Our guest for the second episode of the Tracks Podcast hosted by Luke Kennedy is Nathan Hedge. Known affectionately as Hedgey or the Hog, Nathan has had a roller coaster surfing career. As a teenage surfing prodigy in the early 90s he became a key member of Rip Curl’s celebrated Search Series, travelling the globe with the likes of Tom Curren, Pancho Sullivan and Shane Powell.
By the early 2000’s Nathan had qualified for the CT alongside the likes of Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison, Joel Parkinson and Tom Whittaker. Along the way he earned a reputation as the pro tour wild-man who could maintain a relentless surf-hard party-hard regime.
Eventually the excesses of tour life caught up with Nathan and he crashed off tour at the end of 2006. A couple of years later he lost his sponsorship and hit rock bottom. It took a couple of stints in rehab and some serious self-examination to get his life back on track. On the path to reinvention he worked as a stevedore, a barman and eventually a surf coach.
When Nathan earned a wildcard into the 2022 Tahiti Pro he was 43-years old. In the event He famously claimed the scalps of number one in two in the world, Filipe Toledo and Jack Robinson. Although he eventually went down in the quarter finals it was considered one of the greatest comebacks in surfing history.
The following conversation goes into detail about all of the phases of Nathan’s colourful life.