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Kelly Slater and the burden of being!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Isn't being hypocritical what makes us human?

We all live our lives by various woven together standards, be they religious, philosophical, metaphysical, conservative, libertine.

Me? I’m as Christian as Beth Hamilton. More heavily Calvinistic less evangelical but these differences are merely academic. I wander far from the path, egregiously, but that’s what makes being human very fun.


Kelly Slater, fourteen time World Champ, is also not shy about broadcasting much of his belief structure. Pro healthy foods, clean living, yoga with various touches of conspiracy thrown in for flavor.

One of his primary stances is environmentalism. He loves Mother Earth very much and is not shy about lending a hand, or his name, to different planet first causes.

OuterKnown, his clothing label, makes a specific point of producing in a sustainable way. Buzzy but very admirable. He says:

I created Outerknown to smash the formula. To lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove that you can actually produce great looking menswear in a sustainable way…the last two years have been a huge eye-opener for me. It’s clear now just how challenging it is for any brand to put sustainability at the forefront of their business and I’m proud that we’re one of the few taking the lead.

Manufacturing creates massive waste and pollution and so to cut, where possible, helps but do you know what pollutes more grossly?

Air travel!

Nothing befouls like airplanes. They pump more CO2 into the air than almost anything. The New York Times called air travel our “biggest carbon sin” and added, “Every time you fly you trash the planet.”

And so you can imagine Kelly Slater’s dilemma as he flew around the world in a private jet belonging to OuterKnown’s parent company Kering to check on his OK supply chain.

Flying private is far worse than flying commercial as it adds an almost unnecessary layer of pollutants on top of already critical levels. The Wall Street Journal reported that a passenger flying private contributes five times as much carbon-dioxide as a passenger flying commercial.

A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend was on this private jet with Kelly and said that he could not stop wringing his hands, fully aware of his gross duplicity. He told his friend who told a friend who told a friend who told me that Kelly spent all of his time trying to come to terms with what he was doing.

His wave pool, also, is a complete and utter ecological nightmare. The amount of power it takes to run that thing, no matter how it is sold to the public, is massive and serious. Rory Parker did a wonderful job of pointing out the inherent falsehoods in the fact that it is advertised as being 100% solar powered.

Still, I would like to ease Kelly’s emotional burden. It is so much better to have ideals and break them into a million little pieces then to be hopelessly pessimistic and droll. He should stop worrying about his casuistry and celebrate being all too human at least for a few moments in elevated life.

Don’t you think?