Cocoa Beach Native Kelly Slater Competes at Billabong Pipe Masters Final in Hawaii
By Space Coast Daily // December 17, 2018
Live From Oahu, Hawaii
ABOVE VIDEO: Billabong Pipe Masters Finals Day! Slater is in Heat 4 competing against Jesse Mendes (Brazil), Joan Duru (France).
2012 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Profile
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)
KELLY SLATER – 2012 INDUCTEE
• Greatest Surfer of All-Time
• 11 World Surfing Championships
• Youngest, Oldest To Win Title
DEEP ROOTS IN THE SURFING CAPITAL OF THE ATLANTIC COAST
It is with great pleasure and honor that we induct Kelly Slater, without an equal in any era and the greatest, most accomplished surfer to ever step on a surfboard, into the Space Cost Sports Hall of Fame.
Born in 1972 and raised in Cocoa Beach, where he still resides, Slater learned how to surf in the Atlantic waters at Fourth Street North with his older brother Sean and his younger brother Stephen.
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.
As a perennial amateur champion, which included six Eastern Surfing Association and four national titles, Slater and his brother Sean started to appear in board-shorts ads in the mid-80s, and when he was ready to join the pro ranks in 1990, he was one of the most recognizable athletes in the sport of surfing.
SLATER BRINGS A NEW “MOXIE” TO THE SPORT
His accomplishments over the past 26 years are legendary, 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.
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 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.
He not only won the WCT, but also ushered in a new creative and more aggressive and explosive style of surfing, which the best surfers in the world envied, studied and tried to emulate. With Slater, the wave no longer dictated the ride.
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.
After finishing 2016 rated no. 7, he is by no means a one-dimensional man, having pursued several different avocations over the years.
Slater has acted in both television and the movies, most notably as the character Jimmy Slade in the popular series Bay Watch in the mid-‘90s, 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.
Kelly Slater’s life has been full and fulfilling to say the least, and you might think that after surfing professionally in three decades he would be ready to slow down. Think again. Surfing’s most recognizable champion and ambassador and the Renaissance Man of 2012 still has some more surfing to do.
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