The Wall Street Journal: Paul Stukin lists Kelly Slater’s Beachfront Compound for $20 Million

Kelly Slater Asks $20 Million for Beachfront Compound in Hawaii 

The surfing legend paid $7.8 million for the Oahu property in 2017

By E.B. Solomont

As a teenager in the 1980s, surfing legend Kelly Slater spent winters in Hawaii chasing waves. 

The Florida native would crash with a friend, staying at a modest home on Oahu’s Papailoa Road with a band of surf-obsessed friends who made the annual trek. “We just all slept on the floor,” recalled the 11-time world champion, now 52. “We were all in Hawaii just to go surfing.”

Decades later, a large beachfront compound on Papailoa Road came on the market, a few doors down from his onetime crash pad. Though he had a house about 3 miles away, Slater couldn’t resist buying it, paying $7.8 million for the half-acre property in 2017, records show. 

“I’ve always dreamed of living on this street—to kind of have a throwback to my childhood, coming over to Hawaii,” he said. “This area has always meant a lot to me.”

Now, as Slater wraps up what he said may be his final year of professional surfing, he is listing the property for $20 million. “It’s a bit more house than I need,” he said.

Built around 2001, the estate has a pool and about 7,600 square feet of living space spread across several structures, including the main residence and a guesthouse. There is a separate gate house and a guest apartment above a detached three-car garage. The interiors of the two-bedroom main house are primarily koa wood, with glass pocket doors to the outside. There are three bedrooms in the guesthouse, and the guest apartment has one bedroom. The property is filled with Polynesian art from a prior owner that Slater said will be sold along with the house.  

Papailoa Road is on one of the most coveted streets on the North Shore of Oahu, said listing agent Paul Stukin of Deep Blue HI, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate Southern California. “The exclusivity and beach access is the driving factor here,” he said. 

Slater never lived full-time at the property, he said. His primary home in Hawaii is what he calls a “small beach shack” on the Banzai Pipeline reef break, “right in the thick of surfing life.” While he loves the privacy of the Papailoa Road home, “I like to be right at Pipeline,” he said. “When the waves look good, I am right out there.” 

Slater, who lives with girlfriend Kalani Miller, also has homes in Florida, California and Australia, which he uses when in town for the World Surf League Championship Tour. “Wherever our tour goes is where I’m living,” he said. 

He hasn’t done major work to the Papailoa Road home, Slater said, other than maintenance of the wood framing and tile roof. He has hosted birthday parties and Christmas get-togethers there over the years, and a few friends have gotten married at the property, he said. Mostly, he rents it out to the tune of $60,000 a month. “It was personal, but also an investment property for me,” he said. But he feels the house has been underused and “just needs a family that loves it.” 

Given his history with the tightknit community on the street, Slater said he is looking for the right buyer, not just a high price. “I will be a little picky,” he said. “That’s how I got the house. The guy liked me. He liked that I had history on the street and knew the people that lived there.” 

Slater said he is likely on his last championship tour. In addition to surfing, he has his hand in multiple business ventures, including a sustainable footwear brand and a soon-to-be-launched line of skin care and sunblock. He also owns a company that designs man-made waves.

Hawaii’s luxury market skyrocketed during the pandemic. On Oahu, the median sales price last year was $1.03 million, up 58.46% from 2013, according to real-estate brokerage Hawai’i Life. In 2022, the median sales price on Oahu was a record $1.1 million.