Kelly Slater: still here after all these years

Kelly Slater will not unveil his full surfing plans for 2011, but he will certainly be ripping the waves of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, in Australia, from February 26 through March 9.

The 10-time world surfing champion has been testing new surfboards and gear in Hawaii and California and his highly motivated to open the season up in the high-performance righthand pointbreak of Snapper Rocks.

The natural-footer is ready for top competition and only wants to have fun. "The waves at Snapper wake me up enough or motivation but I'd love to get another win at the Quiksilver Pro," Slater said. "Either a great way to go out or to start another campaign! I can't honestly answer that (my plans for the year) right now. I've thought about doing a farewell aloha tour and saying bye to the tour and I've thought about retiring after this event for real."

Will Slater go for another world title fight? The best surfers in the planet won't make his task easy. In the opening surfing season round, Slater will face Kai Otton, 31, one of the event wildcards. Joel Parkinson will try to better the 24th place, after a near career-ending injury that saw the stylish natural-footer sit out the bulk of the season.

"It’s a big year for me for sure." Parkinson said. "I turn 30 pretty soon. After what’s happened over the past couple of years, after the injuries and disappointments, if I can surf every event this year at 100% fitness, I’d consider that a victory in itself. And if I can do that I’m confident I’m going to be challenging. But I don’t dwell on what’s happened to me. I’ve learned to just worry about the 30 minutes of the next heat in front of me".

Dane Reynolds, 25, who finished the 2010 ASP World Title season in 4th, has withdrawn from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee as a result of an injury he had suffered in Hawaii in early December.

He started rehab the week after surgery, and is expecting be back in the water sometime in mid to late March. Cory Lopez (USA), 33, will be serving as his replacement at the event.

Running in conjunction with the men’s event will be Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover, the opening event in the ASP Women’s World Title season.