Surfing Soapbox: Where in the world is Kelly Slater?

With two surfing superstars missing from this year's Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa and a rather small wave forecast, one has to wonder if we are seeing the future of the ASP World Tour.

Well, let me rephrase that.

One surfing superstar in the likes of 10-time world champion Kelly Slater was a no-show for his heat, and Bobby Martinez is also missing from this year's event. Both were rumored to have been in transit to the event before missing their heats.

Slater has long been a mystery, showing up in countries mere hours or minutes before surfing his heats, and Martinez seems more content on sabotaging what's left of a once promising surfing career.

Perhaps Slater has finally grown tired of following the circus, especially considering he has won the J-Bay event more times than anyone else and was coming into this event ranked No. 3 in the world. And he's already won the first event of the season.

Have we seen the last of Slater competing full-time on the tour?

OK, in actual surfing news, the following Round 3 heats are as follow:

Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)

Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)

Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)

Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)

Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)

Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)

Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)

Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)

Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)

Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)

Parkinson is my pick to win this event and also my pick to win the 2011 ASP Word Title.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha

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