Why Dane and Kelly should Quit The Tour

| posted on February 11, 2011

Dane Reynolds surfs equally as well in a vest. Photo: Ellis

Shea Lopez

The author of SURFER’s Top 32 Review, Shea Lopez spent 11 years competing on the World Tour and now reigns as our resident expert on the pro surfosphere.

Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater were instrumental in filling 2010 with some of the greatest highlights of all time in ASP competition, and in doing so they forced every surfer on Tour to step up their own game. Kelly expanded on his already perfectly calculated routine by delivering several heat-winning knockout blows that none of his competitors were able to duplicate. Dane, on the other hand, looked as if he wanted to make history on every wave he rode—and most often he did—en route to finishing fourth overall, a commendable result for such an audacious do-or-die approach. Fans and fellow surfers turned up en masse like never before to witness the incredible displays of surfing from both Dane and Kelly throughout the year.

By losing either surfer, the World Tour would suffer greatly from the initial shock. But, with a stacked field of emerging talent, it wouldn’t be long before others would follow the examples of Dane and Kelly—just as Dane took from what Wardo had done in the past and built on it, and Kelly took from what Curren had done in the past and blew the world away with it.

Is it time for Kelly to hang it up? Photo: Ellis


At this point in their careers, I don’t believe either surfer should stay on Tour. Kelly has already proven he is the best competitor any of us will ever witness, leaving nothing further to accomplish in the realm of competition. It would be amazing if Kelly decided to put all of his energy into advancing surfboard design and continually seeking out the very best waves the world has to offer with his every breath. That could be Kelly’s final gift to all of us, and future generations, as we would benefit tremendously from better surfboards and a tremendous archive of footage to view from the best surfer ever, riding the best waves imaginable.

Dane, conversely, was never meant to be a World Champ, or even a competitor. The surf industry systematically and forcibly morphed him into a contest surfer at the lure of fame and fortune—two things that all aspiring young surfers are susceptible to. However, his needs and image have outgrown the ASP at this point. A contest at Lowers, Snapper, or Pipe would still be good for him, as all three waves are almost impossible to surf outside of a contest due to crowds. But with Dane’s amazing gift for riding waves—I mean, even scrap footage of Dane surfing near his home in Seen and Unseen became one of the best surf movies of 2010—and the amount of quality waves out there, it seems Dane (and all of us) would be happier if he spent his peak surfing years shooting and filming for our viewing pleasure.

The long-term benefits of two distinctly different, but equally great, surfers cutting the cord to competition would be game-changing for the advancement of surfing—both in the contest setting and outside of it. This is 2011, and the best surfing isn’t solely defined by the World Champ.

  • Miles Waits

    The “shoulds” are just that Shea, “shoulding” on yourself and others as a means of expounding your moral anger and thereby deciding you know what is best for others, including Kelly and Dane. Sad.
    I guess you “should” find what your true agenda is rather than masking your anger in moralizing self-serving behavior and increase your personal accountability by decreasing your demanding behavior towards others Shea.

    Letting others decide their fate,
    Miles

  • NY Surfer

    I disagree with the above article on the premise of advancing the sport of surfing. As a surfer I don’t want more people coming into the sport and taking over local breaks but on the flip side the only way the sport will advance into the limelight is if athletes like Slater and Reynolds stick around and shed light on the sport. They are so progressive it would be like taking Jordan out of Basketball. He draws spectators, did unbelievable things in his career and catapulted the next generation and the sport. Everyone wants to be like Mike! Well in our world everyone wants to be like Kelly or Dane. They should stick around bring the crowds advance the equipment and the sport into the future. Who knows maybe one day I can turn on the local news like they do in Australia and see some local New Yorker ranked number one in the world all because these two amazing athletes stayed on.

  • debaser

    Shea is pretty dead on with this one.

