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Kelly Slater, 10-time Association of Surfing Professionals World Champion surfer, recently donated one of his winning boards to the sports collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Slater used the board to win the April 2010 ASP Rip Curl Pro tournament at Bells Beach, Australia. Later that year, he came from behind to capture the title in the Rip Curl Search in Puerto Rico for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Championship.
The surfboard, made of white fiberglass and sporting a blue wave design covered with sponsor stickers throughout, is currently on view in the museum’s first-floor Artifact Walls. It has a rubber pad at the back of the board for traction and three removable fins along the bottom. “Over the past 20 years, his approach to surfing as a professional and dedicated philanthropist has changed how people surf and view the sport,” said Jane Rogers, curator at the museum.
Born in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Slater became the most successful surfer in the world by age 26 by winning the most world titles. At 39, his career has garnered him a spot in the Surfing Hall of Fame as both the youngest and oldest world champion in any sport. In collaboration with surf apparel and accessory company Quiksilver and surfboard company Channel Islands, Slater has created his own line of surfboards, wetsuits and board accessories. The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage to tell the authentic stories of the American experience.
To learn more about the museum, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).
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