Kelly Slater is famous for many things, most notably, playing one of the penguins in the Sony animated movie classic Surf’s Up!
He’s also a very good surfer, the best even, or maybe even the Greatest-Of-All-Time, hence his nickname… Goat Penguin.
Kelly has been around forever. When he won his first world title back in 1992, the current surfing World Champion, Gabriel Medina, wasn’t even born yet. Back then there had never been a surfing phenomenon like him. He starred in Baywatch, the biggest TV show on the planet and dated his co-star Pamela Anderson, the most desired woman on Earth. He was 100-percent pure celebrity, a teen idol who took surfing counter-culture into the mainstream, but most importantly—he fucking ripped! The haters could only stand silent and gobsmacked as Goat Penguin’s brilliance in every conceivable situation became undeniable. In small waves, he was futuristic and lethal. In long overhead swells, he carved with power and purpose. At the Pipeline, nobody could touch him. The guy was invincible. Ironically, after a decade of dominance, Kelly’s one weakness turned out to be his win-at-all-costs mentality. It alienated him from his peers and irked parts of his fan base, particularly when a newcomer named Andy Irons came along in the early 2000s and demanded the surf world take sides in what would go on to be the greatest rivalry surfing has ever known. Wild highs and intense lows were experienced by both men for three years until Kelly rediscovered his winning mojo in 2005 at the same time as Andy took time off for mental health and drug-related issues. Kelly went on to win 11 World Titles in total, a record unlikely to be beaten, his last in 2011.
Since then he has remained competitive, and enjoyed a few standout heats, but largely left the title race untroubled. His focus and contribution to surfing have come almost exclusively from outside of competition. He started his own clothing brand, worked on environmentally sound surfboard manufacturing, and, of course, he delivered the game-changing Kelly Slater Wave Pool. Now the time has come for Kelly’s last stand. He’s announced 2019 will officially be his last full year of competition. Fittingly, the final lap will kick off at Vissla Pro, Manly Beach on March 16th; the very same stretch of sand where Australia’s Midget Farrelly won the first ever surfing World Title back in 1964. If you’re a fan of surfing—or even a fan of Surf’s Up!—you cannot afford to miss the opportunity to see the Goat Penguin go ’round for one more time. There’s no denying the guy is an absolute fucking legend, and we should all see him off with the love and appreciation he deserves.
Beyond Litmus to Premiere at Byron Bay Community Centre 8pm Saturday Night
Last week, I made mention of the Byron Bay Surf Festival, which kicked off last night with an epic 80s photo exhibition by none other than Thomas ‘Lord of the Froth’ Carroll. If you happen to be passing through with your djembe, mid-length single, top knot, and sandalwood deodorant this weekend, I highly recommend you get along to the Byron Community Centre for the Australian premiere of Andrew Kidman, Jon Frank and Derek Hynd’s Beyond Litmus, as well as a screening of the award-winning Momentum Generation biopic. Ank, Frank, DH and Taylor Steele will all be there for Q&As and signings, and the night kicks off at 4 pm with a special talk story session featuring Lauren L. Hill and Dave Rastovich telling heaps rad surfy stories and such. At the end of it all, you can wander out onto the street and play your djembe and maybe make enough money to buy an avocado in the morning. Only joking, everyone knows avos in Byron are $400 each.
Black Skull Bong is here! New Goons of Doom record unleashed upon the masses
It wouldn’t be Heaps Surfy Radness if I didn’t plug something I do in my spare time, and this week it’s my great pleasure to inform you that the band I murder guitar in, The Goons of Doom, have just released their seventh LP, Black Skull Bong. The album has heaps of sick songs on it that the Goons recorded up in Goonengerry, and it’s named in honour of Matt ‘Smid’ Smith, who I used to rip cones from a Black Skull Bong with in a red bus parked out back of his folk’s place in New Brighton. Smid was the best surfer in our neighbourhood and was in a band at school called Bong Scum. Once he used wood glue in his hair to stop his Mohawk from going floppy in the surf. Eventually, he got caught up with some bad crew, did some bad shit, and ended up dying in custody from a methadone overdose administered by the prison doctor. It was a sad end for a rad guy… but the album does him proud, and I hope he’s out there somewhere giving us the finger (lovingly). Check out Ozzie’s film clip for God’s are Crying, featuring surf legends of the 60s and 70s shredding the gnar!
Caped Crusader Vs Joker Surf Off
Did I say before that Kelly Slater versus Andy Irons was the greatest rivalry pro surfing has ever known? Forgive me, I was dead wrong. Back in 1967, it was none other than Batman and the Joker who lit up the line-up with a wave riding donnybrook for the ages. And much was at stake. Joker believed if he could become the king of surfing, the fame would give him control over the hearts and minds of Gotham City’s waxheads. Using the ‘Surfing Experience and Ability Transfermeter’ Joker steals the talents of local hot-dogger Skip Parker, but little does he know, the Dark Knight fucken shreds like a motherfucker, dawg! Nevertheless, Joker snaps him for a rare win. Surfing is just so heaps radness it kills me.