Kelly Slater On Stephanie Gilmore As The Most Effortlessly Dominant Woman In Surfing
With World Title number seven just four heats away.
“Steph is just the greatest,” Kelly Slater tells Stab.
It’s true. No one rides a surfboard like Miss Gilmore. Her surfing is pure aesthetics–an orchestra of power and grace.
Steph, at 30-years-old, is on her way to her 7th World Title. A good result in France will see her clinch it with one event to spare, being the not-so-Target Beachwater Maui Pro.
And, as a likely soon-to-be seven time World Champ, she’s easy to adore.
She’s a natural beauty – sandy blonde hair, sunkissed skin with a well proportioned six-foot frame. She knows her way around a fretboard, and is a welcomed accoutrement to nearly any show she attends. Steph possesses this sweet, sharp edge, and has a no bullshit air. That air is accompanied by a smile which intimidates and invites simultaneously.
While most world title holding surfers hold a competitive drive that drips in blood, Stephanie does not (at least that shows). Her success, from the outside looking in, flows without a seam. She’s so pleasant to watch surf because she “connects to the board and the elements around her with ease,” says Kelly.
“She just needs to surf. She doesn’t have to be the testiest competitor when she is surfing to her abilities. It’s the same way Dane Reynolds was in heats. The competitive thing isn’t really in her blood. She’s just naturally gifted.”
By the time Kelly was 30, he’d won six world titles. The next five would come between the age of 33 and 39. Judging by the trajectory of two of the most dominant competitors in surfing, adding more world titles to Stephanie’s legacy wouldn’t be outlandish.
“I don’t know if that’s her plan or how much she even cares to [win titles],” Mr. Slater continues, “but it’s her outlet and she does love it. I’d like to see her win more titles than anyone ever. She would do it in the most (outwardly) nonchalant fashion.”
“I also think she should make a record,” Kelly adds. “She’s a jam guitarist. I’m actually not sure if she writes songs, I’ve never asked her. But she can sit in with anyone. She just seems to feel and play whatever’s on her mind.”
We’ve been lauding Steph for the Title since she won Bells and Rio back to back at the start of the 2018 season. Following then, she’s had one semifinal appearance (Ulus), two second place finishes (Huntington and Lemoore) and a win at J-Bay. Steph’s just under 7,000 points ahead of runner-up Lakey Peterson in the rankings, and will likely, and hopefully, take the title in France.
“In the right conditions Stephanie could win heats [on the Men’s CT],” Kelly tells Stab.
“No one would take her lightly, that’s for sure.”
Dissecting the Heat (and Wave) that Blew Out John’s Knee
"It felt like he held back a little bit on that one" - Ronnie Blakey
Here’s How The Greatest Surfer Of All Time Can Become An Olympian This Year
Head Coach of the USA Olympic Surf Team, Brett Simpson, breaks it down.
John Florence Is on His Way Home from West Oz with an Injured Knee
What does this mean for the World Title Race? And the Olympics?
A 19-Year-Old Kiwi We’re Adding To The List
Caleb Cutmore joins catalog of talented underground surfers.
An Idea That Could Improve The Waves—And The Crowd Situation—At Malibu
Why aren't we working with nature to design better waves?
Now… This: Challenging Dylan Graves To A Fist Fight
The weird wave enthusiast answers with a yellow belt in taekwando.
Surprise, The Comp Is On!
Gabby melts and Steph hits top form as the draw whittles down to the final…
The 2021 Stab Rich List, Part 1
Welcome to the most wild year of pro surfing contracts on record.
‘Wilson’s Foam and Rubber’ Documents Chippa’s Saline/Petroleum Love Affair
Shot entirely on GoPro HERO9 Black.
Dylan Graves’ Weird Waves Shines A Light On The World Of Night Surfing
Season 3, here we go.
Introducing John John’s Pick for the World’s Best Junior
Luke Swanson is not a soccer player.
Cognitive Awareness During A Strong Pulse In Brazil
Yago Dora, Miguel Pupo, and more star in 'Symbolic Amplification'.
The Australian Government Is Now Funding Surf Trips
Inside the program designed to return the nation to its former competitive glory.
Margaret River Main Break Re-asserts itself as a Valid CT Stop
"These are the kinds of days we live for." - Jeremy Flores