Kelly Slater is a surfing legend. Slater’s illustrious career spans over three decades. Many fans regard him as the greatest surfer of all time. He has won the World Surfing League 11 times in his career. Even at 50, Slater isn’t just participating in surfing competitions but is also winning them. This year Slater won the Billabong Pro Pipeline held in Oahu, Hawaii.

Of the 50 years that Kelly has spent on this globe, He has surfed for 45. The three-time Triple Crown of Surfing winner has dedicated his entire life to the sport. However, with such a prolific career, Slater’s personal life has suffered. While many athletes’ careers slow down when they decide to focus on their families, Slater’s didn’t.


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Not being present

During an interview with Graham Bensinger, the surfing legend spoke about personal demons he couldn’t slay. While interviewing Slater in 2016, Bensinger asked, “How has being a father been?“. Kelly said, “It’s been interesting in my life, just because I’m not a full-time dad,”. The legendary surfer explained the situation he found himself in while his daughter was growing up.

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“My daughter has been raised by her mother almost a hundred percent.”, said Slater. The nature of Slater’s sport forces him to travel across the world. Kelly’s daughter felt his absence from a young age. “You’re traveling around the world the whole time… you’re not coming home every week between contests.” said the 11-time world champion.

“The hardest part for me is my daughter feeling like she doesn’t have a dad,” Kelly told Graham. Kelly’s daughter also felt a similar emotional strain of being distant from her father. “I know that was especially hard for her when she was younger,” Kelly added.

READ MORE: “And It Just Killed My Confidence”: Kelly Slater Smiled Through Pain of Bad Practice While Clicking Pictures With Fans Before 2019 World Surf League

While his daughter is no longer a child and understands why her father was absent, Slater still feels guilty. “I probably have a little bit of guilt about that… You know kids are just innocent… They need to have adults around them.” said the surfing legend.

Kelly Slater and acting

Besides being a prolific surfer, Slater is also a prolific actor. From 1990 until now, he has acted in numerous films, TV shows, documentaries, video games, and even music videos.


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Slater was also part of the iconic TV show Bay Watch. From 1992 to 1996, Slater appeared in 27 episodes.


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While Slater may not have been present for his family. He, however, created history on the surfboard. Even at 50, he shows no signs of slowing down.