The Roundup: Flipadelphia Edition

8 01 2010

The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks this week in the world of surfing and beyond. If you have any suggestions, links, tips or just want to call me an asshole, email me at

The new Surfer mag double take cover of Julian Wilson is pure genius. (Surfer
…and take a gander at their images of the year.

“In real life Machado can’t really be a soul-surfing drifter – because he’s got too much damn money in the bank.” (Swellnet)

Alana Blanchard is the newest Reef girl. Well, not really, but she rides for them now. (Reef

A mashup of freesurfing footage from the 2009 North Shore season featuring Freddy P., Bruce Irons, Joel and Barca. (InSurfNews)

A man and woman rob a surf shop in San Diego then flip the getaway car. “Flip, flip, Flipadelpia.” (CBS 8

Cover magnet Daniel Russo shows his stuff with audio. (Surfing

Tom Cozad’s aerial photographs of SoCal’s holiday swells. (Surfline)

Tabloid journalism at its best. Andy Irons and Taj Burrow threaten to sue the Rebel Tour? I think not. (Daily Telegraph

This is why Al Gore God invented the Internet. (Tooties Bong via You Tube)

Chris Davidson’s pre-heat ritual in Mundaka last year. (Stab Magazine via Keerazy Times)

Modern Collective surfer and the pride of Tasmania, Dion Agius, restless in France. (

We’re not even two weeks into 2010 and the mom of the year has already been chosen. (Craigslist)


The Roundup: Surf Premieres, Kai Neville, Jordy Smith, JOB, Follow the Light, Pipeline, Steamer Lane and the Drifter

6 11 2009

Follow The Light

The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks this week in the world of surfing. If you have any suggestions, links, tips or just want to call me an asshole, email me at

It will change everything. The Modern Collective world premiere invaded Les Deux in Hollywood. Chas Smith was there. (Stab Magazine)

Larry “Flame” Moore’s Follow the Light Foundation announced its winners. Ray Collins of Australia (his photo above) was the winner. (Follow the Light)

Blood, barrels and burning ASP rulebooks. The new Who is J.O.B. trailer. (SurfLies)

A Dane Reynolds’ air in super slo mo may be better than Bo Derek running down the beach in 10. (Surfing Stoke)

The Eastern Surfing Association tells Surfing America to stick it where the PacSun don’t shine. (Transworld Biz)

Early season Pipeline proves everything is right in the world. Warning. Mute your speakers. (In Surf News)

An in-depth review of the Rob Machado vehicle The Drifter. (meSurf)

Break out the Budweiser white cans. The O’Neill Coldwater Classic is live at the Lane in Santa Cruz. (O’Neill)

He wears boardshorts while not surfing. He wears surf branded singlets, not-oversized-enough surf branded sunglasses and hats. He throws double shakas. He is David Mailman. (Likebitchin)

Quiksilver fired 125 workers. The Iraqi Quiksilver Minister of Information says it’s a good thing. (Boardistan)

The Top Fucking 5 ASP World Title Bridesmaids

2 11 2009

Cheyne OP Pro

You know the old saying—always a bridesmaid, never the bride. Surfing is not immune. The latest installment of Nugable’s Top Fucking 5® chronicles the best second-place finishers in ASP history. All five had stellar professional careers (some are still having them) but none have tasted the championship champagne or held the trophy high. A wise man once said “second place is just the first loser.”

5. Rob Machado (1995)
Ah, the Drifter. Nineteen hundred and ninety-five was Rob’s year. It was his chance to stand on the top of Everest and look down. He dominated, winning nearly half of the first seven events. He was cruising. Laughing. Having fun. Going into Hawaii he had the lead and then Slater snatched the crown from Machado. Two friends battled it out at Pipeline. It was a finish for the ages. He made a triumphant splash at the Trestles event this year. If still on the tour he would probably be a top 10 surfer.

4. Taj Burrow (2007, 1999)
Born to American parents in West Oz, Taj was Jordy Smith before Jordy was Jordy. He came on the tour with his Western Australian guns blazing. He surfed like a skateboarder. Wide stance. Ready to punt over any oncoming section. But as each year passes by his biological clock keeps ticking. He’s about three years from menopause. It may be time to start thinking about adoption.

3. Joel Parkinson (2002, 2004)
Can Parko get the proverbial money off his back? Mick Fanning is a furious little monkey. One that lifts weights and drinks protein shakes. Going into Pipeline he is the favorite despite trailing Fanning by more than 300 points. Will this finally be Parko’s year?

2. Gary “Kong” Elkerton (1993, 1990. 1987)
Gary Elkerton was an Australian man’s man. During his tenure on tour it can be argued no one charged Sunset with greater commitment and power. But his hands were that of a beauty pageant debutante. Face it. He had jazz hands. He looked like he was flipping pizza dough when he careened down the face. His hands were gayer than a cover of Men’s Health magazine. To top it off, 1993 may have been the worst top four in ASP history with Derek Ho, Kong, Dave Macauley, and Damien Hardman.

