Stab Magazine | Watch: Yadin Nicol in "Vague + Profound"

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Watch: Yadin Nicol in “Vague + Profound”

David Malcolm’s new film follows four years of one of surfing’s most well-rounded progressives. Co-starring Damien Hobgood and Dillon Perillo!

cinema // Nov 10, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 6 minutes

When I was 10-years-old, becoming a pro surfer seemed like not only the best, but also a completely realistic career path. As it turns out, my naiveté did not end there. Not even close.

You see, 10-year-old me thought surfing was the best job ever, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the ability to drop everything — wife, kids, DMV appointments — at a moment’s notice in pursuit of pumping waves. But as I’ve come to learn, pro surfers are just like everyday people (albeit with superhuman abilities).

Their wives need perpetual love and attention, their kids need around-the-clock care, and the DMV waits for no man, regardless of his waveriding ability. If there is a better example of this reality than surfing’s cult-hero-turned-papa-bear-extraordinaire, Dane Reynolds, then it must be Yadin Nicol.

Yadin’s career has been epic by all accounts. He’s starred in the biggest cinematic hits of our generation (Modern Collective, every Joe G film), he had a stint on the CT (I’m still mad about that heat he “lost” to Mick at Pipe), and perhaps best of all, he seems to be genuinely adored by all of his peers. Despite this success, Yadin’s role has slowly transitioned from an industry It-Guy to a husband and father whose job happens to be riding waves. It’s just what happens when you’ve got a family.

Now, does Yadin still tear the shit out of sections? As you’ll see in his newest clip, Vague + Profound, the answer is unequivocally yes. But instead of doing ten film trips a year, Yadin now does only a few — that’s why this clip took several years to compile and complete. And to be fair, Yadin wasn’t really trying to make an edit. It just kind of… happened. I’ll let him explain.  

yadin turn poorolddave

Sometimes you’ve gotta let the big dog eat. Frame: Dave Malcolm

Stab: So, Dave Malcolm just us sent us your new clip… thing is pretty mental. How long have you been working on it? 
Yadin Nicol: Aw, thanks. I haven’t really been working on anything to be honest, I just have a bunch of footage from California over the years, then Damo and I did a trip together, then Dill and I did a trip together, and it was all just sitting on a hard drive, so I figured it’d be cool to put something out. It wasn’t really meant to be a film or anything, it’s kinda just a mass footage dump.

Did you film most of this with Dave Malcolm, or did he just make the edit?
Nah, I just had Dave edit it. I really like the way he puts together his stuff. It’s not trying to be edgy or anything like that. It’s just light and fun, so I asked if he could put it together.

[Editor’s note: “Vague + Profound’s” remarkable footage was captured by Jacob Vanderwork, Darren Muschett, Jorgito Rivera, and Andrew Schoener, and produced by Vacation Club]

Is there any relevance to the name, Vague + Profound?
It’s hard to name a clip [laughs]. Sometimes it’s just a thing you’re saying on a trip, like an inside joke or whatever, but this one we just were kinda laughing at some of the titles that get thrown out there. You’re kinda scratching your head like, “What does that even mean?” [laughs]. So yeah we just got Vague and Profound from that.

damo wipeout jacobvanderwork

Yadin specifically wanted to include his friends in V+P. Here, Damo takes one for the team. Frame: Jacob Vanderwork

[Laughs] Basically just taking the piss out of everything else you’re seeing in the industry?
Yeah, kinda… a little bit. Without being a dick about it [laughs].

And what else do you have going on? I assume the QS is still your primary thing right now?
Nah, it’s not. It was, and then… I don’t know, I love competing, but the way that it’s set up… there’s just the worst conditions ever, and I know some people like the four-man priority but in bad waves, it’s just hard to come back if you don’t get the best wave of the heat. I don’t know, I’ve done it for too long, kinda been there done that. I’m happy just.. to not do it [laughs].

So you’re done then, competitively?
Yeah, kinda… I mean I, fuck, I might do a one star, two star, three star, whatever they are. I can’t get into the six stars and primes so I’m not concerned with it that much.

yadin tube2 jacobvanderwork

Yadin may not be traveling as much as his early twenties, but now when he goes on a trip, he reaaaally makes it count. Frame: Jacob Vanderwork

I guess that means you’ll just be traveling for clips! Got your eyes set on Hawaii? Or maybe back to the homeland in West Oz?
Yeah, looking at a California forecast isn’t that exciting, so I’m stoked to get a few waves elsewhere. I don’t think we’re gonna do the full 4-6 in Hawaii this year, but I’ll probably get over there at some point. And yeah, West Oz is always in the back of my mind, but they’re going into summer right now which is pretty shit for waves, so maybe when it gets back into season.

It seems like your son’s been surfing a lot at least.
Yeah, it’s kinda cool living in Cali for that reason. The waves are pretty much catered to a five-year-old [laughs]. To be honest, when the waves have been under head-high, he’s all stoked on surfing now and it’s kind of annoying. It cuts into my surf time. Like last year I could go, “Ok it’s too big for him,” when I’d want to surf, but this year it’s like “Ah fuck, King wants to surf.

So he’s too frothing now? Dad can’t even surf anymore [laughs].
It’s getting down to that. It’s fuuuucked [laughs].

He just needs to get a little older so that he can take care of himself in the water. Then you guys can enjoy it together.
Yeah he’s getting there… they just can’t paddle when they’re that small. At this age I just try to get him as many waves as possible, because it’s better than watching him struggle trying to get back out. I’m kinda just a human jet ski to him [laughs]. It’s really fun though, that’s kinda all I’ve been doing honestly.

When there’s a pro surfer with a kid, I feel like there are two completely different ideologies. It’s either, “I don’t want my kid doing contests at all,” or “You’re doing contests every weekend, training every day, and eating your Wheaties.” Which dad are you?
Honestly I’m not that into him doing contests. Today was actually the first time he ever brought up contests — saying that he wants to do them. I was like “Fuck dude, maybe when you’re six”, kinda trying to talk him out of that [laughs]. But I was asking Taj Lindblad about it a little while back, like, “Don’t you get sick of doing all these contests?” And he said, “Well I’m gonna be at the beach anyways, so I might as well be at the beach with my friends at the contest.” So there are different ways you can look at it. But at this age I feel like it’s just for the dads, so I’m gonna stay away for as long as possible — until he begs me to do it [laughs].

*      *       *       *       *      *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

So as I was saying, Yadin isn’t quite on the surf all day, everyday vibe anymore. But despite his fatherly duties, it’s still surfing that pays the bills and puts food on the Nicols’ family table. That’s why every once in a while, when all the isobars align, Yadin can pull the “work” card and get a few days off from daddy/hubby life. Take, for example, this wave from Namibia earlier in the year, which Yadin caught on the day of his 10-year wedding anniversary. “Thank you wifey!” Yadin screams into his GoPro after an 8-second tube. “Happy anniversary!” he squeals, after barrel number two.

Maybe 10-year-old me wasn’t so naive after all.

 

 

 

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