Five-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton picked up some moves from 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater. The world champion vegan athletes appeared together in a short video posted to Hamilton’s Instagram last week, where the race car driver spent the day at Slater’s Surf Ranch, a surfing venue 100 miles away from the ocean.
The Surf Ranch, owned by the Kelly Slater Wave Company is credited as the world’s largest open-barrel artificial wave, located California’s central San Joaquin valley. The venue, which held its first public event last May and a tournament last September, offers waves of all shapes and sizes and is powered by renewable energy. According to CNN, the World Surf League, the governing body of professional surfers, invested in the $30 million facility in 2016.
Hamilton seems to have held his own on the artificial waves which are created in a 2,000-foot pol by a “giant hydrofoil on rails,” as reported by CNN. Surf Ranch’s innovative technology is capable of creating waves up to 6.5 feet tall.
“New year, new sport, time to learn new things ??♂️,” Hamilton wrote in his post, which showcased the artificial waves. “Thank you #goat@kellyslater for teaching me! This was rad. @gabrielmedina I’m coming for you brother ? (kidding).”
A Meeting of Plant-Powered Champions
Both Hamilton and Slater are both accomplished athletes in their field and powered by plants. Slater adopted a vegan diet last January, stating that it had improved his digestion. The 11-time champion later questioned factory farming and said that thinking about it left him feeling “sad, angry, and feeling guilty for what people do to animals.”
During an episode of the popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Slater noted that he still goes fishing. But, he has also made the connection between animal agriculture and the health of the oceans.
In an Instagram post made last August, the surfing world champion wrote about the negative impact that Florida’s toxic algae blooms has on marine life. “Dead manatees, turtles, dolphins, fish, etc. inundating beaches and waterways has become the norm as of late. Some shark migrations have also dwindled offshore,” he said. He provided a snippet from an article from the Miami Herald that linked the disaster to the sugar industry and cattle farms.
Hamilton adopted a plant-based diet in September 2017 after watching the documentary “What the Health,” which explores the impact that eating animal products has on health. Although the Formula 1 champion initially eschewed meat, dairy, and eggs to improve his personal health, he soon took an ethical stance against animal exploitation.
“We all have choices to make and if you are ok with it then that’s you but I choose to love, to be conscious of what I’m supporting and I refuse to support the companies that from those companies killing and torturing animals,” he wrote in a post last December.
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