11-Time World Champ, Space Coast Sports Hall Of Famer Kelly Slater Announces Plan To Retire

By  //  July 2, 2018

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2012 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

ABOVE VIDEO: The 46-year-old Slater, who graduated from Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr. High School in 1991, has been crowned ASP World Champion a record 11 times, including five consecutive titles from 1994–1998, and was not only the youngest title-holder in ’92, but also the oldest when he claimed the title at age 39 this past November.  He is also the all-time leader in career WCT event wins with 55. (Video Air Date May 2012)

SOUTH AFRICA – In a surprise announcement on-air at the Corona Open J-Bay in South Africa, Cocoa Beach native Kelly Slater announced his plan to retire from the tour after next year.

“My plan is to get myself healthy and get ready for April next year and next year will be my last on tour,” said Slater.

Slater, 11-time World Surf League Champion, returned to the world stage on Monday after a long recovery from a broken foot suffered at last year’s J-Bay and has been battling a turf toe injury, most recently.

Slater was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 for profound success on the surf board, which he first learned to do in Cocoa Beach.

ABOVE VIDEO: Cocoa Beach Native Kelly Slater announces his retirement plans at the Corona Open J-Bay in South Africa on Monday.

In Slater’s opinion, Cocoa Beach is as good a place as any to develop the fundamentals and skills needed to be a championship surfer.

“It breaks farther out,” he says, “so it’s easier to learn. If I had the choice of learning in Florida or Hawaii, I’d choose Florida. You don’t try to run before you can walk.” Sebastian Inlet is still one of his favorite surfing venues.

VIDEO: Brevard County’s Kelly Slater World’s Greatest Surfer of All TimeRelated Story:
VIDEO: Brevard County’s Kelly Slater World’s Greatest Surfer of All Time

Slater, 46, has accomplished many accolades for nearly 30 years that are considered legendary in the surfing world, and the most amazing thing about the man is that his dominance of the sport continues on despite the fact that he’s often competing against athletes half his age.

When Slater won his first Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) title in 1992 at the age of 20, he became the youngest man to ever win a World Surfing Championship.

The 46-year-old Slater, who graduated from Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr. High School in 1991, has been crowned ASP World Champion a record 11 times, including five consecutive titles from 1994–1998, and was not only the youngest title-holder in ’92, but also the oldest when he claimed the title at age 39 this past November.  He is also the all-time leader in career WCT event wins with 55.

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