It is that time! It’s time to pick your Fantasy Surfer team. So much is at stake here including pride, prestige, tons of prizes and millions of dollars in lost productivity at work. If we ever needed to think clearly, this is the time.

Kelly Slater should anchor each and every Fantasy Surfer team. Nevertheless, as surely as the sun rises in the east, each February many of us wonder, “Will Kelly partake of the entire ASP season?” A look at recent history seems to suggest Slater will –but nobody knows–not even Slater. He generally moves forward if he does well at Snapper. And oh, by the way, Slater does well at Snapper.

This year the big number ten hangs in the balance. Not that important? This can be argued either way. Slater doesn’t need number ten, but of course, it would be nice; candied walnuts and sprinkles on an already bountiful career cake. If he admits to really wanting number ten it takes away from his free-and-easy-take-it-as-it-comes mentality; a psyche that has served him well.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the Slater equation is his equipment. And I do mean his, as in he shaped his boards. The Ocean Deck at the Rainbow Bay Surf Lifesaving Club will be all-abuzz–probably is already all abuzz. Even the cleaning crew will be talking about Slater’s equipment. Slater will be riding a 5’3″, at least according to one of my sources who spoke with Slater at Rincon last weekend. It’s a surfboard that, as I mentioned, Slater himself crafted. This is most significant because, as evidenced by recent photos, the board is fuller, rounder, and dare I say, ‘fishy’ looking. Granted, the outline leans more toward a …Lost RNF than a classic Lis fish. Still though, these boards are not of the contemporary shortboard ilk ala Jordy Smith’s new JS design.

Will the judges buy-in to Slater’s new equipment and the new lines he, and it, will draw? Will the public buy-in? Will you, Fantasy Team owner buy-in?

While all these questions are intriguing, it shouldn’t have any effect on your decision. Definitely put Kelly Slater on your Fantasy Surfer team…oh, one more thing, throw Jordy Smith in the mix too.