“Quite simply, there is surfing before Kelly Slater, and then there is surfing now.”
Kelly Slater is larger than life—so is his statue in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
As a surfer he’s won 11 ASP Surf Championships. As a statue he’s bronze and built to withstand 140 MPH winds. (The statue was designed by Sam Drazich and his sister Tasha.)
Slater began surfing in Cocoa Beach as a youth and eventually became the most dominant surfer in the history of the sport.
“No sportsman in the world anywhere has for so many years been so far ahead of his peers—not Tiger, Lance, Ali, Michael Jordan, Gretsky, or Federer.”
Slater started surfing in what’s known “small wave capital of the world” (I was out in 1 & 2 foot waves today with a Go Pro camera) and he honed his skills there until he took his act out on the world stage surfing waves up to 40 feet. Slater’s a great example of “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Cocoa Beach itself, for a town that today has slightly over 12,000 core residents, and the immediate surrounding area has a solid history of being the proving grounds for great achievers. Before Slater was born in 1972, you can see shades of Cocoa Beach in the four-time Oscar-winning film The Right Stuff (1983), which depicts, “The original US Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.”
Much of the movie takes places in Cocoa Beach, and nearby Cape Canaveral where NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is located.
Slater himself has been featured in many surf films and videos and has extensive IMDB credits. I’ve never written a script about the Florida’s East Coast and the surf culture there, but this trip has me kicking aorund ideas. Screenwriting from Cocoa Beach, New Symrna Beach or Sebastian Inlet has a nice ring to it.