Kelly Slater On Surfing’s Olympic Debut


Our “Olympics Needs Wavepool” article caused quite a stir in the Surfing community.

Some of you were with us, some of you were against us. We get it, everyone's got their own opinion — it's just that our opinion is probably the right one, because Kelly's on our side! We think.

Kelly recently (but pre-surfing-officially-being-in-the-olympics) went on a TV program called The Undeniable Show, hosted by long-time sportscaster Joe Buck. So far only a couple clips have been released, but one of them is highly relevant to our Olympics X wavepool discussion. Just watch:

Kelly: We have our world title. If we get into the Olympics, it could be really great. But what you're gonna do is you're going to determine a world champion or an Olympian or the most famous surfer in the world by one event in one type of condition. Surfing is not really that. If you told me what the conditions were going to be, I could pretty much give you three guys that… are going to win. But we have a title that does it over different types of waves in different geographical locations over the course of a year. So it's a long performance that kind of weeds out the best of the best in the end.

Hmmm… sound familiar? Here's what we wrote, just five days before this clip was released:

You can't just pick 20 guys, make them surf at a Japanese beach break, and declare one of them the best surfer in the world… for the next four years. Even if the waves are pumping, it would still mean nothing. The reason the CT has such a variety of waves and 11 separate events is because competitive surfing is about maintaining proficiency in all aspects of the sport. And doing well in one contest doesn't mean a damn thing – just ask Stu Kennedy.

We're interested to see what else Kelly has to say in regards to the Olympics. But based off what we've seen, and based off our knowledge of Kelly as a shrewd businessman, it would not surprise us in the slightest if he brought up the notion of surfing the Olympics in a wavepool — particularly his wavepool.

The full show will air tonight at 8 PM, but you'll need DirecTV or At&T Uverse to watch it. Anybody have some login info they'd like to lend us? We'll trade you for a free subscription! (Really)

Regardless, we want to get some quantifiable data of your personal opinions. There were many positive and negative remarks left on our original Olympics X wavepool post, but it's hard to gauge realistic percentages off of a comment section. So we want to know:

If the numbers are heavily in favor of using a wavepool in the Olympics, we think this idea’s worth pursuing even further. Perhaps with an online petition, or a strongly worded letter to the IOC. Maybe both! –Michael Ciaramella