Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey
By Kelly Slater, with Jason Borte
ReganBooks, 325 pages, $25
This is an article from the Aug. 4, 2003 issue
"Surfing without style," Kelly Slater writes, "is like music
without rhythm." So is an autobiography without depth. Here are
the six-time world champion and former Baywatch co-star's 10
shallowest observations from an endless summer read.
1. "I cared about Pamela [Anderson] as a friend, but when I was
with her, I was reminded of my connection to Baywatch."
2. "[Fellow Floridian] Jeff Crawford had won the Pipe Masters in
1974, and a few other guys were making an impression in Hawaii,
but a world champion? From Florida? Fuhgeddaboudit."
3. "During my senior year, I was voted Best Looking and
Homecoming King of my school.... I was also nominated for Prom
King, but you can't win them all."
4. "There's a big wall in the reception room that people
scribbled graffiti all over. It said, 'Kelly Slater has zits.' I
tried to laugh it off, but inside it was killing me."
5. "When [Helena Christensen] said she also wanted a picture of
me, I found it odd, considering I thought she didn't know who I
was.... She leaned over the table and said, 'Kelly, it's not the
size of the wave. It's what you do on it that counts.'"
6. "At the beginning of 1995, I was crowned champion of both the
World Championship Tour and the World Qualifying Series, and my
competitors were obviously tired of me winning.... I felt
7. "I was one row back, staring at an open seat in the front
cabin the whole flight.... That open seat in first class haunted
8. "Try as I might, I couldn't get Pamela Anderson out of my
system. After three years of marriage, two kids and more time in
the public eye than the president, Pam decided she was after the
true-to-my-roots sort of life I was leading."
9. "Surfing is so small that my experiences are a fraction of
[Elvis Presley's], but the feeling's the same."
10. "Baywatch was hanging over me like a black cloud, and it was
time to get out of the rain."