Outside Magazine points out the extraordinary fact that 42-year-old Kelly Slater is still the greatest surfer on earth. How can that be? Slater is a decade older, at least, than most of his competitors. In October’s $500,000 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal he was six years older than the nearest athlete on the scene. Mick Fanning–the world’s No. 2 ranked surfer–won the event.
But it was Slater who made worldwide news by pulling off a 720 degree rotation off the top of a wave. The move, which had never been done before, astonished everyone. (Even those who insisted it was a mere 540 degree turn.) Skateboard legend Tony Hawk even analyzed Slater’s move. And here’s the thing: the 42-year-old Slater nailed it on his first ever try. Kelly Slater won his first world title at age 20 in 1992.