New EDGEtv Influencer, Nic Lamb, is the surfer of the future, today. Back in the 90s and early-aughts, big wave surfers were largely a fringe element; hardcore dudes with superhuman calm in heavy water. Some of them had day jobs – construction, plumbing, commercial fishing – and most of them wore jeans, flannels, beanies, and showed up to the breaks in salt-corroded pickup trucks.

Enter Nic Lamb: freshly-pressed three-piece suit, Hollywood acting aspirations, training with a UFC coach, dialed-in diet. But this is the surfer we predicted two decades ago, sort of like how Back to the Future anticipated some of the millennial tech of today. When asked what it was like growing up in Santa Cruz surrounded by big wave icons like Flea, Barney, and Ratboy, he said, “Inspiring yet informative. I learned how to approach a wave by watching close, and also learned what things to avoid on land.”

There you have it: a new generation of surfer who has studied and pays homage to the techniques of those who came before, but also taken note of what not to do, namely, get caught up in substance abuse and the party life.

The dude is hella focused on training. Even his response to a question about how he trains mentally for big waves ended up back to his physical training: “My preparation is a culmination of all the years of training and time spent in the ocean. My equipment is being fine tuned from swell to swell as well as my fitness and increasing VO2 max. My mental preparation is knowing I’ve put in the work and time, reminding myself, then showing up to perform fresh and energized.”

No quasi Buddhist/yogi/mystic stuff here, folks, just straight-up warrior training. He knows he’s ready because he knows he’s ready.

Though he embodies the surfer we envisioned twenty years ago, even Nic dreams of big things to come in the surf industry. When we asked him how he supposes¬†professional big wave surfers can achieve the exposure and paychecks of other professional athletes (MLB, NBA, UFC…), he responded:

“I feel the Big Wave Tour needs to find a network home.¬†Stronger marketing and more robust character development. Pre/post event press conferences. With the release of Kelly’s Wave tech (performance wave pools) the surf industry will be able to bring the stadium experience to the fans where spectators can view live with each other like never before. Concession stands, vendors, merch all this will be possible. Surfing is in the Olympics now. Watch for cities worldwide licensing the wave tech to foster new talent for upcoming Olympic potential. This will as a byproduct help the surf industry as a whole.”

Nic’s vision of a brave new world of surfing is, indeed, already underway, and he seems like the perfect person to meet it head on. In the meantime, we’re pumped to watch him slay analog waves of the 60’+ kind from the safety of our armchairs.

Even if they create the perfect wave pool, we’re sure Nic will never turn his back on the sea. In his own words: “The ocean is my playground as well as my place of work. However, I started and continue to build in the ocean because it’s what I love to do, and where I love to be. It’s where I feel most alive. It energizes me. At the end of the day the role stays the same but I improve as a performer incrementally.”

The Future Now: Nic Lamb

About The Author
- Jeff McElroy is a Ventura and Mammoth Lakes-based writer. His surf/coast-inspired short story collections, CALIFORNIOS and CALIFORNIOS 2 have received awards and accolades within the boardsport and literary communities. He writes about adventure athletes and the wild places for EDGEtv Network. When he's not writing, he's surfing, backpacking, snowboarding, and trail-running with his wife and Jack Russell Terrier.

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