Kelly Slater says he’s ready for ‘one more’ world title run

When pro surfer John Florence won his first-ever world title on Tuesday, it felt like the future of the sport was here.

And while Florence will likely become an ever more dominant force in surfing, at least one member of the sport’s old guard is hoping to roll back the clocks one more time: Kelly Slater.

RELATED: The surfing world reacts to John John Florence’s world title win

In an interview with the World Surf League (WSL) published on Wednesday, the 11-time world champion declared that he was ready to take “one more stab” at claiming his 12th world title.

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Kelly Slater (top right) looks on as Florence celebrates his first world title. Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Cestari/WSL

“I think I’m going to take one more stab at a title next year and really try to put a year together,” Slater told the WSL’s Anna Dimond. “I’m pretty inspired by what panned out this year in the back half.”

“So I’m going to take these next four months, get my body together, and get my motivation and my boards and everything right and see if I can really put together a focused year,” Slater continued.

In March, Slater admitted to being in a professional slump and considering retirement.

He also noted that he hadn’t been totally focused on competitive surfing for some time, which might be attributed to the launch of his wave pool company, clothing brand and fledgling art career.

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Slater (right) told the WSL he’s ready to recommit to competitive surfing for next year. Photo: Courtesy of Damien Poullenot/WSL

“I’ve just been having a hard time getting into the flow of it and just relaxing,” Slater told the WSL after round 2 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

But this summer, something seemed to click in Slater.

RELATED: Kelly Slater notches first Championship Tour win since 2013 in Teahupoo

He made it to the semifinals of the Fiji Pro in June, the quarterfinals of the J-Bay Open in July and notched his first championship tour win since 2013 at the Billabong Pro Tahiti in August.

Beyond declaring that he was ready to fully dedicate himself to competitive surfing, Slater also expressed his happiness for Florence, who Slater has known since Florence was a child.

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Slater (seen here surfing in Portugal) put together a successful summer on tour. Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Cestari/WSL

“I felt like a proud brother,” Slater said about watching Florence lift the title trophy. “I’ve known John since he was in the single digits. When he and his brothers were so small, I could get him on my back and have him stand up while I was bodysurfing.”

h/t WSL

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