Did Kelly Slater just announce his retirement from competitive surfing? Or are we being mocked by the great man in the form of a slightly late April Fools’ joke? On the one hand, it was still April Fools’ in America, and Kelly signed off his message with the hashtag “HappyApril1stEveryoneBackHome.” But on the other hand, it was only April Fool’s back home, and fairly late in the day at that — it would have been approximately 7 in the evening in his native Florida at the time of the post, while in Australia, his current location, it would have been 10 in the morning of April 2nd. And Slater’s not averse to announcing to announcing big and unlikely yet entirely true news on April Fools’ — remember his split from Quiksilver last April 1st? — although admittedly he’s not averse to the odd joke every now and then either. The idea of Bell’s being his first and last ever world tour contest — a symmetry Kelly would probably appreciate — also rings true.
As another of his hashtags reads, “ThisIsSoConfusing.” Stab and Beach Grit have already called bullshit, but either way, no doubt Slater is relishing the havoc he’s playing with everyone’s minds. Here is the text of his Instagram post in full:
“Big decisions in life don’t come easy and it’s taken a lot of quiet time and personal introspection to come to this conclusion…The #RipCurlPro was the first event I surfed on tour and it’s fitting that this will be my last @wsl. There are too many people to thank and memories to go over but here’s to hoping I can pull a rabbit out of the hat and win one last event this week. My board feels great (thank you @cisurfboards and @travlee) and I’m as psyched as ever to just surf and enjoy. Hope to see everyone down there at #BellsBeach this week. Not the best forecast but I’m channeling my #FloridaRoots! Photo: @dbahnphotos #HappyApril1stEveryoneBackHome #ThisIsSoConfusing #CantWaitToGolfAndChaseSwells”