Kelly Slater's contract may be safe but several of his Quiksilver USA stablemates are busy ripping stickers off their boards. Pic: natesmithphoto.com

The water might be brown at the Super Bank but the streets are running red with Quiksilver blood. It seems there is truth to the rumour that Quiksilver have culled several of their team riders along with staff and key factions of their brand. 

A Quiksilver representative, who chose to remain anonymous, told Tracks that several surfers had already received “the call” to say their contracts would not be renewed.  The news spread rapidly across social media when Transworld Business posted a story on its website earlier today. The original story suggested that the cuts would be extremely ruthless and involve the cancellation of contracts for all but the most elite team riders. A more recent posting on Transworld Business suggested that the cuts would not be as extensive as initially claimed. Most of the online chatter suggests that the axe has fallen hardest on the US team riders, with only the contracts of Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds and Mark Healey safe amongst the Americans.

When Tracks spoke to Australian, Quiksilver team rider Garrett Parkes, who is scheduled to take part in the Quiksilver Pro trials on Friday, he stated, “ I haven’t heard of any of the Australian guys being cut.” Garret had earlier made a few calls about the status of his contract.

“… Pretty sure I’m safe, but it’s scary times, maybe they are going to wait until after the Quiksilver Pro...”

A surfer manager who preferred to remain nameless suggested that, “ It looks like the new CEO is swinging the axe but as far as I know my three Australian team riders will have their contracts honoured until the end of the year.”        

In any case there have already been some stickers angrily ripped off boards in the US. More details about whose services are no longer required will likely emerge in the coming days and the dramatic down-size will surely make for some interesting questions at tomorrow’s Quiksilver Pro, press conference.

Quiksilver has made no official statement but it seems like it would be PR suicide to make a major cost-cutting announcement when you are simultaneously trying to generate a positive spin around your biggest contest of the year. However, given that the details have leaked, Quiksilver may be forced to come clean about the details. 

The cuts, which also include the dissolution of several ranges [DC Womens, Quiksilver Womens, and Quiksilver Girls] come in the wake of the appointment of new Quiksilver CEO Andy Mooney. According to Transworld Business Mooney has taken the Quiksilver share price from a 52 week low of $2.09 to a recent 52 week high of $6.83 since assuming the role in early January.Mooney may have done well on the market but handling the fall out from his recent series of sackings will no doubt provide a major public relations test for a company that has struggled to make profits over the last five years.    

NOTE: Quiksilver Pro match-ups and swell forecast HERE