I’m usually not a big fan of autobiographies but then we are talking about the autobiography of the very special Kelly Slater. I think there are quite a few Kelly autobiographies out there but ‘For the love’ is the most recent one.
It’s not the most exciting book I’ve read recently but an interesting read. Ok at times I did get a bit bored. The majority of the book consists of more or less famous friends of Kelly talking about Kelly and so are the stories – more or less interesting. I like the chapters best where Kelly himself reflects on parts of his life rather than other people talking about him.
My favourite story is when Kelly writes about his crazy friend Munga who’s inspired him to be a true competitor: … He’s way too late on it to make the drop, but he flips around and stands up and falls out of the sky and eats shit. He paddles back, out and gets asked ‘Why did you do that? You had no chance of making it.” And Munga just shrugs and says, “I had to try.”
It’s that thing, you never know ‘til you go. You never know how far you can push things until you do something like that and make it. Almost every wave I’ve ever made, I’ve had this thought, I wonder if I could have been a touch deeper, or got a little higher on an air. There is always room for improvement.”
That’s what I call a true competitive spirit.
There are parts in the book, which I did not like so much. For example, the section about him and his mate Jeff Hornbaker – a photographer. There is a photo series of Kelly Slater in a turtle shell. Really? I get the concept of taking photos with things you find on an island. But the photos look like something Zoolander would do. Oh well…
Some facts and random observations I found very interesting:
- He’s always late
- He’s got a child (really)
- He cares about the environment and you can tell he really cares (and not because his manager told him that it would be good for his image to do so).
- His ultimate dream is to live on his own acreage in Hawaii and grow his own food, catch his own water and live completely free of the grid on solar and wind energy.
- He knows his stuff when it comes to nutrition.
- He’s a deep thinker and quite philosophical at times.
- He does not shy away from political statements and other strong opinions.
- He hated being on Baywatch.
- Pam is still in love with him.
- He’s got a MasterCard with his own face on it.
- Kelly’s first name is Robert not Kelly…huh?
All in all, it makes a great Coffee table book to flick through for short bite size stories and facts but a bit boring as back to back read.
Oh and if you don’t want to read it, that’s ok too. Just looking at all the photos of Kelly with hair is worth it.