Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey

Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey

4.6 12
by Kelly Slater
     
 

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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… See more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Because six-time world champion surfer Slater has been perhaps the dominant figure in the sport since the 1990s-combining "freakish freesurfing and a vision for bringing his act on the pro tour without toning it down"-it is surprising that his autobiography is so pedestrian. Slater recounts growing up with a turbulent home life in the fading Florida surf community of Cocoa Beach, winning his first world championship in 1992 at age 20 as the youngest men's champ in history, retiring in 1998 after winning his sixth world title and his recent comeback. Slater has many lively stories to tell, about his friendships with the many great surfers at the famous "Pipeline" area of Oahu, his run-ins with surfing groupies and his ill-fated role in the TV series Baywatch. He has plainspoken insights into his world, such as the egos found on the world tour circuit, the change in style from long boards to the "new school" of short boards and how many great surfers "fail to grasp the system" of professional competitions well enough to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, this is a relentlessly detailed book, written in a fairly simple and direct style, describing almost every surfing competition Slater has been in since his first one when he was six years old. While Slater's many fans will enjoy reading that "[I] surfed one of the best heats of my life in the quarterfinals of the Marui Pro at Hebara Beach" in 1992, the average reader looking for insights into the world of surfing will find this book tougher going. (Aug.) Forecast: Slater is still an extremely popular surfer whose fans will love this book, while his involvement with the popular surfer-turned-singer Jack Johnson has brought his name to a new audience. But this book will be too detailed to capture the interest of a wider audience. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Following Kelly Slater from before he was born through winning six world surfing titles to the present, this book examines in detail the life and career of one professional surfer as he tries to realize his dream on and off the water. Offering an intimate look into his own life, Slater attempts to demystify his image while also making clear the hard work and sacrifices he has had to make to excel at the level that he has in the world of surfing. Slater recounts the details of his life chronologically, from personal stories of near poverty conditions in the low rent condominiums of Cocoa Beach to a stint on Bay Watch and a subsequent romance with Pamela Anderson. Even as Slater discusses the fun and excitement of touring all around the globe, he also presents the pain of a broken home and alcoholic father and the bittersweet joy of becoming a father at twenty-three years old. Filled with black-and-white photos and a few color shots, this book is a visually beautiful archive of some great surfing photos as well as several personal shots. At times offering a nearly claustrophobic view of Slater's life, this book is more for the surfing fan or sports enthusiast rather than someone just looking for an interesting read. Although written without obvious flaws, the detail of this account sometimes becomes overwhelming. Slater manages to present an interesting and inspirational book on this often-marginalized sport, one that any surfing fan will enjoy. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, ReganBooks/HarperCollins, 338p.; Illus. Photos. Charts. Appendix., Ages 12 to Adult.
—Heather Hepler

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060096298
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/10/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)

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