Kelly Slater: Surfing Champion

This beach babe dominated four amateur surfing competitions, but he remains in harmony with his family – and the ocean


Mothers love the oddest-looking creatures. But Judy Rivers has proof of the appeal of her son Kelly, 19, a four-time U.S. amateur surfing champ: letters from teenage girls. “I’m sick of the perfume they are all drenched in,” grouses Mom. For his part, Kelly is a little embarrassed at being voted Best Looking by his Cocoa Beach High School class (“I was hoping I would get Most Talented”). The Floridian does have a girlfriend—in California. “I’ve got a big phone bill,” he says. A math wiz in school, Kelly should have no problem figuring out how to pay it. He has an endorsement deal worth nearly $1 million. But the sport remains his preoccupation. “You’ve got to respect the ocean, and you can’t think you can beat Mother Nature,” he says. Or, for that matter, Mother. “Kelly is not cocky,” says Judy. “I’d kick his butt if he were.”

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