Is Kelly Slater's magnificent creation maybe not so magnificent?
Maxim magazine (do you recall the lad craze?) just published a wide ranging profile on our cherished treasure, Kelly Slater, and it might be worth your reading! Oh you’ll know most of the information already. Like:
At 18, Slater turned professional and quickly won his first pro contest, the Body Glove Surf Bout, at Lower Trestles in California. He signed a six-figure deal with Quiksilver. Two years later, he claimed his first World Championship, the youngest surfer in history to do so. Slater mania was born. He was a regular on Baywatch and dated celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Gisele Bündchen. He modeled underwear for Versace and opened for Pearl Jam with his own band, the Surfers.
For the past few years, however, the greatest surfer of all time has sought more than great waves. “He’s trying to do some good in the world,” says Pete Johnson, an Oahu, Hawaii, native who’s been friends with Slater for 30 years. “He’s passionate about other things and aspires to be a better man.” Slater is a voracious reader, whether the subject is business, nutrition, or cancer, the disease that took his father in 2002. He’s hands-on with the Kelly Slater Foundation, which has supported the fight against cystic fibrosis and melanoma. He’s become more conscientious, making sure to take time to call friends going through hard times. He’s expanding his horizons. Evolving. “I strive to be better and better in all aspects of my life and to learn as much as I can about the things that interest me,” Slater tells Maxim.
But worth your reading because there might be some hidden nugget, some clue as to the actual quality of Kelly Slater’s wonderful wave. You remember him releasing that video of it 20 minutes after Adriano de Souza accomplished his life goal and hoisted the WSL cup as high as those tiny arms could?
It seemed a fantasy! Too good to be true! Wait. Was it too good to be true? Theories rumbled around about how it would take 4 hours between waves for the water to clean up. Or was it 30 minutes? About how there was no actual trough on the wave. About how the barrel was only an illusion when shot from certain angles.
Since the video’s release a good number of people have surfed it though the fog of misinformation still hovers, leaving the rest of us to parse reactions. And there is an interesting one in the Maxim story!
Pete Johnson, Slater’s friend for 30 years, recently surfed it and said:
“It didn’t disappoint but Kelly’s always seeking to improve it.”
Whoa! Does that mean it kind of did disappoint? What do you think?