11x World Champ compares Snapper crowd to Pipeline after close call
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 February, 2015 - Snapper Rocks, Queensland - It seems even the World's Greatest Surfer of All Time can't even catch a break at the Superbank. Brisbane's Courier-Mail reports this morning that the 11x World Champ was nearly strangled at Snapper Rocks this past week, as he was caught by a fellow surfer's leash while navigating the tremendous crowds.
The piece quotes the champ as saying, “You get run over, you run into people, I had a leash wrapped around my neck two days ago. I ran over a kid yesterday and fell on him, I was trying to avoid a different kid."
A surely frustrated Slater compared the crowd at Snapper to that of Pipeline, claiming the famed Hawaiian reef break's crowd was less chaotic (though he did ultimately take the high road regarding the Snapper situation, saying the crowded lineup allowed him the opportunity to access his "Zen place" lest he go crazy).
Much has been made of the crowds at the Superbank, as Cyclone Marcia has lit the area up with a lengthy stretch of world-class surf. Snapper local, former CT surfer, and 2003 Gold Coast Pro champ Dean Morrisson took to Instagram, where he commented "I grew up right there, went to primary school right there, when times were tough we had to stay at the refuge right there, so that’s why I get territorial... To all those people that think it’s a free for all, or if ya just moved here and think you’re a local... [it] takes a long time to pay ya dues and earn ya spot in a line up! (sic)"
Crowd control has been a hot subject on the Goldie as of late, with the City Council even considering ways of policing the lineup—charging a fee to access the lineup, imposing fines for "surf rage," and vetting crowds by where surfer's reside or their ability.
Slater was his typically lucid self when asked about the council's suggestions, saying “Move to China if you are into that sort of communist angle, but at the same time you can’t help sometimes be out there and feel that way,’’ he said.