“Kelly Slater is the greatest surfer of all time.”
It’s a strong statement I know and I’ve only put it in speech marks as it makes it more like I heard someone say it, but they didn’t. I wrote it. But as a quote goes, what do you think? Do you agree?
Think of it in this way – Kelly Slater has just won his eleventh world title. He won his first crown in 1992, aged 20 and his achievements surpass the nearest contender by 7 world titles. The next best men’s surfer is Mark Richards with four world titles and for the women’s comp, Layne Beachley stands out with seven.
His heat victory in San Francisco for the Rip Curl Pro Search gave him an unassailable points lead over his nearest rival and secured him the crown. He was ecstatic to claim it on home soil and was moved by the fact it happened on the year anniversary of legendary surfer and close friend, Andy Irons‘ death.
After his win Slater looked towards the future and said “People always talk about my age. I’m 39 going on 40 in a few months and, to me, that’s literally just a number.”
An incredible story from an incredible surfer and long may he continue in the sport.