di Erika Scafuro
Rob Machado is part of the 90’s generation that experienced the peak of its professional surfing career when surfing was not yet that contemporary machine of one event after another, a stressful tour and constant travel from place to place. Back then, surfing was more free-spirited, and Machado absolutely represents that generation of surfers, as Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox, Shane Dorian and more, who enjoyed the time spent together and formed a community united in the name of a common passion that took them around the world in search of the perfect wave; that community of surfing legends, so tightly knit that they are called the Momentum Generation because they marked an era.
Born in Australia in 1973, he moved to California with his family when he was just a kid. His career as a professional surfer began in 1993 when he joined the former ASP World Tour and he immediately proved to be a great surfer always reaching top positions in the ranking. Machado can boast twelve victories in the WSL Championship Tour, he has always stood out for his free style that continues to be admired by surfers around the world, despite the fact that in 2011 he decided not to compete anymore as a professional surfer in the Championship Tour.
Many epic moments are remembered from his career, which obviously includes his friendship with Kelly Slater of which we remember the famous high five during the Pipe Masters in 1995: that gesture, made during the semifinal, as well as symbolizing a friendship outweighed the competition, gave value to the true meaning of surfing, that feeling and experience that define it.
Machado did the story of surfing so much so that it has been entered into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in 2000, reconfirmed in 2006.
Machado has also become a surfing icon for the way he sees this passion not only in the water: he is a spokesperson for the true essence of surfing, not just a sport and a passion, but a true and free lifestyle; he has a very creative personality that also leads him to design and shape surfboards. But not only because, together with Kelly Slater, he also starred in movies like The Drifter by Taylor Steele and – their characters and voices- took part in the animated film Surf’s Up.
Machado is always involved in projects and various social causes as the Rob Machado Foundation caring for the planet and the ocean and giving positive actions for a sustainable change.
A great surfer, but also a great person: that’s how you become true icons and idols for all those who capture the true essence of surfing.