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Surf champ Slater to the defense

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CHICAGO

Eleven time world surfing champion Kelly Slater says he may travel to Chicago to attend the court hearing of a local surfer who police arrested this week for ... surfing.

Rex Flodstrom, 40, was arrested Tuesday for catching small, freezing waves at Oak Street Beach in Chicago, a beach on Lake Michigan where city officials have decreed that surfing is illegal, myFOXchicago.com reported.

After being handcuffed while still in his wet suit, Flodstrom was held for four hours before being charged with disorderly conduct and being at a closed beach.

Slater, who won his 11th world title last year, took to Twitter Thursday in support of Flodstrom.

"Surfing is not a crime," the 11-time surfing world champion tweeted. "Say what?! Maybe a few of us should attend court with him."

Slater told the Chicago Sun-Times he cannot understand how a city can ban people from surfing.

"It's unbelievable. It's just a body of water. What's with the regulations?" Slater said, adding that he was trying to juggle his schedule so he could appear at Flodstrom's court hearing.

"It makes no sense … It sounds like a police state," he said.

According to the Lake Michigan chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, surfing was banned at all Chicago beaches until 2009, when the group successfully lobbied local government to allow board riding at four locations.

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