Kelly Slater Interview: The Champ Has Changed

Kelly Slater: “I was off tour in 99 and pretty relaxed.  The big things that happened in my life were my fathers passing away, mom getting remarried and happy, and just being closer with and more open with people.  I won a couple titles, which was really rewarding.  I surf better now, I think, when I do surf.  I’m a better golfer.  I got to hang out with Chris Cote a couple of brief times.  Al Merrick wants me to be a board shaper.  My brothers quit surfing to fish pretty much cause there’s more square foot of fish in Florida than there are waves in any given year.  I fly business class and up most of the time whereas I didn’t used to before 99.  As I write this I’m sitting in economy cause I just couldn’t see having Quiksilver buy me a seat for $18000 round trip on Qantas to OZ.  Makes no sense that humans can rightfully spend that kind of money for a little ass kissing and better food service with warm nuts.  If I win this contest I’ll have to upgrade though.  Myspace and Facebook have started since then and that’s really changed the world of creepiness for the traveling surfer.  I don’t know if I’m glad that didn’t exist when I started or not.  Probably would de-focus you.  Merrick sold Channel Islands and got a factory face-lift, which is crazy.  Shaping machines are the norm now.  We’ll all be our own shapers with machines soon…I think Al’s tired of those late quiver orders and can’t wait to pawn us off to a machine with no back pains or fishing plans to be ruined.”
By Chris Cote