World Champion Surfer Kelly Slater Details Frightening Pipeline Experience

World champion surfer Kelly Slater discusses his first-time surfing one of Hawaii's most iconic waves in Apple TV+'s upcoming documentary series, Make or Break. See what he had to say here!

By Jillian Fabiano Apr 27, 2022 8:47 PMTags

With great waves comes grave danger. 

Oahu, Hawaii isn't just known for hula dancing, fresh pineapple and palm trees—it's also known for its top tier surfing. And in exclusive first look at Apple TV+'s upcoming docuseries, Make or Break, 11–time World Surf League World Champion surfer Kelly Slater discusses his first-time surfing at one of the island's most legendary spots: Pipeline. 

Pipeline is located in Oahu's North Shore and is famous for its notoriously intense waves and great surfing conditions. But Slater warns, it's not for the faint of heart. 

"Pipeline was so mythical to me as a kid," Slater says in the clip. "There was a poster on my friend's wall, and I remember looking at the wave...and just thinking I don't know how guys can turn around and catch that wave, that's so scary."

Slater's first surfed the waves at 12-years-old. "I remember this wave picked me up and slammed me on my back on the reef with my board," he recalls. "For a second I just felt like I'll never come up, it's just going to hold me here forever.

"That's what surfing is," Slater explains. "That fear and danger that comes along with it, that's also enticing."

2022 TV Premiere Dates

But Pipeline is no joke.

"To be able to paddle those waves and ride them is super dangerous," Slater says. "Someone dislocated their shoulder this morning."

He continues, "I've had friends basically get scalped and get run over. We've had a lot of people die at Pipeline, a friend of ours died out here about 10 to 12 years ago."

Aaron Hughes/World Surf League via Getty Images

This seven-part series delivers "behind-the-scenes access to the world's best surfers as they battle for the World Title at the World Surf League Championship Tour," according to the series description.

Other surfers include Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Tyler Wright, Italo Ferreira, Tatiana Weston-Webb, among others.

Watch Make or Break when it premieres April 29 on Apple TV+.

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