7 Super Tips | Kelly Slater

Today, you’ll be hearing from the greatest professional surfer of all time, Kelly Slater. Kelly is best known for being crowned world champion a record 11 times. He’s also the oldest surfer still active in the World Surf League. He is the youngest (at age 20) and the oldest (at age 39) to win the WSL men’s title. Kelly is the co-founder of Outerknown, a sustainable clothing brand. He’s also the founder of the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC). Through KSWC, he helped create The Surf Ranch, a one-of-a-kind, immersive surf experience located over 100 miles from the ocean in central California, offering perfect waves that go on for over 3oo yards in each direction. In this episode, Kelly offers tips on channeling greatness, fighting stereotypes, planting seeds for change, and much more.

Need a sneak peek? Below are the main takeaways from the episode.

7 Super Tips with Kelly Slater

Tip #1

“I was hugely inspired by guys like like Lance Armstrong, and Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan. And you know, the best of the best in those sports, Michael Phelps. And that’s kind of cliche to say, you know, but they were the best for a reason. And they had a certain mindset, they probably had a certain way that they were they practice. All of them have a certain physical gift for this sport. They do a deeper understanding of it and probably all the other people that are doing it, what it takes to do that. And some kind of probably like a chip on their shoulder at some deeper reason that they wanted to succeed and, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Yep. And I think that comes from a dynamic combination of the way you’re As your family dynamics, whether you do or don’t have siblings, where you fit in within that sibling thing, your your, maybe some of the good and traumatic experiences you had as a child, the way your brain works, all those kinds of things, I, I think the more that you can utilize your mind to soak in and sponge, those ideas from other people.”

Tip #2

“It’s funny when I was a kid, you know, there was a, there was the stereotype of a surfer, where there was definitely a certain culture the way he talked, it’s like smoking weed, partying, not having responsibilities for anything. And, you know, that’s not necessarily true, but there is truth in that, you know, that is part of our culture, surfing comes from a sort of a, an outcast, sort of expat kind of, you know, it’s sort of a singular thing. You know, just the act of surfing is you surf by yourself on a wave. And it was for a lot of people who wanted to do their own thing. You know, that’s what, that’s what the sort of the roots of surfing is from, you know when I think when I started to surf and started to see when I started to compete and started to see that that was sort of an expected image of a surfer. Me personally, I wanted to change that about myself, I didn’t want people to think that about me, you know, I wanted to be, you know, I wanted to be accepted at school, too, that was probably a big part of some of my decisions, I wanted to principle that allow me to have extra days off and not flunk me, not fail me because I wanted to go serve contests and, and you know, a lot of other guys in other sports and baseball and stuff that didn’t, didn’t even get the credit I did from our principal. So I took that as like, that was kind of a badge of honor for me that, that she let me have days off to go surf contests that, you know, in the eyes of our school, and our community, surfing wasn’t that big of a thing. And so it was, you know, probably felt like an obligation there to uphold to a certain level of respectability. And, you know, I like to see that go through this sport. And, you know, I don’t I don’t want it to be watered down in any way or people to not be who they are. But I also didn’t want to have, you know, culture, not respect surfers, as people.”

Tip #3

“There’s all these different predicaments you could find yourself in, and you have to dig yourself out of that or control it from that position. So you’ll see there’s certain guys who can do that. And, I mean, I’ve, I’ve had times in my career where I’ve almost just laughed, and I can just feel it and I scope, the waves come in, it’s like the third one out, and I know it’s going to come to me, and I’m going to get the score, or the opposite. I’ve had the opposite happen. I had this one time, in 2008, when I was surfing in Bali. I was in this heat against a guy who’s a buddy of mine on my team, but he shouldn’t have beat me in these waves. You know, his favorite, I was a high seed or whatever. And it was early in the contest, I had already won through the first four events of the year or something like that. And I had priority, I was in the lead, and he needed a big score. I’m totally controlling the heat with a minute and a half to go and the set comes in everyone starts yelling from the we’re at Hulu, and everyone starts yelling from the hill and stuff. And I just looked out and I went, I’m gonna make the wrong decision right now I knew it. There was nothing I could do to change it. Something overtook me and it was not my day. And I knew 100% There was absolutely nothing I could do. And I was like, okay, just don’t do what you’re gonna do. I overthought it so much that I made the wrong decision, I knew I was gonna and I didn’t know how to back myself out of this corner. And so this wave came, and I had priority, which means you get any choice of waves. And he turned around to kind of paddle but he didn’t ever he didn’t really paddle but I just committed to this wave and I took off and as soon as I stood up, I went, “Oh, there was that wrong decision.” And away it wasn’t very good. And I didn’t increase my scores and I fell. And I look out and the next wave is absolutely perfect the best way for the day and he gets like a 9.5 and beats me. It was really fun to lead to win the World title that year so far. Like I said, I think I had won three or four events to start the year off and everyone was just like, I’m sure they all had their voodoo doll out like Slater should lose. It’s one of those times where even though it’s not going your way it’s absolutely like the universe’s I’m telling you, it’s perfect. Because you’re in, you’re right where you need to be, but it’s not what you want to.”

