So the interweb was abuzz yesterday with the news of the undisputed king of surfings departure from Quiksilver. Quikie and Kelly Slater have been inseparable for the past 20 odd years and without doubt it has been an incredibly mutual and supportive partnership. Kelly has been the face of Quiksilver and Quiksilver has been Kelly as both have helped define surfing and the business it is today.
Like all good things, they have to end sometime. Kelly has been on the tour since the first Neanderthal carved a stone club and the rumours have been rife since the Renaissance period on when he would quit the tour. Each year though, much to the disappointment of his contenders he has come back like a cyborg from the future and shown the world why he is the best board rider to have graced this planet.
With this announcement – is this surely the final hurrah and a signal of a cutting of the ties to the tour and its events?
The Kering Group? Yep, no idea either. Simple Google tells us they own luxury brands Gucci, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent etc alongside sports brands Puma, Electric and the alternative Volcom. A very large and successful stable but not necessarily one you would call filled with ethics and morals unless you identify Python farming as the sustainable way forward for hand bags. Then again you have to start somewhere.
So, it will be interesting to see how this matures – given Kelly’s profile, industry contacts and backing you would believe he has the necessary pieces of the puzzles to launch this endeavor but whether it is pitched into the ailing surf market remains to be seen.
As for the King, the man has no peer and I will miss the dazzling skill and the endearing humanity of the latter tour years.
The King is dead, Long live the Kering
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.