Did Kelly Slater spend years cheating on Quiksilver?
The great Kelly Slater and Quiksilver were one of the finest duos in surf history. Each achieved maximum thrust through the 1990s and 2000s. Each became singularly iconic. Kelly, with his handsome tan skin and twinkling eye. Quiksilver with a logo/team/size that made pure mockery out of Billabong, Rip Curl, Hot Tuna. What would Kelly have been without Quiksilver? What would Quiksilver have been without Kelly? We sort of have the answer now, I suppose. Kelly would have been aesthetically lost. Quiksilver would have gone bankrupt. And while it is sad the two split up we’ll always have those 20 years.
How much do you think Quiksilver paid Kelly during that run? $20 million? $40 million?
Is it possible that Kelly was also secretly riding for Hurley some of that time and collecting even more money?
That would be singularly scandalous but maybe it is true. Derek Rielly pointed out the moment in the latest #tournotes the moment. Let’s recall.
First, he (Kelly) makes a crack about not being sponsored and asks whom I presume to be Bob McKnight from Quiksilver’s kid (surf industry people, correct me if I’m wrong) for money as he’s currently not sponsored.
“As you know I don’t have a sponsor…technically… any more and you know your father has sponsored me for years,” says Kelly.
The man opens his wallet and says, “I don’t think there’s much in here.”
I watched the moment twice and it is certainly not Quiksilver founder/legend Bob McKnight’s wonderful son Robbie. No. It is Hurley founder Bob’s eldest son Jeff.
Now, I guarantee that Kelly knows Robbie very well. I am certain that he wasn’t confused. Which leaves us all with only one possible conclusion as to what Kelly was talking about.
He was sponsored by Hurley for years and that sponsorship would have overlapped Kelly’s Quiksilver sponsorship. A sordid hidden affair only revealed in an unscripted, off-the-cuff moment. The fact that Quiksilver and Kelly have been broken up for some years now lessens the pain maybe, like the husband who finds out his wife was cheating post-divorce, but I must wonder if the Hurley x Kelly affair still smolders?
Do you think the greatest surfer ever will officially kick OK to the curb and join John John, Julian, Filipe and Kolohe further strengthening professional surfing’s strongest gang?
All is fair in love and war.
Watch at the 1:30 mark and note the complete lack of confusion from Jeff Hurley when Kelly says, “Your father has sponsored me for years.”