Outrigger Surfer in Residence Spotlight: Kelly Slater

5/7/2021

Surfers In Residence - Kelly Slate | Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

With nearly every major surf record—including an unprecedented 11 world titles, 55 career victories and both the youngest and oldest World Champion in men’s history—Kelly Slater is a legend on the waves. And he's a force to be reckoned with out of the water, too. 

Legend in her own right (and part of one of the most prolific surf families in the world) Tammy Moniz sat down with the pro surfer, entrepreneur, and sometimes actor at Outrigger Waikiki for our Surfers in Residence series to chat sustainable fashion, why he loves Waikiki,  and the "irreplaceable euphoria" of surfing.

The Mecca for Surfers

First up in their surfer-life convo: the oh-so-perfect barrels at Oahu’s Pipeline. While he's surfed the world's best—and most dangerous—waves, it's the North Shore’s ‘granddaddy of all waves’ that takes the top on Slater's best-of surf list.

“Pipeline’s our mecca, for all surfers. There’s always the Teahupo'o, the Mentawai Islands, the point breaks in Australia, or some big wave like Nazaré or Jaws, but [Pipeline] is sort of the ultimate challenge because you can still ride deep in a barrel in a way that can kill you—and so it’s sort of this, like, perfect blend of fun and fear,” he said. 

Why Waikiki

A favorite between-tour surf spot? Pipeline's more laid-back little sister, Waikiki.

“To me [Waikiki] is the birthplace of surfing. Although Pipeline’s like our mecca, what would you call this? I don’t know—the Jerusalem for surfers?" Slater said.

The birthplace of modern surfing, Waikiki and its famed Diamond Head is often the image you think of with the earliest depictions of surfing by the Hawaiian kings, and a burgeoning new pastime yet to take over the world.

"It’s visually such an incredible place,” said Slater. “You could never mistake it for somewhere else."

Into the Outerknown

Slater's passion for the water translates to a love of protecting it, too

“I was sponsored for 30 years by clothing companies and made my living from that, and started to realize I didn't know much about the whole process: the supply chain, who’s making the clothes, the factories we use, where the textiles come from, the effect on the environment," said Slater. 

When he learned about the football fields of fashion waste going into landfills every minute, Slater teamed up with creative director John Moore to create a new kind of lifestyle brand, Outerknown. It's mission: to honor people and planet.   

“It’s funny because I’m not crazy passionate about clothing. I don’t care, I just wear a t-shirt and shorts … and I don’t even have slippers today ...” he said, laughing. “But I’m passionate about the industry and about the process.” 

Today, the six-year-old Outerknown is revolutionizing the space with key innovations, from full lifecycle transparency of each item and fair labor practices to sweats made from sustainably harvested wood pulp and organic S.E.A. denim. 

"The world doesn’t necessarily need another clothing company. But if the clothing company does it better and takes some of that pie away from other ones [that aren’t sustainable], then yeah I think that’s probably a good thing," he said.

Getting Barreled at Surf Ranch

Slater’s next innovation: what are widely touted as the best artificial waves in the world.

By working with top wave scientists at USC, Slater was able to craft, well, the perfect wave. In the middle of the California desert. 

“It was sort of a Good Will Hunting moment where there’s the equation on the chalkboard and somebody’s gotta figure it out, and these guys figured it out for us," Slater said of the team’s work bringing his vision to life. “It was really cool.” 

The result is the now solar-powered Surf Ranch, a wave park in Lemoore, California. And a second waves-in-the-desert Kelly Slater Wave Co. project is coming soon: a 20-acre resort and mother-nature-rivaling wave basin in the Coachella Valley set to open in 2022. 

The Momentum Generation

Slater (and Moniz's husband, former pro surfer Tony Moniz) are part of what’s been dubbed “The Momentum Generation,” a crew of surfers that came up in the early ‘90s featured in a Taylor Steele documentary called Momentum (and that inspired a 2018 HBO documentary).

This group of lifelong surf friends ushered in a whole new era of big-wave surfing—and took the sport to competitive new heights. And for Slater, his drive to make an impact—and ability to transform everything he touches—don't show any signs of stopping.

Check out more of our Surfers in Residence chats with pro surfers, and come mingle with the pros in person by booking a stay with us soon. Aloha!


 


