Find out the latest Surfing news about Kelly Slater on the flip…
Now that Slater is out, the 11x World Champ will be replaced by 20-year-old Lucas Silveira, making the total of Brazilians competing in the event at 14.
Surfline reached out to Slater for comment on his decision, to which he jokingly replied, “missed my flight.”
When he was given a multiple-choice question by Surfline: “a) bad surf; b) polluted water; c) the Zika virus; d) local violence.”
He texted back, “e) personal reasons. And all of those could potentially be personal, couldn’t they?”
This won’t be the first time Slater dropped out of the South American stop. He did so before, due to an injury.
Beyond Slater’s absence, other notable World Tour standouts have decided to skip Brazil: Taj Burrow, who announced his retirement earlier this season, will not surf in the contest this year. And Joel Parkinson, who was competing with Burrow at a QS event in Bali recently, is not listed anywhere in the heat draw.
From pollution to the Zika virus to shootings near the contest site, the lead-up to this contest has been a ball of controversy. It’s possible all these dilemmas made the decisions easy for Parko, Taj and Slater.