While soccer is synonymous with the likes of Pele, Maradona, Messi, and Ronaldo, surfing is synonymous with Kelly Robert Slater, the man who began his surfing career at the age of six. Born in 1972, Kelly started winning surfing championship titles at just 11 years. His career improved over time, and he went on to be recognized as one of the greatest surfers of all time
Early life and Childhood
Born in Florida’s Cocoa Beach city, Kelly Robert’s parents were of Syrian-Irish descent. He has two brothers: Stephen and Sean. Kelly’s father owned a store that was used to house fishing equipment. This saw Kelly spend a lot of time at the beach doing what he loved most, and he became a great surfer by the time he was an adolescent.
Career and Achievements
Having realized and nurtured his talent at a tender age, his love for the sport enabled him to take his career to another level in the 1990s. Kelly appeared severally in surfing magazines and was sponsored by major producers of surf wear, Quicksilver. Besides that, this ambitious surfer signed a contract with the company named Kering.
Kelly took part in the California-held ‘Body Glove Surfbout’ tournament, which he successfully won and was given a role to play in a TV program called Baywatch. In 1992, he participated in the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour and emerged victorious for the second time in the sport. He also won the Marui Pipe Masters held in Hawaii and the Rip Curl Pro Landes that took place in France.
He won several championships in 1994, including the Chiemsee Gerry Lopez Pipe Masters, Sud Ouest Trophees, among others. The dynamic skilled surfer also impressed his fans when he bagged other wins in the Quicksilver Pro in Indonesia, the Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii, Chiemsee Pipe Masters and the ASP World Tour, in 1995.
This was not all. In 1996, he emerged victorious in the CSI presents Billabong Pro, among other tournaments. The following year, he set a new record at the ASP World Tour, breaking the one that was set by Mark Richards of Australia. He also took part in the Kaiser Summer Surf in Brazil and the Grand Slam in Australia, just to name but a few, and won the championships for the fifth time.
In 2007, Kelly won ‘Boost Mobile Pro,’ where he broke a record for most wins that had been earlier on set by Tim Curran, another surfing legend. The following year saw him win more titles at Rip Curl Pro, Quicksilver Pro, Billabong Pipeline Masters, Boost Mobile Pro, ASP World Tour, among other tournaments. In the period spanning from 2010 to 2014, Kelly Slater won other titles at RIP Curl Pro, Hurley Pro, and Volcom Fiji Pro.