Ando spins with a familiar style and grace. Photo: Laserwolf
Craig Anderson Parts Ways With Quiksilver
Clink your glasses of bubbly as the sun sets on a long and fruitful partnership: Craig Anderson is clocking off at Quiksilver.
Kelly Slater parted ways with the brand back in April 2014 to start OuterKnown, and Dane Reynolds ended his partnership with Quik on October 31 this year. Now, as of December 31, Craig will no longer ride for the company. The lack of these three contracts opens a multi million dollar gap for Quik. Just who’ll fill this void is yet to be seen, but the potential sure excites.
Ando was adopted into the Quik family as a 10-year old living in South Africa with a dreamlike contract. It was a partnership that’d allow him to do what he does best: Surf, and inspire. The relationship has been symbiotic: Quik have offered Craig the chance to breeze the globe and make wave faces look good, and Mr Anderson has helped shaped the company’s current existence. Gifted this kind of freedom, Craig sliced out a surf identity around self expression (with that kinked back knee!). And, it helps that he looks fabulous in whatever clothing lands on his front door.
“He’s got such an incredible style and is one of those surfers you could sit there watch all day,” said Quiksilver’s Greg Healy at the time of Craig’s last contract renewal. “Craig is clearly one of the world’s most inspirational freesurfers.”
These days you don’t have to be a top gun heat surfer to enjoy a lucrative deal. The surf audience wants personality to go with double spreads and you’d be hard pressed to attend an event that isn’t swarming with Ando-emulators. That’s the kind of brand equity money can’t buy.
So, what can we expect next from Craig? Stab’s guess would be that Craig will join Dane’s new brand, credible murmurs of which emerged late in November involving a clothing label and skaters Austin Gillette and Dylan Reider. Some of the best skate brands (HUF, Girl, etc) are run by pro skaters, and you’d like to think that surf brands run by surfers will resonate in the market the same way. These guys know how to engage an audience and have a clear connection with their aesthetics. With the rollercoaster surf industry the way it is, there’s every chance this new venture could slingshot to become the next big thing.