Kelly Slater: Recreational Drug Use ‘Rampant’ on Tour

Pro surfer talks testing

Joe Spring

Pro surfer Kelly Slater said he does not think surfing has a problem with performance-enhancing drugs, but does think surfing has a problem with recreational drug use. “There clearly is [a problem], absolutely,” he told the Courier Mail. “There’s no denying that, it’s rampant, it’s full-on.”

The ASP instituted a drug-testing policy on tour last year, but Slater said tests were lacking. “They tested us at the first event and I never got tested again all year,” he said. “Why talk about it and not do it? Why bother? Either do it or don’t do it.”

Slater lost last year’s ASP title to Joel Parkinson in the final event. He will chase a 12th title in 2013. He questioned whether testing on tour would have helped Andy Irons deal with his drug problem in a useful way. “I know a lot of drug addicts and you can’t force them to go get help if they don’t want it,” he said. “You just have to show those people love and support and let them know that if they need your help, you’re there.”

Slater also said he would support more stringent testing, though it wasn’t his battle to fight because he has been drug free.

For more from Kelly Slater, read the Courier Mail. For more on surfer Andy Irons, read “Last Drop” and “Crashing Down” by Brad Melekian.