Nate: I was born right down the street at San Clemente Hospital and born and raised here in San Clemente till I was 10 and then moved to San Juan Capistrano.
2. BG: How did you get into surfing?
Nate: My dad surfed. He used to do a youth group. He was a pastor for a youth group and he would take kids every summer up El Capitan camp ground. I think I was 5 when I first surfed. It was actually at El Capitan camp ground. My mom and dad would go to the beach every summer and I would body board a lot when I was little. I would get beat up in the waves and then around 9 or 10 is when I started to surf pretty much all the time.
3. BG: Who are your influences in surfing?
Nate: I say now, just the guys I surf with. I really like the way (Mike) Losness surfs. Just kinda a different approach. I surf with the Gudauskas brothers a lot. But the guys when I was younger I really liked Cory Lopez, Chris Ward, Ed Crombley, Andy Irons and when I was really young Tom Curren.
4. BG: What was your most memorable moment on the WQS last year?
Nate: For me the most “good” memorable moment would have been the Santa Cruz for sure. With all the events you do there’s a lot of memorable things, but competitively it was probably Santa Cruz. My parents were there, my wife was there. We rented a house. So it was kinda like a vacation/contest all in one. It was really cool.
5. BG: How has the win at Santa Cruz changed your life?
Nate: It was the main reason why I got onto the WCT. That was a major change. To go from just a competitive surfer to one of the best surfers in the world and compete on that level. It’s basically where I’ve been trying to get to for four years now. It was a big step that got me on [the pro tour]. Throughout the year I had results, but that was the high point and most points that solidified me qualifying for the WCT.
6. BG: What do you hope to accomplish on your first year on tour?
Nate: “Rookie of the Year” is definetly one of my top goals and then my other goal is to make the top 15. To do that you just have to have a consistent good year and always be on your “A” game. Come in and surfing smart and getting the right waves. Just at that level the guys are really good. Rookie of the year is my main goal and re-qualify through the ‘CT.
7. BG: What do you look the most forward to on tour?
Nate: Win a event!! I don’t know there’s a bunch. It’s just an adventure competing. Now there are whole new venue’s that I haven’t surfed. I really look forward to Tahiti. The first contest at Snapper, the prestige of Bells. I don’t think it’s one thing it the whole-it’s just “The Dream Tour.” I don’t think you can sum it up in one word.
8. BG: What the best thing about being a Pro Surfer?
Nate: I get to surf for my job. I would do it anyway. To be able to do it as your job and your income and do what you love. A lot of people don’t get to experience that. Yeah, I’m blessed. It’s pretty rad.
9. BG: What is the worst thing about being a Pro Surfer?
Nate: I would say it’s kinda like a Catch 22 with me being gone so much. It could be tough. Like I’m getting ready right now to leave for 10 weeks straight. So it’s hard for people to relate to, but being gone for 10 weeks is tough. Just being away from my wife, family, friends and still having to operate while on the road to cover your expenses. It could be tough, but I’ve been doing it for awhile so I’m used to it. But for the average person and trying to do it you could be overwhelmed. 10 weeks gone is a long time.
10. BG: Any advice for kids who want to make the WCT?
Nate: I would just say is set your goals and enjoy it. There’s a lot of disappoint. It’s a individual sport and there could be jealousy and all that kind of stuff, the judges or there’s a lot of things that can get in your way. Don’t sweat the small stuff and just enjoy it. Enjoy the process of getting to where you’re at. One of the things I was forgetting was the things I accomplished. In a contest there’s 200 guys and there’s 1 winner. So majority of the time your losing and you kinda get down on yourself, but if it’s really something you want to do. Hopefully your making some money and getting paid to travel the world. So that in itself is a rad experience. Work hard, keep at it, don’t sweat the small stuff.