  • Matt Ritter(my real name)

    Maybe Kelly retire for wave and board advancement only because he has proven what he is and more. Dane is one of my Favs but hasnt mounted to chit. If he retires I see a Shane powell or similar just fading away. He is only where he is now because of the pressure and push from industry. If he has no push then he drinks beer all day and fades into a random sighting at Malibu every so often on a funboard. Thats my prdeiction…

  • Me

    Shea is one of my favorite surfers of all time and so is his brother Cory who would most definitely be back on the WT if Slater and Reynolds retire. Hint Hint…

  • http://www.yankaus.com Mik

    Nothing like throwing up a sensationalist headline to mask the fact that you don’t have anything particularly new, or interesting to say? Or intelligent? What’s up with Flori-duh? What you are suggesting is nonsense. Like saying the Jordan led Bulls should have quit because they were killing everyone. How does that elevate everyone else’s game? It doesn’t. It lowers the bar. Kelly should continue until he feels otherwise, for whatever reason he decides: tired of winning, can’t win, wants to start a family, whatever. As for Dane not being a contest surfer, that’s also ridiculous. You don’t get to #4 on the ASP WTC without the skills and motivation to beat 30 other incredibly talented surf stars. Dane maybe wisely makes it easy on himself by saying he doesn’t see winning as the be all and end all of his surfing life. And I’m down with that (not that it matters to him, or anyone else). But Dane’s approach is very very exciting, and that’s more than enough reason for me to want him to stay. Beyond that, there are at least 10 guys who are legit World Champ contenders for 2011: Kelly, Taj, Joel, Mick, Jordy, Dane, Ace, Kai, Owen, and Matt Wilkinson. These are the surfers I admire most on tour right now. I’m sure there are howls of disagreement, but that’s what the blogpit is for: verbal mayhem. Ya?? Shea, snap out of it. Be a legit surf journalist by looking at the reality, and not writing about some loopy fantasy just to piss us off.

  • Jason

    Dane needs to stay on tour. He’s the best thing to happen to pro surfing since KS arrived and changed everything 20 years ago. Kelly is probably done, except for the odd Quik event or top shelf venue, and that’s ok after all these years…

  • Miguel Koropecky

    It’s not a matter of should, its a matter of when.

    Kelly will eventually leave, but only after multiple losses in early rounds to Mick, Parko, John John, Jordy, Taj and many more gunning for him. As long as Kelly is in the semis he won’t leave. Kelly has always been a competitor. and he will always be a competitor.

    Dane, on the other hand, is a little more complicated, but the bottom line is that Dane competes because he wants to compete. He’s young, he has the potential and came pretty close this year. Why wouldn’t he continue to compete for the world title? The writing on the wall is that Dane is eventually going to go the route of Dan Malloy; compete on the tour for a few more years; then, free surf, become a Patagonia rep and make surf movies with Thomas Campbell. The real question is, will he win a World Tour before his competitive edge evaporates? I think yes.

  • Pedro

    I agree with you about kelly, but Dane leaving??? are you nuts??? Did you saw the same pipe masters as I did?? He was on fire. Dane is such a good surfer and we all should look at him both in and out of the water. Don’t let him leave the tour

  • Marcelo

    So it means the world tour has to have only surfers with the same atitude, same aprouch, same, same, same, … what´s wrong in having such different characters in the game, Both KELLY and DANE are the ones who lift the heats to non-boring stage all the time, and you want to take them off???

    kelly should retire when he gets beaten by someone for good, and this is still to happen…

    Let the KIDS play Shea!!!!

  • josh

    i think this is bullshit. Kelly should retire when he is good and ready and Dane should do the same. Dane WILL win a world title eventually if he keeps up the progressive surfing he has been surfing. Its just a matter of time until he has a consistent year and blows everyone away. Why anyone would want Dane off the tour is beyond me leaving me to question your motivations behind this article.

  • Nick

    ok..I get the Curren/Kelly comparison. But “Dane took from what Wardo had done in the past and built on it”??

    Saywhatnow? I’d love to see the logic here. Now Dane/Taj…Both THE progressive surfers in their respective eras, game changing video legacies, both lack the ability to fall off tour, both never expected to win a title, yet still a perennial threat and always mentioned as “best surfer to never win a title”.

