Kelly answers questions at a press conference in Quiksilver's Sydney headquarters, after first signing his contract with the brand. 1990. Photo: joliphotos.com
Kelly Slater talks more about leaving Quiksilver
Yesterday it broke that Kelly Slater had parted ways with Quiksilver. You've read all about it here, which included the statement Kelly released via social media (woah, it sure is 2014). But putting thought into every single typed word and then delivering it in text form is very different to speaking straight from the gut, which is exactly what Kelly did today after his round one loss at the Margaret River Pro. Maddeningly composed like always, Kelly outlined for Pete Mel, and the trillion people watching the webcast, some of the finer points of the split. Just in case you missed it, here's the interview.
And how about that goddamn photo above, taken 24 years ago at the Quiksilver press conference just after Kelly first signed with the company. Kid already had, and always will have, a whole lotta game.
"It’s been a long time planning. Not necessarily to leave Quik, but just the way things worked out. That’s just business sometimes. I love my family at Quik, and it’s been a sad couple of days for me, emotionally processing it, talking to all the guys on the team, and talking to my bosses over the years and stuff, Pierre and Bob and all those guys, thank you guys so much, I can’t thank everybody enough. It’s all good feelings and everybody’s been real supportive of me, and they understand it. That’s just how life goes sometimes. Things change, but your feelings and your relationships don’t change.
"We’re mature about this. There’s nothing bad involved with it. Just certain circumstances happened that wouldn’t allow for two things to be in the one area. I’m really excited and happy for this future opportunity. I think it’s really important to respect what you have and where you came from, and to clear that up in the right way. I asked Quiksilver to kinda guide me in what they wanna do, and I’ll follow their lead. Obviously there’s some tough feelings to deal with. Almost 24 years we’ve worked together. They’ve really given me most of what I have in my life, in terms of opportunities and a lot of my friendships. Y’know, it’s tough. I talked to Tom Carroll, there’s still a lot of phonecalls I’ve gotta make. Ross Clarke (Jones) emailed me this morning, and I talked to Bob and Pierre and Belly, and all the guys on the team one on one. So I probably have about 100 more phonecalls to make, but it’ll come in time. What can I say? I have this one chance in my life to do this thing I’m real passionate about and I’m really honoured that the situation arose to allow me to do it.
"And sorry about the funny day (the announcement dropped on April Fools' Day). My contract was signed April 1, five years ago, and that’s why it ran out on that day. I wasn’t trying to mess with anybody. It just was the way it was. And I was gonna surf this contest without logos, so that’s why we had to talk about it."