This is Part 3 in a three-part interview, broken up for online attention spans.
Flynn Novak finished fifth at Pipe this year. Kelly Slater gave him huge props on his Innersection. And he's the only surfer in the world currently pulling legitimate backflips.
He also has no proper sponsor. No travel budget. No savings. And no emo art-guy surf blog marketability plan. He has really spiky hair.
He's a 27-year-old pro surfing lifer who never quite made it big.
But he landed another backflip at Padang today. He may just land one tomorrow, too. The Kustom Airstrike practically owes him $50,000. And this just might be his big shot.
If there's any brand out there who needs a hardworking, Pipe surfing, North Shore team rider with too-spiky hair who can do backflips into the barrel — please call 808-555-FLIP. Operators are standing by. —Nathan MyersKUSTOM AIRSTRIKE
SURFING Magazine: What happened on Innersection?
FLYNN NOVAK: They have a rule where you can't have any double-up clips [clips that are recycled or used somewhere other than Innersection]. I did everything I could to search to make sure I didn't have any that had been published, but basically, there was a bit of rivalry hype to create some excitement, and someone on the other side did some digging, found that clip and then got me DQ'd. It kinda ripped me apart, but at the same time, I feel like that happened for a reason. If I win the Kustom Airstrike. Man, I gotta win that thing.
Did you think Dusty's air reverse should have won the Airstrike last year?
No. I thought Jay Davies' eight-foot alley-oop or Mitch Coleborn's inverted rodeo should have won. Ry Craike also had a crazy alley-oop that was pretty bizarre. Those ones stood out. But Dusty's didn't.
How do you think your flip rates with the other moves on the site?
At least my air is something no one's ever seen before, instead of just the same shit everyone's seen for the last eight years. Everyone's seen alley-oops. Everyone's seen rodeos and air reverses.
How much would winning the Kustom Airstrike's $50,000 change things for you?
It would make me breathe a huge sigh of relief. I'm on my last dime here. I think if anyone in the running deserves it, it would be me. Everyone else posting clips up there is already being taken care of. I just hope that they practice what they preach this year and award the most innovative air of the year.
Well, the Kustom Airstrike entry window ends next week. Good luck to you.
[Flynn would like to thank everyone who's supported him all these years, especially the Jones family, without whom he would never have made it this far.]
Submissions for the 2010 Kustom Airstrike must be in by August 31. Here again is Flynn Novak's entry: