Kelly Slater cuts bait, leaves Quiksilver
After 23-years and 11 ASP World Titles, Kelly Slater and Quiksilver have parted ways. Slater signed with Quiksilver when he was 18-years old and has been with the brand ever since. And while he dropped the news on April Fools Day while in Australia, it's been confirmed by Quiksilver Executive Chairman Bob McKnight in a quote he gave to the ASP World Tour, "Kelly has been a part of the Quiksilver family for over 20 years. It's been an incredible journey watching him grow from a young surfer with great potential, to the 11-time World Champion he is today. We wish Kelly all the best as he enters this next phase of his career."
Kelly Slater announced his departure from Quiksilver via his instagram account in the post above.
According to Slater, his next venture will be with the Kering Group, which began trading lumber in the 60s but now specializes in apparel and accessory brands like Volcom, Electric, Gucci, Puma, Stella McCartney, and more. According to Slater, he's "dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style." Slater's last endeavor into the clothing market didn't end so well, and his line, VSTR, was shuttered by Quiksilver shortly after it began. Widely regarded as the best surfer of all time, Slater isn't known for his fashion sense so the move is interesting to say the least. And while reports of Slater being unhappy with younger, less accomplished surfers making more money than him (Dane Reynolds and John John Florence particularly) are floating around, let's be honest, the guy has more money than God after dominating professional surfing for the better part of two decades. Regardless, it should be interesting to see how this plays out and speculation is abound.
Kelly is scheduled to compete in the Drug Aware Pro in Margaret River (which could start today), and barring a well-executed April Fool's prank, he'll be doing so without the iconic "mountain and wave" Quiksilver sticker on the nose of his surfboards.