Sublime Kinetic Melody: Kelly Slater and the Extreme Spectator

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Thomen, Carl (2010) Sublime Kinetic Melody: Kelly Slater and the Extreme Spectator. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy , 4 (3). pp. 319-331. ISSN 1751-1321 (print) 1751-133X (online)


This paper aims to examine the awesome, almost spiritual feeling I experience as an ‘extreme spectator’ while watching Kelly Slater ride the monstrous waves of Pipeline. Drawing on the aesthetics of Kant and Schopenhauer, I examine the experience of the sublime and how it, in conjunction with the perceived kinetic melody of Slater's movements and his karmic connection to the environment in which he thrives, gives rise to the deeply felt awe of the extreme spectator. My intention is to use Slater's case as a paradigm that can be applied to many other athletic performances which share the characteristics discussed in the paper.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/17511320903521050
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 2203 Philosophy
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Keywords ResPubID21560, philosophy, surfing, extreme sport, aesthetics
Citations in Scopus 7 - View on Scopus
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