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 […]
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 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.
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.
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.
How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters
With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…
Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023
Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…
Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour
But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…
“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”
Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.
Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry
"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."
Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters
3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.
‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’
RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!
What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?
Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.
Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT
After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…
An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties
A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.
Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl
And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.
Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden
Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.
Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’
Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4
The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.