SAN CLEMENTE, California/USA (Thursday, April 10, 2013) – Santa Cruz standout Nat Young (USA), 22, has clearly been in striking form amidst the Australian leg of the ASP WCT. Following a strong showing at Snapper and a brilliant runner-up performance at Bells, the goofy-footer is currently the leader of his rookie class heading in to the third stop on the ASP WCT. SURFER Magazine recently sat down with Young to get his first impressions of the Dream Tour. This… is their story…
Now that you’re a couple events deep into your rookie year, would you say that it’s everything you thought it would be?
There are definitely some things that are different, and there are definitely a lot of things that are in line with what I expected. But at the end of the day, it’s still a surf contest, and I’ve been doing those for about as long as I can remember. Overall though, the World Tour feels a lot more intimate than the ’QS. People seem to be a lot closer at that level and we’re treated a lot better.
A lot of rookies will come into their first season feeling anxious, and you can see their nerves get the better of them. How was your confidence going into Snapper and Bells?
To be honest, I was unbelievably nervous before Snapper. I was trying really hard not to be, but I was definitely feeling it the night before my first heat. I didn’t want to go out and lose my first heat on the World Tour. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. But after that Round 1 loss, I felt better and was able to focus more. I think by getting that out of the way, I was able to move on. By the time Bells came around, I was confident and ready to compete.
Let’s talk about Bells. You were looking sharp out there, what was it that seemed to be working for you so well?
The wave itself is pretty similar to a lot of the waves where I grew up in Santa Cruz and I felt pretty confident on my backside out there. I know a lot of people have this idea that Bells isn’t the best wave for goofyfooters—unless you’re Occy or someone like that—but it seems like if you line up the wave right, you can get more vertical on your turns out there in your backhand…