An extended group of Kelly Slater's friends and family gathered in a plush LA warehouse on Monday to celebrate his 10th World Title. As you can imagine, when it comes to Kelly, even "intimate" gatherings can number in the hundreds and include catered food, drink and even a giant Kelly cake.
Kelly's agent Terry Hardy presented a gift from Eddie Vedder; his original framed diamond album of Pearl Jam's "10" specially reworked to acknowledge Kelly’s 10 World Titles. Quiksilver CEO, Bob McKnight then mockingly patted his pockets and joked: "I have that $10 million check here somewhere…"
On cue, four suited men with earpieces pushed in a brand new Audi Special Prestige Edition A4 Avant Wagon.
This is like an out-of-body experience," Kelly said with tears in his eyes, "it doesn't feel like all this is happening for me, I'm just stoked its happening to somebody" he laughed.
A giant crash stopped the merriment in its tracks. Was this the big entrance we had been waiting for? Was this the reason the hours of sound check and equipment testing had taken place? Would Eddie Vedder make a surprise appearance? No, it was SURFER scribe Ben Marcus knocking a warehouse wall down, nearly crushing Kelly's new car. For a second, I thought I saw the tear return to the champ’s eye.