1. Cheyne Horan (1982, 1981, 1979, 1978)
I first saw Cheyne surf in person at Churches. On the military base side. I was just a grom sitting in the car park waiting for the tide to get low. Cheyne pulled up in a white BMW, parked beside me on the Camp Pendleton jarhead lot and we watched the surf together. He ate grapes. I had a Coke and a Fun Dip. I watched him do yoga. Or stretching. Not sure what to call it. He was with Michael Tomson. They may have passed a joint between them. Bob Marley’s Confrontation played on the Blaupunkt tape deck. Later we shared a few waves and exchanged a smile. Sadly, Cheyne never won that ever-elusive title. He was a gracious second-place finisher though. Perhaps the best ever.—Nug

Not So Fast Parko—Hurley Pro Day 3

16 09 2009

Hurley Pro 2009

In 1995 a black, former professional football player and dreadful actor named OJ Simpson proved anything is possible in America—even getting away with murder. That same year Rob Machado won three of the first seven ASP events. He was on a Parkinsonian roll and well on his way to his first world title at the age of 22. But, that title never materialized. It was snatched from him during the waning moments of the Chiemsee Pipe Masters’ penultimate heat. The epic semifinal when Machado high-fived Slater as he exited the barrel still stands as one of the best world title finishes in ASP history.

Flash forward 14 years later and the anything-is-possible-in-America principle is alive and well. Tuesday, in inconsistent 3-4 foot Trestles, the 36-year-old Californian symbolically put a knife to Joel Parkinson’s neck on a blue-gray California afternoon. Now, if Slater goes on to win the Hurley Pro we may look back to this day, September 15, as the great American heist of a title that was seemingly in the bank.

Before the flowing Manny Ramirez mane, before he became a Drifter and before the million-dollar contracts with Gotcha and Hurley, Robert Edward Machado was just a skinny goofyfoot from Cardiff-by-the-Sea who had a passion for surfing and heaps of talent. He was Mick Fanning in reverse— ultra quick, wiry and sharp as a stiletto.

While Australia basked in Occy-ness, California’s soaked in El Machado. But El Machado never had that innate Slater-esque competitive fire. He was and is a cruising motorbike in a world of rice burners and gaudy European numbers. Now, removed from the tour by several years, the wildcard is riding a steamroller, laughing, sunburst locks blowing in the wind, on his final ASP sendoff into the sunset.

It’s no wonder the Aussies hate this place. Its lazy, seemingly embracing charm is a facade lined with all that is fake and evil in the world. In Orange County pristine coastal headlands that house world-class point breaks are juxtaposed with nuclear power plants while the American industrial military machine sits in the hills firing mortar shells for practice. This nook of Southern California is ground zero for soccer moms and the real estate mortgage meltdown that caused a worldwide recession.

Machado wasn’t the only storyline during round three. Another Californian named Dane Reynolds continued his roll that started two months ago in South Africa. After disposing of Ben Dunn he went on to win the Facebook Expression Session in the afternoon chop slop. Looking at the draw, Reynolds and Slater sit at opposite ends of the heat sheet which could lead to a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming Dream Tour final.

The turn of the day went to Heitor Alves for his coast-to-coast, butter-on-toast, fin-free slider in heat 12. French Fry Jeremy Flores never knew what hit him. The way he’s surfing he may just come out of nowhere and win this whole thing. Slater welcomed wildcard Brett Simpson (No relation to the knife-wielding football player) to the WCT and quickly waved goodbye and closed the door. Slater made several mistakes and a savvier veteran would have pounced on the opportunity. But his 16.83 total was still the highest of the day. This is a little scary in retrospect.

A day after sending Taj Burrow off to Europe with a 33rd, Machado showed the flashes of brilliance that made him the enigma he has become. But flashes don’t get you too far after round four at this level and he was undoubtedly aided by Parkinson’s miscues. Perhaps Parko’s ankle is not completely healed. Perhaps the Australian fell victim to the California buzz saw that stupefies so many of his countrymen. But one thing is for certain—his grip on an almost certain title loosened just enough to make the WCT interesting again. Parko didn’t seem too fazed however. Just after the loss his Twitter page read in true Aussie reveling fashion, “Surfer Poll just got a little more fun now.”

To put the Hurley Pro and its record purse in perspective, Machado was the leading money winner on tour in 1995. He won nearly $70,000 for the entire year. Later this week Hurley will cut the winner a check for $105,000 for one contest. What a difference a decade makes.

