Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey

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Press:Harpercollins HarperEntertainment; 1st edition (July 29, 2003)
Author Name:Slater, Kelly/ Borte, Jason


I thought, Pfft, come on. 
People from Australia are world champions ...
But a world champion from Florida? Fuhged-daboudit.Cocoa Beach, Florida, isn't exactly a breeding ground for surfing world champions -- the waves are tiny.
So when Kelly Slater was growing up, the furthest thing from his mind was becoming a world champion.
He was a Florida grommet whose biggest goal was to one day make it out far enough to catch the two-foot waves his dad and brother were riding -- anything more was a dream.Life in the Slater household wasn't perfect, and as his parents' marriage fell apart and his father battled alcoholism, Slater escaped to the beach and found peace on a surfboard.
He devoured surf magazines, sat spellbound while watching surfing movies, and worshiped the gods of the sport who threw themselves into thundering walls of water along the North Shore of Hawaii and around the world.
Slater never thought he'd move beyond the Florida shore breaks, but his insatiable thirst for competition and uncanny -- almost innate -- understanding of the physics of surfing destined him for waves and events much bigger than anything Cocoa Beach had to offer.In Pipe Dreams, Slater takes you inside a churning Pipeline tube and lets you experience the rush of adrenaline and danger.
He pays tribute to close friends who lost their lives surfing big waves and tells what life on the World Tour is really like, from schmoozing with celebrities to running from stalker fans to the insane competition and off-the-wall antics of the world's most famous surfers -- including Tom Curren, Tom Car-roll, Gary Elkerton, Mark Occhilupo, Rob Machado, and Shane Dorian.
Slater also explains his various career moves, such as his stint as a regular on Baywatch, and the ups and downs of his love life -- from his on-again, off-again romance with Pamela Anderson to Bree, his first love, and their broken engagement.Pipe Dreams offers unprecedented access to the globetrotting lifestyle and the rarely seen private life of the man who destroyed every record in a sport long dominated by people who thought world champions didn't grow up in Florida, himself included.
Slater holds nothing back, because after six world titles, there is nothing left to prove -- not to himself or to anyone else.


Sports & Outdoors,Water Sports,Biographies & Memoirs,Sports & Outdoors,Memoirs

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Comment List (Total:14)

