For the first time in an illustrious career characterised almost exclusively by glory and triumph, Kelly Slater endured the Waimea Walk of Shame. He trundled along the beach with head held low, gaze averted, his boardshorts the same ones he’d been seen going out in but now soiled like last night’s clothes. People pointed and gawked and some even jeered — because Kelly had been rogered by Waimea, and now everybody knew it.
You’ve heard what happened next. Following this rare suggestion of human frailty, broadcast self-deprecatingly on Instagram, Kelly promptly reasserted his superhumanity, coming to the rescue of an imperilled mother and buggy-bound baby — the wife and son, as it turned out, of West Aus surf photog Chris Whitey — who’d been skittled over by a rogue wave on the Kam Highway. Right place, right time, typical Slater.
Anyway, here’s a brief look at the heroics simultaneously transpiring in the water. Controversially, the Eddie didn’t run in the end; Quiksilver said it was too small in the morning, Kelly’s claim that it was “easily big enough” — not to mention his difficulty making it out back — notwithstanding. The wait continues.