Is Kelly Slater the Greatest Athlete Of All Time?

June 21, 2012, 9:11 amYahoo!7

International Surfing Day is recognised around the world on June 20, and who better to celebrate with than 11 times ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater. With the spotlight on surfing, it's time to ask: Is Slater the greatest athlete of all time? Check the facts and Quiksilver's infographic to decide for yourself.

Is Kelly Slater the Greatest Athlete Of All Time?

Quiksilver have delved into the world of Slater, comparing him to athletes from traditional sports who have made history and measured their achievements to this all time surfing champ.

Photo by Quiksilver


- Kelly Slater has won 11 World Titles - more than any athlete in any major sport...ever. This includes Tiger Woods (10 x PGA Player of the Year), Wayne Gretzky (9 x Hart Trophy NHL MVP) and Peyton Manning (4 x NFL MVP)

- He holds 3 Guinness World Records, and the record for being both the youngest and the oldest surfer to win a World Title (a record he keeps breaking over and over!)

- He has won as many World Titles as the next three best surfers combined (Mark Richards claimed 5 World Titles, Tom Curren x 3 and Andy Irons x 3)

- He has won events in 11 countries and 6 continents. He is yet to conquer Antarctica, but only because there are no events held there.

- He has been featured in 28 documentaries, 10 episodes of Baywatch, 2 Hollywood films and published 2 books.

Photo by Quiksilver

- Although he's a sports star, he lives the life of a rock star:
  • People Magazine named him one of the '50 Most Beautiful People'
  • GQ Magazine included him in their list of the 25 Coolest Athletes
  • He's performed music with recording artists who have collectively created over 44 Gold or Platinum albums, including Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam (15 albums), Jackson Browne (11), Ben Harper (11), Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction (5), Donovan Frankenreiter (1) and G Love (1).

Despite all of this, Kelly Slater has never been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Interesting....

Check out the Kelly Slater Infographic at Quiksilver

What do you think: Is Slater truly is “The Greatest Athlete of All Time”? Leave your comments below.

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  1. Jed04:07pm Saturday 07th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Mark Richards has only won four world titles. Kelly is without doubt the best athlete in the world. To be as consistant as he is in an ever changing environment such as the ocean is nothing but remarkable. If only he was Australian.

  2. Jake05:47pm Thursday 21st June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Are you kidding Yorkie? Have you seen the poundings these surfers take when a normal looking wave turns into a rogue one? Have you not looked into the training regiment of a current pro surfer? Or the injuries these guys endure? Think again my friend =)

  3. Leisa05:03pm Thursday 21st June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Billy Slater ? Yes . He is.

  4. larry03:27pm Thursday 21st June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I agree with Yorkie's point that surfing is not the high collision sport that some team sports are and that this aspect reduces the likelihood of accute or chronic injury shortening a career. Yet surfing is incredibly demanding both physically and psychologically. These athletes risk their lives in a natural environment that is not contolled by a referees whistle. If they get it wrong, then no matter how much assistance is readily available, they would die.Kelly is amazing, a freak of nature. What he has achieved is never going to be repeated. Every sportsperson and sportsviewer should make the most of this opportunity to see a true champion. In addition, this guy could play any sport if he put his mind to it as proven by his golfing abiility. You are an inspiration to all of us Kelly, keep it up.

  5. Yorkie02:42pm Thursday 21st June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    He is truly incredible, and his achievements in his chosen field are likely never to be equalled, however it is a bit of a long bow to draw to claim him as the greatest "athlete" ever. Surfing, whilst dangerous, does not take the same toll on your body as sports such as football, cricket, rugby or basketball, or gridiron.





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