"He knows things I don't know. He knows things that all the guys I'm surfing with don't know," says Kelly Slater.
A conga line of surfer stars has formed to support Maui-born surfer Clay Marzo’s claim on a wildcard slot at the WSL’s prestigious Grajagan event, which begins on May 28.
“Saw that the WSL is having a contest at G Land in a few months. A big long barreling left,” Marzo, who is thirty-two, wrote on Instagram. “I would love to get the wildcard into that event. Who thinks Wsl should give me the wildcard? I am ready to battle the worlds best in the barrel. Let’s do this !“View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Clay Marzo (@_clay_marzo)
World champs and various notables quickly added their weight behind the claim.
“The guru born in the barrel,” wrote 2001 world champ CJ Hobgood.
WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski, “I think the whole world would be stoked to see @_clay_marzo in the @wsl G-Land event. You got my vote my dood.”
Former sparring partner of Kelly Slater, Shane Beschen, wrote “Wildcard for Marzo at Gland would be insane, fully justified as he is one of the best tube riders and all around surfers in the world with an incredibly entertaining and radical approach. Would be a fan favorite for sure.”
And Kelly Slater, eleven times champ, wrote “I’m all for it. Teahupoo also.”
Of Marzo, Slater has previously said, “He knows things I don’t know. He knows things that all the guys I’m surfing with don’t know.”
Laird Hamilton, also from Maui, calls Marzo “an artist who can’t be pigeon-holed. He’s something all together different that should be cherished.”
Interestingly, it was the surf writer and filmer Jamie Tierney, the director of Marzo’s 2007 signature film Just Add Water, who convinced his mama the then eighteen year old should see a doc.
“My parents are both psychologists,” Tierney told USA Today. “I could tell he was more than a typical teenager… Almost everyone has had to deal with something like this. Let’s talk about Asperger’s but not as disease or a disability. Clay is so good because he has Asperger’s, not in spite of it. His level of focus in the wave is incredible, he makes instant natural connections with the water, something very few people have.”
Six years ago, Marzo and his mama were stiffed for $400,000 by their crooked bookkeeper, who would serve three years for the crime.
No word, as yet, from Santa Monica re: wildcard.