Kelly Slater

By: Evan Finneke

Published: October 9, 2006

vTiger's million dollar earning's, Kobe's scoring ability, and Federer's dominance on the court are all among some of the most overwhelming markers in professional sports. What's unique about these figures is that each has reached an almost mythic position in their sport, while remaining only toddlers in age compared to their competition. In the sport of surfing, Kelly Slater is no exception.
Kelly Slater has been called the premier rider in surfing and to his credit claims seven world championship titles. Besides being regarded as one of the sport's best, Slater has been given a wealth of media coverage and has even had a role on TV's Baywatch.

His earliest surfing dates back to his home town of Cocoa Beach, in central Florida. Here Slater claims was a perfect place to learn beginner surfing, with waves that were ripe enough to ride but not so overwhelming to break one's confidence. Slater is renowned for becoming the youngest surfer to win a championship at the age of 21, and has revolutionized the sport by showing surfers they can overbear the wave's will and drive the board to follow the surfer.

His professional success is only rivaled by that of his commercial success, and the name Kelly Slater is one of the most common on the tips of surfing tongues. His titles have been won from beach coasts all over the world, and his impact on the sport of surfing is almost immeasurable.

Slater's rise to celebrity has spilled over into other areas, and the young surfing hero has seen success in other outlets such as his band, originally called The Surfers, as well as an acting career and multiple endorsement campaigns.
His total earnings from competing, though sizable, are only a portion of Slater's worth compared to his sponsorships, and at even a remarkable young age he is said to be the greatest in history.

At this point in his career, Slater can afford to be picky about when and where he competes. Though he still loves the competitive aspect of the sport, his success has allowed for him to relax from time to time and avoid chasing the surf tour from coast to coast. However, this isn't to say that Slater is slacking off. He is still very much an active surfer and has showed no signs of turning his eyes off more championships. Slater often refers to a philosophy of fun, where he concentrates on riding in a pure sense.  By way of fun, he has often come out on top in points and standings. With very little left to prove, Slater joins the ranks of only a few young athletes already accomplished enough for a lifetime. He continues to represent his largest and first sponsor, Quicksilver. At only 34 years of age Slater can decide exactly which days of the week he feels like working, if you can really call it that.

Mauro, Chris. Inside Kelly Slater's Head. 2005. Surfer Magazine. 5 October, 2006.

Surf History. 1996. Opper Sports Inc. 5 October, 2006.