Slater: ‘Surfing is my religion’

If calling waves “colossal” or surfers “daredevils” makes you cringe then here is the cream from Kelly’s recent interview with CNN. The interview and story are by Nick Glass and Natasha Maguder.

“Friends that were on tour with me 20 years ago, 10 years ago, are now family guys married with kids. They say ‘I can’t believe you’re still doing it, that you’re looking for waves every day.'”

“But I want to surf better tomorrow. I want to surf better in 10 years.  When I’m 50 I want to be a better surfer than I am now — for me it’s a lifelong journey.”

“I wanted to be Steve Martin when I was a kid. I wanted to be a comedian,”

“When I was eight or 10 years old I didn’t know that I could have a career from surfing.There were pro surfers who were my heroes, but those guys weren’t rich. They were just surfing and traveling and that’s really been the goal my whole life.”

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2013

“Surfing is my religion, if I have one. The barrel is really the ultimate ride for any surfer. It’s the eye of the storm. Some guys say it’s like being in the womb.”

“For me it’s sort of like time slows down. You become hyper aware of a lot of different things — the way the wave is breaking, timing, putting yourself in the right part of the barrel. It takes all of your mental capacity to do it just right.”

Speaking of his air reverse at Bells last year


“This section came at me, and I just launched myself, kind of a Hail Mary.”

“I didn’t know if I was going to land it, or if I was going to break my board, or if I was going to break an ankle. It makes you think about what it’s worth. But what’s life worth? Life’s worth experiences and it’s worth the people in your life too.”

“I’m sure it’s different once you have a partner in your life or kids — maybe that one wave’s not that important any more.”

“Big waves are a whole different ball game. You’re riding a wave with an immense amount of speed and power, generally over 10 meters. On the face of the wave, obviously life and death thoughts start to happen.”

Speaking about a life of surfing


“The other day we were watching this dog chasing a ball, and I was like ‘God wouldn’t it be so great if you could do the same thing over and over and over again your whole life and it’s still as fun?'”

“And I’m like: wait! That’s what we do. We travel around the whole world just to do that. So waves for surfers are like balls for dogs. We’re just constantly chasing them.”