Minds officially blown.
Kelly Slater is the world’s greatest surfer. This we all know and formally agree upon. His eleven world titles will never be matched. His innovation and flair second to none. His indelible mark upon this, the surfing world, shall never be erased which is exactly why, by definition, it is indelible. And yet somehow, in someway, the man who once invented the carving 360 continues to surprise.
But let us examine his most recent turn as designer. The 56-year-old has long lent his name to various products like magic purple juice and easy listening folk rock though he has rarely been deeply involved in the creative process.
For now Kelly Slater is letting his mind run free, conjuring and conceiving. Putting pen to paper or at least mouth to Apple Phone voice notes.
The main inspiration?
His sublime relationship to the animal kingdom, of course.
First came the sandal that celebrates the heretofore unknown connection between the majestic sea turtle and the moon. The KLLY press release revealing, “For the design of the sandal, Kelly was particularly moved by the mysterious and special relationship between the moon and sea turtle. Turtles have 13 large scales that represent the 13 lunar cycles in each year and 28 smaller scales that represent the days in each cycle. As a tribute to these coexisting forces, Kelly designed the top of the sandal to mirror the moon’s surface while the bottom sole represents the turtle’s scales.”
But not a one off for now we have a surfboard based on the outline of a great white shark. Slater says that he had been collecting pictures of the man-eating beasts for years, keeping them in a folder. One day, whilst in Indonesia, he approached shaper Mike Woo and said, “Hey, I have this idea. I want to make this board that is the outline of a great white…”
Woo, in Slater’s retelling, was absolutely blown away, responding, “Are you serious?????”
He was serious and now the dream is a reality.
The question, now, is what’s next?
An electric car inspired by the orangoutang? A coffee mug lifted straight from the mighty carpenter ant?