for Slater on your Fantasy Surfer roster, and wouldn’t a spot at the Pipe Masters be the quiet Hail-Mary of an entrance you’d expect from Kelly?

But you, as a Fantasy Surfer regular, have possibly made a bet with fellow players with a potentially embarrassing outcome, and are therefore motivated to get the end of the season right. So here are the World Title odds for John John, Gabriel, Jordy, and Julian headed into the last event of the year:

-If John John makes the Final of the Billabong Pipe Masters he wins the 2017 World Title.
-If John John gets 3rd or 5th place, Gabriel Medina can win the World Title with a win at the event.
-If John John gets 9th, Medina needs at least a Finals appearance. Jordy Smith would have to win the event to clinch.
-If John John gets 13th or 25th, Medina will need at least a 5th to clinch, Smith at least 2nd and Julian a win.

[Choose your Fantasy Surfer team here]