Kelly Slater is Just Warming Up

Slater played guitar onstage with Pearl Jam, got the cover of Interview, was rendered in twenty-foot-high statuary, dated Pamela Anderson, and made Hard Day's Night-like escapes from screaming mobs of fans. “He is the biggest surf star of the modern era,” one surf journalist said. “How utterly convenient that he is also the best wave-rider.”

With four world titles to her credit and a billion-dollar industry built largely in her image, Lisa Andersen by all rights should have been the definitive Floridian surfer. It didn’t work out that way. In 1985, the same year Andersen ran away from Ormond Beach to restart her life in California, a cupid-faced 13-year-old named Kelly Slater was darting like a hummingbird across the weak central Flor...

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