Industry Murmurs: Quiksilver's Leaving, WSL Is All Hopped Up On (Insert Drink Here), Kelly's Got A New Game?

Season finale of How Surfers Get Paid drops Thursday, 5pm PT

Photo by Jimmy Wilson

Industry Murmurs: Quiksilver’s Leaving, WSL Is All Hopped Up On (Insert Drink Here), Kelly’s Got A New Game?

Potential video games, new team riders, and neoprene nightmares.

news // Oct 28, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

In our job, we work with all manner of people in the surf industry. 

CEOs, surfboard factory sweepers, and everyone in between (aka team managers). Through these connections, we hear about a lot of goings-on in the surf world. Some of them are true, others are partially true, and sometimes they’re patently false (but fun to chat about nonetheless).

In a new series called ‘Industry Murmurs’, we’re going to break down these truths and rumors to the best of our ability. Think of it as an evolution of our polarizing property ‘Gossip Girl’, who always seemed to find herself in the middle of some surf industry scandal and has thus been retired. 

This will be less salacious, more fact-based, but no less fun. Scroll down to hear what’s really happening in the surf world right now.

Quiksilver is likely moving back to America  

Quiksilver and Roxy are currently headquartered in Saint Jean de Luz, France, about 40 minutes from Hossegor. In 2015, a Frenchman named Pierre Agnes took over as CEO and moved the company from Huntington Beach to the sleepy coastal town. In 2018, Pierre died in a tragic fishing accident shortly before Quiksilver merged with Billabong. 136 people — or 20% of the French office — were laid off shortly after the merger. 

Boardriders (the umbrella company that now owns Quik, Billy, Roxy, RVCA, DC, Element, and Von Zipper) has since hired a new CEO, Arne Arens, and is reportedly ramping things up back in the Huntington Beach office. Earlier this week, Quiksilver informed over half of its global marketing team that their positions would be made redundant — though they may have the opportunity to get new jobs for Quik in the USA. However, this is likely not the end of the story. While no official announcements have been made, the general consensus across all of Quiksilver’s departments is that Boardriders will be moving the global operations back to America. 

Barton Lynch set to challenge Fortnite 

According to our sources, the WSL’s most loquacious commentator has a video game coming out soon. We reached out to BL and, while he was unable to comment publicly, his reply suggested that something indeed is in the works. A quick Google suggests that Fortnite has 350 million players worldwide, which strikes us as a fair KPI to come out of the gates with.

WSL Challenger Series Sponsor

The WSL is bidding two energy drinks companies up against each other to sponsor the Challenger Series. Both aren’t sold. Meanwhile, the WSL does have select event sponsorship, ie Shiseido US Open and MEO Vissla Pro Ericeira events. The cost to sponsor one event reportedly starts in the low six figures.

Wetsuits stuck in Long Beach Harbor

Winter is coming, meaning that people all over the northern hemisphere are thinking about buying some new neoprene. The only problem is, there are no wetsuits to buy. 

Surf shops from California to Capbreton have limited to no rubber on the racks, and the brands themselves are mostly out of stock on their digital stores. Why? Well, unlike last year, it’s not so much a production issue as it is a shipping issue. 

See the full story here

Kelly Slater is (maybe) making another video game

We recently posted a clip on Instagram of Hiroto Ohara surfing an aesthetically pleasing if microscopic wave in France. The caption read: The Q is not just a series. It’s a way of life. 

Kelly Slater, an expert on waves big and small, countered with the following: The Q? I’ve surfed plenty of tour events that look like that. 

The graphics from Kelly Slater Pro Surfer were perfect and need no updating.

This led to a wild exchange of thoughts between Slater and the gen pop, which we encourage you to read (here). But the most interesting tidbit came when a person who identifies themselves as @vitormontt said: @kellyslater when is the video game coming? By combining both @kswaveco and @easportsfifa’s motion capture technology you guys can create something revolutionary and expand in so much the surfing world. 

To which Kelly replied: got a little something in the works. 

We probed Kelly a little further in the DMs — he wouldn’t reveal much, but we at least got this: Undisclosed tech that is connected to a new skate game in the works…

This podcast could give you an idea of who Kelly might be working with (hint: he’s good at spinning two and a half times).

