OCTOBER 20, 2007 – Hats off, or should we say ‘yamakas,’ off to Kelly Slater. Slater spent the better part of three days in Tel Aviv, Israel this week teaching others how to surf and promoting peace’ through riding waves according to an AP report.
Legendary surfer Dorian Paskowitz invited the eight-time world champion. Paskowitz is a member of the group “Surfing for Peace.” According to an Internet blog, the group’s main purpose is to bring together Palestinians and Israelis through the common bond of surfing.
Slater, who according to the AP story, is of Syrian descent, spent one day helping others into waves, and then spent the evening jamming with a local band all in an effort to raise the level of ‘peace consciousness,’ according to the report.
“My father (Dorian) asked him if he was ready to be not only a great surfer but a great man as well,” David Paskowitz said.
Earlier this year Dorian Paskowitz made international news when he crossed the border into Gaza and donated 12 surfboards to Palestinian surfers.
Kudos to Kelly Slater for following his heart and using the power of his stature to pursue a cause that promotes peace. In an era in which larger than life sports champions walk the marketing tight rope and rarely take a social stand, Slater’s actions are refreshing and have the stamp of true world champion– in the greatest sense of the phrase.