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Beach Grit

Revealed: Kelly Slater’s lost nickname!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

You'll never guess!

I have been buried in Surfer magazine’s archives, searching for hidden Lisa Andersen nuggets for the forthcoming documentary Trouble. It is difficult work in that distractions lurk on every page. Old Gotcha ads, secret spots’ like Mavericks and Nias revealed, Kelly Slater’s long forgotten nickname from the early 1990s.

Kelly Slater. His mom calls him Willie, but can’t remember why. The press calls him “the next Tom Curren,” and other things that are impossible to live up to. Other surfers call Slater overrated, until they see him surf — then they just call him a mutant. And the teenage girls of America, they call Slater often and at all hours, forcing him to change his telephone number. It isn’t easy being highly-touted, but Slater shows he has that side of surf-stardom in control and let’s it all flow around him.


Ol’ Willie Slater.


And now is the time to fess up. Do you have a lost nickname? Something your mom used to call you that has almost faded from memory?

Slick Willie Slater.

Welcome to Willie Slater’s Surf Ranch.