For nearly four decades, Kelly Slater’s been in the public eye. That level of success and acclaim isn’t just unheard of in surf, one could argue Kelly’s level of achievement is unmatched in sport. To be at the top for so long, though, requires not just talent but an unbridled drive fueled from deep within. In a recent interview, Kelly explains that for him it’s due, at least in part, to insecurity – particularly surrounding his family.
“People might not understand that about me, you know?” he says. “There was a lot of sort of insecurity and hurt and things I was covering up with success, you know?”
For instance, the champ says that his relationship with his father was what turned him off to drinking and drugs.
“He drank a lot,” explains Kelly. “I found that really hurtful for me and for our family.”
While Kelly’s no stranger to opening up in interviews of late, this one, in particular, may be the champ at his most vulnerable, his most introspective.