It’s hard to say exactly the reason why the world is obsessed and in love with Kelly Slater.
He is, of course, the surfer who has the most World Title wins under his belt – but there seems to be something special about the Florida surfer, who has captured the heart and minds of young and old, die-hard surf fans and novice.
Everywhere he goes, he’s mobbed by crowds who whip out their cameras to get a snap of him. No other surfer is treated like a Hollywood star the way he is.
Kelly’s bright blue eyes are intense, focused, and mysterious. His skills on the waves are unmatched by anyone, in the history of surfing.
Since Kelly is in town for the Hurley Pro - a contest he holds a record for winning through the years – I thought this would be a good chance to get into some well-known, and little-known facts about Robert Kelly Slater.
Here’s my thoughts on the top five reasons the world is obsessed with Kelly Slater:
1. Nine-time world titles: Duh. This is the obvious reason people respect and admire Kelly Slater. His hard work and dedication to surfing has resulted in a record nine-time world championships. Everyone keeps wondering when the tenth will come. Will it be this year?
2. Those baby blues: They are so deep, so intense that people get lost in them, and wonder just what is going on behind them. And I’m not just saying that cause I’m a girl. Come on, I know a few of you fellas have thought “oh my, what nice eyes he has.” Admit it. People Magazine even named him one of their “50 Most Beautiful People.”
3. He’s been in the limelight forever: Longer than any other surfer. His name started to spread in the 80s as he started racking up national titles. His first year on the tour was at the ripe age of 21, and he had six World Titles by age of 26. He went into semi-retirement and everyone thought he was done, until in 2005 and 2006 he won more World Titles. Oh and then again in 2008. So now, even if he’s 38-years-old, everyone is on edge each year thinking: Can he possibly do it again?
4. His Hollywood connections: Maybe it started during his days appearing on Baywatch, when his connection to bombshell Pam Anderson started. Anderson even showed up to Trestles this past weekend to check out the contest he was in, (see the slideshow of more shots of them together and his thoughts about her). Regular appearances in the 80s in teen heartthrob magazines put his name out in the spotlight. Just a few years back, he was also said to be connected to actress Camarian Diaz.
5. One of surfing’s biggest rivalries: Andy Irons won his second world title after beating Slater at the 2003 Pipe Masters. “For the first time in his life, Kelly had a true rival,” quotes a biography on Surfline.com. Irons is the only surfer to have more wins in toe-to-toe match ups against Slater. An interesting note: Slater found himself cheering on Irons a few weeks ago at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti. But if they meet in a match again, the rivalry is no doubt turned on once again.