Kelly Slater is still to open his 2018 season.
An ongoing foot injury forced the American to pull out of three consecutive World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour events
His dream of a 12th world title this year is unlikely.
Slater declared 2017 to be his final season on tour, but that bid failed.
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My last wave in Portugal the other day. Sick little bank with just @patchy_o and myself. Hugely inspired by the young guys on tour these past few months and what @john_john_florence has accomplished this year. So next year I'm gonna get my shit (and my body) together for real and see if I can make a last run at a title. Then I'll go find the best waves on earth til my last day before being freeze dried and used as plant food to make a #Koa and #Monkeypod tree on my property or take the carbon from my ashes and make a diamond from it for my family. (Don't forget to drop some of me in the tube also!) 📷: @badboyryry_ 🌊💨🏄🏽💍🐒🌲
The 46-year-old has undergone several surgeries after breaking his foot in a free surf in July 2017 at J-Bay in South Africa.
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You ever folded your entire foot backwards? If you try it sometime, this is what it might look like. I pulled into a barrel this morning and the whitewash bounced the board back into my foot as I hit the closeout, taking all the pressure into the metatarsals. Kinda like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can. Sorta feels like I'm giving birth out of my foot right now! I'm guessing surgery and 6 week holiday is in order. Not looking forward to 30 hour flight home before surgery though. Ouch! It sucks but so many people deal with such horrible things around this world everyday that a broken foot is pretty minor in the scheme of things. Sometimes a bad thing is a good thing. I'll make the best of my time off. #ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark #INeedElephantTranquilizers
Since then he has only competed at the Pipe Masters in Hawaii in December 2017.
Brazilian Gabriel Medina knocked him out in round five.
After withdrawing from Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach last month, Slater told the WSL,
“I think it’s best that I properly rehabilitate the injury and choose to surf wholeheartedly. I’ll be back when the time is right.’’
But when will that be?
Captain of team USA
Slaters Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California will host the Founder’s Cup from May 5-7.
Five teams from different regions will compete at the manmade wave facility.
USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe, and World.
Slater will lead the American men’s and women’s team if fit.
With surfing set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, International Surfing president (ISA) Fernando Aguerre told theinteria.com,
‘’The IOC is very interested on this – on seeing what happens with the evolution of manmade waves.”
And Slater seems super keen on showing his stuff at this inaugural event.
There is no time to waste.
The sporting icon is determined to prove his doubters wrong and show the stuff legends are made on.