When the U.S. Open of Surfing forecast calls for no larger than 3-foot faces, warming up for the event can be difficult, especially when following up an all-time swell at Jeffreys Bay. Unless, of course, you’re Kelly Slater. In which case, you jump on an old board (notice the sticker?), head to a lake in Florida, and do what he calls #RedNeckSurfing.
Unfortunately, Slater announced this morning that he will no longer be competing in the event due to an injury. Hawaiian Gavin Gillette has replaced him in Round 1, Heat 12. No specifics have been named for the injury as of now.
As expected, Slater absolutely rips the tiny boat wake to shreds, at one point pulling some variation of an air reverse. We say some version because he lands backwards on top of the wake and somehow transfers the rope behind his back, pulling himself back into the wake. Impressive, right? Well, not as impressive as the massive wake hop that follows.