Drifting Alongby Craig Jarvis / 03.11.2009
The ASP has had the injury wildcard for a number of years, but the jury is still out as to whether they always use it fairly. When Rob Machado was injured in 2001 with a broken wrist, it was assumed that he would get the injury wildcard. He had been a runner-up in the world title race a few years earlier, and had consistently placed high in pro events the world over. When the injury wildcard was awarded, many say unfairly, to Shane Beschen and Machado was left out in the cold, it was a shock to Machado. Still in the prime of his competitive years, he took it badly, feeling betrayed by many of his friends and fellow surfers. Still, like a good game of The Weakest Link, the strategy was to get rid of an excellent surfer to improve the chances of the other average surfers.
Rob went into the wilderness so to speak, free surfing, travelling, and working with sponsor Hurley. Half of the surfing world still worshipped him and many still reckoned the he was the best goofy-footer around, but in a surf universe dominated by Kelly Kelly Kelly he drifted away from the limelight.
Now he seems to have drifted right back in with his new autobiographical movie called The Drifter.
This movie brings us back up to speed with the life and times of Rob Machado, and reminds why he held such iconic status amongst surfers worldwide. Alone, on a search for peace and for soul, Rob ventures out of his comfort zone and goes exploring in empty swathes of Indonesia. Along the way epic line-ups, red-hot surfing, and the thoughts of Machado confront us as he experiences a very different side to life that he is accustomed to. After throwing away his cellphone and buying a pretty smashed up motorbike, Rob heads out into the yonder with his thoughts and diary for company. He finds many things along the way. Perfect and empty waves, beautiful local people with amazing customs and culture, and he embraces how he feels about life, the universe and everything in his monotoned reflections of life in the jungle.
Accompanied by a mellow soundtrack that includes Bon Iver, The Raconteurs and Rob himself, this DVD puts the groove back into groovy surf movies.