He’s been called one of the most talented big wave surfers on the planet. But what makes Nathan Florence tick? And what makes him such a fit for the Blenders Entourage?
As it turns out, the answers to both those questions are beautifully intertwined.
Nathan Florence grew up in an oceanside home next to the lifeguard stand at Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore. His mom—Alex, a surfer/skater/dirt biker—would have it no other way.
Although Mama Florence grew up in Jersey, the ocean’s lure was an early and steady influence on her own life, and she started surfing every summer since she was 10. Nathan’s beach-centric home life thus comes as no coincidence—it’s one of those things that seem meant to be. He and brothers Ivan and John John (yes, that John John) were taken out on Alex’s board since before they could walk. Nature, nurture… Nathan had every reason to become a surfer.
But nothing could prepare the world for how he’d go about it.
Yes, Nathan may be the brother of a 2X WSL World Champion, but despite being heavy surf royalty, the crown here doesn’t lie heavy. It never has.
When you listen to Nathan and when you witness him on the waves, there’s no doubting just how happy and enamored he is with it all—there’s a lightness about him. He’s free of constraint and expectations, and it’s because he does things his way.
Case in point: In speaking with Stab Mag, Nathan quipped: “I… hate contests. I can’t stand them. I’d rather chase a swell and surf by myself in bigger waves than go grind it out in the CT.”
It’s that kind of thinking that separates Nathan. He’s not chasing someone else’s dream. And he sure as hell isn’t letting competition for competition’s sake consume him. As his Instagram bio reads, he’s a “Professional Surfer, Knife Throwing Extraordinaire, Cat Lover!” The man’s a voracious reader, too, having gobbled up the entire Game of Thrones series. And when he decided to offer in-depth surf tips and advice to subscribers, he turned to, of all places, OnlyFans.
Simply put, Nathan’s into what he’s into, expectations be damned.
All that said, Nathan will admit he’s rarely more happy than when the waves are firing. He’s an animal out there… totally gnarly and more than a little mental. There’s no greater example of this than his 2015 Teahupo'o, Tahiti ride that won him “Best Barrel” in Surfer’s annual poll and nabbed a nomination for Billabong’s “Ride of the Year.” It’s still being called the greatest paddled wave ever at Teahupo’o, but hey, you decide:
Starting to see a pattern here? Just look at Nathan’s recent awards:
- Winner: Best Barrel, Surfer Magazine Poll (2015)
- Winner: O’Neill’s Wave of the Winter (2018)
- Winner: Red Bull Cape Fear Big Wave (2019)
Anything goes for Nathan, especially if he can get a rush of adrenaline out of it. He’s also as creative out of the water as he is crafty on the waves, producing 2019’s full-length feature There and Back Again: The Adventures of Nathan Florence, gifting fans an inside look at his time in Nias, Mexico, Tahiti, and Panama. And his absolutely balls-to-the-wall YouTube content is required viewing for anyone with a pulse.
The special thing about Nathan—the thing that makes him tick—is he understands that Living Forward, funnily enough, is about appreciating the moment you’re already in. He gets that if you think too far ahead, live outside the present, that you’ll only end up a cautionary tale to those that follow after. It’s this knowledge that makes him such a match for Blenders.
Nathan Florence is the perfect equation of an Entourage athlete—a fresh, fearless, and impossibly creative talent driven entirely by his own ideals.