Slater Dominates Sport Of Surfing Like No Other
By Jeff Navin // December 10, 2012
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Kelly Slater isn’t just a surfer.
A 2012 inductee into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in May has acted, played in a band, teamed up with golfer Pat Perez to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the past several years and chatted with politicians to make proposals to clean up the world’s oceans.
Don’t be surprised if Slater ends up coaching the Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School golf team in the future.
But not yet.The Renaissance man of 2012 still has some more surfing to do.
Slater has won 11 World Surfing Championships and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down. When he chooses to leave the sport, it will be on his own terms.
When Slater won his first AsP World Tour title in 1992 at the age of 20, he became the youngest man to ever win a World Surfing Championship.
He also became the oldest world champion at 39, claiming his 11th title last November.
Slater won five consecutive world titles from 1994 to 1998 and then left the sport for three years at the age of 27 to pursue other interests.
During the break, just 12 months into his semi-retirement, he won his fifth Pipeline Masters. The event on Oahu’s North Shore is one of the most prestigious on the world tour.
The 40-year-old Slater, who graduated from Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr. High School in 1991, has 55 professional victories, with 48 coming in World Championship Tour events.
He won ASP World Tour titles in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
During his 2011 title run, Slater won the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Snapper Rocks, Australia, the Billabong Rio Pro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Nike Pro U.S. Open in Huntington Pier, the Billabong Pro Teahupoo in Tahiti and the Hurley Pro Lower Trestles in California. He finished with 68,100 points.
In 2010, during his title run, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Slater won the Rip Curl Pro in Bells Beach, Australia, the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, Calif., the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in Peniche, Portugal and the Rip Curl Pro Search 2010 at Middles Beach in Isabela, Puerto Rico. He finished with 69,000 points.
During his 2008 championship season in which he totaled 8,832 points, Slater won the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks, Australia, the Rip Curl Pro in Bells Beach, Australia, the Globe Pro in Fiji, the Billabong Pro J-Bay in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, Calif. and the Billabong Pipeline Masters in Oahu, Hawaii.
In his 2006 championship season, Slater won the Quiksilver Pro in Gold Coast, Australia and the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia.
During the 2005 season, Slater won the Billabong Pro in Teahupoo, Tahiti, The Globe WCT in Fiji, the Billabong Pro in South Africa and the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles.
Slater won his 1998 title without winning a single ASP event.
In 1997, he prevailed in the Coke Surf Classic in Australia, the Billabong Pro in Australia, the Tokushima Pro in Japan, the Marui Pro in Japan, the Kaiser Summer Surf in Brazil, the Grand Slam in Australia and the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Challenge in the U.S.
Slater won the Coke Surf Classic in Australia, the Rip Curl Pro Saint Leu at Reunion Island, the CSI Billabong Pro in South Africa, the U.S. Open in California, the Rip Curl Pro Hossegor in France, the Quiksilver Surfmasters in France, the Chiemsee Pipe Masters in Hawaii, the Sud Quest Trophee in France and the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout in Hawaii to claim the 1996 World Championship.
In 1995, Slater won three events – the Quiksilver Pro in Indonesia, the Chiemsee Pipe Masters in Hawaii and the Triple Crown of Surfing – to win the title.
Slater won his second world title in 1994 with victories in the Rip Curl Pro in Australia, the Gotcha Lacanau Pro in France, the Chiemsee Pipe Masters in Hawaii, two triumphs in The Bud Surf Tour (WQS-USA) and the Sud Ouest Trophee in France.
Victories in the Rip Curl Pro Landes in France and the Marui Pipe Masters in Hawaii lifted Slater to his first world championship in 1992.
In 1990, while still in high school, Slater won his the Body Glove Surfbout at Trestles in California for his first pro victory.
Slater played the character Jimmy Slade in 10 episodes of Baywatch on television in the 1990s.
During his brief retirement, Slater and fellow surfers Rob Machado and Peter King formed a band called The Surfers. They released an album called “Songs From the Pipe” in 1998.
It was based on one of their favorite surfing spots – the Pipeline on Oahu, Hawaii.
Slater also performed with Pearl Jam in 2006.
Slater’s video game – Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer by Treyarch and published by Activision – was released in 2002.
He also has appeared in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 game.
An autobiography – Pipe Dreams: A Surfer’s Journey was published in 2003.
A second book – Kelly Slater: For the Love – was published in 2008.
Slater’s film career includes roles in Ultimate Wave Tahiti; Bustin Down the Door; One Track Mind; Kelly Slater Letting Go; Waveriders; Surf’s Up; Down the Barrel; Surfers – The Movie; Bra Boys; The Ocean; One Night at McCool’s; Letting Go; Young Guns 1, 2 & 3; Campaign 2; Doped Youth; Groovy Avalon; Kelly Slater in Black and White; Endless Summer II; Wave Warriors 3; A Fly in the Champagne; Cloud 9; Riding Giants; Step into Liquid; Thicker than Water; Fighting Fear; September Sessions; and Kelly Slater in Kolor.
Slater learned how to surf at the beach at Third Street North in Cocoa Beach with his older brother Sean and his younger brother Stephen.
His mother Judy, kept a tab at the Islander Hut, a beachfront snack bar where her children would eat while taking a break from the waves.
Slater’s father, Steve, worked in real estate and as a tackle shop owner before passing away in 2002.