Kelly Slater Bids Emotional Farewell to Legendary Surfing Career

Kelly Slater, 11-time world surfing champion, fought back tears after being eliminated, effectively ending his legendary 3-decade career. His retirement marks the end of an era, as he inspired a generation and pushed the boundaries of the sport.

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Salman Khan
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Kelly Slater Bids Emotional Farewell to Legendary Surfing Career

Kelly Slater Bids Emotional Farewell to Legendary Surfing Career

Kelly Slater, the 11-time world surfing champion, fought back tears after being eliminated in the round of 32 at the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia. The loss effectively ends Slater's legendary, competitive, surfing career that has spanned over three decades.

Slater, 52, acknowledged that his motivation has waned in recent times and that he has faced physical and emotional challenges, including a hip injury that required surgery in 2022. "Everything comes to an end," Slater said, choking back tears . "My motivation hasn't been there to give 100 percent that everyone is doing now."

Despite the emotional farewell, Slater expressed appreciation for the incredible memories and experiences he has had throughout his career. He has won a record 56 Championship Tour events, including his first back in 1992, becoming the sport's youngest and oldest world champion.

Slater's retirement marks the end of an era in professional surfing. His unparalleled dominance and influence on the sport over the past three decades have inspired a generation of surfers and pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the waves.

Slater lost to current world No. 1 Griffin Colapinto, who paid tribute to the surfing icon. "Kelly has given me and everyone else on this tour so much," Colapinto said. "He took the sport so far."

While Slater did not make a formal retirement announcement, his emotional post-competition words suggest that he is moving on to a new stage of his life. He has applied for a wildcard entry to the upcoming Fiji Pro, indicating he may have one final competitive appearance at a break where he has found success in the past.

Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning led the chorus of tributes for Slater, praising his dedication and impact on the sport. "Kelly Slater, what a career," Fanning said. "He inspired a whole generation of surfers and took surfing to another level. No one has done more for the sport."

Key Takeaways

  • Kelly Slater, 11-time world surfing champion, eliminated in round of 32 at Margaret River Pro.
  • Slater, 52, acknowledged waning motivation and physical/emotional challenges, including a hip injury.
  • Slater has won a record 56 Championship Tour events, becoming the sport's youngest and oldest champion.
  • Slater's retirement marks the end of an era in professional surfing, inspiring a generation of surfers.
  • Tributes poured in from fellow surfing legends, praising Slater's dedication and impact on the sport.