Speculation over Kelly Slater's retirement was rife towards the tail end of last year, when the king announced he was to give it one more shot at winning a 12th world title.
And interest peaked over how the greatest surfer of all time would spend his latter years, likely cranking his Lemoore-based artificial wave ranch 24/7.
It certainly added more flavour to the upcoming CT season. The GOAT's final hurrah amidst a strong crop of young, hot-blooded rookies – it's a dream! But now, it seems the champ has just blown those heady retirement plans wide open.
In an interview with the LA Times, Kelly unsurprisingly reveals he's still got a bit more in the tank, a little zest left under the hood, meaning next season may not be his final. The future's still slightly murky though as whether Kelly will be competing full-time/part-time/or purely gunning for that elusive 12th really depends on how he's feeling. Let's read!
''People took it that way, but it's not necessarily the case,'' Kelly laments about his social media javelin last year that said he's gearing down. ''But I may pull back and just not do any full years. I don't foresee myself stopping doing contests anytime soon, but that full tour thing might not be too appealing.''
But the kicker here? "If I feel healthy this year and give it my all and don't win, then I doubt that I'll do more full years. I feel like I've put in four or five years just now where I honestly didn't give a full effort.
''Not that I didn't try when I was in heats, but it's a lot of the preparation and mindset going into contests and being excited about it and finding a reason to want to win and to want to be where you're at, even if the waves are terrible or you feel sick or you're on the other side of the world and you have a family issue. You have to push past all that and want to be there and want to be prepared."
Hooooo boy. Let's hope Kelly's firing on all cylinders and getting a health kick in prior to the season launching.