Eleven-time World Champion Kelly Slater just offered up the most definitive explanation of his plans for 2020.
"I'm gonna give her another run on Tour this year," Slater told longtime friend, former band mate and producer of Tournotes, Peter King.
During a recent session at Haleiwa, King caught up with Slater for Tournotes and the champ opened up about how things fared last season and his shift in mindset last season.
"The pressure of the Olympics, coming back and maybe my last year, and Sunny [Garcia]'s incident, all those things really made me struggle a little bit last year," said Slater. "So, I felt like I finally loosened up at the end of the year, and I feel a lot more relaxed now."
"When it comes to competition, I didn't really settle down and just like not think and surf, ya know. I was in my head a lot, too much," he added.
Testing boards and fins at Haleiwa, Slater appears fit and in extremely good form as he now sets his eyes on chasing a historic 12th World Title ... even if Leonardo Fioravanti calls him "grandpa."
At 48-years-old, Slater won his first Title back in 1992 -- a remarkable 28 years ago. For perspective, most of the guys on Tour weren't even born in '92.
After rattling off six titles in the ‘90s, he took a break through the turn of the century. In 2005, after a couple of years of fierce rivalry with three-time World Champion Andy Irons, Slater claimed his seventh title. Always a numbers guy, he noted that before wining number seven he hadn't won a title in seven years.
The last World Title that Slater claimed was in 2011. If he should go on to win the Title this year it would be nine years since his last drink from the cup -- breaking his own record. Considering how many records the man holds, and how many generations he's decimated, this one would be truly amazing.
"Ya know, when I get into contest season I pull back from a lot of other stuff, any work stuff and just try to focus on surfing a lot and getting my equipment right," Slater continued.
From what we've seen, Slater's been surfing a ton and dialing in his equipment in his comfort zone on the North Shore this off-season. Here we go again! Look out world, the GOAT is coming in 2020.