Cocoa Beach could relocate ‘dangerous’ Kelly Slater statue to future city hall

No parking, crosswalk for statue of surfing champion in A1A

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – It’s become a landmark in downtown Cocoa Beach, but now there’s a discussion about relocating the Kelly Slater statue.

During a city commission meeting on April 18, former city employee Melissa Byron called on commissioners to move the statue honoring the 11-time world surfing champion and Cocoa Beach native.

“The Kelly Slater statue where it is right now is dangerous,” Byron said. “It’s plain dangerous.”

The 10-foot-tall bronze statue sits in the median of A1A just before North Fourth Street. Mayor Ben Malik said there’s no parking and no crosswalks for people who want to take pictures.

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The Slater statue was unveiled in 2010.

“I don’t think they anticipated as many people wanting to take a picture,” Mayor Malik said. “People jaywalking, scampering across the four-lane highway to get to the statue.”

The mayor said commissioners agree a safer location would be within a park that will be built at the future site of the new city hall downtown, but getting the blessing of the Slater family might be more difficult.

“I love the statue where it is,” said Sean Slater, Kelly’s brother. “I think it belongs where it is.”

Slater noted that in 13 years, no one’s ever been hurt taking a picture.

“How many instances of danger have we had? Zero,” he said. “There’s not a line of people doing it, you know.”

Mayor Malik said the debate will continue when placed on the agenda of a future commission meeting.

“We know we want to be respectful of the family and the artist and see what their thoughts are, but seemed most of the commission was onboard with relocating it,” he said.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.