Barton Lynch should be shaking in his Uggs. 

O’Neill is doubling-down on Aussies

Kalani Ball, formerly of Billabong, and Winter Vincent, formerly the epitome of a Hurley Youth, have recently signed with American-born wetsuit and clothing brand O’Neill. 

Kalani is 24 years old and currently sits at number 114 on the WSL Challenger Series rankings. After splitting with Billabong in 2018 and suffering a severe injury in 2020, Kalani has been tiling pools around Sydney to fund his competitive career. He’s had multiple semifinal finishes in 2021 Australian QS events, but he failed to carry that momentum into the Challenger Series. 

O’Neill said: “We are happy to now help Kalani try to reach his potential and his childhood dreams and wish him all the best on this journey.”

Winter Vincent came onto the scene in 2018 when he starred in the Stab Innocents with Craig Anderson. Incredibly spry and lanky, Winter surfers like a mix between Kolohe Andino and John Florence, though he claims his biggest inspiration to be Julian Wilson. Winter is 16 and will be a major force in Australia’s next wave of talent. 

Ultimate Surfer might not get a second season

This one’s more of a rumor, but we’ve heard from multiple sources close to the WSL that their widely talked about reality show, The Ultimate Surfer, will not get a second season. The first season featured eight episodes, which aired in August and September of this year, and gathered between 1.14 and 1.43 million views per episode. That figure sounds impressive until you consider the fact that ABC’s other reality shows — like Shark Tank and The Bachelorette — gett more than triple that on average, and regularly break the 4-million mark.

Prior to the show’s release, we had executive producer Dana White on our Drop podcast. When asked what success would look like for the Ultimate Surfer, White said “a second season.” A source within the WSL could not confirm this rumor, though they said the decision wouldn’t surprise them. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver

Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.

Mar 21, 2023

Jessi Miley Dyer On The New Challenger Series Schedule And More

Did you know that you could miss the mid-year cut and still theoretically win the…

Mar 20, 2023


Don’t Miss The Last Wave Of The First 2023 SEOTY Entry

Jacob Willcox's ‘Into Dust’ demands your pupils.

Mar 20, 2023

Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace  

Now available in the Antipodes...

Mar 20, 2023


Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made

BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…

Mar 18, 2023

Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands

How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.

Mar 18, 2023


Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?

William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.

Mar 17, 2023

Watch: Luke + Eddie

A mostly unknown, on-duty lifeguard won the most prestigious big-wave event in history. How Luke…

Mar 17, 2023


A Pipe Master, Ryan Burch, And Some Pickle Forks On The Eastern Seaboard

This one ticks a lot of boxes

Mar 16, 2023

Brazil Has A Talent Problem

And three other things we learned from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Mar 16, 2023


Mick Fanning On A Unicorn, Bags Of Dicks, And A Shocking Script Read By Surfing’s Biggest Stars

Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet on their outrageous film, 'The Greatest Surf Movie In The…

Mar 15, 2023

Italo Ferreira Caught 63 Waves In An Hour

And other stats from our Stab in the Dark production.

Mar 15, 2023


Can A Freesurfer Go The Other Way? A Dakoda Walters Case Study

The 57-kilo Aussie has taken a Stab High approach to trad contest surfing.

Mar 15, 2023

Caity Simmers And João Chianca Fulfill Respective Prophecies Under Gaze Of Portuguese President

A very good day of competitive surfing.

Mar 14, 2023

Kelly And Steph Are In Trouble

What's a GOAT gotta do to make the cut around here?

Mar 14, 2023


“I Used To Only Surf Here With One Guy…His Name’s Henry, And He’s A Seal”

A contemplation on the frigid desolation of Iceland.

Mar 14, 2023

World #1 Carissa Moore Vanquished By Front Pad Toting Wildcard, Lucky Few Get Supertubed

‘Go hard or go home, innit’ 

Mar 13, 2023

Hungover Hold-Downs, Patent Feuds, And One-In-A-Million Malfunctions Involving 11x World Champs: The Story Of Surfing’s Inflatable Vests

These things changed the game.

Mar 13, 2023