While John John Florence was being handed his first World Title trophy, 11x World Champion Kelly Slater could be seen taking it all in perched on the tower above. Slater beamed with pride as his star pupil was officially anointed the master. The whole scene inspired Slater, who took a few minutes afterwards to reflect on his own season, and how the next generation is keeping him in the game.
An unprecedented 11 World Titles, millions of dollars earned in prize money, and, at 44 years old, the ability to absolutely manhandle WCT competitors half his age. The guy has won every possible accolade in surf history. And he’s not done yet – in an interview with the WSL, Slater says he’s gunning for a 12th World Title.
“But I think I’m going to take one more stab at a Title next year and really try to put a year together. I’m pretty inspired by what panned out this year in the back half. So I’m going to take these next four months, get my body together, and get my motivation and my boards and everything right and see if I can really put together a focused year.” Slater said.
Slater expressed his joy for Florence’s big win. “I felt like a proud brother. I’ve known John since he was in the single digits. When he and his brothers were so small, I could get him on my back and have him stand up while I was bodysurfing. It’s great to see this, and to be here for this and be a part of it in some way. I grew up with the Johnson family and Petey [Johnson] is like a dad and a big brother to John, so I’m sure he wished he was here. But I feel like I’m glad I’m here on Petey’s behalf. I lost two days ago and could have left but thought it would be nice to be here and see what plays out and if did happen, be on hand.” he said.