Kelly Slater: Passion For Surfing

Surf's up on the latest The Early Show.

Kelly Slater, the six-time world champion surfer, has been called the Michael Jordan of surfing, and an unofficial ambassador to the sport. He shares his experiences as a surfer in an autobiography called, "Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey."

Slater will visit The Early Show Tuesday to discuss his new book on the culture of surfing, which he co-wrote with the help of Jason Borte, a freelance-writer who is a former professional surfer and once almost beat Slater in a competition.

The 31-year-old Slater grew up in Cocoa Beach, Fla., which is he says was a great place to learn, but not a typical "breeding ground" for surfer champions because the waves are small.

Slater, however, surfed. And he surfed well since he started riding the waves at a young age. Slater grew up on the beach, and his father and older brother were surfing enthusiasts. The younger Slater entered his first surfing competition in 1980 when he was eight years old and won it.

He won his first world championship when he was 20. Through the years, he maintained his passion for surfing the waves, but there is one place he enjoys surfing the most. The title of his book is a reference to his favorite place to surf, "The Pipeline," which is on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

In his book, Slater not only discusses his love for surfing, but also the story of his turbulent family life. Slater says after his parents' years of rocky marriage, he found the ocean to be his refuge. His father died last year.

Slater has a 7-year-old daughter named Taylor. He says Taylor loves the water, but she doesn't surf yet. The proud father says it would be great if his daughter finds a love for surfing, but he will not force her into it.
  • Rome Neal

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