KELLY SLATER BY TAJ BURROW
Those early movies he made for Quiksilver were a huge influence. That’s where I first saw him surf and it blew my mind. Kelly-Slater-in-Black and White is the famous one but Mondo Extreme
Experiment is rad too. Those movies were on endless repeat in my house as a grom. I was losing my mind over them. He did those few air revs in the whitewash and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I’d run out the door and try and do the exact same thing. It had a big impact on my gromhood. I absolutely loved the way he looked on a wave. At that time (early 90s) he was so far ahead of everyone else skill-wise and he had a great style. I tried to copy everything he did like I’m sure a lot of kids did. I was pretty shy when I was first on tour and I looked up to him because he was so dominant. My first year was '98 which was his last on tour before he took a break. When he came back Andy was on fire and things had changed. I absolutely loved being part of that era. I was competitive against both of them but I probably backed Andy a little more just because Kelly had been so dominant for so long. It blew my mind how Andy stepped up and made himself such a force to be reckoned with. Andy just said: fuck this, I’m taking what’s mine. I get goose bumps just thinking about some of the heats they surfed and the titles they battled for. Andy gave us hope that Kelly could be beaten. But then he came back and won another, what, five titles. His longevity is just incredible. To be still winning events at 44 is just mind-blowing. I think he’s just got that mindset that age is just a number and that if he looks after himself he can still compete against the world’s best – which is a great attitude. I don’t think he’s on pace with the young guys when it comes to pure performance or face work – he’s slowed down, it almost looks like he’s got seaweed stuck on his leggie – but his tube-riding is phenomenal. In big tubes he’s still untouchable.
NO GROM OF THE 90S, NOT EVEN TAJ, WAS IMMUNE TO QUOTING LINES FROM KELLY SLATERINBLACKAND WHITE."WHATAREYOU EATING?CEREAL!DO YOULIKEIT?"