“Has anyone in here ever wanted to get worse at something?” – Kelly Slater
It was a rhetorical question. The answer is no. Kelly knows this, but after watching our film HI-5: Rob Machado, Kelly Slater, and Surfing’s Greatest Heat for the first time in front of an intimately packed house at Turtle Bay on the North Shore this December, he feels a need to expound on the concept of competitiveness. Turns out, his peers cast him as a hardened competitor. Who would have figured. But they also downplay their own ambitions. He doesn’t buy it. Not for a second. He doesn’t buy the idea that Rob Machado isn’t competitive. Nor Dane Reynolds. Nor any great surfer. If you want to be great at something, you’re competitive. Now ‘fess up, says the king.
And that was the first of many gloriously candid exchanges that took place between Kelly, the greatest (competitive) surfer to ever live, and Rob, the world’s most iconic freesurfer. It was an absolutely singular evening, and we couldn’t be more proud to have facilitated the conversation and attempted to bottle that magic.
Ultimately, the two showed up for the Hawaii premiere of our film about their world-title-deciding heat at Pipeline in 1995. You know, the one with surfing’s greatest high five? It’s the one Kelly says he’d surf it over and over if he could choose just one heat from his illustrious (and ongoing career) to get trapped in. It was twenty years later almost to the day, and it happened to be our 5-Year Anniversary, so we passed out a bunch of big foam high five hands, filled mugs with Primo, and then we shut up and let the Kelly Slater and Rob Machado talk. The two had never discussed that moment before. So for any soul lucky enough to be in that room, we watched an epic trip down memory lane take shape.
Luckily, we filmed this epic dialog to bring you into the room as well. We’ll be releasing excerpts from the conversation weekly. Today, we invite you to join Rob Machado and Kelly Slater to hear them talk about competitive drive and family. Just the three of ya’s. Fireside chat, style. We think you’ll enjoy.
So tune in each Wednesday. Next week, Rob and Kelly talk rock, paper, scissors, U.S. Open hassling, and their history of white-knuckled heats. Legend status. Enjoy.