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Wingnut Makes it through - image from Surfline

Robert Weaver

When longboard surfing exploded in popularity in the early 1990s, only two or three surfers were poised to capitalize on the phenomenon. For a select few, sponsorship, travel, and a degree of fame were on offer. One of these was a young surfer from Newport Beach, California. Robert Weaver—nicknamed Wingnut—staked a claim before just about anyone. Mentored by ’60s luminaries Mike Marshall, Bruce Brown, and Robert August, Weaver become a link between traditional and modern longboard surfing.

In the early-’80s, Wingnut slipped in through the service entrance via appearances in regional club events. Now, it’s as if he was always a part of the surfing community. This effect can be explained away in part by his accomplished noseriding and general watermanship. His artful longboarding is taken straight from the movie projectors of Bud Browne and Bruce Brown; there’s some Phil Edwards in his attack, a dose of Hynson in his nonchalance, and no small measure of Mark Martinson when he’s in the pocket.

But the wave riding is hardly the whole story. Wingnut loves to be the center of attention. A natural jester, he lives for the chance to blow minds with his off-color humor, well-timed jibes, and all-purpose goofiness. These talents, combined with a keen head for business, have allowed him to build an enviable life as a professional surfer. The best part? He doesn’t even have to surf contests.

Robert has a skill set that is rare in the pro surf world. A strong work ethic, a university degree, and a mad desire to live a full life place him outside the ranks. Throughout his ascendancy, he’s made a favorable impression on just about everyone he’s dealt with. Friends and competitors alike bow before his energy; Wingnut has the capacity to make a so-so day memorable…

 

- Scott Hulet extract from Surf History


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