In 1995, at the Pipe Masters, something incredible happened: Rob Machado and Kelly Slater high-fived each other. At one of the most important moments of both of their careers, Rob and Kelly simply took a second to remind each other — and the world — that they were friends, despite the fact that they were surfing against one another. Just two friends who grew up surfing, sitting alone at Pipeline, trading waves. We, in fact, made a film about it, which you can watch here. It’s good. We’re proud of it.
But all those years ago, when they were slapping palms on the North Shore, neither of them could imagine that, more than two decades later, Rob would be surfing in a wave pool far away from the ocean. A wave pool created largely by Kelly Slater. A wave pool that would be the setting for a reality television show centered around surfing. It did happen, though, and Rob’s timeless style marries well with any wave, man made or not. The video above shows Rob Machado surfing a 5’9″ Sunday by Firewire at The Ranch in Lemoore. And we’d bet that if Kelly was sitting in the lineup, they’d high-five each other.