Stab Magazine | The Status Quo, with Yadin Nicol

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 […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

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


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