NY Times: Kelly Slater

  • 04.16.2021

Kelly Slater is a professional surfer who recently won his 11th world title. At 39, he has won more major competitions and prize money than any surfer in history. Over his 20-year career, he has been the sport’s youngest and oldest champion.

Kelly SlaterWalter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated — Getty Images

READING I’m about three- quarters of the way through “Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival,” by Norman Ollestad. It starts with a plane crash — the writer survives, his father doesn’t; you see how his father’s thrill-seeking got him in trouble but also prepared him to get out.

My father passed away, and I see a lot of my own dad’s characteristics in his dad — somebody who maybe doesn’t always think, who jumps right into it and even puts his kid at risk. I remember a few times when I was a kid and the waves probably were too big for me and I was pretty scared; my dad never said “don’t paddle out there.” In fact, he sort of encouraged me, like, “yeah, get out there and get some.” I think I’d be a little bit the opposite with my kids.

LISTENING I mainly listen to playlists on Pandora. I usually pick an artist like Jack Johnson. Jack’s a friend of mine. I grew up surfing with him. No one really knows him from surfing, but he was a pro for a little bit. His songs are about his experiences — families and relationships and friends. But most great songs are love songs, aren’t they? Most of Jack’s songs are about love gone well, not love gone bad. It’s annoying how positive and happy and what a good outlook he has on everything. Annoying in a good way.

WATCHING I’ve been watching food documentaries from Netflix like “Forks Over Knives” and “The Future of Food.” I think genetic modification of foods and lack of biodiversity and the fact that a handful of large multinational corporations control the food supply are huge issues that the average person probably isn’t aware of.

FOLLOWING I follow Dana White on Twitter. He runs the Ultimate Fighting Championship — it’s mixed martial arts. It used to turn me off and now I just love it. Surfing could be considered a martial art. Good martial artists have the most efficient movements to create power in their bodies and leverage. In surfing you have to be able to master the same things — your stance, your balance over your feet, the twisting and compressing and extending your legs. And I guess I appreciate two guys battling it out. It’s like a human chess match.

PROJECTING The Optoma Pico travel projector is great — it is barely bigger than an iPhone and fits on a tripod — it projects on the wall. It plugs into iPhone, iPad, computer. A lot of times I’m just watching YouTube stuff or movies. And there’s no better way than video for critiquing yourself surfing and for watching others to learn different techniques.

  • 04.16.2021