What to Know
- Slater won five consecutive championships, surpassing Mark Richard, who won four in a row.
- Slater, who established Kelly Slater Wave Company, also led a breakthrough in creating artificial waves.
- Australian surfer Joel Parkinson also announced his retirement.
American surfer Kelly Slater, whose resume includes 55 career wins and 11 world championships, will retire after the 2019 season, according to surfing website The Inertia.
Slater emerged as the youngest champion in the men’s sport's history, according to his World Surf League profile. The Cocoa Beach, Florida, native first won a championship in 1992 at age 20.
Slater became the oldest to win a title in 2011, when he did so at 39.
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He is best known for including new moves and styles in his surfing approach and was immediately rewarded.
Between 1993 and 1998, Slater won five consecutive championships, surpassing Mark Richard, who won four in a row.
Slater, 46, originally considered retiring in 1999 but started competing in the Tour again in 2002, according to the profile. His most recent world title came in 2011.
Slater recently started competing again after being sidelined with a foot injury that’s plagued him since last year’s J-Bay contest, according to The Inertia.
Slater, who established Kelly Slater Wave Company, also led a breakthrough in creating artificial waves.
Australian surfer Joel Parkinson, best known for emerging as the world champion after the final event of the 2012 season, also announced in a video posted on the World Surf League’s website that he plans to retire at the end of the year.
Parkinson, 37, will end his career after December’s Billabong Pipeline Masters in Hawaii. That’s the same event where he defeated Slater in 2012 after being named the runner-up four times.