Summer officially began yesterday, June 21st, and on the first day of summer, ten-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater was presented with a “key” to the city of Huntington Beach, CA, Surf City, USA.
Huntington Beach Mayor Joe Carchio presented Slater with a key to the city in a ceremony hosted by 1976 world champ Peter Townend. This is Slater’s third “Key to the City,” receiving one also from his hometown, Cocoa Beach, Florida and one from San Clemente, California in 2008.
Huntington Beach said it is recognizing Slater for his “exceptional accomplishments in the world of surfing, and his dedication for protecting the environment.” The city also cited Slater’s participation in nearly 30 years’ worth of contests in the city, including the annual U.S. Open of Surfing.
“Huntington has been a very big part of my growing up … [and] is a big part of surfing and so much of [surfing's] history,” Slater said in a statement. “I had my first chance to surf against my hero, Tom Curren, here … I’m honored to be recognized here amongst so many of surfing’s greats over the years.”
Born February 11th, 1972, Slater has conquered the U.S. Open of Surfing, held in Huntington Beach, in 1996, and is the youngest (at age 20) and the oldest surfer (at age 38) to win an ASP World Tour title. Slater also became the first surfer ever to be awarded two perfect scores for a total 20 out of 20 points under the ASP two-wave scoring system.
Slater was awarded the key during Surf City Nights, a weekly street fair and farmers’ market in downtown Huntington. The gathering was sponsored in part by Jack’s Surfboards, site of the surfing hall of fame.