Kelly Slater, the greatest surfer in history
By Disrupt Surfing in Uncategorized
Born in Cocoa Beach, Florid in 1972, Robert Kelly Slater is one of the most well known surfers of all time. He started to compete at just six years old in the Salick Brothers Surf Contest, a local torment that he won.
Too young to travel, he surfed in the local beaches in Florida, and in 1982 he won almost all the stages of the Menehune championship for children whilst he was under the age of 12.
Slater won the Mundial surf championship 11 times (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011). He also held 7 victories in pipe master (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2008 and 2013) which is the most important stage of the championship.
Slater has followed the evolution and changes in the sport for more than two decades, inspiring surfers from three generations. And he still surfing at a high competitive level, with surfers of half of his age. For Slater, surf is his religion. He dedicated all his life to continuously be one of the bests competitors on the WCT (world championship tour), he once explained in a CNN interview:
“Surfing is my religion, if I have one, the barrel is really the ultimate ride for any surfer. It’s the eye of the storm. Some guys say it’s like being in the womb.”
“For me it’s sort of like time slows down. You become hyper aware of a lot of different things — the way the wave is breaking, timing, putting yourself in the right part of the barrel. It takes all of your mental capacity to do it just right.”
When he was questioned about his age, Kelly said:
“Friends that were on tour with me 20 years ago, 10 years ago, are now family guys married with kids,” he said. “They say ‘I can’t believe you’re still doing it, that you’re looking for waves every day.’
“But I want to surf better tomorrow. I want to surf better in 10 years. When I’m 50 I want to be a better surfer than I am now — for me it’s a lifelong journey.”
For more info on this champion surfer, check out his Wikipedia page!