THE COKE DIVE AND DIGITAL TRIUMPH OF NICHOLAS ROZSA
Once upon a time, Nick liked to get wasted. Now he’s back into wasting waves.
A lot has been said about Nick Rozsa since he partied his way to rock bottom and than rose back to the top.
But STAB issue 59
said it better than most.
Here is the intro, but head over to STAB for the whole 3 chapters. It`s one of the more interesting stories in surfing right now.Words by Elliot Struck.
Nick Rozsa did, for a time, enjoy Cocaine. Just as he did, for a time, enjoy competitive surfing. But his taste lasted for neither. The cocaine helped him escape and it helped the good times roll.
But, the thing about the good times? They never keeps rolling.
As a kid, Nick was coming up, watching a modest pay cheque swell his bank account monthly. All he had to do was loosen his fins to the beach for a team of judges and let his pretty hair grow long.
But, in competition, sometimes, things don’t go your way. And, after a few bad calls, disenchantment came knocking. All of a sudden y’got a kid who’s sick of being a marionette. Sick of it all. And, maintaining salary and marketability is tough when your attitude’s regressing. So, the river runs dry.
Then there’s some light, someone else picks you up. Thing is, they sign what they think is a competitor, but what they really get is a jaded kid who just wants to do his thing, unshackled. Nick ain’t the first world-class talent to blow off contests, of course. It’s not enough to just wanna be a professional surfer. You have to need it. And, it’s tough because, at the beginning of a career, true talent doesn’t exist. There’s only the promise of the coming man.
Fast-forward a few years and you have a man who still doesn’t compete, but is paid a salary and surfs enough to release frequent web clips. These clips started with a series called Homegrown and have proven to be Nick’s surf career defibrillator. The quality of these clips is second only to those of Dane Reynolds’ site, Marine Layer Productions.
Nick is crucial because he’s proof of the afterlife. He’s a rarity because he ain’t rotting away as a surf coach or company rep, mumbling about his days in the sun. He successfully re-invented himself and from grassroots, he came back with finners and flow like few others. How many have blossomed, burntout and lost it all, become a dad, and fought their way back into the surfing world’s collective psyche (more than ever), all before they’ve lived a quartercentury?
Sure, the pay cheque might not yet reflect the talent and following he now has. But Nick’s clawed his way to cult hero. Before y’scream exaggeration, consider this: Collectively, the clips on Nick and his filmer Chris Papaleo’s Vimeo account, Salty Beards, have had 278.2k plays. On a Kai Neville boat trip, Dane Reynolds said: “I wanna do those backside finner-to-reverses like Nick Rozsa.”
After seeing Homegrown Pt II, Kelly Slater tweeted of Nick: “Best sponsorless surfer?”, before linking up for a surf with Nick to investigate just what the hell the deal was with this totally-super-electric tween daddy from Cali. Stab shares Mr Slater’s curiosity. And it’s for this reason we give you the insights below.