Rob Machado is one of roughly 10 surfers that we can call, without a hint of sarcasm or snark, an icon.
His surfing is iconic. His look is iconic. His board sales are not just iconic, but borderline criminal.
Apparently, San Diego’s 74th Salute to the Champions felt the same way, as just last evening, they inducted the Drifter into the Breitbard Hall of Fame, alongside fellow San Diegans like NFL star Reggie Bush and 4x MLB Championship winner, Jerry Coleman.
But before we celebrate, let’s be skeptical: what constitutes a “San Diegan”, or for that matter, an “American”?
As you may or may not know, Robert Edward Machado was born in Australia to an American father and British mother. He was then brought back to the US, and specifically to Cardiff By the Sea, where he’s lived since the age of four.
When he was a grom, his dad bought a motorhome specifically so he could drive it to NSSA contests and watch Charger and Padre games while his young son’s talent blossomed in the sea. Then Rob attended San Dieguito High School.
Today, he still resides in Cardiff in a large house overlooking ten-or-so waves that he lovingly refers to as the “one-mile-miracle.” He accesses them in his barely street legal “Creeper Van,” and of all the places he’s been in this great, wide world, it remains his favorite place to surf.
So yeah, that’s San Diego enough for us.
Several of Rob’s friends and family members were in attendance for the ceremony, including Damien Hobgood, who provided the above image on his Instagram.
It’s not every day that surfers are recognized for their contributions to sport and society outside of our niche community, so here’s a little reminder of Rob’s accomplishments that pushed him through the glass ceiling*:
– Pipe Masters winner
– US Open winner
– Former world #2
– #1 surfboard salesman
– “Best hair in the sport” 20-consecutive-year winner (the only thing, besides ping pong, that Rob consistently had over Kelly)
– Discovered acai berries in the Amazon rainforest
-Still jams the tunes with his band Sack Lunch
*Not this glass ceiling.
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