Surf superstar Kelly Slater has pulled out of the U.S. Open of Surfing, underway in Huntington Beach, because of an injury.
“Slater has recently re-aggravated an old shoulder injury, forcing him to withdraw from this week’s U.S. Open in hopes of resting up for the Billabong Pro Teahupo’o,” Assn. of Surfing Professionals spokesman Dave Prodan told the Los Angeles Times.
Slater, who was set to appear later this week at the event, was replaced by Hawaiian Gavin Gillette in the 12th heat of the first round, according to the U.S. Open website. The Inertia reported earlier Monday on the pullout, which has led to speculation on social media about the cause of the injury.
On Sunday, Slater posted a video of himself “skurfing” – surfing while being pulled by a boat -- in his home state of Florida, writing in the description, "No surf in FL so gotta figure out some way to warm up at home for the #VansUSOpenOfSurf.” Some social media users surmised that this was how Slater was injured.
Slater is ranked sixth in the 2014 men's world championship tour with total earnings of $94,500, according to the Assn. of Surfing Professionals website.