After dedicating his entire life to competitive surfing, West Side’s favorite son Nat Young is at a pivotal crossroads in his already highly decorated career. As an amateur, he ticked all the boxes: multiple national championships, Pro Junior titles, yearly boat trips to Indonesia, all with the financial backing of some of the biggest brands in surfing. Once he qualified for the World Surf League’s Championship Tour in 2013, he continued to meet with incredible success, namely his coveted Rookie of the Year nomination, multiple finals showings, and two top-10 finishes.
Today, Nat finds himself in unfamiliar and understandingly uncomfortable waters. His personal life has already gone through dramatic changes in the past few years with the untimely death of his mother the start of a new family. Along with these big changes in his personal life, in April he failed to requalify for the Tour during the newly minted “Mid-Year cut”—a brutal culling of the Tour’s bottom twelve competitors halfway through the season. Suddenly he faced an important question: Do I really want this?