The Mad Hueys have a cult-like following with a massive social media audience, their own beer label and burgeoning clothing range. The Gold Coast madmen’s stunts include jumping in shark-infested water with birdcages on their heads and drinking beer underwater. Captain Blackbeard catches up with Damon ‘Stamos’ Nichols and discovers they’re just a couple of lads being themselves.
YOU’VE NOW GOT ALMOST 100,000 FACEBOOK FANS AND 200,000 INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS, PLUS CUSTOMERS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND IRELAND. HOW DID THE MAD HUEYS GET STARTED?
A couple of the boys entered a local fishing comp called the Flatty Classic about eight years ago and we needed a name for our team. We used to call each other ‘Huey’, and if we did something mad, we’d call each other a ‘mad Huey’. It was just a stupid thing we used to say. On the day of the comp, we thought, why not call ourselves the Mad Hueys? Then we started making hats and shirts for ourselves, and the rest is history.
ARE YOU GUYS STRIVING FOR WORLDWIDE DOMINATION?
We get asked that question all the time and the answer is not at all. When we started out and people seemed to like what we were doing we decided that if we got a new boat, then we would know that we’d made it. We’ve come a fair way since then, but our only motivation is to keep having fun and make the most of the good times.
WHAT ARE YOU ‘MAD’ ABOUT?
We’re not really mad, it just happens. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a camera there or not. Funny shit happens when we’re out fishing or surfing because being loose comes naturally to us. It’s always been like that since we’ve known one another. All that’s changed is that now we film it and share it with other people.
WHAT DOES BEING A MAD HUEY INVOLVE?
We love surfing and fishing. Really, we just love having fun and generally taking the piss outta everything we do! We’re just a bunch of guys having a laugh, a few beers, and trying to surf and fish.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT SUFING, FISHING OR FILMING?
Not much! I guess drinking, hanging with mates and family, or travelling. Most of us still work day jobs. I work in the mines and the Hazzas (Shaun and Dean Harrington) work in construction. We’re just average Joes trying to pay the bills. Brenno (Brent Dorrington) is trying to qualify for the CT (Championship Tour) next year by competing on the QS series. Hopefully he can do it. That’d be awesome.
WHAT ABOUT THE BUSINESS SIDE?
We have a beer label and online merchandise store which is going great guns. We employ three full-time staff to worry about that so we can focus on surfing, fishing, filming and beers. We put back in, too. We support Dean Morrison, an ex-pro surfer who now pursues big-wave riding, aspiring pro surfer Brent Dorrington and bass fisherman Carl Jocumsen, who’s on the US pro circuit. We also try to give back to the local community whenever we can. We’ve supported Legacy, the Cancer Council and the local homeless in Cooly. Giving back is something we feel strongly about and something we’ll continue doing.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT ATTRACTS SO MANY PEOPLE?
I guess it’s something people can relate too. Everyone loves having a beer when they’re fishing or when you finish work for the week and you just want go out and enjoy yourself! People want to travel and surf spots and fish and we’re lucky enough to do it and I guess we inspire them to get out and do the same after they have watched our videos.
At the end of the day though, I think people like us because we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we love having a laugh.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A MAD HUEY?
Anyone can be a Mad Huey. We don’t discriminate. You can ride a body board, surf or fish – we don’t care. We just want everyone to have fun and not give a shit! Get out there and enjoy yourself with your mates or family and live life! Like the saying goes, just let us live!
SOME MAD HUEYS STUNTS HAVE GONE VIRAL?
I’m pretty sure the shark cage stunt went into the stratosphere! Who does that, puts a birdcage on their head and swims with tiger sharks?
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE HATERS?
The whole thing about us is we just don’t give a shit if people write us off. We’re shit fishermen, but we couldn’t give a f**k! We just have a good time – and if someone doesn’t like it, so be it.
WHAT FISHING GEAR DO YOU GUYS USE?
We get looked after by a lot of people always hooking us up with insane gear such as custom rods. And we love our Bluefin boats. We love it all. Bring it on!
In their own words (from the Mad Hueys website)
The Mad Hueys are about getting up in the morning, looking out the window and saying ‘I’m the maddest Huey in this joint’. No barney, no wave, no fish, no boat, no rod, no person, no party can stop us, because we run with the deepest pack in the business. And just in case you forgot who it was, it’s The Mad F*****g Hueys!
TOP 10 HUEYS RULES
- When you’re out fishing, keep hydrated (with beer, unless you’re the driver).
- When in doubt, pull your shoe out.
- Live life to the max, have the best time ever.
- Don’t stuff around the boat, thinking you’re rippin’, or you’ll end up as the bait boy!
- Always trust your knots.
- (To all the wives and girlfriends) let us live.
- Always get to know your boat inside and out.
- Never say no to another Huey.
- Always trust the skipper. Never give him lip.
- No fish, no dinner.