GOAT Kelly Slater Is Feeling Shaky Trying to Get Over the “Funk” on Path to 31st Billabong Pipeline

Published 02/05/2023, 8:15 AM EST

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When it comes to riding giant waves, very few have done it for as long as Kelly Slater has. The 50-year-old from Cocoa Beach, Florida is widely regarded as the greatest to ever play the sport. An 11-time World Surf League winner and 8-time Billabong Pipeline winner, it is the latter of the two that brought out the slight slump in Slater’s otherwise glittering form. The annual surfing event at Banzai Pipeline, Oahu has been Slater’s forte for long. However, as many sportsmen do, Slater admitted to going through a bit of a bad form entering the contest. Let’s find out more about it.

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During an interview, Slater talked about his love for the Billabong Pipe. Although, he mentioned struggling to find his actual form just on the heels of the tournament.

The waves of Oahu didn’t witness the best of Kelly Slater this weekend

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Slater, at age 49, became the oldest surfer still active in World Surf League to win the Billabong Pipeline last year. Henceforth, while the expectation from him is usually very high, the Pipeline event this year exceeded that expectation. Slater caught the wind last year at Pipeline—the best one of his career—and was thus asked about his feelings coming into this year’s contest.

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In a recent YouTube interview posted by the World Surf League, Slater said to the reporter, “I love this event… I dunno this weekend I have been in a funk. So, I am trying to break out of that. I just haven’t felt really in sync in my surfs or anything. So, I dunno, trying to shake that a little bit, but sometimes my free surfs when I’m out of sync, I’m in sync in heats. That heat I didn’t feel here, here or there,” giving an update on his recent form just before the tournament starts.

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While it is mostly about not catching a good wave, an out-of-form feeling has also to do with not finding the right moment to break out of it. While Slater didn’t expound on his situation, he did mention the conditions were tougher this time around as compared to last year.

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The tougher conditions at Banzai but Slater’s hopes still alive

Despite his slump, Slater did exceedingly well in the tough waters of Oahu. As we hear a commentator remark, “No. 11 humps through a frothy cavern, no problems for Slater. And he’ll finish off that ride.” Ahead of his birthday, Slater didn’t look very optimistic about the conditions in Banzai improving over the next few days and matching that of last year. However, he hoped that “if the wind doesn’t kill it towards the end of the period, there’s some swell, we’ll see if that transpires”. Although for now, Pipeline this year seems to be a torrid event to deal with.

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Slump or not, Slater still continues to tackle and take down his known demons at the Billabong Pipeline 2023 opening round. With a more than decent performance, Slater has charted the treacherous waters of Oahu and has moved to the next round.

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Written by:

Tanmay Roy

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Tanmay Roy is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. He has done MBA and B.Tech in Civil Engineering.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury

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