Evan Slater, 35, knows surfing. His obsession with the sport started more than 20 years ago in his hometown of Ventura, when he entered his first amateur contest with the hope of someday becoming one of the world's top professionals. He collected five national titles and spent three years on the National Scholastic Surfing Association National Team during those crucial formative years, but still decided to enroll at the University of California San Diego after graduating from high school.
From there, he dabbled in two worlds: college and pro surfing. During school hours, it was a steady dose of studying, chasing big waves at spots like Todos Santos Island and surfing on the domestic pro circuit. During the summer, it was magazine-sponsored trips to places like the Philippines, Madeira, Morocco, Indonesia and South Africa.
By the time Slater graduated from college, he had become one of the most recognized young big-wave riders in the world. For the next two years, he traveled, surfed the biggest days at spots like Mavericks and eventually put his education to good use when he accepted a job at Surfer Magazine as Associate Editor in 1996. Almost 10 years later, he continues to strive for greatness both on the job and in the water, which sometimes overlap.
Slater was the editor in chief of SURFING Magazine for 8 years and in 2009 joined Hurley as digital content manager. Slater remains a driven big-wave rider, finishing second in the 2004 Maverick's Surf Contest and a finalist in the 2006 event. He currently lives in Vista, CA with his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Peyton and Zoe.