Visitor: Nick Marshall
Date: June 3, 2013
Time of day: 3:15 p.m.
Pit crew: Brother, Jake, and supermom, Hilary
Purpose of visit: To be interviewed for the NSSA Nationals webcast (which airs live here on July 2nd and 3rd)
Ulterior motive: To peep the portrait of him and his younger brother, Connor, outside the teepee in their backyard, which will appear in our September issue of SURFING.
If you could bottle a grom’s energy and sell it, you could confidently quit your day job. I’m reminded of that every year around this time, when a parade of kids march through the SURFING office to answer a few questions for the NSSA Nationals webcast. They’re all laughter and optimism and crazy neck tans. Morale at the office goes way up.
We did the annual cattle call last Monday and welcomed kid’s like Griffin Colapinto, John Mel, the McGill siblings and more. The last visitors of the day were Jake and Nick Marshall, the Encinitas grommets who are two-thirds of what will likely be the most prominent family surf trio since the Gudauskas brothers (who, coincidentally, might have figured out how to bottle that grom-energy). They came in with their mom, Hilary, and we exchanged pleasantries, hugs and high fives before going to the studio to knock out the interview.
Jake went first, and assistant editor Brendan Buckley lobbed him topical and random questions like how would you celebrate a Nationals win? and, what would you call a band made up of you, Carissa Moore and Dane Reynolds? He was poised in front of the camera, answering with confidence, until this one: Would you still want to win Nationals if it meant you could never use an Apple product for the rest of your life? Shoot…He thought for about 30 seconds. The cameras rolled. We stared. The hot lights shone down. And then finally, buried beneath the weight of a lose-lose situation, shook his head and said, “I dunno…apple pie is pretty good.”
Jake must have still had water in his ears from the morning session, and Hilary must make a mean apple pie.
Nick took the chair with the luxury of having heard the questions already. He breezed through the interview. He’d have dinner with his family if he won Nationals. If he were in a band with Carissa and Dane, they’d be the Jam Jam Jammers. And he sure does love those Apple products.
After we wrapped we went back to my office to look at next month’s magazine pinned up on the wall, and had the webcast for the VQS championships at Cloudbreak on in the background. On the wall there was a portrait of Nick and his little brother, Connor, outside the teepee in their backyard. It’s where the two of them sleep every night. Outside. In a teepee. For the last eight months. They’ve traded Facebook and WiFi for machetes and the great outdoors. If these kids are an indication, surfing’s future stars look bright.
As we talk about life in the teepee, a young VQS competitor threads a long Cloudbreak tube, emerges and throws his hands up in celebration. I turn to the boys. “What’s your favorite claim?” Jake shrugs, politely dodging the question with no right answer. But Nick dodges nothing. He takes a step back, flexes his biceps one at a time and then points to the sky in a classic Mr. Universe stance. Four words accompany the three-step claim: “Boom-Boom-Fire power!” We erupt in laughter. Nick blushes and giggles, like he’s thinking “Too comfortable too soon?”
But it wasn’t. It was perfect. Surfing’s future stars look bright. And fun.
Watch Nick debut the Boom-Boom claim at NSSA Nationals on July 2 and 3, right here at surfingmagazine.com. (And if you want a sneak preview, click here)