KELLY SLATER BY TAJ BUR­ROW

Tracks - - Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants -

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.

PHOTO: RESPONDEK

NO GROM OF THE 90S, NOT EVEN TAJ, WAS IM­MUNE TO QUOT­ING LINES FROM KELLY SLATERINBLACKAND WHITE."WHATAREYOU EAT­ING?CE­REAL!DO YOULIKEIT?"

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