Kelly Slater has left Quiksilver and few are surprised. The most surprising thing to us (aside from the April 1, 2014 roll out) is that news went out in a press release from the ASP. Why is Kelly Slater leaving Quiksilver an ASP news item? Oh yeah, that’s because Kelly owns has extremely close ties to the owners of the Association of Surfing Professionals.
Mr. Slater, however, was a true professional with his exit letter:
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.
Quiksilver founder Bob McKnight was equally professional and warm.
“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.”
Yes, it went on for a long time (23 years) and they created some iconic images together, but it was just a clothing sponsorship, and Kelly was just a model, and Quiksilver is just a giant clothing company dead set on selling swimsuits to the mall moving masses so we’re sure they’ll find cheaper, younger, more handsome men to model their products in the future. And Kelly, well, he’s moving on up to model for a huge French Fashion conglomerate (that owns Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Puma, and Volcom/electric]. Because if you’re going to model, it might as well be for the French. They invented it.
[Side note: we searched Kering's site for "Kelly Slater" and the site replied: "Did you mean 'helly later'?" Yes, that's exactly what we meant.]