Kelly Slater Tuberiding | Surfers of Fortune

03 Jul
July 3, 2021

For friends who surf, I thought you might enjoy this clip from Surfers of Fortune, a vintage 29-year old VHS surf film by Brian Bleak. You can no longer buy it. It’s not on DVD. You might be able to find it on YouTube. It featured the Quiksilver crew tooling around Indo. It was one of the films that inspired my own surf travels through the years. Incredible surfing. Great soundtrack. Beautifully, creatively filmed, and edited.

A few years ago, that VHS tape got jammed up in an old player and I let it sit for a long time. I could not get it out. But in my eyes, the tape was more valuable than the player, so I took the machine apart, destroying it in the process to salvage the tape.

Recently, I hooked up another old VHS player to watch it for the first time in many, many years.

I wanted to share this extraordinary clip of a young Kelly Slater because it is still today, the single greatest display of tube riding I’ve ever seen (and I’ve watched a lot of videos). It is complete mastery: entering, exiting, slotting, positioning, sitting, standing, drop knee, even critical drop-ins… switchfoot. Incredibly, 29 years later, at age 49, he’s still performing incredibly, professionally in Tom Bradyesque style. He may not be his 20-year-old-self (shown here), but he’s still remarkably close. But enjoy this! (You may have to turn up your volume. This decades-old VHS was recorded straight from my television set, so not the greatest quality).

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