Surfer Kelly Slater on Problems in his Perfect Life


[Cassette tape winding] [David Gerlach] You’re listening
to Blank on Blank, where lost interviews come to life,
distributed by the Public Radio Exchange, prx.org. I’m David Gerlach. [Soft, acoustic music, Kelly Slater sings]
“The days are passing so fast, man I make it through this. My self belief:
I’m better on my own.” [Kelly Slater, spoken] You know, I mean
early on it would be like if “I just win a contest on tour”, or whatever, win
a regional contest when I’m an amateur. It eventually became “I want to win a
world title”, then “I want to win multiple
world titles.” And. You know, I was going for
all these “things”, and, but I never felt comfortable in that moment in my skin.
I was always worried about the past and, or worried about the future and
thinking about something that happened in the past, and never like in that moment. [Soft, acoustic music, Slater sings] “the
time is now, please don’t let this go. so let’s just sail away and find our place
today, forget the yesterdays we’re living.” [Slater] When you break through
whatever it is you need to break through to actually live in the moment, and have
the experiences that are happening right now. It’s a…
you know… For me that was a very special thing.
Which only, probably happened. Um… you know… in this decade, for me.
And, I uh… I had a few situations. Um… uh… you know my personal life
where, I was forced. You know, my dad dying, cheated on a girlfriend. All these
kind of things. Like a bunch of things converged in one year for me,
[Josh Baron] Mm-hmm. [Slater] in my life. And um… And I just
sort of, uh, saw it pointing to the fact things, my life was getting worse not better.
And it should be getting better, because I’ve done all the things, met all the
people, been all the places, and accomplished the things that I wanted
to accomplish. [Baron] Mm-hmm.
[Slater] But life was somehow getting worse, you know.
[Baron] You sort of, uh, alluded to it a little bit earlier, eight world
titles. Sounds like you found some… [Slater] …Nine actually… (laughs)
[Baron]…nine. Excuse me. Sorry. Nine. My bad, a little embarrassing. Nine.
Um, it sounds like you found someone that you care, and, you know, love deeply, and,
you know, traveled to, you know, pretty much any place you want to travel on Earth
thus far. [Slater] Yep.
[Baron] Has anything alluded you? [Slater] Um, probably just like
experiences at home with family and friends, and um, with my
daughter. Um, who’s twelve now. Um, I have some, uh, some residual guilt
there, cause I’m just not home much. And uh, you know I just don’t get to see
her that often. [Gerlach] Slater really opened up here
about troubles in his family life, and a few minutes later, he again picked
up his guitar and continued on that train of thought. Here it is.
[Soft, acoustic music] [Slater] I woke up on my mom’s birthday
and wrote this one, you know. It was like, uh, probably three years ago. I’ll just sing a verse. [Slater sings] “I never really needed a
father. I’ve never been that close to my daughter.
Oh but I, I’m coming home to you.” [Slater, speaking] Sorry, I haven’t played
it probably since then. (chuckles) [Gerlach] That’s champion surfer and
musician Kelly Slater on his not so perfect life, and this is Blank
on Blank. Thanks again to Josh Baron, Editor-in-Chief of Relix Magazine for
adding his interview to the archive. For more interviews that you can hear
nowhere else, head over to blankonblank.org. I’m David Gerlach, keep
listening. Blank on Blank is distributed by the Public Radio Exchange, prx.org.
[Soft, acoustic music] [Slater singing] “Just like heaven, in your eyes. Now I think I, I realize.” [Slater, spoken] Something like that, but.
Kind of summing up, my uh, you know the people around me, and… Subtitles by the Amara.org community

Antonio Breitenberg

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