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Yadin Nicol, Ventura, California

Yadin Nicol is a world tour rookie and as committed a surfer as you’ll likely find. Not committed in a training/protein-shake way, but committed in a go-for-broke and try to stomp everything kinda way.

You’ve seen Yadin in Kai Neville’s films, Modern Collective and Lost Interest. Here’s why: Most men in said films, and more particularly the ones who compete on the world tour and slot trips in-between contests, don’t like committing to an air that’s too big. Which is understandable – no-one wants to miss a fistful of tour stops ’cause of a busted hinge. But Yadin, for better or worse, will commit to any air on any size wave. Big, full-roters. His strike-rate may not be as high, but what he does settle can often be mind-bending. Need further proof? After trying to qualify for the world tour for five years, Yadin finally scooped enough points to qualify for 2011’s mid-year rotation. But, during a trip to Japan for Kai’s new film, Dear Suburbia, Yades blasted a lien air-revs, and, as he remembers: “I guess the wave exploded while I was coming down backwards and it pushed my board up while I had all my weight on my back foot. My foot felt like it got folded sideways and I knew straight away that it was bad.”

Since recovering and beginning his rookie year, two 13th’s at the first two events haven’t been ideal, but Yades has impressed in every heat, especially with a frontside full-rote in the Bells shorepound and easily the best Stab‘d seen there (until Kelly’s final helicopter.)

Though he’s from WA, Yades lives in California. His wife, Bella, just brought their first child into the world and, though Yades would like to raise his kid in WA ideally, Santa Barbara will be a place they’ll happily navigate together: “The good things are, pretty much the world is here, you can get everything and anything you want,” he says. “But, that’s also a bad thing, you can get anything, stuff that isn’t good and you can get caught up in it so you have to work out the balance of it, how much is enough. I mean, a rock and twigs was all I needed in Gracetown to keep me occupied so I don’t know what it’s gonna be like to grow up here. I guess I’ll go through it with my kid and find out. Ask me in 15 years.”

One of the best things about Barbs, howevs, can be the waves. Recently his area took a run of good swell, but it was punctuated by unfavourable winds. On his way back from surfing a river mouth, Yades spotted the jetty starting to turn on. Along with Pat and Frank Curren, Yades surfed the wave y’see here until he couldn’t paddle or stand up anymore.


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