A Conversation with Kelly Slater: Part 1


When we sat down recently with the ASP World No. 1, he had so much to say -- so much more than would fit in the pages we’d allotted in SURFING‘s Competition Issue [December 2010]. Here’s a bit of what was chopped. Check the magazine for the finer cuts.

Kelly Slater:

On life after competition

“I'm sort of planning my future around tracking swells to South America and following them up. In our summer, in the southern hemisphere, you watch swells in the Indian Ocean hit Western Australia and go straight up to Indo, and then they come around the bottom to Fiji, and then over to Tahiti, and usually hit South America, and then right on through to Central America and Mexico. It's a lot of traveling, but it also means finding waves that people don't really surf. I started making connections with people who have done a lot of 30-hour drives in Peru and have found waves no one's surfed before.”

On his professional obligations

“I'm getting pretty good at getting away from [autograph] signings. Surprisingly, I didn't even have one at the US Open this year, which was nice, but...I guess as long as I get paid, I'll probably have a certain obligation do some of that stuff. As soon as I'm done getting paid, then there's no focus there for me; if I don't have to, then I don't really care about getting a shot in a magazine.”

On where he’ll settle down

“I don't know. I don't know. I can't pick one place. I love waking up in the morning in Hawaii. I love the feel . The air. The ocean and how it looks. I really love Hawaii. I have a place there, it’s quiet. It's cold, but it's kinda cool because it'll be 80 at sea level, but up at my place it’ll be nice and around 50. Good for sleeping. A lot of stuff grows up there and you can make a pretty crazy garden.”

On why no Kelly Slater blog

“Yeah, I keep talking about trying to start a blog and building it up, but it's weird mixing sponsorship with your personal beliefs, because, like, how intimate do you get with a website? For me it's a little confusing. I might say my beliefs about...a lot of things, medicine or politics or whatever. And that might not be in the best interests of the other people I work with.”

Coming next in Part 2: Kelly on medicine and politics

Continue Reading:
[A Conversation with Kelly Slater: Part 2, A Conversation with Kelly Slater: Part 3