Nathan Hedge Returns

Former ASP Top 10 surfer mounts sober comeback

| posted on January 23, 2013

In 2005, Nathan Hedge was on top of the world. Competitively, he’d cemented himself among the Top 10 surfers on the ASP World Tour. He’d collected a string of great results, including runner-up finishes at Teahupoo and J-Bay. He’d landed magazine covers and profiles; he had sponsors and fame. But as hard as Nathan worked, he often played even harder. And by 2009, it finally caught up with him. He’d spent the last 13 years competing—the last three of which were spent trying, unsuccessfully, to requalify for the World Tour—and he needed a break…from both competition and the lifestyle he’d developed alongside it. He quit the WQS, moved up the coast, and entered rehab. Now, after two years away from the Tour, Nathan is back—sober, clean, and fit. He finished the 2012 season ranked 78th on the WQS and has big plans for the year to come.

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  • rob gilley

    Hedgey is so much better than most of the current clowns out there it’s ridiculous.

  • Bo

    Good to have you back hungrier than ever. That J-Bay heat was the best backhand surfing I have seen in years.

  • scott krile

    best of luck to you nathan. takes courage and willpower to change ones life.
    we are all rooting for your return.

  • matt

    Such an amazing surfer and such a breath of fresh air from the hopping flying spinning contingent. Power surfing will never go out of style and the Hog is what the tour needs. Looks like he has his priorities as solid as his surfing. Hope he gets back on the tour.

  • dan

    Would love to see that guy on tour

  • Marijn

    RESPECT !!! must go on tour!!

  • Eric M

    Good luck in your pursuit of coming back on the Tour. But, more importantly, welcome back to life. As fellow in recovery, I understand the challenges one faces on a daily basis. Stay true to your recovery program, whatever it may be, and, of course, stay true to yourself.

  • jon

    yeah hedgy! ripping. still can’t believe they took jbay off the tour

  • pamela

    he needs to work on his tan too i think

  • tomahawk waveshredder

    yeah i’ve had my share of substances abuse from drugs to alcohol and finally came clean with myself what was causing the abuse. i won’t mention what it was but i learned to put it behind me deal with it with a clear sober mind. at one time it got so bad it took me away from the thing i love doing the most surfin, that’s when it hit me that i was letting substances control me to the point that it took me out of the water. thank god as i’ve come to know him, that i’m back out in the line up and gettin back to where i was surfin like a pro. not quite there but it’s comin along got me a 9’6′ to get back in shape and the feel of the wave under my feet. now i’m ready to get my 6’4 squash wider shape set up for tri or quad fin set up dialed in. gonna be great when i’m back to rippin like i know i can kinda like hedgey talks about. it’s a demon when u let drugs or/and alcohol come into ur life to the point that’s all u want to do. it’s def a diease and needs to treated as such. good luck and god bless to any surfer who’s experincing substance abuse if u don’t have the willpower to kick it on ur own seek treatment and get well enough to get back in the line up. peace, hawk;-)

  • Reece Hjorth

    Its so good to see a powerhouse goofy footer coming back!!

  • Ricardo

    Many years ago,on Hossegor,France some friends of mine got Hedge and Parko some hash for one of Parko´s boards..20 euros of hash for a dhd board…(Suckers…!lol)

  • tobyfig

    glad hes back ,he nicked my lighter when he and the rip curl team rocked up in mancora/peru for chocolate tubes and i want it back …

  • teddynav

    Spent some time in Hawaii with the Hedgey . He is a stand up dude, rips hard and has a big heart . Good luck mate . get em ! 2013 !

  • nick ciauri

    thanks for that one bryce.

  • Chris

    Stoked! Yes, spinning, whining little b#%ches out!!! Rail please!

  • leon

    good work for getting it together hedgey but there is a reason you are 78 on the WQS and 17 year olds like filipe toledo are at the top. surfing has moved on and yours hasnt. sorry.

  • Abe

    Rad interview Hedgey and surfer. That 10 at Jbay was incredible. Would love to see you back on tour aswell mate.

  • juddy bentley

    Nice work! I hope the best for you and others who suffer from addiction, including me! Do tour surfers do steroids? How do you avoid the pain and age gracefully? I’m addicted to Norco and Weed and can’t seem to kick either. I love to surf and am in great shape physically. Mentally though I’m not happy and I feel it’s better than drinking alcohol and cigarettes.
    My back constantly hurts and my back muscles just won’t relax. I’m always sleepy and can’t find work.
    My only fun is working out, swimming, and getting a smoothie afterwards..
    Guitar playing is my only other vice.. and to keep that going is also a struggle..

    Your story has given me hope ! Thanks for posting!

  • Yanky

    Cherrs c yu at happy hour brahs

  • charlie

    solid surfing!! good to hear your act is back together. please rip and and make it on the tour!!

  • Butthole man

    My heart throbs, a long with other things for you HedgeHog. Love

  • R1

    Hedgey, I loved your surfing when you were at the top. I wish you all the best but think winning surfing contests will be a bonus to your clean up, but you shouldn’t cling to them. You rip, and that’s the on rail surfing with powerful wacks I will always like and be inspired with, but the ASP and young guns have moved to a different style now. Not that I like any of it, I’d take a Pottz or Caroll over any of the modern surfers, but it’s the way it is.

  • Johnny Gold

    Hedgey has always ripped, classic human all around. Told me as a grom on the beach in Hawaii to sleep on “uncomfotrable ground so you wake up early to surf”. Good advice.. Get em Hedgey

  • Jake

    What the hell happened on the Rip Curl ‘Search’ ? – that’s what I want to know. Seriously, a lot of really talented surfers never reached their potential or have/had substance problems – Davo,Hedgey, Frankie, Powelly and I’m sure more – and they all were on the ‘Search’

  • Anita Stack

    Well Done to you Nathan, we are so proud of you as your beautiful Dad
    would be too.
    Much Love Your Family

  • Leonard Stack

    Good Work Nathan.
    Wanted to refer back to comment written by Leon,
    You obviously missed the whole point of the interview mate.
    Your a Hunter.

  • Mike McBride (DynoComm)

    Always loved the way Hedgy surfed. Glad to see him on the wagon. Hope he comes all the way back so we can see him win some heats.

    All the best Nathan!

  • jason

    Those EIGHT backhand jbay turns were flowing! Good to see you back!

  • Dman

    Hedgy is a class act. Good Luck Brah

  • YD

    Good luck to him, but to surf at the QS and those shitty waves won’t be an easy task.

  • jay

    Good for you Hedge! You don’t need blow to go bro!

  • dale

    good to see you americans frothing on the hog, hes raw and got a heart of gold and he frigging tears the bag off anything (excuse the pun) but at jbay last year i was doing cartwheels after watching him rip the earlier heats to shreads.go hog!

  • Carlos Munoz

    Yeaaah braaah THE HOG is back!

  • Gavc

    Good on ya Hedgey. One of the best backhand bottom turns to in the pocket in the business.