Kelly Slater to embark on possible surfing tour?

July 31, 2009 – 12:08 pm

Among surfer Kelly Slater’s upcoming projects is Giant Screen film, Ultimate Wave Tahiti, and perhaps a rumored surfing tour. The Los Angeles Times Outposts blog investigates:

Is Kelly Slater’s rumored surfing tour finally taking shape?

An appearance by the nine-time world champion at the X Games on Thursday night might be perceived as an indication that dealings are being finalized, since ESPN, which runs the X Games, is the rumored partner in the deal.

But it might also be true, as Slater’s agent claims, that Slater was merely attending the X Games as part of a birthday celebration with family and friends, before leaving for Tahiti to continue filming for his upcoming Imax film.

Neither side is talking openly about a possible start to a tour as early as next year. However, a source reasonably close to the situation said there has been some backlash from some of the surfers on the Assn. of Surfing Professionals’ World Tour, and from execs within the surfing industry.

According to reports circulating on surfing websites earlier this month–none of them confirmed–Slater’s tour would consist of eight events and offer a total purse of more than $1 million. Even last-place finishers would earn $40,000 per event. Several top pros were rumored to have joined Slater in the new endeavor.

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