Fans anxious to see Kelly Slater in action at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach next month

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Fans anxious to see Kelly Slater in action at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach next month
As we get closer to the second stop of the 2012 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, there is still no clear idea whether we would be getting an opportunity to see the king of waves Kelly Slater entering his domain to stamp his domination
in the sport.
The 11-time ASP World Champion is without any doubt one of the best things that happened to surfing and it would not be an overstatement to say that the sport needs him just as much as he needs the sport. Both have gained a lot from each other and both will
surely have a lot to lose if the association is to come to an end.
Currently sitting at the age of 40, one would easily fall under the wrong impression that Slater may no longer be capable of facing his fellow elite surfers in the greatest stage of surfing, ASP World Tour.  However, the fitness and stamina that the Florida-based
surfer exhibited during Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks was enough to make all doubts about his capability disappear. He was looking in as good as a form as ever and sailed smoothly through the initial rounds of the event before succumbing to Australia’s
Josh Kerr in the Quarter-finals.
Surfing is still struggling to get itself recognised as a mainstream sport, though the battle is a tough one. However, the ASP is taking measures to give surfing a more appropriate and well-defined structure and improvising new strategies and tactics to
get surfing into the same league as Basketball, Football and Cricket.
In one of the latest measures to expand the sport and put it on a more solid ground, the ASP has decided to start a pay per view model instead of free web broadcasting. The intended motivation for the measure is to generate money that would eventually be
utilised for the progression of the sport and stabilisation of the ASP World Title series. With most of the companies still trying to cope with recession, the major event sponsors are being forced to cancel a few events.
There is little doubt that Slater has the biggest fan following. He may be the key factor that might convince people to spend money on getting a subscription to watch live surfing events on their respective websites, especially if the event is part of the
ASP World Tour and will be featuring the heavy-weights of surfing from around the world.
Slater himself gained his fame through his domination in surfing competitions. He got the boasting rights for becoming the youngest ASP World Champion and went on to earn the boasting rights for being the oldest recipient of the Championship title.
Despite a number of really big names still in contention for the latest ASP World Title, Slater sure holds a special status. Everyone is eager to see whether the seasoned ASP World champions have what it takes to keep the new generation of surfers at bay.
Slater, along with Australia’s 33-year-old Taj Burrow and his compatriots will be part of a field which consists of surfers such as Australia’s Owen Wright, Josh Kerr, South Africa’s Jordy Smith and Brazil’s Adriano de Souza and Gabriel Medina.
The 11-time ASP World Champion needs to lift the curtain off the suspense regarding his participation in the competition. It would indeed be of immense value to the ASP elite tour and the fans if he does decide to surf the entire season instead of throwing
in the towel.



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