The Status Quo, with Yadin Nicol
It’s been an eventful few months for Yadin Nicol. The West-Australian had a string of solid prime and six-star results, starred in this year’s two biggest films, Lost Atlas and Year Zero, and, for the first time in his career, is in place to qualify for the ASP World Tour. Recently, while filming in Japan […]
It’s been an eventful few months for Yadin Nicol. The West-Australian had a string of solid prime and six-star results, starred in this year’s two biggest films, Lost Atlas and Year Zero, and, for the first time in his career, is in place to qualify for the ASP World Tour. Recently, while filming in Japan for Kai Neville’s next project (already?), Yades hurt himself bad, real bad. He’s now at home on the couch, watching the Quik pro, NY and waiting to see if he’ll make the mid-year cut. Ever-interested in life on the ‘QS, Stab contacted Yades to find out what it’s like being in danger of watching a dream (tour) slip away.
Stab: You just injured yourself filming for Kai Neville’s next project – tell me about it.
Yadin Nicol: We’d been in Japan for about four days and had a coupla really good sessions. The trip was so fun, still one of the funnest I’ve been on in a long time. I did the injury on a lien air-reverse. I was a little off balance and the section wasn’t that big, but I thought that if I landed softly I might’ve been able to make it. The air itself didn’t feel that big, neither did the section, so I didn’t expect what happened next. 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. I was surprised that the initial break didn’t hurt. I caught the next wave in and when I got far enough to stand on one leg, I gave my buckled one a little shake to see how bad it was. I’m not sure why I thought that shaking my leg was a good idea, but I didn’t really know how else to see how bad it was. After I saw my foot flop back and forth I was seeing stars. I called over Kaito Sekimoto and Shuji Kasuya to help me out. They got me up the beach and put me on a surfboard and a bunch of the local boys carried me to the car park.
What was the prognosis? I went to the hospital and had an x-ray. Turns out I broke my fibula and did some damage to my ligaments. They put a splint around my hoof and gave me what they said was pain medication. I didn’t really think too much about what they’d given me until about half an hour later on the way back to the hotel, when I was still in crazy amounts of pain. It turns out that if you break your leg in Japan they give you Voltaren – an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory! I was pretty baffled. I flew out late the next day and as soon as I got to LA, I met with Dr. Warren Kramer and he put my ankle back together the following morning. I’m not sure how long I’m gonna be out, hopefully six weeks for the break to heal and then I’m hoping a couple more after that for the ligaments to get back to normal.
Let’s talk about qualifying for the World Tour. I’m waiting to see what happens in New York, to find out if I’ll qualify for the halfway cut off. Apart from (Gabriel) Medina, there’s only me and Miguel (Pupo) in the top 32 from the ‘QS. If Miguel and I don’t make it this time around, I don’t see anyone from the QS having that great of a chance to make it after Pipe, seeing as though there’s only three prime events and for the guys on the WT there’s eight events (five WT’s plus the three Primes.) It seems way more favourable for the guys on the WT. The Star tour feels dead. The three-tier system sounds like it should work, but it’s pretty shitty. The old system was so much better. At least you knew where you stood and what you needed to do to qualify. Now we have no idea where anyone stands. Six-star events are held in such shitty waves, and in those conditions everyone surfs well so it comes down to a lot of luck.
How long have you been trying to qualify? I’ve been trying for three and a half years. The first year, I would’ve done anything to get through a heat and when I didn’t make it, I was pretty shitty on the whole contest thing. The second year, I was pretty checked-out for the most part. I did it, but I kind of half-assed it. Because I got so close the year before, I figured that that’s what I was supposed to do. The third year year, I changed my attitude and wasn’t really getting the results that I was hoping for until the back half of last year. I got a few results and it rolled over into this year. I’m not sure what is going to happen until after New York. If I were to qualify, then I guess I’d have to wait for my leg to get better and hope there’s a contest left for me to put a singlet on! I hope Miguel and I make the mid-year cut. In the meantime I’m just relaxing, hanging out with my wife and dog.
Tell me about starring in this year’s two biggest films. Lost Atlas and Year Zero were so much fun. I had a better time filming Year Zero, it felt like the trips I did for that had more gun waves. I really like both movies. Kai did such a good job putting together Lost Atlas, I like how raw it is compared to anything else that has been made before, and Joe G is so creative with his movies so I was stoked to be a part of both.
Having said that, why do you compete? Why not just film? I guess I want to make the CT because it was a goal of mine three-and-a-half years ago. I think it’s good to have goals in life whether it be in school, work or anything else. If I reach that goal, then it means I’m doing my job right. – Elliot Struck
The WSL Pumps Over 10 Million USD Per Year Into CT Prize Money
Here’s how much surfers make, and how dramatically that’s changed over the years.
The Worst Day Of Competitive Surfing (So Far) In 2023
With 2-point heat wins and 30-minute lulls, Day 3 of the Billabong Pro Pipeline was…
Unlocked: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers
Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film.
More Dane Reynolds Than You Can Stomach In One Serving
Chapter 11 TV is everything surf media needs.
Kanoa Igarashi On Concussions, Goose Chases, Title Visions, The Three Types Of Surfers CT’ers Encounter In The Water, And More
A candid and wide-ranging conversation with 2022 World #5.
Can Small-Scale Investors Buy Into Wave Pools?
Say you got $10k and a dream — what can you do?
An Early Pipeline Exit For Stephanie Gilmore Amidst GenZ Glory
Day Two of the 2023 CT season was a clear notice that the kids are…
Hand-Shaping, Glassing, And Finishing ’70s-Inspired Displacement Hulls Will Not Make You Rich
Profile: Tristan Mausse of Fantastic Acid is in it for all the right reasons.
Hassling, Head-Dips, and Broken Apple Watches
The 2023 CT is underway. Here's what happened on Day One of the Billabong Pro…
Stephanie Gilmore And Filipe Toledo Are The 2022 Stab Surfers Of The Year
Caity and Hughie take Best Juniors, “NOZ VID” wins best film, and Ho and Pringle…
Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More
A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.
“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”
Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…
Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different
With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…
WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’
Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?
Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners
Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence
Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth
A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.