  • Delano Sanders

    Hop on the way-back machine to 1972: good year for Lopez to stop surfing pipe?

  • John

    This article makes no sense. These athletes should do what is good for THEM, not what is good for “the sport”. Since when did Shea Lopez decide the fate of superstar athletes?

  • Jamie

    Surf contest are just pissing matches. I love watching great surfing so I watch the tour but I would rather go to Dane’s website and see great surfing on a more regular basis instead of the lame game of who is better in this heat. We should all remember as surfers it is in our blood to think that jocks compete and we are not jocks. Any way arm wrestling is stupid! Go surf!

  • Andrew

    I remember Machado saying something like “Kelly is going to keep on winning as long as the wants to” And Rob said that back in the late 90′s. Still true and looks like we’ll have the chance to have him around another year at least. As for Dane, the only guys not amazed by him are the jealous type… and alot of us are not.

    Was the pay good this week Shea? Sometimes I feel we’re all being played by the media to make us read their “shocking” lines.

  • jeff

    Neither surfer should retire. For Slater to retire now future winners will always labor under the question mark of “what if Slater was still competing”. He owes it to the sport to compete until he loses so we can see exactly who is next and why. It won’t be long.

    If Dane quits competition the tour dies a slow death. It would be a terrible example for aspiring surfers. The ASP is only relevant if the best of the best are on tour. Dane for a few short seasons will be the most exciting surfer in the world and a talent that deserves a world title. True that the tour needs Dane but he also needs the tour to keep him from living a wasted fools life like Rasta. Rasta went from being one of the greatest potential surfers of all time to the most boring.

  • Ben

    This is crap punditry. The best surfers should be able to flat out outperform Kelly. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has this year. Shea and Kanga have both nonsensically insisted that others aside from Slater, especially Jordy, have done the best surfing this year, to which I call utter bullshit on the following bases:

    How many tens did Kelly get this year?
    Could anybody, save the late great AI, have made either of Kelly’s 10 in Tahiti or France? Could Jordy? (You know the answer).
    Think of Kelly’s perfect ten in Puerto Rico – Did Jordy do anything that dope all year? Could Owen have wrapped turns like that with his twerpy frame (yes Dane could have, which is why he needs to be on tour…)?

    “Best competitor ever” is an extremely backhanded compliment. Slap yourself, and repeat: Best SURFER ever. Best SURFER in 2011. Kelly Slater. Fool.

  • Ben

    By the way, if the tour insists on the supershit waves it prefers over Indo, Fiji, etc. then Shea won’t have to beg them to get off tour. The best surfers will leave of their own volition, and the world title will become nothing but a paper tiger, the same that sits on Dooma and Barton Lynch’s mantles.

  • Thom Bolas

    Yo Shea, You have always been one of my fav surfers.. but hey man, your opinion stinks! Life is about LIVING! And both Kelly and Dane are doing just that. I hope to see Kelly on tour for at least another 5 or 6 years…. And as for Dane, he’s the perfect example of living moment by moment having fun…. isn’t that what surfing is all about anyway… So Shea, go surf and stop worrying what others should do, focus on what you wanna do instead.

  • Ron Fucking Swanson

    To me, competiting for a title is much more pure than having an entire career based on image and personal branding. The proof is in the fucking pudding, no bullshit.

  • Ryan

    DEAR DANE

    Don’t do the tour…

  • Brad Western

    The editoral/opinion piece is self serving, devisive and in no way respectful to both Kelly Slater or Dane Reynolds’ choice to spend their time on the tour. I’m sure Shea will justify it by stating that they are both his close friends and the article is nothing more than a light hearted joke. Truth is the article is a light hearted joke in more ways than one.

    Shea toured fulltime untill he couldn’t keep up with the opposition and I’m sure he has great memories of his time on the world stage.

  • http://unsoundsurf.com dave

    is shea feeling ok. sounds kinda jealous? you rip shea, just need to practice more.

  • jamie

    There is nothing more lame than a competing at surfing. Its like competing at music or painting. No soul, no pure, no joy, all selfish!!! Kelly did not do his best surfing last year. He did some great competing. Dane did the best surfing the tour has ever seen but not the best competing. Why do we all watch surfing contest? I hope, for surfings sake, its to see great surfing and not great competing. Ask a competitor in the Pipe or J bay contest why they are surfing the event and they will say “So I can surf here with one other guy in the water”. Don’t we have football, basketball, baseball, nascar, track, swimming, mma, and video game to fill our selfish need to win. And we have killed the soul of surf, skate, snow as we turn into Jocks!
    I’m going for a surf not a competition.

  • http://SurferLiving.com David

    Gosh Shea, why don’t you tell us what you really think?

    Personally, I believe having top talent in any sport serves to propel lesser talent into become better. Top talent inspires ideas, creates pathways and spurs motivations that help others achieve what they may not have before thought possible. Your vision could easily result in the ASP having a ‘World Champ’ who isn’t actually the best in the world. That may not be altogether a bad thing but I don’t think it will result in the kind of progress that you’re suggesting. Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder how much you’d appreciate having others telling you what you should or shouldn’t do with your career.

    PS. Although ’10′ is a nice round number… it is just a number… Kelly should surf and compete for as long as he would like to. Ditto for Dane.

  • marejadasur

    first of all, i don’t think any of them should leave what they’ve decided to get in, the only way they’re damaging the tour, is the superiority of kelly is making every one onf the top ten just wanting to stay in, like if the top one is almost impossible, but any ways
    you’ve commited a big mistake in my opinion, your forgetting about people like Jprdy Smith and what they mean to the surf world, or parko or mick or taj or michel bourez (this would reveal i’m european) or jeremy flores
    it’s not only about the two of them!! and will never be!

  • http://surfermag.com/shea/ Sheapez

    Having a blog is all new to me, as I just now found out there is a comments section. In no way did i have any jealousy or ulterior motive when writing the above post. I simply had a thought and expressed it in my blog. There was some very good points made amongst all the comments and i enjoyed reading everyone’s personal thoughts very much. Here is a few more of my own on the subject:
    There is two sides to every coin, and surfing couldn’t have two sides more completely opposite to each other…but equally great in their own ways. No other sport can two elder participants, like Occy and Curren for example, be as impressive to view now as they were in their competitive days. Being a committed World tour competitor requires 12 months of intense focus and an almost total consumption of your time. While Dane and Kelly have much more to offer in the broader spectrum that makes up surfing as a whole. Contests should still make up a portion of the Dane/Kelly experience, just not the entire show. In no way would I want either surfer to pull a “drifter” move.
    As for me, I’ve been broken, put back together, and broken again too many times to keep up with the performance levels today in surfing. However, I still love to surf every chance I get, and viewing the best surfers in the world, either competing or freesurfing, is my #1 pastime. I’ll be trying to bring unfiltered highlights from my experiences to the Blog here as they come to me. I hope you enjoy my perspective…and please be sure to tell me when you don’t as well. The internet is great for that.

  • Kel

    I think the only person to retire should be Shea from writing. This is one of the worst thought put articles I’ve ever read.

  • Ando

    Let’s hear from Dane and Kelly. It’s pretty bold to assume any of us know what the future of surfing holds and what will benefit it most. Soul and competitive surfing are opposite ends of the spectrum and should be occupied by the best the surfing world has to offer. It’s King of the Hill…someone needs to step up and knock the greats off.

  • Stanton Gene Kawaihinano Otero

    Eh howzit and Aloha to my braddah – sista surfa’s out dea’ !

    Dane should do whatever the hell he wants to do with his career, same as with Kelly. Yeah, Shea’s got some “editorial’ space in a major publication, to submit and circulate his essay as to why and when and how pro-surfers who continue to progress, “should” retire…throw in the towel, etc.

    An earlier poster suggested taking a ride on the “way back machine” to 1972 when Jerry was schooling everyone on how to ride Pipeline, and that perhaps he “should” have called it quits at some arbitrary time in his pro career…yeah,…no way. He decided otherwise and we surfers, pro, am, everyday, we are better for it. That and, well, Jerry got to decide for himself.

    I do not view the awesome gift my ancestors gave to the world as something to be measured in regards to others deciding when one should quit or switch career gears, or anything that Shea has suggested. Surfing just is. And it just is according to the individual who surfs.

    Shea braddah, not trying to, nor meaning to be hating on you however, your suggestions to Dane and Kelly is kinda…unreal.

    Another thing that is unreal is SURFER allowed your piece to be published. I don’t know if you guy’s got any editorial staff or what but, if I’d been reviewing your piece for editing before publication…I would have strongly suggested you re-consider publishing this.

    ‘K den, Mahalo fo’ your time. I goin’ go surf now!

    See you in the line up…Aloha ‘a Hui Ho!

  • Endorphinder

    Ask not . . . what Kelly and Dane can do for you…..
    Ask . . . what you can do for Kelly and Dane (who positively inspire so many).

  • Dominic

    Ok man, what’s really needed is a seniors circuit, just like golf. Maybe the age would be 32\35 and above. 4-6 contests a year with REAL money, not some side show rodeo clown crap. Can you imagine watching Curren, Occy, Sunny, Slater, Archbold, the Lopez brothers, Neco Padaratz, and a ton of others competeing at killer surf spots again? I mean the WTC right now has a bunch of guys over 30 that are still killing it!! I mean Tayolor Knox, jeez come on, this is an amazing time to be a surfer!!
    This kind of thing would give Slater and others a place to showcase their skills while letting the new school surfers make their mark and solidify their supremacies on the WTC. And I mean a legit circuit that they would have to qualify for or maybe some kind of lottery system. It would give surfers and the industry a whole nuther realm of envolvement. If anyone thinks surfers are going to just curl up and rot away after age 35 anymore, you are in lala land and I don’t me LA!! Kelly has proven that! And look at what Corey’s doing these days…he’s still out there killing it too! Wake the F@#$ up surf industry, think outside the box and lets start sufing again!!! keep the stoke, it’s obvious Kelly has!!

  • http://SurferLiving.com David

    I agree with Stanton Gene, in that, often the articles & writers themselves get criticized when sometimes that blame should be shared by the editor(s). Salacious headlines like “John Florence Will Change The Way We Surf” & “Why Dane & Kelly Should Quit The Tour” are great if they are actually backed up with substantial content that average surfers can relate to. Otherwise, they result in hype that ultimately leaves the reader disappointed. With the huge talent pool in todays sport, to single out John John or Dane or even Kelly and make big, absolute statements can be pretty reckless, especially when the facts to support this aren’t overwhelming. In Shea’s defense, for whatever its worth, this blog is a new endeavor which I’m sure will grow and take shape with time and experience. He has also taken steps to address some of the concerns here and obviously seems engaged. The editors of Surfer Mag on the other hand should have enough experience under their belts to seriously critique articles before they’re published, as even blogs reflect upon the magazine as a whole. My advice would be for all bloggers to write sincerely but patiently… it isn’t necessary to break from the gate with big attention grabbing headlines, especially when the content may not back it up. Sometimes, less is more.

  • http://www.crsurf.com CRSURF

    Watching contests is entertaining, and why not keep two of the best on the tour so keep it fun? Maybe someone has Quiksilver envy?

  • Josh

    Kelly is proving to all of us, just like Hamilton, that age has nothing to do with pushing limits and progression. The longer Kelly stays in and even keeps winning the better. I get sick of people blaming getting older on why they can’t push themselves or get better. I for one want to see Kelly win on tour at 45 and just kill it.

  • Nate Dawg

    I actually can’t believe the level of animosity towards this post— it’s absurd. More than that, I am shocked by how deeply intrenched people’s love for the WT is. I actually laugh to think that people hold the WT as the pinnacle of surfing.
    But most importantly, cut the crap with likening Kelly to Jordan— Surfing and basketball are apples and oranges. Surfing is an aesthetic sport, with the highest aim to be an expression of strength, power, and creativity. If you compare basketball to surfing with a proper understanding of their differences, what Shea is arguing is that Jordan should have left the NBA to practice dunking not just from the foul line, but the top of the key.

    Yes, both of these guys are legendary for their work on tour. They would be more legendary if they left a legacy on film. Shea has a great deal of foresight suggesting that Slater focus on film, because the truth is, while he holds 11 titles, his contribution to film is not great. While he beat Jordy Smith this year on the tour, Jordy set a bar for surf films in The Modern Collective. Consider that film a gauntlet thrown down. Jordy put together footage that might define a decade aesthetically— I would hate to see Slater’s legacy not crowned with some amazing film. How could he pass that up?

  • http://patrickhaynes.com patrick

    Shea your article sounds like a script from the cartoon “Pinky and the Brain”.
    Seems like you have written this piece having been given the headline by your editor, to gain attention. And it looks like you forgot about losing your own credibility in the process.
    having Kelly there for so long is what has changed the way the judging system and contest formats are based, and also where the contests are being held in terms of quality of waves.
    would you rather be surfing a contest at Huntington or Fiji? Grovelling or getting barrelled? Palm trees or peak hour traffic?
    Kelly has basically taken the pro tour on an exotic surfing trip for the last decade.
    here is an idea. Why not let Kelly pick 3 or 4 world tour stop destinations each year in the same theme as the Rip Curl search.
    The sport needs as much media attention it can get, Kelly has the ability gain this for the sport also.
    One last thing… Surf board design is dominated by the desire to win heats in a competitive arena. why are so many people riding 4 fin boards today? why? Because they saw Kelly surfing it at Snapper Rocks in the Quiksilver contest a number of years back.

    All the best Shea

  • Jamie

    Nate Dawg: KS has not only been featured in an extensive number of films, but some of the biggest of all time. Crawl out from under your rock sometime and take a look around LOL Here are just some of them…

    “Ultimate Wave Tahiti” (2010)
    “Bustin Down the Door” (2008)
    “One Track Mind” (2008)
    “Kelly Slater Letting Go” (2008)
    “Waveriders” 2008)
    “Surf’s Up” (2007)
    “Down the Barrel” (2007)
    “Surfers – The Movie” (1990)
    “Bra Boys” (2007)
    “The Ocean” (2008)
    “One Night at McCool’s” (2001)
    “Letting Go” (2006)
    “Young Guns 1, 2 & 3″ (2004–2008)
    “Doped Youth” ‘Groovy Avalon’ (2004)
    “Kelly Slater in Black and White” (1991)
    “Endless Summer II” (1994)
    “Wave Warriors 3″
    “A Fly in the Champagne” (2009) (featuring Kelly Slater and Andy Irons)
    “Cloud 9″ (2009)
    “Riding Giants” (2004)
    “Step into Liquid” (2003)
    “Thicker than Water” (2000)

  • Matthew Gillenberg

    Whether Dane and Kelly decide to continue on the WCT is a personal question that only each of them can answer individually. I enjoy watching WCT contests especially when two of the most charismatic and enigmatic surfers are competing. After surfing with Dane here in Mexico last summer, I can see how he would appreciate surfing world class waves with one other surfer in the line up. Kelly is the WCT.

  • B. Rose

    I completely disagree with the premise of this article. “That could be Kelly’s final gift to all of us…”, it seems like you think Kelly owes us something. I don’t feel that at all. He’s doing what he wants to do, and I hope outside opinionators don’t have any effect on what he decides to do.

    As far as Dane, I just love watching him surf. His heats are always the most exciting to watch, and I would be severely bummed if he left the tour. Yes, he could do amazing videos, but that kind of thing takes a lot of self motivation, which Dane may or may not have. Being on tour pushes him, though, and I think it makes him better. Really, though, selfishly, I just want to keep watching him on tour. I don’t claim to know what’s best for Dane (or Kelly), and I don’t think you should either. Seems pretty arrogant.

