If you’ve watched a WCT event, you’ve probably heard someone say Kelly Slater is the Michael Jordan of Surfing. Is he really?

Kelly Slater has won the most world tour championships with 11 titles. Michael Jordan won 6 Championships along with Bob Cousy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Scottie Pippen. There are actually 9 basketball players whom have won more championships than Jordan. Bill Russell has actually won the most championships and guess how many? Bill’s championships go to 11. Is Kelly Slater actually the Bill Russell of Surfing?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the title for most MVPS in the NBA with 6. That’s one more than Jordan.

Don’t get me wrong, Jordan is amazing and his skills go way beyond championships, not to mention all the other titles he has won. Kelly is also an amazing surfer with skills that go way beyond world titles. Kelly deserves to be called the G.O.A.T. of surfing but the Michael Jordan of surfing?

This article isn’t about championships and skill; it’s about how 1 person can affect a culture. Jordan’s Air Jordan 1 changed a culture. Some say the Air Jordan 1 created a culture. How many careers have been built because of Jordan’s? How many retailers have stayed in business because of Jordan’s? How many other brands has Jordan inspired? How many people became sneaker heads because of Jordan’s? Did sneaker culture explode because of Jordan?

Does Kelly have the same influence within surfing culture and beyond, like Jordan does within the NBA and beyond?

G.O.A.T of Surfing?
Jordan of Surfing?

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