THE MAN! Kelly is STILLE taking down kids half his age, and STILL winning World Titles. He is hands down the GREATEST athlete of our generation... And is a contender for the GREATEST athlete of all time. Have YOU ever tried to even stand up on a surfboard... Let alone on a 10 foot, BARRELING wave with only a few feet of water between you and razor sharp reef? AND... Do it for over two decades, dominating in EVERY contest you're in... And this is not just a U.S. sport... It's a WORLD WIDE sport. Brazil, Japan, Australia, and South Africa are just a few countries who compete in the ASP World Tour. Only one has DOMINATED.. And it's SLATER. THE MAN!
I am a proud Australian and even I recognize the fact Kelly Slater is the number 1 greatest athlete, not only his longevity, he is still smashing all the guys half his age, he has had to reinvent his surfing to stay in touch, in what is regarded as a young mans sport, it is incredible, main stream sport needs to take its head out of their behinds.
Since surfing isn't a mainstream sport for which the majority of the other greats represent, we find Kelly Slater underrated. If the masses had more exposure to his competitive genius, his unparalleled fitness, his incredible composure, his grace when winning, Kelly woudl be rated in the top 3 of this list. His records speak for themselves and in a world where we believe records are there to be broken it is hard to believe his record ever will. No one has come close and this may be the one record never surpassed.
He has dominated his sport for longer than 99% of the people below him on this list. He was the youngest person in his sport to be a champ and currently is the oldest to be a champ at the age of 39 and today he is 43 and still winning competitions. He has won over 50 competitions in his career and has been the world champ 11 times, 5 of which were in a row. He has been a top athlete for around 25 years and has even had a video game made after him. Honestly... what other accolades do you need to literally be the best sportsman in history.
11 World Titles spanning over more than two decades. Of the 18 years he has competed in the ASP world tour he has taken home the world title 11 TIMES! (ASP World Champion in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011). He is both the youngest and the oldest surfer to win a title, 20 and 39. There is no other athlete in this list that even comes close!
He holds just about every record there is to achieve in surfing. He has been competing for 3 decades and is a great ambassador for sport. Physically he is very fit and mentally he is incredibly tactical. Kelly should be at the top of this list just like he is at the top of his sport!
I'm a baseball guy but trying to balance on a board and ride a wave is incredibly almost impossibly difficult. Strength, balance, endurance all needed as well as the fact that battling the elements and unpredictable ocean, by far he gets overlooked big time when compared to other athletes.
Bruce Jenner once said that surfing was the most difficult sport he ever tried. This is from the person that was once considered the worlds greatest. Three decades of dominance will never happen again. If you have seen our Kelly you have witnessed true greatness.
who else has been not just at the top but the very best in their sport for 20 years? in a sport where physical fitness is absolutely crucial along with agility, flexibiltiy Kelly Slater has it all. And the best competition head ever.
Hands down the greatest athlete of all time. It's sad that usually he is not even part of the conversation. There needs to be more recognition for what Kelly has accomplished. 11 World titles and counting.
10x world champion in the only sport that has more variables then all other sports together... come on guys, that man is from another planet. Besides, who else has 10 world titles to their name?
No one has ever owned a sport like Kelly has. The man is an absolute legend. The only competition he really had was from Andy. Kelly is humble and innovative and has moulded the world of surfing for the last 30 years or so
MJ blew my mind! Usain Bolt = freak! Kelly Slater is not from planet earth! No one has changed any sport as King Kelly changed surfing. If you don't surf you, you will never understand! To be a good surfer is hard- give me 10 years of your life. To be an excellent surfer is near impossible. There will never ever be another Kelly Slater!
Get real in this assessment on great athletes, Ke11y is #1 by far... Just because surfing is not a Olympic recognized sport doesn't make the athlete any different!
Kelly now has 11 world titles and has been at the top of his sport for 2 decades. He should be in the top 5 of this list. I can't think of any other sports person to have 11 world championships to their name.
11 world titles against an international field.
The youngest (20) and oldest (39) world champion of the sport.
He's 43 and still one of the most progressive surfers on the planet with the ability to win any heat. In surfing there is an element of luck in that the ocean has to send you the right waves to earn the best scores and he rarely is out surfed. When he loses its usually due to mother nature.
11 world titles. Can anyone other sportsman claim to have won that many in any other sport? Not that I know of. The man is approaching 40 years of age and is still dominating the sport!
Most dominant athlete in his sport ever! If surfing got more mainstream attention more people would agree he is the best athlete to walk the planet... But I think I like it this way.
Two decades of dominance should speak for itself. For your style to change with the times and still dominate the 20 year-olds is something else.
11 time world champ what more needs to be said. Absolute freak! Kelly is not human, what he has done to the sport of surfing is unbelievable what a freak of nature.
Biggest load of rubbish ever this list is. Slater is without a doubt in the top 3! Always number 1 for me and I'm one of the most patriotic Australian's you'll ever find and I'm voting for a yank.
Kelly Slater should be in the top five sportsman of ALL time! Tell me a single athlete that has lasted at the top of the world in his sport for more than 20 years... And he is still going!
A man who dominates his sport well past his youth deserves to be in the top ten and surfing at a professional level means keeping up with rising standards every year.
I've never seen any sportsman dominating one of the most physically demanding sports over 3 generations. He made the sport into what it is now and still he's up there.
For his age and still being the best surfer, damn kelly shreds and is indefinitely the best surfer that has lived and ever will live.