Graham spends the day with the most decorated professional surfer ever, Kelly Slater. Slater, now 47, discusses the challenges facing the debut of surfing in the Tokyo Olympics, and how wave technology could have helped. Slater details the growth of his sustainable clothing brand, and the development of his business. Graham also talks to Slater’s long-time girlfriend, Kalani Miller, about the couple’s future. And then, Slater and Graham get in the water at Slater’s Surf Ranch to get first hand experience with artificial wave technology.
Kelly Slater discusses the long process of getting his Surf Ranch off the ground. He details how his board shaver came to him with the idea, the 10 years spent developing the technology, and confronting the moment when he had to put it all on the line. Plus, having to keep the development of the Surf Ranch quiet, right down to a secret code.
Kelly Slater mistimed the first wave he rode at his Surf Ranch, wiping out in front of dozens of people. Plus, he describes the overwhelming response to the first video released, and the design problem that shut down the pool for months.
Kelly Slater says that he initially worried that artificial wave technology, including his Surf Ranch, would take away from the more organic process of picking a wave in the ocean. He also details how wave technology might impact competition, and how as it evolves, surfers will be able to customize their waves.
Kelly Slater has diagnosed himself with Attention Deficit Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He says that, if used the right way, his obsessive mind is a strength. Plus, he recalls losing 17 straight games of ping pong on his birthday, and why he ended up crying.
Kelly Slater describes the hardships he went through in the initial stages of his career, from a broken engagement to the loss of close friends and family to cancer and suicide. He tells of the moment when he realized life was bigger than his competitive goals, and finding balance in his life.
Kelly Slater recalls growing up on a fixed income, sometimes going without heat or hot water, and having no winter clothes. He says though his family wasn’t in extreme poverty, his Mom did have to sell her prized possession, a 1938 Gibson gold-top banjo, to get Slater to the World Championships. Plus, he describes not knowing how to handle his early wealth, and the financial lessons he learned after losing it all.
Kelly Slater says he didn’t know a lot about business early in his career, but he decided to start one anyways. Outerknown, his sustainably-focused apparel company, caused backlash initially thanks to its higher prices. But Slater says he wasn’t trying to make a product that was beyond most peoples’ means, but being environmentally friendly and socially compliant costs more. Plus, he discusses the impact of fast fashion.
Kelly Slater details some of his concerns about the debut of surfing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, from possibly weak waves, to radiation levels, to the capture and slaughter of dolphins from Taiji cove. Plus, he discusses how surfing can stay in the Olympics through wave technology, and what it would mean to him to qualify.
Kelly Slater details the worst injury he has ever had, and the multiple surgeries that followed, keeping him from surfing. Slater says he may have returned to the water too soon, making the injury worse. Plus, he details the cost of competition, paid by the physical toll on his body.
Kelly Slater has been competing for 39 years, and is older than most of the people he has seen on tour, and feels like he is still improving. But, the 47-year-old admits that he is slowing down, and has had some injuries that kept him out of the water. Plus, Slater responds to those who say he should “step aside” for younger surfers.
Kalani Miller, former model, co-founder of swimwear company MIKOH and Kelly Slater’s long-time girlfriend, discusses their 12 year relationship. She describes their meeting at the ASR trade show in San Diego when she and Slater were working with Roxy and Quiksilver, respectively, and their international first date. Plus, Miller opens up about the future of her relationship with Slater, including marriage and children.
In Depth host Graham Bensinger catches some waves at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif.
Kelly Slater details his nonstop travel schedule and the unpredictability of where he’ll sleep that night
Kelly Slater shares the advantages of older pro surfers and his motivations to continue surfing for years
Kelly Slater on inspiration and competitive perks of Kelly Slater Wave Parks, which will feature man-made waves
Kelly Slater discusses his family’s struggle for lunch money and mismanaging his first million dollars
Kelly Slater on life with and without his dad, who suffered from alcoholism and passed away in 2002 from cancer
Kelly Slater candidly analyzes motivations for success, plus reflects on rocky times with mom and on Baywatch
Kelly Slater discusses difficulties of being a father and maintaining his career as an elite pro surfer
Kelly Slater talks about his childhood and how ditching school and football practice impacted his surfing career
Kelly Slater shares life-threatening surfing experiences, including 50-foot waves, getting knocked out
Kelly Slater on potential of surfing at an event at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and his interest to compete
Writing songs and making music
Kelly Slater offers surfing tips to Graham Bensinger as the two ride waves in Malibu, Ca.
Kelly Slater takes Graham Bensinger on a tour of his apparel company and shows off shorts made from fishing nets