This is the last installment of Dragon's web series "Frame of Mind," which focuses on four individuals from Dragon's impressive roster of riders, and which digs into what goes on inside their noggins. With Mick, Owen, and Evan already put under the microscope in the previous three chapters, Dragon turned the lens on San Diegan soul guru Rob Machado.
by jeff mull
Rob Machado is a busy man these days. Between scheduling an upcoming concert tour, showcasing his movie, and traveling the world for surf, it's a wonder he has any free time at all. Amid a crammed schedule, we managed to pencil ourselves in for an interview to get his thoughts on going back on tour, dealing with nerves, and hosting a Pro Junior contest/superhero themed golf tournament. Yes, you read that last part right.
So you've got a concert tour coming up. Can you compare the feeling of going on stage versus putting on a jersey and competing in an important heat?
Yeah, there's a lot of butterflies in both. That's where they're both similar to me. A lot of nerves. I've always thought that if you're up there in an important heat or on stage performing and you're not nervous, then something is wrong. To me, it means that you kinda quit caring. So the nerves are a good thing.
So when you see Kelly still winning events, is there ever a part of you that wants to go back on tour?
Yeah, there is a little part of me that wishes I could be back out there. But it takes so much work to get there and compete at that level. A lot of it is really mentally taxing. Like you'll show up to an event and be feeling really good and your boards are really working good and you'll lose in the first heat and be like, "what just happened?" And that can turn into a cycle where you start blaming things. Like your boards aren't working or finding other reasons why you're not surfing well. And then you have to pack your stuff and do it all over again in a few weeks. It can be really exhausting. So when I start thinking about all of that stuff, going back and competing isn't quite as appealing.
full interview here.
It looks like Rob Machado will be staying in Hawaii a little longer than he planned, now that he's received an invite to the Billabong Pipeline Masters. The decision came down on Wednesday after surfers like Mick Fanning and Ace Buchan lobbied hard for his cause.
Could we see another Slater and Mob high-five 15 years later?
With Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith, Mick Fanning and crew making their US Open debuts today, the sea of bodies invading Huntington Beach hit the high-tide mark.
Amidst the swarm of people who have no idea there's a surf contest going on, there was a noticeable swelling of people who appreciate good surfing on hand. And the Round of 96 saw some pretty solid action in between long lulls.
As one would expect at a place like Huntington, there were some upsets.
Andy Irons had a shocker of a heat, racking up only 4 points total. Andy is a former winner in H.B., so the loss was significant, but whether or not his comeback attempt is sputtering we won't know until he gets to Tahiti.
Both CJ and Damien Hobgood were eliminated on Wednesday as well. CJ fell to young Evan Geiselman, the man who will undoubtedly grab the state torch from Slater and the Hobgoods some day.
Of those who squeaked through, Rob Machado can consider himself lucky. With just 6.85 points, Rob held a razor thin edge over Chris Davidson, the man who finished 3rd place, for the final six minutes. The ocean went flat.
Jordy Smith and Mick Fanning escaped early exits from competition with solid second place finishes.
The Brazilians air force looks as impressive as ever, with Jadson Andre, Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo doing most of the violent strafing.
Big boys Kekoa Becalso and Bede Durbidge didn't let size matter in the small stuff. They both dominated their heats, as did Mr. Kelly Slater.
The action picks right back up tomorrow with Dane Reynolds kicking things into high gear early.
Granger Larsen Photo Courtesy of US Open of Surfing
GrindTV Newswire, Via US Open of Surfing: HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Tuesday, August 3, 2010) The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME US Open of Surfing marched through Round 1 of the main event in tricky one-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at South Huntington Beach Pier today and saw ASP Pro Junior Standouts Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 20, and Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, rise to the top of the impressive field by posting some of the day's top scores.
Competitors surfing in this year's US Open of Surfing are out to capitalize on the mass of ratings points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking in an attempt to either solidify their position on or qualify for the 2011 ASP Dream Tour.
Larsen managed to navigate his way through a wave starved heat, but still crushed the day's highest single-wave score of an impressive 8.93 out of 10 on the way to snagging the highest heat total of Round 1, 14.97 out of 20.
"There were no waves in the beginning of the heat," Larsen said. "I was just looking for a wave that actually broke and my goal was just to get one turn out the back and do a turn on the inside. Then that magical left came and gave me two turns out the back. I'm stoked to get that last wave at the end and get an 8.97. I obviously really wanted to make that heat. I was pretty happy with it."
Larsen, who was a standout in his opening ASP Pro Junior heat, hopes that he can use both the US Open Pro Junior and the men's ASP PRIME main event to build momentum as the rounds progress.
"I feel like the more heats I do out here, the more confident I feel," Larsen said. "I feel like I'll do better in every heat, so hopefully it keeps going for me."
Young, who is the defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion, relied on a magic small-wave board to advance through today's soft conditions while posting some of the day's highest scores and expressed the importance of modified equipment for success at South Huntington Beach Pier today.
"I got two decent waves and my board goes really good out there," Young said. "That helped a lot. Having a board that goes fast over those flat sections really helped."
Young, who is still competing on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is currently sitting in the No. 74 position on the ASP World Ranking and has been focusing his time towards building his seed amongst the world's finest up-and-comers and is becoming consistently more comfortable competing in ASP PRIME events.
"I feel more comfortable since I've been doing them quite a bit this year," Young said. "It's nice to be able to do both the Pro Junior and the PRIME event."
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, who posted the day's highest scores in yesterday's early rounds, continued to assert her dominance on her fellow competitors today by unleashing the highest score of Women's US Open of Surfing, a near perfect 9.00 out of 10 despite the tricky decreasing swell on offer.
