Watch big-waver Natxo Gonzalez in: “I will have my glory day in the hot sun!”

Swollen muscle pressing against lungs! Perfect ten at Nazare! Follow the Basque gunslinger on the big-wave world tour.

In this compelling twelve-minute short, we follow the Basque surfer Naxto Gonzalez as he competes in the first two events of the big-wave tour, at Nazaré, Portugal, and Jaws, which is on the island of Maui, in the United States of America.

At Nazaré, Natxo, who is twenty-three, knifes a ten in his semi, and eventually finishes third; at Jaws, we go behind-the-scenes of that rather odd day where the event was cancelled because the waves were too big, the contest being finished in what Albee Layer described as “windy, small, average.

Natxo has a bit of an Owen Wright moment. He wipes out, goes home, spends the next day crawling around in agony. He is eventually hospitalised with some sort of swollen muscle pressing against his lungs.


Watch: Chas Smith and Rob Machado go to the Supermarket!

And where pushy Rob introduces Chas to his new four-fin only surfboard, the Seaside…

A couple of weeks before Christmas, the former tennis player turned world title contender and one-time foil to Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, visited the Seaside Supermarket in Cardiff, California.

Mr Machado was in urgent need of corn chips, salsa and beer. By coincidence, Chas sought a replenishment of his bar cart.

In the carpark conversation that ensues between the two old pals, Rob introduces Chas to his new surfboard model for Firewire (within his subset of Machado Surfboards), called The Seaside.

The surfboard, which is an update of last year’s Go Fish twin-fin model, was built around it being a quad. Rob had never ridden four-finners and was thrilled by the idea of designing a sled, and all its curves, around a board that could only be set-up as a quad.

(Rob also designed a set of small-wave quad fins to complement the board. They are Futures, of course, the official fin of BeachGrit and the fin system used by John John Florence, Jordy Smith etc.)

Rob tested the boards tuberiding capabilities at smallish (four-to-six-foot) Teahupoo, and in the weak but reasonably good quality waves at his homebreak, Seaside.

“Sexy outline, sleek curves. It’s fast, catches more waves…turns on a dime!” Rob tells Chas.

Does Chas buy Rob’s spiel?


Watch: Jack Robinson in “The Boy Who Carries His Own Lightning!”

It's a special gift, intangible, which bridges the gap between adequacy and greatness…

There are some performers, rare as blue butterflies, who carry around their own lightning. It has nothing to do with the sponsor stickers on their boards or how many contests they’ve won or how many times they’ve surfed Pipeline, although all that helps.

When the camera hits them, sock.

Kelly had it and Andy Irons. Medina and Toledo. And this medium-sized boy with “big bones and long muscles”, who turns twenty-one in three days and who has a head of hair that looks like a bale of hay that’s just exploded, named Jack Robinson.

He grew up in Margaret River, still lives there, and is the sort of surfer who will tear any visitor to shreds in a one-on-one heat.

This short film, if it was played to a cinema audience, would be greeted with rapturous applause. It’s the manifesto of a young man, told with authority.




Watch: Mavericks light up on day deemed too big for WSL’s “Pretty Big-wave tour!”

Come and see the now-famous "Chickens of the Sea" swell…

Four or five days ago, depending on your time zone, Mavericks shed its autumn coat for a brutal winter swell. Too big, of course, for the Pretty Big-Wave Tour’s contest which was ruled out for “safety reasons.”

In this video, made by Surfer magazine, we see tow and paddle on a day that would’ve made for wonderful viewing, especially as most of the combatants went surfing anyway, including WSL commentator Peter Mel.

From the presser:

Despite the WSL calling off the Mavericks challenge for the week, the most talented big-wave surfers from the Bay Area and around the world still took to the lineup to both paddle and tow into the famed big-wave spot. Kai Lenny continued to push boundaries in big-wave tow-in surfing with his aerial attempts, much like he did after the Jaws Challenge was called-off after being deemed “too dangerous.” Hell, if the WSL calling off a big-wave contest means an inevitable Kai Lenny tow-in exhibition, then who cares if another Big Wave Tour heat ever runs again? As you’ll see in Kyle Buthman’s edit above, yesterday wasn’t just a Lenny show but a day of charging by surfers hellbent on taming the raw Aleutian energy Mavericks threw at them. Featuring: Wilem Banks, Kai Lenny, Anthony Tashnick, Eli Olson, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Luca Padua, Jamie Mitchell, Tom Lowe, Nathan Florence, Torrey Meister, Nic Von Rupp, Pete Mel, and more.

Watch: Nic Von Rupp Knife Monster Mav’s Tube!

Best Mav's since 1993!

In this very dark, but compelling, clip, see the German-Portuguese shredder Nikolaus von Rupp get barrelled on the left at Mavericks in northern California.

“I ate shit all week, pulled my vest over 10 times and I was pretty close of calling it off for the lefts,” says Nic. “It’s a real beast that one, she’s got an anger of it’s own. Those 30 minutes where everyone got bombs were magical. Everything clicked and on this wave I almost fell three times, but I wanted to make one so bad that I powered through.

“On Wednesday afternoon the swell was up to twenty feet with a big period and 40 dudes out. There is nowhere to hide from the crowd besides going left. Lucas Chumbo set the tone packing a bomb left and things just escalated from there. Forty minutes of  back-to-back rides between Nathan Florence, myself, Chumbo, Torrey Meister, Koa Rothman and Manny Resano. I don’t like sitting around and waiting for a bomb, the left got us entertained.”
What sort of gun needed to subdue these sorta rhinos?
“Frick, no wave makes more nervous then Mavericks,” says Nic. “For the left, you gotta be below everyone, cope with twenty-foot ghost sets and ten-foot guns ready to chop you off. It’s a real deep-water slab that never breaks in the same spot and you gotta ride a nine-nine. And, angling a nine-nine into that ain’t easy. Stretch (William “Stretch” Riedel) gave me that board he had made for fletcher for knifing the lefts. Hand shaped in 2011, he says it’s best board he’s ever shaped. That thing felt like a six-six.”
Consensus on the quality of the swell?
“It was a wild ol week. Man. Evan Slater (big-wave expert) was calling it the best since 1993.”