Kelly Slater Responds To WSL Judging Controversy

photos sherm2260Photo: Sherm

The web world’s been lit on fire the past few days with everyone and their mother’s opinions on the latest WSL judging controversies. But the buzz has been oddly lacking a certain outspoken Floridian’s two cents – that is, until this morning. Just a few hours ago, Kelly Slater published the Instagram post you see below with his commentary on a few recent calls, more specifically the Tanner Gudauskas vs. Gabriel Medina situation. He gives the overall heat win to Tenner G., but admits that there was fault in the way the scoreline was set throughout the duration of the heat. His solution looking forward? To deprive the judges of any knowledge of the current situation. But we’ll let the man further explain…

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“Here’s what I think about the heat between @gabrielmedina and @tannergud… Tanner’s first wave (8.5) was the best surfed wave of the heat with the most variety and commitment in maneuvers. Gabriel got the better score in the first exchange (8.83) which I thought was incorrect both live and watching replays later. That set a strange tone for the heat. The wave Gab got an 8.3 on should have been easily enough to put him in the lead AT THAT TIME. Tanner had an 8.67 in the middle of the heat that I think was very over scored by more than a point. So when Tanner rode his final wave he should have been in second place needing a mid 8 point ride. And he surfed that wave very well.
I feel the judging got lost from the first exchange. By the time Gabby got his good wave (8.3) and didn’t receive the score, everyone was confused, myself included. No matter what you think it was a close heat that could have gone either way.
I also think most people take easy opportunities to make big deals about things that aren’t super important in the scope of their lives. The extent to which people have taken this heat is seriously silly. It was a close heat that could have gone either way. Actually, three of us who go to every event scored it later at home and had Tanner with a slight lead, all things considered. My solution? The judges shouldn’t be able to hear the current situation and score accordingly but even with that they are trying to decide who surfed the better heat. We’ve all had close ones go our way or against us.
So there you go. Let the controversy (and blocking) continue! 👊🏽😀”