The Kelly Experiment
Revolution. Evolution. Truly not one and the same. These concepts bring thoughts of one leaving his or her comfort zone; of pushing the envelope; of blood, sweat, and tears; the frustrations of each individual challenge; mentally pulling things together to get back on the horse; and the pure joy of utter success. It really isn't about the destination is it? It's about the ride there. After all, when catching a wave, the destination is typically closer to shore, in the impact zone, and requires hustle and bustle to not get run over by fellow surfers and dusted by menacing brethren waves of a larger set. The ride is what we live for.
So what exactly pushes a 9-time world champ to break away from the pack, to push even further, and try things that if he were any other Joe, people would laugh at? Why doesn't he just take it easy and slack like the hare in the story, The Tortoise and the Hare? (hint: Journey)
Today I began my day perusing the Honolulu Advertiser, CNN, and of course all of the wonderful surf sites. What caught my eye was an awkward board resembling a hydrofoil boat - the fancy ones that used to tear around Pearl Harbor and flip end over end in a heart breaking instant. The board, in fact, wasn't some sort of kiteboarding or tow surfing experiment. One man had a plan to use it to paddle into waves (at least I hope). This man, Kelly Slater, dared to use a 5'3" quad fin at Pipeline, decided to use a similar sized board at Todos in macking surf, and years ago decided that in order to be a rock star in the surfing world he would abolish partying all night and adopt all the practices of proper physical preparation. It's no surprise that he has attracted friends such as Shane Dorian and Rob Machado who also live "outside the box". All of who have not only a quest for performance in the form of various wave tricks but who also live for speed.
Word is, he may debut the board at Snappers. We'll see how it works and whatever the outcome, I believe the surfing world will be better off from the lessons learned on this board. Funny how that works... One man's journey isn't only to his benefit, we can all enjoy the ride as well. Personally, I think Kelly could ride and slab of lead but, that's just my 2 cents.