  •     Finally picked up this book. If you're a fan of the sport and want insight into who Kelly is and how he's achieved so much (up to 2003), then you'll enjoy this book.
  •     In all honesty, I didn't expect to enjoy this book. After all--what do I, a gal scientist, have in common with a surf legend who trumps his peers to float somewhere up there with Kwan, Woods, and Jordan?Instead, I found myself unable to put it down. Well written and wonderfully candid, it promised everything that goes into a unforgettable biography--and then some.Slater imbues his writing with gut-wrenching, broad-appeal emotion--a notable accomplishment in crafting a story around a sport and way of life not accessible to most of the world. By the end, I felt like I could play a round of golf or have a beer with Slater and relate to him on a level that surpasses lines of class and celebrity--one that is simply, human.My only complaint? I would've liked captions for the photos.I hated to say goodbye at the end. That should say it all.
  •     I’ve owned this book for a few years but I never got around to read it until now. And boy, did I learn a few things about Slater and his life.
  •     As a fan of Slater I found the story engaging. The writing is nothing special. It doesn't go into a lot of depth about other aspects of his life beyond competition, but I expect...
  •     It is important to first note that I know nothing about surfing; I live in the heartland, far from the ocean and have never been on a board.
  •     I absolutely loved this book and found it a great insight into the early Slater days. See my full review at [...]
  •     It was everything as described, it arrived perfectly on time and in perfect conditions. I was very happy about it
  •     I enjoyed reading the book. A very clear look at his life growing up in Coco Beach Fl. and his rise to the top of his sport.
  •     For readers expecting the champ to keep pace with the ever-increasing quality of surf literature, you are in for a disappointment. The only conclusion I can come to is that this was written for pre-teens. I believe even they would be left wanting more. I felt as if I was reading a chronological timeline of surf contest results while sprinkled in were tidbits of interesting relational, or situational, anecdotes that were never developed or cut short. This man's story could have gone into so many interesting directions but one direction was never made clear. So why the three stars anyway? Because he has given us the first roughly hewn look into some personal experiences that shaped him.All the raw paragraphs did expose the champ as someone less enviable, maybe a little less balanced out of the water, but with one internal drive: his competitive nature. Between these pages are the things he cares about most. We are witness to a man in development and someone still searching. This biography leaves the reader feeling they have received an unedited glimpse into Mr. Slater's life. An interesting segway that needs to be explored further is the story of the changing of the guard. I know that Kelly Slater was at the heart of a revolution in the way competitors viewed each other, as friends, as fellow artist and musicians, and as renaissance men. This revolution changed the face of surfing forever. I know because I have seen the difference in surf literature and films and in the water. Mr. Slater, thanks for the effort, but you still have more to offer us, in and out of the water.
  •     Yeah~ i luv this book-- i like all da pictures :P
  •     Great insight into the life and mind of te greatest surfer of all time.
  •     I went to school with Kelly's mother so it was great to find that Kelly included images and stories about her ...
  •     I really enjoyed this book. The basic story of Slater's life is interesting, but his honesty about his feelings is what I enjoyed most. It's easy to think that guys who tackle huge waves never know a timid moment in their lives, but Slater's comments about his feeling timid against big surf, and feeling timid on dry land in the form of having a shy personality when he was a kid, were reassuring to someone like me who certainly has felt fear in the water and was a shy kid, too. (Slater was voted "best looking" at his high school, so in a way his shyness didn't MATTER, since girls came after HIM. I wish I'd lost my virginity as young as he did! But nonetheless, his honesty about his feelings are endearing and interesting.) And if you're a surf nut, just reading his take on approaches to surfing, his experiences with different breaks, and his evolvement as a surfer are interesting. Sometimes it feels like THE MATRIX where Neo/Slater blows it a lot during the learning process, but it's those mistakes that make for a rapid learning curve. P.S. Aug. 2, I had Kelly sign the book yesterday at the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach, after he introduced Tom Curren at the ceremony where Curren impressed his feet and hands in cement. I told Kelly I'd finished the book and liked it, and he said, "Thanks a lot," but seemed maybe a little disbelieving, since the book had only been published a couple days before. But I did read it in only a couple days...because it's a good read.
  •     I remember as a grommet and my idols were Tom Curren and I liked the style of Martin Potter but there was a guy, my age who was really kicking butt in surfing in the amateurs, named Kelly Slater. I remember during a surf comp in France, he was against his idol, Tom Curren and Slater won. There was a lot of talk about him but you knew inside this kid from Cocoa Beach was going somewhere. He is multi-talented but during his interviews...print or on television, you kind of see something through his eyes. Stoke when he wins a comp. But I don't know...you sensed somethings at times that you wonder how life is going for Kelly Slater. "Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey" was so captivating that I couldn't even put the book down. This book is not a how-to-surf book. It's about the life of Kelly Slater and he talks about personal things that occured in his life that I must say...it takes a lot of courage and probably is therapeutic in a way to get everything out into the open for him. From his childhood, his father leaving his family and getting involved with alcoholism, insight on competitions and what was on his mind and how he actually gets pissed off (which I really couldn't imagine because he seems always calm) if he's losing a match. He also talks about his relationships with Bree (if you read any of the surf mags...you always saw a photo of them together) and the problems with that relationship as well as with Pamela Anderson and others. Also, the "Baywatch" situation and how Kelly and his co-star David Charvet got into a fight because Kelly didn't like being on the show and that was interesting. How he amassed a lot of money early on in his surfing career and then blew it all and it took a hard realization to manage it. Also, about that French stalker woman and how he almost got jumped by several guys. How he wanted to be like Tom and leave his sponsor to be soul surfer. His reunion with his father and him being a father which he kept secret from the public for two years and so much in this book that you start to learn more about Kelly Slater. Like many sports icons, you tend to see the good things. With Slater, I thought...champion, dates fine women, on the cool magazines and in the spotlight....what a life? But when you read the book, you realize that Slater really never asked to be a star, he just wanted to surf and the things that went on with his life, like most celebrities or sports icons, they can manifest to something negative but he was able to stay right in between, he never goes into a ....I'm doing so well with my life but that he made some f-up's along the way and he's making sure that he doesn't do again (or try to anyway) and continues to improve himself and try to make better decisions after learning from difficult and heartbreaking decisions. After reading this book, I respect him so much more. This book is absolutely wonderful!

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