Yadin Nicol, a.k.a. Manchild
Weight: 143 lbs.
Home: Gracetown, Western Australia
Sponsors: Volcom, Smith, Gorilla Grip, ACT surfboards
Yadin Nicol, a sixteen-year-old manchild from Gracetown in Western Australia, is quivering with righteous fury. The large head and muscled frame, currently in the throes of puberty, give the kid a strangely adult appearance. Contest sluts fuel his rage. “I hate it,” says Yadin. “It’s ugly! Flipping! Flapping! You don’t have to do it.” He’s talking contest surfers, those filthy machines whose baboon-lust for winning makes ’em thrash half turns to the beach. And they win! Sniffing their way to riches, chicks, and contracts! “Aaargh,” bellows the kid. Yadin admits there was a time when becoming a “sniffer” seemed like a good idea. “I tried to turn into a sniffer, a groveler, sniff to the beach.” He couldn’t, not Manchild, for his destiny lies in his good nature, his ability to remain true to higher ideals. It’s worked so far-in local contests at least. He has two state titles in the bag and won the under-sixteen and under-eighteen divisions at the Rusty Gromfest last year. He freaks on the Billabong junior series-all nerves and mental anguish.
For our purposes, let us tell you that Yadin surfs f-kin’ hot. A real good low, clean style and sharp maneuvers on the face and in space. More than anything, he’s a speed animal. He digs riding his machine with the pedal to the floor, “I’d rather race and race and race and not do any turns at all,” he says. Manchild bailed on school last year, as soon as he got back from six months in America with his oldies. His dad Gary is a shaper among other things, mum’s an artist, and the family moved to Ventura County while Gary was on a shaping stint. And the distractions! Manchild was supposed to do homeschool, but with the 49-cent chicken soft tacos at Lay-Lo’s discount takeaway Mexican, the two-billion channels on cable, and all those secret waves north of L.A., he wasn’t going to waste valuable TV, food, or surfing time on his schoolwork.
Apart from a hiking trip to Yosemite National Park, Manchild wasn’t real impressed with California. “It made me realize how good we have it. It’s always dirty there, overcast-just rank. It sucked!” So Manchild came back, bailed from school, “Just a bunch of old blokes who want authority,” says Yadin. “Most of the teachers are power trippers!”
Now he’s back and either picking grapes during season or helping his old man build the front veranda on their tiny, but groovy, two-bedroom house. He does all right with the grape picking, working from 6:00 a.m. ’til lunch three or four days a week-pulling in around 600 dollars.
Manchild’s sponsored by Volcom, gets his boards off Dave Macaulay’s ACT label, and wears Gav Beschen’s old Body Glove wetsuits. He loves going to parties-always hoping he’ll catch a couple of fights from the sidelines-and will happily slip in a boot if he dislikes one of the fighters. Probably a virgin, too. Saving it for love. Saving his idealistic seed for the future. The kid rules.-Derek Rielly