June 7, 2002–California surfing icon Rob Machado looks as if he’s finally nailed down a new clothing sponsor after years of uncertainty with his current sponsor Gotcha. Machado has agreed in principle to a deal with HURLEY International. At press time, the terms of the agreement were still undisclosed, and Gotcha lawyers are still working to release Machado from any former contractual residue. While rumors have been floating around the industry for months as to which company Machado would go with, the HURLEY direction does seem to be a natural fit.

Machado wasn’t available for comment Friday morning, but Bob Hurley said, “I’m sure [Machado] could have gotten more from somebody else, but he fits right into our family here, so he being a part of our team is a totally organic thing.”

Though Machado has always had other sponsors, he’s been circling the Hurley wagon for years. “He’s always popped his head in here,” continued Hurley. “We were making him wetsuits and putting Gotcha logos on them; he’s in a band with Peter King, who’s our longest running team rider; we’ve supported a bunch of Taylor Steele’s projects, who’s one of his best friends, and he hangs out with Chris, Keith and Dan Malloy.”

Machado will have no shortage of fun projects to work on as part of the Hurley team. Hurley has just launched their own record label, so he and Peter King will have lots to jam about, and there are several new film projects in the pipeline with budding directors like Chris Malloy and Scott Soens getting plenty of support from Hurley. “At the end of the day,” added Hurley, “everyone just wants to have fun, and I think Rob sees that there’s plenty of it available here.”–Chris Mauro