Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Chris Eubank, there comes a point in time when you just don’t want winners to win anymore. The initial hope of a fresh face atop the podium fades as an all too familiar story unravels before your eyes. Time is precious, filling it with reruns is not the best return on investment.
Thankfully Eubank took a pasting, as did Federer, while Woods experienced more of a basting at the hands of the world’s press. Schumacher on the other hand came back for more but seems to have settled for leftovers. There’s nothing bigger than greatness and yet the world expects more, which begs the question of when do you stop and what do you do next?
Kelly Slater could have retired a few years back and still been considered the greatest surfer of all time. But he didn’t. Now approaching 20 years since he took his first world title and 19 years since he hit our screens as Jimmy Slade in Baywatch, Kelly Slater is on track for an incredible 11th world title. Possibly the most winningest action sports athlete in history, the 39 year-old is showing no sign of letting up which begs the question, how much longer will it last?
A turbulent 2009 saw Slater experimenting with a variety of boards before finishing the year ranked back in 6th place. Talk of retirement was abound before the doubters were silenced by typically domineering displays at Bells, San Clemente and Peniche in 2010. A 10th world title soon became inevitable. Despite a missed round in 2011, Slater once again looks set to hold onto the number one spot. Are we bored of watching the same old rerun? Are we f*ck.
Check out all the highlights from Hossegor below and be sure to keep an eye on the live stream at Quiksilverlive.com