If you’ve seen the NEWS article on the Rob Machado Experience comp, you’ll know there’s something afoot at Dragon. Well you’d be right, they’re releasing a new line of eyewear, developed in association with the man Machado himself. Here’s a look at what they have to offer and an insight into what went into their development from the man himself. It all seems pretty sound, and being environ mentalists here at Surf Europe, we’re digging the 100% renewable eco-specs.
Rob’s introduction into the surfing spotlight came during the early 90’s where he was a part of the group known as the “Momentum Generation”, a surf movement known for their radical maneuvers. Rob had plenty of highlights during his competitive career but none so well documented as his win at the Pipeline Masters in 2000. After that win the image of him pulling into a Pipeline cave using the bullseye logo design was etched into our minds forever. “This was the spray that I used during the last years I had on tour. I got the idea to do it after seeing the album artwork for Ben Harpers album, Fight For Your Mind. I loved that album… It was my first real taste of Ben’s music and I instantly became a fan. On the back cover he had all these different bullseye color combinations that I really dug and ended up using a few of them on my boards”. The most publicized of these was in 2000 when Rob won Pipe and finished 4th on the World Tour. This win became to be a highlight in Rob’s professional surfing career. The same bullseye can be found on the temple of the Momentum SKU.
Mellow Tort SKU
At the end of 2001 Rob retired from the WCT and moved into a free-surfing career, a category of professional surfing that didn’t even exist yet. It allowed him to explore the oceans in a way never really done before. The formula was simple: Find the best, uncrowded waves in the world and surf them. “2001 was a really strange year… After having such a good year in 2000 I was fired up and honestly thought that if there were ever a time I was going to win a world title, 2001 would be it. But I injured my hand early in the year, which wasn’t major but it did keep me out of the first couple of contests. It was also that year that the 9/11 tragedy occurred and the ASP subsequently cancelled the Europe leg of the tour. At the end of 2001, I applied for the injury wildcard they give out every year, but missed out and it was also around that time that my major sponsor at the time went out of business… So there I was at the end of 2001 not on tour, and with no major sponsor. It kind of baffled me that after such a great year in 00 to be now sitting there with no major sponsor and nothing on my agenda… So, I just kept surfing, and I began to realize after time that I didn’t really want to be on tour anymore. That desire to compete was no longer there and that I was really enjoying having a blank page meant that I could go anywhere at anytime rather than just being given a sheet with a list of dates telling you where you had to be the whole year. I was free.” To capture the essence of Rob’s departure from the tour and discovery of bohemian life, the Mellow Tort features an unconventional tortoise pattern with psychedelic rays of goodness throughout.
Nowadays Rob is really focused on raising awareness on environmental issues. In 2003, Rob launched ‘The Rob Machado Foundation’. Initially created to support music educational programs, Rob switched the foundations focus to environmental issues and promoting education programs within Elementary Schools The E.C.O, or, Environmentally Conscious Optics, is an initiative by Dragon inspired by Rob to actively investigate methods of manufacturing environmentally friendly sunglasses. The result is the first EVER sunglass with material made from 100% renewable origin that is replenished through natural processes at a rate that matches the rate of consumption. “Its important to me that as society becomes more aware on environmental issues, we keep asking the questions on what can be done to reduce our impacton the planet and then how best it can be communicated to the generation of tomorrow. If no one asks the question, nothing gets done. I’m stoked that Dragon has taken the initiative to start looking at ways in which the industry can reduce its impact on the environment. The fact that they can now make a frame material that is made from a 100% renewable resource is amazing and I’m stoked that Dragon has stood up and asked the question. I think is a great step forward for the surf industry and im really glad to be a part of it.”