Tip #4

“I’m not a religious person. But surfing, to me is a spiritual thing. It’s a, it’s, it’s, to me, I sort of like, I’ve always felt like the ocean and surfing, and even competitive results, in some ways, like a spiritual feedback from me. You know, when things are when you’re on the right path, I believe, for me, when when I’m on the right path, I’m doing the right things, I’m treating people the right way, I’m going about the right way with the right intention, the right things happen back from me. And so, you know, surfing is kind of like the physical aspect of that, for me, it’s, it’s the physical feedback, you know, when the right wave appears when the right thing happens, you know, and then on the flip side of that, you know, the, all the wrong things can happen. You can miss the wave, you want it and then, you know, then a wave lands on your head. And are you You know, you hit the roof and cut yourself did that last week? It all these things kind of give you a different feedback, you know, and I just use them as like, little messages to kind of guide my life.”

Tip #5

“So I never thought 20 years later, I’d be here and I thought maybe I have a little run. Yeah, to win another world title. Yep. And then I won five. Then I won five more. Yeah, at that point. So yeah. And I was close a couple of times, you know, with Parco. With Mick we had a lot of competitive years. But I, I think at some point, this thing felt a little bit more than me. Because I started noticing how many people felt inspired because I was 40. Or I was 43. Or I was 46. Yep, no, like no way that I’m younger than you. And I feel old night I’ve been slacking. So you and I, there were a lot of people I’ve gotten messages from over the years that were like, man, you got me up off my butt, and I’m doing stuff now. And I’m playing with my kids and I’m surfing again. I quit surfing and I’m back in the water. And I think there’s some things that are just like sort of bigger than us, you know, it just sends a message. It’s not about me at all. It’s just sending a message that they can do it too. I think that’s why you know, athletes are important and yeah, of course I can there primes guys like Michael Jordan can do these crazy things that inspire everybody. But you know, if you don’t have if you don’t have this sort of message that’s bigger than your own self-desires and kind of wasting that fame, you’re wasting that, yeah, notoriety.”

Tip #6

“if surfing and the industry, and the people within it are since we are so exposed to so many different walks of life, and so many different people we can have, we can definitely have an effect. And like I said, surfing is not a giant industry in terms of the whole world. But it can be a symbol of that change. And I think that surfers back in the old days being sort of throwback to the hippies and, and you know, sort of nature child kind of people. It makes sense that we could have a voice there and that we could also be able to connect and network with people around the world. You know, I heard this thing where Yvonne Shannara he has a place up in Hollister and I heard that he had the heads of like Kmart or Walmart or a couple of different big box stores at his place. He was hosting them for a couple of days, and a couple people got upset with him. This is all like thirdhand. I didn’t speak to Vaughn about this. But I heard that a couple of people that I got upset with him why you have those guys here, you know, that’s like the devil compared to what you’re doing. And he goes, Well, if I change those guys, they change the world. And that’s the point, you know, like, the all of us, you know, we can look through just a few people in our phone ago, we were connected. This isn’t six, or seven degrees of separation. This is one or two. I know somebody who knows everybody in the world, that can make change. It’s a why shouldn’t we all work together since we all know those people now because they all love surfing, or at least a lot of those key people do if they’re not the person, they’re one or two people way. So you know it’s the way the world works. It’s who you know, and if you make friends with those people and you can plant a seed there to change something and open up a different pathway. I think so it’s your responsibility for us.”

Tip #7

“It’s kid I wanted to be, I wanted to be the best surfer in the world. That was my, that’s my goal. And as you get older, you realize that that doesn’t really, that doesn’t exist. You can be the best competitive surfer for that year you can, maybe you’re the best at a certain skill. But I don’t know that there’s such a thing as the best surfer or there ever will be or have anything, you know, it’s like comparing different generations and stuff. I just wanted to be as good as I possibly could. And I wanted to be a world champion. And I’m really proud of that stuff. I’m really happy. All that happened. It led to a lot of amazing opportunities in my life. But I think at the end of the day, I want to be remembered as a good person and, and have a lot of friends and, and treat people the right way.”

Connect with Kelly Slater:

Instagram: @kellyslater

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KellySlater/

Twitter/X: @kellyslater

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCya3AUByn8TGYXnLVb9qOuQ



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The Super U Podcast is hosted by #1 bestselling author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

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