Kelly Slater Leaves Quiksilver

posted by / News / March 31, 2014

Kelly Slater at this year's ASP banquet. Goodnight, and goodluck. Photo: Sherman

Kelly Slater at this year's ASP banquet. Goodnight, and goodluck. Photo: Sherman

Kelly and Quik went hand-in-hand for 23 years. Monday, they got divorced. Photo: C. Wilson

Kelly and Quik went hand-in-hand for 23 years. Monday, they got divorced. Photo: C. Wilson

In a surprising development Monday, Kelly Slater announced in a letter to the public that he is leaving his longtime sponsor, Quiksilver, to begin a new venture with Kering Group. Kering, which has brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Puma and Volcom, says on their website that they, “develop an ensemble of powerful brands across two fast growing segments: Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle.” While this may seem like a bad April Fools joke, various sources have confirmed it to be the real deal. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. But for now, here’s Kelly’s letter as it appeared on the ASP’s site.—SURFING

There is little I can say that would give the credit due or cover the debt of gratitude I feel on a personal and professional level to Quiksilver. As a brand and on a human level, they have been a part of my life, career, and personal relationships for more than 23 years now, well over half my life. They’ve supported me through good times and bad, personal hardships and competitive triumphs, and never wavered in backing my choices and desires in all that time. Under the tutelage of Bob McKnight, Bruce Raymond, Alan Green, Pierre Agnes and Danny Kwock (and many others), Quiksilver signed me to a 100% sponsorship deal in 1990, finishing up my amateur career and guiding me into my professional life and adulthood.

Having their support group around the world allowed me to create a life I only dreamt of as a child…making a documentary (Kelly Slater In Black and White) about the start of my professional career, going on boat trips and small charter planes to remote locations I’d likely never see, taking long car rides and promo tours to places I’d otherwise never visit, doing film trips to tropical islands few people have ever seen, etc. There could have been no better partner for me to have than Quiksilver.

The memories I have of joining the team and becoming like brothers with my heroes and team riders Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones and making lifelong friendships with Stephen Bell and others has fulfilled my life exponentially. There aren’t enough pages or words to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the experiences that have come from this relationship we’ve shared together. So it is with a heavy heart and a lifetime of positive memories that I move in a new chapter of my life.

As I contemplate the amazing opportunities I’ve had in life and the amount of good fortune I’ve encountered along the way, I’m excited to announce today that I’m embarking on a new journey. For years I’ve dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style. The inspiration for this brand comes from the people and cultures I encounter in my constant global travels and this is my opportunity to build something the way I have always wanted to.

So I am excited to tell you that I’ve chosen The Kering Group as a partner. They share my values and have the ability to support me in all of my endeavors. I look forward to exploring all of the new opportunities this partnership will provide, but this hasn’t happened by chance, nor has it happened without an incredible amount of work by a few key individuals. As I embark on this new journey, I am sticking to my gut instincts and the belief that your dreams can become reality with the right intentions. I look forward to sharing more about it soon…

– Kelly

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  • Mundo

    BS he owns part of quiksilver

  • Brett Mahon

    Wow. It has finally happened.
    Kelly is ,of course, the obvious candidate of someone who is organized, strong willed, determined, and caring enough to place Surfing on the world stage. As a prospective community organizer, using clothing(and potential other mediums) as a vessel to attract people of many walks of life to the values that all surfers passionately care for. Hopefully (and with his professional surfing career eventually coming to an end) Kelly can find the time, post-championships, to integrate premium clothing(with a premium$ backing), with premium advocates, mass-population appeal, the already environmentally friendly surf culture, with the people in need, located in the geographical areas that surfers tend to visit. And I don’t mean in the form of roads, buildings, and jobs, but perhaps in education, internet access, food, , and clean water.
    If Kelly has as much input on this upcoming project as I think we all hope, I believe this will be a wonderful era for people in general, surfers especially. Go Ke11y Go.
    – Brett

  • ehud

    1 of April?!?

  • andryz

    who wants to live forever with one thing? Let’s make a rainbow kelly.