"The swell has dropped this morning," Fitzgibbons said. "It's a bit smaller for the Round of 12, but I was able to get a few high scores. The 9 was one of the bigger waves and it was a bit bowlier and offered two big turns. I just tried to go big on it and I'm happy to move through to the Quarterfinals."
Fitzgibbons, who is currently rated No. 2 on the ASP Women's Dream Tour, has been a constant Finalist throughout the season, and is hoping to keep the ball rolling in an attempt to take out this year's historic $50,000 prize purse for this year's Women's US Open of Surfing winner.
"It's one step closer to the $50,000 for sure," Fitzgibbons said. "It'd be nice to make a Final here. I haven't made a Final here at the US Open. Huntington is one of those challenging waves that would be pretty cool to master and with that extra incentive, people are pushing the level."
Tuesday also saw the start of its free live music festival. Soft Pack and Cold War Kids performed right after the conclusion of the day's surfing action to a capacity crowd at the live music stage.
The music lineup for the week:
Wed - Bedouin Soundclash preceded by Iration, Thu - Switchfoot preceded by Timmy Curran, Fri - Cobra Starship preceded by Street Drum Corps, Sat - Weezer preceded by Hot Hot Heat. Music starts at 4:30 PM.
For more on the US Open of Surfing go to www.usopenofsurfing.com for LIVE webcasts, heats on demand and full event schedule.
For complimentary high-res photos and video downloads log on to http://usopenofsurfing.com/downloads.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org.
Men's US Open of Surfing Round of 128 Results:
Heat 1: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 14.00, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 10.53, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.93, James Taipan Wood (AUS) 7.86
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.60, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.17, Ian Gentil (HAW) 7.00, Corey Ziems (AUS) 6.60
Heat 3: Marcio Giorgi (URY) 10.83, Eric Geiselman (USA) 7.16, Brian Toth (PRI) 5.44, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 1.93
Heat 4: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 10.57, Marcio Farney (BRA) 10.10, Shaun Ward (USA) 8.47, Brad Ettinger (USA) 6.97
Heat 5: Cory Lopez (USA) 12.10, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.27, Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.83, Tom Curren (USA) 9.66
Heat 6: Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 9.90, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 9.43, Kieran Horn (USA) 9.20, Yuri Sodre (BRA) 8.00
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) 14.83, Blake Wilson (AUS) 12.67, Jean da Silva (BRA) 11.37, Adam Robertson (AUS) 9.10
Heat 8: Luke Davis (USA) 13.33, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.83, Rhys Bombaci (AUS) 10.37, T.J. Barron (HAW) 12.83
Heat 9: Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 14.93, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 13.57, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.50, Joel Centeio (HAW) 10.26
Heat 10: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 12.50, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 12.04, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 9.67, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 6.93
Heat 11: Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.97, Jack Perry (AUS) 14.60, Tonino Benson (HAW) 10.27, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.77
Heat 12: Paulo Moura (BRA) 12.93, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.60, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 9.47, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 8.70
Heat 13: Dylan Graves (PRI) 12.36, Mason Ho (HAW) 9.77, John John Florence (HAW) 8.66, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 7.76
Heat 14: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 10.84, Diego Rosa (BRA) 8.64, Yujiro Tsuji (JPN) 7.27, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 3.27
Heat 15: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.16, Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.70, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 7.63, Kai Barger (HAW) 5.43
Heat 16: Andre Silva (BRA) 12.50, Eneko Acero (EUK) 8.43, Mike Losness (USA) 8.07, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.04
Women's US Open of Surfing Round of 12 Results:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 8.83, Lakey Peterson (USA) 5.73, Chantelle Rautenbach (ZAF) 5.27
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.77, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.36, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 8.57
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.17, Justine Dupont (FRA) 8.67, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 8.06
Heat 4: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 12.64, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 10.20, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.60
PICK SIX: WEDNESDAY
Day five action
The Men's heavy hitters take to the water tomorrow, Aug 3. The ASP Prime Round of 96 will begin at 7:30 AM. Expect some great action as top-ranked World Tour surfers battle for the $100,000 first-place-prize. Here's what to watch for.
1. Men's Prime - Round 2 - Heat 7
Andy Irons (HAW)
Nate Yeomans (USA)
Marcio Farney (BRA)
Cory Lopez (USA)
The three-time World Champ takes on fellow WT competitor Nate Yeomans as well as high-flying Cory Lopez and Brazilian Marcio Farney.
2. Men's Prime - Round 2 - Heat 10
C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Blake Thornton (AUS)
Evan Geiselman (USA)
Nat Young (USA)
Top American Juniors take on Australian Blake Jones and WT staple C.J. Hobgood.
3. Men's Prime - Round 2 - Heat 11
Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Blake Wilson (AUS)
Luke Davis (USA)
Luke Davis has been on a tear throughout the US Open thus far. He looks to keep his streak alive as he goes up against WT surfers, Kekoa and Tanner.
4. Men's Prime - Round 2 - Heat 13
Kelly Slater (USA)
Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Alain Riou (PYF)
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Kelly Slater starts his US Open campaign trying to better his 5th place finish from 2009.
5. Men's Prime - Round 2 - Heat 15
Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heitor Alves (BRA)
Rob Machado (USA)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Surfing legends, Rob Machado and Sunny Garcia, face off in a tough Round 2 heat against WT surfer Chris Davidson and Brazilian Heitor Alves.
6. Concert Stage - 4-7 PM - Bedouin Soundclash and Iration
The largest free music festival in the world continues Wednesday afternoon with Iration taking the stage at 4 PM, followed by Bedouin Soundclash. Come enjoy the free music on the sand at the HB Pier.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's Pick Six as Men's Round 2 finishes up Round 3 gets started.