A bombshell hit the surfingworld. What everyone first dismissed as an April fool’s, seems to be true. Kelly Slater, yes thé Kelly Slater, a man who needs no introduction, has parted ways with his longstanding (+23 years) sponsor Quiksilver. Surprising move since he was not only sponsored by the company but also owns a 3% stake.
Rumors are spreading about why he left after such a longstanding partnership that resulted in 11 ASP World Titles and the title of most famous (and arguably best) surfer ever. Some say Kelly left Quik because their un-ethical treatment of labourers working for them in developing countries. The fact that he signed for the ‘Kering Group’ seems to confirm this, as this group is widely know for being one of the most fair companies in the game. While Kering has mostly luxury goods like Gucci and Saint Laurent, under their belt, they also own actionsport brands Volcom and Electric.
Some people say the split is because of money issues. While being the most famous surfer in the world, he isn’t the highest paid. Both John John Florence and Dane Reynolds are forking in more cash. Insider sources say this is making him feel underappreciated.
The new question is which sticker we will see on Kelly’s board. He said he is going to create his own brand that focuses on ‘clean living, responsibility and style’. No information about the name, or when this going to be released. Stay tuned!
Kelly’s full statement can be found on his Facebook page.