Subscribe and Keep Up With The Latest Posts

  • 1
    Select Your Destination
change
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort | Hawaii
  • Beachfront location
  • Home of Duke’s Waikiki
  • Hawaii’s best live music venue, Blue Note Hawaii
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort | Hawaii
  • Home of Hawaiian Music, Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Renovated modern guest rooms
  • Immersive cultural activities
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Some public spaces may not be available
  • Take advantage of special Preview Rates
Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Hawaii’s first and only craft hotel
  • Home of The Beachcomber Originals
  • Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop
  • Island’s longest bar at Maui Brewing Co
Waikiki Malia by Outrigger |Hawaii
  • Intimate retreat for adventure seekers
  • Easy access to Waikiki Beach
  • Choice for value-minded families and groups
  • Spacious guest rooms and studios
  • Offering connecting rooms and kitchenettes
OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes
  • Ideal for large groups or families
  • Steps to Waikiki Beach and International Market Place
  • Onsite restaurants – Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Tanaka of Tokyo
Airport Honolulu Hotel | Hawaii
  • Only half a mile from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • Pet friendly
  • Convenient for business travelJust minutes from Pearl Harbor
Waikiki Shore by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Only resort condo directly on Waikiki Beach
  • Sweeping panoramic ocean views
  • Family friendly
  • Perfect for extended stays
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Regency on Beachwalk Waikiki by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Intimate, boutique style condo resort
  • Situated in the Waikiki Beach Walk shopping and dining district
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Honua Kai Resort & Spa | Maui
  • 38 tropical beachfront acres
  • 3-acre aquatic playground
  • AAA Four Diamond Award accredited
  • Luxury, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites on Kaanapali Beach
The Kapalua Villas Maui | Hawaii
  • Located on 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort
  • Choose from 3 beaches and 11 restaurants
  • Ocean and golf room views
  • Offering two magnificent golf courses
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Palms at Wailea Maui by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Located within the world-famous Wailea Resort community
  • A short drive from the Shops at Wailea and beaches
  • Near Wailea’s most renowned restaurants
Aina Nalu Lahaina by Outrigger | Maui
  • Boutique-style condos in heart of Lahaina
  • Two blocks away from Front Street
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants
Kaanapali Maui at the Eldorado by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Fronts the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort
  • Short walk from Whalers Village
  • Featuring three swimming pools
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Royal Kahana Maui by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Ocean view of Molokai and Lanai
  • Boasts oceanfront pool
  • Private lanai
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Napili Shores Maui by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Offering stunning views of Lanai and Molokai
  • Newly renovated condos
  • Oceanfront on property dining at the Gazebo Restaurant
Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Heated river pool running through two-acre property
  • Features flumed water slides
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Lae Nani Resort Kauai | Hawaii
  • Oceanfront condos
  • Includes an ocean pool within a natural stone breakwater
  • Adjacent to the Coconut MarketPlace
Kiahuna Plantation Resort Kauai by Outrigger | Hawaii
  • Cottage-style beachfront condos
  • Complimentary access to Poipu Athletic Club
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Welcome to Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa
Watch the majestic manta rays that swim through Keauhou Bay. Or spend your day relaxing at the spa. It all starts here, on Hawaii Island.
Kanaloa at Kona by Outrigger | Hawaii Island
  • Set on 18 oceanfront acres
  • Boasts 3 swimming pools and 2 tennis courts
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Fairway Villa Waikoloa by Outrigger | Hawaii Island
  • Guests treated to infinity pool and lava rock whirlpool
  • Surrounded by Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course
  • Selection of on property dining options
Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals by Outrigger | Hawaii Island
  • Five distinct properties to choose from
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Close to upscale King’s Shops and Queen’s Market Place
  • Golf at Beach Course
Royal Sea Cliff Kona by Outrigger | Hawaii Island
  • Set on a lava rock bluff
  • Panoramic views of the Kona coast
  • 5-minute drive to restaurants and shops
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Castaway Island, Fiji Resort | Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
  • Beachfront bures
  • Complimentary beach services
  • Kava ceremony welcomes guests
  • Wood-carving guest activity
  • Enjoy Meke traditional song and dance
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort | Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
  • Beachfront bures
  • Offering Meimei nanny service
  • Talai butler service available
  • Named #1 Family Resort
  • Amazing firewalking ceremony
  • Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort | Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
    • Luxury beachfront suites
    • Mauritian Rum tasting experience
    • Dance to Sega music
    • Relax on private beach
    • Complimentary kid’s club
    Evening at Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
    • Located beachfront on Lamai Beach
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    Garden Villa | Outrigger Khao Lak Beach Resort
    • Located beachfront on Bangsak Beach
    • Swimming pool
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    Surin Terrace | Outrigger Surin Beach Resort
    • Located on Surin Beach
    • Boutique resort
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Restaurant and in-room dining
    Waikiki Beach | Hawaii
    • Famous for Waikiki Beach
    • Hike Diamond Head Crater
    • Take a historical journey at Pearl Harbor
    • Birthplace of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku
    • Home to Lolani Palace, US’s only royal place
    Experience a gorgeous Maui sunset
    • Voted “Best Island in the US”
    • Home to Haleakala volcano
    • Famed for whale watching during the winter months
    • Famous scenic stretch road to Hana
    • Mile long of sandy shore at Kaanapali Beach
    Beaches of Kauai | Hawaii
    • Nicknamed the Garden Island
    • Known for lush valleys, waterfalls and hiking trails
    • Has more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island
    • Most hiking trails than an other Hawaiian Island
    • Largest coffee plantation in the US
    Hawaii Island (Big Island)
    • Often referred to as the “Big Island”
    • Kilauea volcano is the most active and largest in the world
    • Known for black sand beaches
    • Grows most of the world’s macadamia nuts
    • Home to some of the world’s largest telescopes
    • 2
      Select Your Stay Dates
    • 3
      Choose Rooms & Guests
    Adults
    Children
    Rooms
    Apply A Special Rate
    Oh snap! It looks like the rate you selected is not available.
    Your Selection Has Been Applied
    Your Summary
    Back to Top