I have to declare, I am a wannabe surfer. I say wannabe because I don’t go out and give it a go nearly as much as I should for someone who really wants to be able to surf some big waves.
I am clearly the amateur that is thrilled every time I catch a wave and ride it. Actually, thrilled is an understatement. I am jumping out of my pants every single time I catch a wave and stay on the board longer than 3 seconds.
The reason I am so eager to surf is that when I go out and watch people surf, they don’t have a care in the world. All they think about is catching the next wave (and of course, making sure that there are no shark fins hanging around given the media over the last couple of months reporting so many shark attacks).
I want to be just like that.
With the Quicksilver Pro on at Rainbow Bay at the moment, I ventured down to join some friends to watch the pro’s in action.
I wasn’t disappointed. I saw Joel Parkinson put in a few great heats, even though he did not make the cut.
Then I saw the man everyone has been talking about. Yes, I have read gossip magazines that picture him with Cameron Diaz, Pam Anderson (what was he thinking?), Giselle to name a few. I have also watched him a couple of times on television and until recently thought was quite a hot looking man.
Well, nothing prepared me for seeing him live at the Quicksilver Pro. As he walked down the beach, about 500 people followed him just hoping for a glimpse. Kids raced into the water and tried to swim up to him and he politely acknowledged them with some high 5’s and words of wisdom.
He is the waters version of a rock star. The 5000 strong crowd could not get enough of him. They were mesmerised by the sporting great who has won 9 world titles, more so than any other person.
Why I am writing about Kelly Slater is simple. He is a human brand that has an insane following. Insane!
I have been to every major sporting event that has hit Australian shores and yet I have never seen such a dedicated group of followers for just one man.
Now, he is not only on a mission to win his 10th world title, but also to sell a few boards through brand Kelly Slater.
Riding a radically short five foot four inch board even though he is going for the big ASP World Tour 10th win is a marketers dream. I bet after the weekend there was a sell-out of radically short boards because let’s face it, every surfer wants to be just like Kelly Slater.
What a legend!