Robert Kelly Slater, crowned World Surf League Champion a record 11 times, is till date the youngest as well as the oldest to win the title. Here are some very interesting facts about the American professional surfer:
He was born Robert Kelly Slater on February 11, 1972, in Cocoa Beach, Florida, U.S, to Judy and Stephen Slater. He has an older brother, Sean and a younger brother, Stephen.
He is the first surfer ever to be awarded two perfect score of 20 out of 20 points according to ASP scoring pattern and first professional surfer to earn a million dollars in prize money.
It was his father Steve, who put Slater on a Styrofoam board when he was five years old and later he progressed to a Boogie board. When he was eight years old, he got his first custom board.
After winning his first event as an eight year old at Cocoa Beach Pier, he began gaining experience travelling up the coast under his first coach Dick Catri.
Kelly won his first WSL Championship in 1992 with 7,765 points at the age of 20 years to become the youngest champion.
He has been crowned World Surf League Champion a record eleven times which includes five consecutive titles from 1994 to 1998.
He surpassed Mark Richards of Australia, as the most successful surfing champion in history and with his 11thtitle at 38 years in 2011 he became the oldest to win a world title.
In 2007, he became all-time leader in career wins by winning the Boost Mobile Pro event at Lower Trestles near San Clemente, California on September 15th. As on date he has to his credit 55 victories in the World Surf League.
Slater turned pro in November 1990, just eight months before his graduation from Cocoa Beach High School. In 2004, he completed his Master’s degree in Criminal Law, studying part time.
His first sponsors were ‘Quiksilver’ in 1990 and their partnership has lasted for over 20 years from being a young surfer with great potential till he became a world champion.
On April 01, 2014, collaborating with ‘Kering’ he established an eco-friendly and sustainable apparel company ‘Outerknown.’
In 2016, in partnership with Firewire, he released his own range of designs skate boardsGamini, Omni & Sci-fi.
As on December 2013, there has been 43 end of the year Surfer Poll of which Slater bagged the award 19 times, a record.
He teamed up with Dr. Chris Schaumburg and started Beverage Company called ‘Purps’ with the idea of developing premium nutrition product with no artificial colors.
Slater’s greatest achievement was the unveiling of Slater’s Wave Pool, with ten years of experiments. The inland wave pool is situated in Lemoore, California and in 2016 the World Surf League acquired majority stake in the Kelly Slater Wave Company.
He was part of TV series ‘Baywatch’ playing the part of Jimmy Slade from 1992 to 1993 in 24 episodes apart from starring in many surf films.
He was featured as an actor in 12 movies including TV Series and videos and has produced two documentaries.
Music, like surfing, has become a big part of his life. He formed a band in 1990s called ‘Surfers’ along with fellow surfers, Rob Machado and Peter King. They released an album in 1998 titled ‘Songs from the Pipe’ and even toured Australia performing at Opera House and parliament house.
A video game named ‘Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer’ developed by Treyarch and published by Activision was released in 2002.
He released his autobiography, ‘Pipe Dreams: A surfer’s Journey’ in 2003 and co-authored with Phil Jarratt for his second book ‘Kelly Slater: For the Love’ in 2008.
As an activist with the suicide prevention organization, he has participated in celebrity events ‘Surfers Against Suicide’and appeals on the sports website ‘Athletes Talk’ to stop an impending suicide.
For being an ambassador of the sports and excellent role model, he was honored by the ‘United States House of Representatives on May 08, 2010.
In 2007, Slater started ‘The Kelly Slater Foundation’ which raises awareness and financial support for existing social and environmentally conscious charities.
He is on the Board of Advisors of ocean conservation organization ‘Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.’
Despite his achievements he is just another ordinary guy who once got caught sneaking into a county club golf course after hours for few free holes for the fun of it and also got three speeding tickets in Australia.
Though he is descendent of English, Irish, and German ancestry, one of his maternal great-grandfathers was Syrian.
Slater has been dating Kalani Miller, his longtime girlfriend with no official information about their marriage. He has a teenage daughter named Taylor.
He along with his brother Sean had modeled in an ad for Sundeksurfwear in their youth and later he also modeled for L’Oreal, Vita Coco and Apple.
He was named one of People Magazine’s 100 most beautiful people in the world while he was still a teenager in 1991.
In April 2017, he bought himself a North Shore mansion which covers an area of 7860 square foot with seven bedrooms with direct beach access.