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Kelly Slater wasn’t scared Collected Thoughts 022

Kelly Slater What Youth Kustom Air strike

We learned that this flag’s a liar.

When that Kustom Airstrike trip happened a while back, every surfer got one of these with his name on it. You see them in the intro to each Airstrike episode. This one was for Kelly in case he showed up on the boat.

Kelly was actually invited on the Airstrike trip. The day before it left he was in Fiji, winning the Volcom contest at hundred-foot Cloudbreak. He would’ve had to go straight from Tavarua to Padang. That’s what John John did.

But Kelly didn’t come, and one of the Hawaiians got hold of his flag and modified it.

Here’s what Kelly said about this:

“That’s funny. I might’ve filled in ‘injured’ but that’ll do. My daughter and I had a trip to Oz planned right then and it was too much at once. I really wanted to go but on top of that I hurt myself and couldn’t really surf much for about two months afterwards. Scared? Not likely. I’m definitely not scared to learn new things or see people go big.”

 

The most interesting thing about Kelly’s reply was probably his iPhone’s email signature: “Sent from a potentially tumor-inducing, instant-gratification weapon. Please excuse typos.”

Kelly didn’t need to be scared and here’s why: the Airstrike winner is picked online by the voting public. And he’s Kelly Baywatching, backward aging, GQ covering, trophy hoarding Slater. The voting public drinks him straight with no chaser. He could do a cutback and a million people would vote it the year’s best aerial.

So it might be a good thing Kelly didn’t come, especially for Chippa Wilson.

 

See all this year’s Airstrike entries and vote for one here.

And watch the four Airstrike episodes again here: Episode 1 / Episode 2 / Episode 3 / Episode 4

what youth collected thoughts nate lawrence ian crane surfing indo

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More of the Same Same Collected Thoughts 130: Year of the fucking drone.

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Mitch Coleborn in Indonesia Collected Thoughts 129

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The Inside Section Collected Thoughts 128: Nate Lawrence is at it again

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A John John Florence Prediction Collected Thoughts 127: Nate Lawrence chimes in on the sporting side of things

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My Indo Dream Wave Collected Thoughts 126: Nate Lawrence and the wave that started his Indo Obsession

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New Swell in Bali Collected Thoughts 125

“The swell is filing in and we found a nice right all to ourselves. Bali bagus.” —Nate Lawrence

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John John Florence, 14 for Five years Collected Thoughts 124

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Nate’s Back where the water is warm Collected Thoughts 123: After a stint in CA, Nate’s back in the tropics

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Yago Dora, Indonesia, 2016 Collected Thoughts 122

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Kolohe Andino, Bali 2013 Collected Thoughts 121

“Nobody’s perfect, and we love that.” —Nate Lawrence

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Dion Agius, Hossegor, 2015 Collected Thoughts 120

“I first saw Dion on the cover of Transworld Surf magazine. It was a D.Hump flash photo that popped Dion onto the map in America. He was young. He was Australian. That was pretty much all I knew about him. Fast forward 12 years and still, a lot of people don’t know much about Dion….