  • http://EAGLESWINGSCROSSOVER.COM Mike

    Shea gotta, give you credit you are am better journalist than given credit by your readers. You did exactly what you intended SHAKE THE PER-VERBAL TREE, and see the reaction. Look at the love shown for Kelly and Dane and how the comments have been documented. lol lol This is not meant to stuff your journalistic box full. Every reader knows that the theses two surfers will do exactly as they please with there careers because they can. Just like lopez, curren, malloy, fletcher’s, ect. ect they don’t have to look back it is all in front of them what they choose and when. Keep up the good blog work. lol

  • Tyler

    Just saw BLACK SWAN and there is defintely a correlation with surfing……

  • Doug

    Interesting…

  • sd, cali

    dane -> wardo?? where the f did u come up with that one

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  • http://surfermag.com/shea/ Sheapez

    The Dane and Wardo connection: Both are large, powerful, and dynamic regular foots from California who have a similar technique and approach to riding waves. They also surf heats with little thought but to catch as many waves as possible and rip the shit out of them.

  • Jamie

    Shea, I think your next blog should be titled, “Why Sunny Garcia Should Quit Surfing”. That dude is the biggest douchebag in the sport and his fight at this week’s Breaka Bureigh Pro where he nearly drowned a guy should be the last straw. He represents nothing good about surfing. There are plenty of other people you could suggest quit the sport and Sunny should be at the head of the pack.

  • http://praxsiuniversal.com Brett

    The best surfing used to be done outside of the contest arena, but the ASP has done a lot to change that. Granted some work needs to be done, but when Dane says that the best move he has ever done was in a contest, the thing to take away there is he is being pushed in the contest environment to perform at his best.
    I don’t think anyone can honestly say that the best surfers are not on the WCT or what’s replacing it, with guys like Kerr, Julian, Dane, Parko, et la on board.

    I think what needs work is more dynamic venues, the movable thing is great put the surfers where the best waves are Rib Curl has got it right. But the reality is humans need to be pushed by competition, it’s our nature.

  • Jaron

    good food for thought, shea. the same goes for your other articles..good stuff brother.

  • http://notonlykelly.wordpress.com/ {N.O.K}

    I really don’t share your suggestions about both kelly and dane quitting the WCT.
    Ok Kelly won everything but I guess that he can beat himself, he can reach new levels and beat new limits and then I don’t think that the other pros needs kelly to leave the tour in order to win something … bah!
    But everyone has a different opinion that’s the beauty of the world.

  • Kimo

    Obviously Kelly and Dane should do whatever they want to do. They are exciting to watch but the tour will go on without them. As far as board development goes, Kelly had everyone riding boards that were too thin with too much rocker back in the 90s (not riding is probably a better description) and now he has lots of folks bogging on boards that are too short.

  • ric

    I disagree. I love sitting back and watching these guys on tour, its one of the best ways to display their surfing. If it wasnt for these 2 owen and jordy i wouldnt watch a single event

  • http://www.deanmillerprints.com Beach Bedding

    Those two are the only ones holding the tour together!

  • Steve

    Thought-provoking idea, but I’d like to throw another fly in the ointment. I believe Kelly is driven to his best surfing by the competitive aspect, whereas Dane is almost the opposite when it comes to motivation. The tour doesn’t always offer the best waves, but that doesn’t seem to stop someone like Slater from getting where he needs to be in-between… and it also provides a venue where he does not have to compete for waves with a million wannabes. Dane’s decision to leave the tour provides surf fans with the best-case scenario. We will get to see both Slater and Dane surf in the respective environments that are most conducive to their best surfing.

  • super good

    I’m sick of people hating on contest guys, they are the better guys, they perform in all conditions and surf well when they are not in the mood to surf. Videos are cool but it’s basically just watching people practice. Also people’s opinion of who has the best video part is just as if not more subjective and bias then the judges on the tour.