Friends of The House: Rob Machado Q&A

Friends of The House: Rob Machado Q&A

Friends of The House: Rob Machado

Rob Machado is one of the most legendary professional surfers of all time—he is also a musician, artist, activist, father, and all-around amazing guy. He was the pioneer of the Free-surfing movement which revolutionized the sport of surfing, and still spends much of his time traveling the world to surf. The rest of his time is spent with his family in Encinitas, CA where he and his wife, Sophie, own a boutique called Salt Culture. Rob also shapes and designs his own line of boards, Rob Machado Surfboards. We had the pleasure of meeting Rob through his work with Fire on The Mountain, which premiered at World of McIntosh. He was featured in the film and played a a pivotal part in the creation of an immersive art piece displayed at the townhouse during the premiere.

In Fire on the Mountain you go surfing at night with lights on your wet suit and board— Can you describe what that was like? Have you ever done anything like that before?

I have definitely never done anything like that before in my life.  I’ve tried to surf at night, but it was always just for fun and never for a project.  to be out there in the middle of the night at a reef pass in the middle of the Indonesian islands with no land markers to help guide you felt almost impossible at first.  We had some interesting moments that first night… all the trial and error that we had to overcome.  One of the best moments was the first time I jumped off the boat with all the lights turned on (both my board and wetsuit) and just hoping that I wasn’t going to get electrocuted.

Music has been a central part of your life— you were even in a band! How has music inspired you throughout the course of your career and personal life?

Music has been a guiding force behind everything I do.  Music for me is a soundtrack to life… I attach certain songs to certain locations and experiences.  It’s always there for me.    

Do you find creativity plays a role in your surfing?

Surfing is all about creativity.  and what makes it so great is the fact that it’s never the same. It’s an ever-changing playing field that always keeps you guessing and always keeps the creativity flowing.

You’ve been hailed as the “goofy-footed style master.” Did that style come naturally, or do you draw inspiration from outside sources for your surfing?

I think naturally you grow up being drawn to certain people’s styles who inspire you. That evolves into you channeling that inspiration into your own version which makes us all unique. I can sit here and try to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix all day long but it’s never going to happen. But it will influence me and my style that evolves from that. Hope that makes sense.

Does being in the ocean relax your mind or bring it to life with new ideas?

The ocean is where I feel most clear and relaxed. I like to think of it as a meditative state that I can’t find anywhere else. I’m so lucky to have formed the relationship with the ocean that I have today. It took years and years and it keeps getting better.

As a Friend of The House, what is your favorite part of being at WOM?

WOM literally blew my mind.  I couldn’t stop dreaming of the day when I will have a system in my own house. Everywhere you turn there is something that blows your mind. On all levels.

How do you describe the energy when you enter the townhouse?

I really had no idea what i was walking into.  I like to think of it as sensory overload.  So much amazing stuff around every corner.  art, music, inspiration… it’s everything i dream about.  and to be in the center of New York city just makes it that much cooler.

What has quarantine been like for you at home with your family?

We as a family have embraced the quarantine life… we’ve taken advantage of the time to be at home and to appreciate everything we have. We’ve completely stripped our house down and asked ourselves… do i really need this? Simplify our existence. Less is more. Cooking at home more and enjoying each other’s company more than ever. So from our point of view it’s been amazing for us.


  • Favorite city to visit? NEW YORK
  • A favorite surf spot? You don’t have to give away your secrets SEASIDE REEF
  • Favorite food? ITALIAN
  • Best concert you’ve ever been to? BON IVER
  • Superpower of choice? DOLPHIN POWERS

Share post: