Earlier this year, Kelly Slater graced the front page of Sport's Illustrated, and today Slater was interviewed on the most popular sport's highlight show in the world, Sportscenter.
One question the Sportscenter commentator asked Kelly Slater was:
You have been called a combination of Ali, Jordan, and Woods all rolled into one. If you had to choose one, which one are you most like?
Slater replied, "I've heard Jordan is the most competitive person in the world, and especially early in my career that was how I was with everything in my life".
The commentator also asked Kelly, If you had one last ride, where would it be?
Slater replied, "I found a 5 miles long wave on Google Earth so I'd go for that to soak up as much time as possible, otherwise it might just Pipeline as big and perfect as it gets".
With all of this mainstream coverage, one has to think, how big has surfing become, and how much popularity do we still have to go?
In Australia, surfing highlights and news are a part of the mainstream news, but in the United States, we still have a ways to go to reach that sort of public awareness. It is easy to recognize the increase of surfers in the lineup, so is the rise in popularity a good or bad thing? Well, for youngsters trying to make a career out of their surfing, it is most definitely a positive thing as more money would be pumped into the sport. But, for the soul surfer trying to paddle out in empty lineups it may not be as refreshing.
So, what do you think? It is pretty cool to see Slater mixed in with highlights of Derek Jeter and Manny Rameriz, but would you rather keep surfing out of the mainstream? Whatever your opinion, it appears the publicity will only be on the rise, but let us know your thoughts?