5 Minutes with Billabong Pro Wildcard Nathan Hedge

By on August 19, 2014

Hedgey scored the event’s first perfect 10-point ride today, and if you knew his story, that isn’t the only thing that should blow you away.

It was 10 years ago this week the now 35-year-old from Sydney’s Northern Beaches made a historic run in the 2004 Billabong Pro Tahiti, taking out Damien Hobgood in the quarters and the reigning three-time world Andy Irons in the semifinals enroute to his first ever WCT final against Teahupoo mainstay CJ Hobgood. But the dream stopped there. Just minutes into the grand final, with only two waves under his belt, “Hog” wiped out and dislocated his left shoulder and was out of the event just like that. While the injury ruined his chances for a potential world title he still finished the 2004 season ranked seventh in the world–his highest finish in tour ever.

A lot has happened since that historic day at Teahupoo. He finished 8th in the world in 2005 but was delegated to the WQS after a series of poor results in 2006. Although he’s come close to making it back on tour since then, most in the world of surfing know that Hedgey truly belongs on the WCT, and he’ll get that chance this week as the sole “Wildcard To Beat” in the 2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti. We caught up with Hedgey for a few questions and here’s how it went ….

ASM: What has surfing Teahupoo taught you after all these years?
Nathan Hedge: The biggest thing that surfing Teahupoo has taught me is that the pure joy and stoke of surfing never gets old. It amazes me every time I go back there … it reminds me how remarkable that wave is! It’s terrifying, as is life, but you have to trust and have faith in yourself and just go. Even if you need a ten-point ride, it’s possible.
ASM: What are some of your most memorable moments from surfing there?
Nathan: My most memorable moments would be, in the early days, paddling out from the beach in the dark and surfing out there solo before the sun or any human beings. Beating Andy Irons in the semi-finals in 2004. My perfect 10-point rides in that event. Also my final against CJ was memorable –dislocated shoulder. 
ASM: How stoked were you to get the invite to surf in the Trials this year?
Nathan: It’s an honor to be invited to surf the Trials and means the world to me to be in the Main Event.
ASM: What local surfer are you looking forward to watching surf this year on the freesurf days?
Nathan: Manoa Drollet’s my favorite surfer to watch from the channel. He’s amazing. 
ASP: Well best of luck in the remainder of the event. Hope to see you in the final again once again! 
Nathan: Thanks heaps!!—Skip Snead

About Skip Snead

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