When Kelly Wins Ten…
By Sal Masekela
Ten. It is the perfect number. It is the completeness of order. The Ten Commandments. Nothing else is needed. How many violin sonatas did Beethoven write? Ten. Look at her—ten. No, really look at her. She’s a ten! There you go … you can’t turn your eyes away from her can you? No, you can’t. She is the hottest chick on the block, no discussion necessary. So hot that you’ll never get her and you’re okay with it. Because to call her yours requires catlike cunning, damn determination, f—kin’ focus, Delta Force discipline, selfish sacrifice, demented desire, dump-truck durability, rubbery resilience, the convulsive need to compete, and most importantly, ability. You do not have ability. You are confusing ability with potential. Your dog has potential. Ability is the power to act. No one man should have all that power. The ability to hate him is too easy. Until he get’s her. The ten. When he gets her, you loved him all along.
Kelly Slater has that power. He’s had that power. For twenty years he’s flexed his mighty bangstick in ways that defy simple logic. He’s earned the right to not only be called the greatest surfer but quite possibly the greatest athlete that ever roamed this blue and green planet. Michael Jordan got six, went for seven, forced us to watch him reverse Benjamin Button in a Wizards uniform. Ugly. Lance Armstrong got seven, but when he went for eight, he then left more skin on the streets of France than a 500-pound man after aggressive liposuction. They could not complete the circle, could not woo her. Ten. As a result, we giddily give each an asterisk, next to which reads, “Great, but human after all. Yeah!”
Not this time, my dudes, bros, and ladies who love them. We underestimated Jimmy Slade’s ability. His power to act. Kelly Slater is going to get her. Ten. And due to the meganess of her sexy ten, the whole world—well beyond the one that actually rides waves—is lining up to testify. Lining up to say, “Really Kelly, we loved you all along.” What will it look like? Let’s set the bar high.
1. Obama. In a power move sure to stun the far right whilst shoring up the “Shred Or Die” vote in 2012, the President of the United States will return to his native Hawaii to crown Kelly Slater the Ten Time World Champion Of The Universe. Boom.
2. Oprah. She is on the phone with Ellen as we speak telling her to suck it. “Oprah Live From Cocoa Beach … ”
3. ASP Logo. A silhouette of Kelly’s death hack from the Lowers Hurley Pro is the new ASP Logo. Kelly Slater is competitive surfing. Despite protests from purists, The Duke gives a thumbs up from the grave in the form of a double rainbow.
4. Bronze Statue. Magic, Gretzky, Ted Williams, Jordan, hell, Rocky has one and he’s not even real. Therefore Kelly gets ten. Spread ’em out around the world at all the waves he clearly dominates. Sebastian Inlet of course, Pipe, Lowers, Jeffrey’s Bay, on the reef at Cloudbreak, Lance’s Right, Chopes, Snapper just to piss off the Ozzies, Rincon (next to and smaller than Curren’s of course), and finally Cardiff. What better way to remedy the Cardiff Kook debacle than to replace him with Slate dog? BOOM!
5. Airport. Yes, airport. Coastal cities the world over will bid on the exclusive naming rights to Kelly Slater International (insert your city’s name here) Airport.
6. Vanity License Plate. This one is personal. It’s a way for Kelly to say a simple thank you to all the legions of fans the world over who have had his back the last twenty years. It simply reads: 10BIATCH.
7. Signature Drink. Arnold Palmer’s got one and all he did was win eighteen majors. Kelly’s won 43 World Tour events. Get this man a drink! Tequila, splash of soda water, pinch of lime. Bet ya can’t drink ten.
8. Ring. Baseball, hockey, basketball, football. Win a World Championship, get a ring. (Even if you didn’t play!) A ring you can walk into a bar, strip club, or bank with and people give you stuff. From here on out, you win the surfing World Championship, you get a ring. An obnoxious, diamond-encrusted, platinum, gold, copper, silver, titanium-blended power ring. Kelly’s of course has two massive rubies carved into the number “10.”
9. Honorary Doctorate. Over the course of the last twenty years, the Slates has done more than bash lips, pull in, and become a scratch golfer. He’s read more books than you did in college, educated himself in depth as to how the world works on a multitude of levels, and most importantly he’s formulated an opinion. Who’s it gonna be? Florida, UCSB, Ivy League? You get him a cap, gown, and diploma, he’ll send your admissions requests to another solar system.
10. Science. Last but not least is science. We need to know the science of this dude to make the world a better place. The world’s leading scientists will gather on the Indies 4 for four weeks. Biomechanics, cardiovascular, physiological, psychological, quantum physics. You name it, they will study it as it relates to the keeper of the ten. Modern science advances light years and the human race experiences the first real paradigm shift of the 21st century.—Sal Masekela