World Champion Kelly Slater surfing at the J-Bay Open last year before his injury. Photo: WSL
World Champion Kelly Slater surfing at the J-Bay Open last year before his injury. Photo: WSL

Kelly Slater to make surf return at J-Bay

A YEAR after suffering a potentially career-ending fifth foot injury in five years, the most successful competitive surfer of all time is preparing to re-enter the competition arena.

Multiple world champion Kelly Slater, now 46, will return to the world surfing tour at the infamous J-Bay Open, the event he broke his foot at a year ago and where Australian Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark back in 2015.

The annual event at Jeffreys Bay will host 11-time world champion Slater's return to competition after he broke his foot in two places in 2017 while tracking for a 12th world crown.

But while Slater is returning, absent from the South African event will be American reigning world champion John John Florence who injured his knee while surfing in Bali earlier this month.

X-ray of Kelly Slater's broken foot in an image taken from his Instagram account.
X-ray of Kelly Slater's broken foot in an image taken from his Instagram account.

Also surfing at J-Bay is Australian Mikey Wright who has been awarded the wildcard for the event which starts July 2.

Slater will be up against world No.3 Brazilian Italo Ferreira and Japan's Kanoa Igarashi in the opening round while Wright will take on American pair Kolohe Andino and Patrick Gudauskas.

Queensland surfer Julian Wilson goes into the event wearing the No.1 vest.


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