Hurley Trestles Pro Round 2

15 09 2009
Dane Reynolds punts at Lowers. Rowland/ASP

Dane Reynolds punts to a win at Lowers. Rowland/ASP

Competitive surfing is an awkward yet beautiful ritual. Sometimes, when the moon and stars are perfectly aligned, it is a magical. Yin and yang form a perfect circle of congruence. Think Joel Parkinson and Dane Reynolds at Jeffrey’s Bay two months ago. But more often than not, it resembles a teenage virgin attempting to have sex for the first time. Palms are clammy.  Runaway beads of perspiration glide down foreheads, falling to the floor. Nervousness and confusion.  Legs are spread and kicking wildly. The anticipation is often better than the end result.

Round two of the Hurley Pro, or as I affectionately call Cash for Clunkers, undoubtedly felt like virgin sex. Sure the build up was exciting, but the parents (or worse, ESPN) may walk in at any time and ruin the moment.

There are several ways to spend a Monday afternoon that are less painful than watching round two of a WCT in crappy surf. For instance; a colon exam or catching up on Sunny Garcia’s Twitter updates.

Taj Burrow was the highest seed to lose and first to go home. For those of you who felt Taj got robbed by the judges, go back and watch the heat on demand. Machado surfed better. Simple as that. In fact, he was underscored on a few early waves. It shouldn’t have been as close as it was. If I didn’t know any better I would think he looked inspired. But Rob is seemingly carefree. At times, that is a recipe for success on the WCT.

For Jordy Smith it was over before he could put on a condom or contest jersey. He went down in a squeaker to Portuguese rookie Tiago Pires 13.5 to 13.24. In less than ideal conditions, determination often trumps talent.

Round three continues Tuesday with several key matchups, namely Slater versus wildcard and de facto local Brett Simpson and Machado against Parkinson, or the Hair versus the heir to the throne. Starting with round four, will be webcasting in true high definition. Fuel’s feed during the Huntington event was the best I’ve seen.–Nug

Surfing’s Mitchell Report

6 08 2009


When the Mitchell Report was released in 2007 it was bombshell for baseball. It is and was the stain on the soul of the sport. Steroid usage has dominated news coverage, tainted records and nearly ruined careers. When Congress got involved I nearly threw up. A politician trying to clean up sports is like a prostitute trying to bathe by walking through a drive-thru car wash. Sure, the hot wax may kill the crabs, but you’re still a fucking whore.

Surely surfing must be immune to performance enhancing drugs. Right? Well, don’t be so sure. Let’s look at some current surfers who are or may be juicing.

The Confirmed

Neco Padaratz
The Brazilian fire plug tested positive and was suspended by the ASP in 2005 for 6 months. Medical experts say ’roids cause shrinkage. He clearly showcased balls the size of coconuts after dropping in on Sunny at Pipe last year. Apparently, because he lives south of the Equator, steroids have a reverse effect on the testes. It’s like when you flush a toilet and the water goes in the opposite direction.

The Suspects

Tom Carroll
One does not develop thighs a Bulgarian weightlifter would be envious of by training alone. Very suspicious Tom. Those ham hocks could feed an Eskimo family for two consecutive winters. Years ago, at the OP Pro, I asked Tom for his autograph. As he scribbled his John Hancock, pen in hand, girls in bikinis hovering about, he looked up and said “Look at the tits on that one mate.” I was 12. Needless to say, Tom Carroll has always been one of my favorite surfers.

Rob Machado
“El Maniaco” Machado weighed about 75 pounds when he made the final of a PSAA event at Seaside Reef when he was just 14 years old. Now, he must tip the scales at a buck ‘o five. Call me crazy, but this is highly suspicious. You don’t just gain 30 pounds in 20 years by drinking organic milk and eating vegetables.

Mick Fanning
When he first qualified for the world tour he surfed like piece of angel hair pasta riding a plywood plank down a roller coaster. Now he looks like a piece of angel hair pasta with a gigantic meatball where his head should be. Is he on the juice? Probably not. But suspicious nevertheless.

Sunny Garcia
If I had to bet one of my kidneys on the surfer most likely to be using HGH, it would be Vincent Sennen Garcia. I kid Sunny. My run-ins with Sunny in the past have been nothing but cordial. I think he’s just a little misunderstood.

Laird Hamilton
This guy is ripped. And he has no fear. But let’s face it; his physique looks like Terrell Owens after a Michael Jackson-esque skin bleaching cycle with bronzer follow up. If I had the chutzpah to charge huge Chopes and Jaws like Laird, I’d probably buy needles in bulk from Costco too.


ESPN Surfing’s Jake Howard
My theory is he’s not fat. He’s just juicing. Give the guy a break. If Barry Bonds was sheet white and wore a corn husk toupe he would look just like Jake Howard.

Taylor Knox
Taylor has perhaps the most polished style on tour, but he’s been on the ’CT for about 40 years. I think slavery was still legal during Taylor’s rookie season. You don’t have that kind of longevity without a little help. He’s also been known to hang out with former Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman. Baseball players are bad influences. You do the math.