The master, Kelly Slater, surfs on - and on

Surfing king Kelly Slater has remained coy about retirement but has talked up the lure of the Tokyo Olympics.

"It's true that I've hinted at it (retirement)," he said.

"I'm just feeling it out to be honest, I'm a very indecisive person.

"I thought I'd better keep going until I burn out the battery entirely, and I can feel the moment coming."

Slater faces a tough task to claim one of the two Olympic spots available for the US, with 2017 World Surf League champion John John Florence among his keenest rivals.

"A lot of people are exploring their roots to see if they can qualify for Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland," Slater joked.

"I'm wondering if I could surf for Syria or Ireland or something."

Kelly Slater greets fans after competing in the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach, Sydney. Photo: Janie Barrett

Kelly Slater greets fans after competing in the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach, Sydney. Photo: Janie Barrett

Before all that he's still alive and kicking in the Sydney Surf Pro off Manly.

The 47-year-old recorded a two-wave score of 11.27 to finish clear of Spain's Vincente Romero (11.10) in the four-strong heat.

The competition continues.