Last week Tracks reported that contest format innovator and ex-pro surfer Peter Drouyn, who had formerly been identifying as a transgender female named Westerly Windina, had written a long and impassioned letter accusing Kelly Slater of stealing his previously patented wave-pool tech and now Slater has hit back.
In the original letter, Drouyn, 67, began his onslaught with the following statement:
“I have perused Slater and Fincham’s ‘Wave Generator’ official patent and there is no doubt it is in every respect copied in design, [from] device bottom contouring, propulsion, reverse channeling, angular movement, etc etc. [It] includes wording from my patent which encompasses all my important data on dynamics of flow.”
I gave too much away for a disguised wolf like Kelly Slater to prey on me.
The patent mentioned was registered in 1979 and accordingly under US patent law has since expired, as Drouyn himself notes. However this does not seem to soften what Drouyn believes to be a seriously underhanded and callous blow by the 11 time world champ and his affiliates, as he expunged:
“Because I am civilized I gave too much away for a disguised wolf like Kelly Slater to prey on me.
“WSL and he and silent partners have united in corporate deal to take my ‘dream’ to the public especially [for] competition. Both of them now stand without honor… without mercy… and without truth. They are readying themselves for a new ‘fields of future surf’ I created 36 years ago (a time when I was deliberately ignored again and again).
“I have been torn to shreds by these “salty” mercenaries and by perfumed pussies. What more can they harvest from me?”
Drouyn is reportedly also a little bitter that his attempts to be officially recognised for inventing the man on man competition format (with which he is widely credited anecdotally) proved unsuccessful:
“The last siege recently to struggle with – to claim rightful copyright on my ‘Man on Man’ (or one on one) surfing system back dated 1977. That has ended in a stalemate – the USA copyright office has refused my claim on ‘swampy’ grounds… ”
Slater penned an indignant response to Drouyn in an email exchange last week, in which he dismissed any similarity between their wave pool concepts as “pure coincidence”.
“I can assure you I never saw what you patented or developed in your time working on (artificial) waves,” he continued.
“I can imagine you may have seen our creation and thought it aligned with your own vision but I believe it to be pure coincidence.”
Drouyn apparently suggested the pair meet up during the Quiksilver Pro to attempt to resolve their differences in person, however Slater was not keen, stating that he was “kind of reeling from the attacks and insinuations,” in the original letter to Tracks.
We’re quite sure Drouyn won’t be leaving it at that, and so Slatergate rages on.
Cover photo courtesy of: The Kelly Slater Wave Company