Llandudno surfer Luke Slijpen is embarking on his rookie year on the World Surf League’s (WSL) World Qualifying Series (WQS) with the strong backing of Quiksilver International.
Luke, a powerful 20-year-old natural footer, blew minds in Hawaii last winter. As a direct result, he found his signature needed on a recent Quiksilver International contract. This initial offering will see him competing for the next two years with a mountain and wave sticker on the nose of his board.
The initial contract is a two-year deal for renewal. The accomplished surfer is determined to vindicate the global surf brand’s vision of signing him up.
When not competing, Luke loves to hunt down heavy barrels and big waves. His gutsy and powerful performances at Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu drew the attention of the Quiksilver International team manager Miky Picon.
“In Hawaii, I got to stay at the Quiksilver house for a month. It was a good opportunity to surf all day, meet the Quiksilver crew and push my surfing with them,” said Slijpen.
Hailing from a surfing family, Luke has clear cut goals for the upcoming competitive year. “I want to make the Challenger Series (CS) next year, and I want to do a sick movie,” said Slijpen.
He knows what hard work is all about and is grateful for the opportunities.
“Since I was a youngster, I always looked at the guys that got sponsored by international brands,” said Slijpen. “It’s tough to climb up the ranks in South Africa and get an international brand to commit to taking you on. Now I have Quiksilver, and I’m super amped to push it and do the best I can for the brand and hopefully keep moving forward with them.”
“I stayed with Mikey Wright and Kauli Vaast, Leo Fioravanti, Zeke Lau, Koa Rothman and a couple of other Quik guys. Thanks to Reef Macintosh for letting me stay at the house. I’m super amped to go back this year and push my surfing even harder!”
Slijpen can often be found on the podium, with a string of successes to his name. These include a series of first-place finishes in the Pro Juniors, including contests at Lambert’s Bay, Durban and Victoria Bay, and a third-place at the ISA World Juniors in the U18 division.
Currently up the west coast in the Northern Cape, Slijpen is competing in the Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge at a remote location in the Hondeklip Bay area. An invite-only WSL Specialty contest, the event also raises awareness about the mining that is destroying the place.
“There are some amazing waves up there, and hopefully, we can share awareness of the destruction of the land that is happening along the coastline,” said Slijpen.
For more on the Namakwa Challenge – https://www.worldsurfleague.com/events/2021/spec/3715/namakwa-challenge
Luke’s Instagram @lukeslijpen
Luke’s WSL Profile – https://www.worldsurfleague.com/athletes/10270/luke-slijpen
Luke is sponsored by Quiksilver, SMTH Shapes, Nixon, Globe and Zombie Tread.
Complimentary high-resolution images are available for media outlets on request.
Distributed by Truth Collective.
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