Stab Magazine | Welcome to Slater Designs, Kelly Slater's new surfboard company

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Welcome to Slater Designs, Kelly Slater’s new surfboard company

Words by Jake Howard At the 2015 Pipe Masters, the world got its first collective look at Kelly Slater’s new surfboard label, Slater Designs. Kelly had been riding blank models since Snapper, post-split with Channel Islands, but Pipe was the event where he rode a craft with the SD logo you can see to the right […]

news // May 21, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words by Jake Howard

IMG_0195At the 2015 Pipe Masters, the world got its first collective look at Kelly Slater’s new surfboard label, Slater DesignsKelly had been riding blank models since Snapper, post-split with Channel Islands, but Pipe was the event where he rode a craft with the SD logo you can see to the right there.

It was a model called the Banana; the dimensions were purposely obscured and while it was originally called a 6’3” by Strider, it was actually 5’10”x 18 3/8”x 2 5/16”. And, it was shaped by Greg Webber.

The relationship with Webber is of special interest as the two have been known to exchange ideas about/compete in the race for artificial wave technology.

The Banana will be one of several models that’ll premiere at the upcoming Surf Expo in Kelly’s native Florida this week. Slater Designs will soft launch at the the expo, which means minimal bro shakes in the isles, no kegs at noon or after parties at a fancy club. Select reps will have their first opportunity to check out the designs, feel out the boards and start the ordering process for the upcoming Spring/Summer season.

Along with Greg Webber, the first line of boards will also feature the work of Daniel Thomson. There’ll be three models initially, shaped by the two gents. But, not Rob Machado, as originally thought – Rob will be shaping for Firewire, which Kelly owns a percentage of, but is a different company running parallel with SD.

KJelly_Rob

Based on his stake in Firewire, and the fact that Rob is shaping for the brand, Kelly is 20% Mr Machado’s boss.

Kelly bought into Firewire back in February 2015, and Slater Designs will take advantage of some of the already existing technology, as well as production and distribution channels. In 2014, Firewire began using entropy bio-resins in its boards, which has been one particularly alluring aspect of the business. Slater Designs will incorporate those sustainable practices and all boards will be certified by SustainableSurf.org as “EcoBoards.”

Kelly also recruited Travis Lee, his longtime right-hand man at from Channel Islands, to help put all the pieces in place.

Kelly_Logo_IG

2015 was a busy year for the 11-time world champ and 2016’s looking no different. His attempt to clean up the rag trade with his brand Outerknown is off and running at what appears to be a good clip. Then came the debut of his new man-made wave. And now Slater Designs is poised to impact the hard goods arena. After 25-plus years of moulding the sport of surfing to his likeness, Kelly looks intent on reforming the industry as well.

Slater Designs are expected to become available in surf stores this April.

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