  • John

    Bet this is an April Fools joke.

  • John

    Gotcha..April Fools!

  • Ricardo

    April Fools Day!!!

    You “almost” got me…

  • medadnanes

    got no word … hope its a joke

  • Rob

    April Fool’s!

  • Collin

    Kelly may own part of Quicksilver but that certainly doesn’t prevent him from starting a company of his own. I was skeptical at first seeing as how it is April 1st. A strange day to announce this. But the story is on the ASP’s official site and all other major surf sites. I highly doubt the ASP is running an April Fool’s joke on the surf world. And Kelly being Kelly I’m sure he welcomes the challenge of starting his own company and spreading his legacy that way in the days to come.

  • doug

    Bad times at Quik and the rest of the surf industry can’t be overlooked as part of this.

  • skid

    Quicksilver products are total junk now, I wouldn’t want my name attached to them anymore

  • TomK

    It’s legit, & yes he owns a lot of stock in Quik, but they may have bought him out. Or maybe Kering is going to buy Quik, too? Who knows, but I can’t wait to see what Kelly does!:)

  • BlogoSurf

    I received the press release from Quiksilver Europe, and I got the confirmation from the press department at Kering: Kelly Slater really is splitting from Quiksilver to join Kering. When high stakes are involved (Quiksilver and Kering are quoted on the Stock), that cannot be not an April Fool. And I bet he won’t be the only one joining Kering…

  • Reed

    Reminisce on some of Kelly’s old videos with Quicksilver here

    Help me get my school project some views !

  • Juls

    So now, i think Quick should sponsor De Souza, da guy is ripping and deserves a huge brand sponsoring him…

    Kelly will launch his ouwn brand and will get much mora money!!!!!
    I just wonder that those guys would see to the poor people in the world, principaly in Africa, and help them with all this money envolved….

  • Steve

    If true reckon he left it a bit late in his career. Quik would have sponsored him and kept him involved with the surfing community for the rest of his life. He will need to make the brand big to keep that involved and he just might not have enough time.

  • Steve

    Once Bob, and Holby and the true soul of the company left I imagine it was only a matter of time. I worked there in the good days and those “executives” were just one of the guys, they would even dress up on Halloween and judge a company wide costume contest. We skated through the Headquarters, it was salty! It was true. Unfortunately it’s a new season those original guys are gone who loved what they did and shared it with us. My best to Kelly, Bob, & Holby for making my time there legendary.
    Skate ramp in the back and all.
    (Which is now gone, as is the soul.)
    I heard everything is now designed in Europe to cut costs….Good luck with that one guys.

    Congrats Kelly great move!

  • Tom Robinson

    Best of luck to you Kelly if true!

  • Akin

    Es verdad que si dejo quiksilver, lo acaba de decir en el torneo en el que esta compitiendo ahorita Kelly the best

  • StationXP

    Kelly and Kerring Group will eventually be sold to Google in its entirety and Glass c. will be there to record everything.

  • tommy

    Values, sustainability, clean living. Gucci is known for sweatshop conditions in italy hiring illegal chinese immigrants and slater, instead of making out your a moral high horse, why dont you own up to the fact you were to selfish to stay at home and bring up your daughter. Your an egotistical wanker who loves the stage, I wouldnt piss on you if flames were coming out of your ass and burning your eye balls, and stop claiming youre a local at tugun, youre a fuckhead

  • 805local

    Wasn’t Kelly a part of, or owner of VSTR a few years back? I have a few of their tees, high priced but good quality, they since have vanished, maybe Kelly has learned he needs to split from Quick to make it really happen? Wasn’t he also part of Komunity Project? Interesting stuff, its a good move for Kelly and for surfing.

  • QuikExit

    A CEO who doesn’t surf and everything made in China – is it a surprise he’s leaving? Good for him. And yes, Kelly owned VSTR under Quiksilver. Quiksilver killed the brand along with a few others last year.

  • Don Waller

    Tommy, you must be a blast to hang with @ parties. Jealousy is a worthless emotion pal