Nathan Florence is a professional surfer, and a popular YouTuber.
He has more than 300 thousand subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel.
Nathan Florence was born on 10 June 1994.
His hometown is Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii, and he grew up here.
Nathan’s mother, Alexandra, used to work on a cruise ship and was a surfer, skater, and a dirt biker.
His father, John Florence, is a painter.
When Nathan was young, his parents divorced; so, he and his siblings got raised by a single mother.
He has two brothers, John John Florence, his elder brother; and Ivan Florence, his younger brother; both his brothers are surfers.
Surfing from a young age-
As his mother was a surfer herself, she encouraged her kids to surf.
Also, as most of his friends were surfers, Nathan was inclined towards surfing.
He used to attend the school only 60% of the time, and as his mother used to not allow him home in the daytime, all he was left to do was surf in the ocean.
Growing up in the North Shore of Oahu, one of the world’s prominent surfing locations, influenced Nathan to surf.
He and his friends used to spend a lot of time at the Keiki Shorebreak located on the Oahu’s North Shore; he along with his friends started performance surfing at 10.
Unlike John & big wave surfing-
At 9, his brother, John, decided to become a professional surfer and started surfing intensely.
But Nathan at that age wasn’t sure about becoming a professional surfer, so he didn’t intensely surf, instead he used to play in the sandbar and shorebreaks, while John used to practise solely on surfing; and thanks to this, John became a much-advanced surfer than Nathan.
John is a two times World Champion, five times Triple Crown of Surfing Champion and won WSL Championship Tour eight times.
At 14, Nathan decided to become a professional surfer, and started getting inspired by John; at that time, John was one of the best youngest surfers in the world.
Even though John has been excelling in competitive surfing, Nathan couldn’t as he used to freeze in contests but excelled in big wave surfing and continued pursuing it.
At 15, he along with John started earning money from surfing thanks to the sponsor, ‘Vans;’ Nathan and his younger brother are still sponsored by Vans.
At the time Nathan decided to make a career in big wave surfing, he was inspired by Kohl Christensen and Nathan Fletcher.
He met Fletcher at a young age and befriended him; Fletcher used to stay at his house in winters for the seasons, as they both have been on ‘Vans,’ they used to do trips together.
Nathan learnt a lot about big wave surfing from Fletcher.
He also learnt a lot about surfing by repeatedly watching the YouTube videos of skillful surfers surfing, in this manner, he learnt their techniques, and also learnt from their errors.
After repeatedly watching the videos, Nathan used to visualise himself surfing like them.
Overcoming his fears-
In his first year of big wave surfing, Nathan experienced a lot of wipeouts; even though he had the required send, he didn’t have the skills, but he enjoyed the resulting adrenaline rush.
At 15, he went on an accompanied trip to Australia to surf at the Ship Stern Bluff.
The first wave was of 6-foot height, Nathan got terrified of it and paddled out and missed the wave and was embarrassed of himself as he couldn’t surf unlike other fellow surfers; that day, he wasn’t able to get even a single wave as his fear got better of him.
A week later, he revisited the Ship Stern Bluff and started chasing the same swell; at that time, Mark Mathews, a popular Australian surfer was surfing, and he thought of impressing him.
But this time also, Nathan grew increasingly fearful and stressful and couldn’t catch a wave and started paddling out.
Then, Mark grabbed the rope and towed him into a large set wave, he was so nervous that his muscles and legs froze; after entering the wave, he got sucked over and faceplanted at the bottom and lightly landed in the foam and popped straight up.
Thanks to this single incident, his fear of big wave surfing vanished; previously, Nathan used to fear getting injured or getting hit, but as he remained unscathed even after faceplanting, he became confident and was ready even for wipeouts.
From then on, he has been doing big wave surfing confidently.
Pipe & Jaws-
At 14, Nathan started surfing at the Pipe (at that time, Jamie O’Brien was ruling the Pipe); here, he was initially at the bottom of the pack and eventually surfed over a decade and worked his way up to the peak.
From 18, he started surfing at the Jaws; he also surfed at Mavericks.
In 2015, Nathan was the winner, Best Barrel, in Surfer Magazine Poll.
In 2018, he won Surfline Wave of The Winter and in 2019, won at the Red Bull Cape Fear at Shipsterns.
His YouTube channel-
Jamie O’Brien, a popular surfer, initially produced surfing films, ‘Freakshow’ and ‘Freakside’ and then he switched over to working on his eponymous YouTube channel and became a successful YouTuber.
Jamie observed Nathan surfing extensively and suggested he start his YouTube channel and publish his surfing videos onto it; he opined that people would love his surfing videos.
So, on 24 October 2013, Nathan along with Zoard Janko, started the YouTube channel, ‘Nathan Florence’.
Now, Zoard helps him as a filmer.
Also, Nathan is a co-host on the ‘Nate and Koa Podcast’ YouTube channel.
A successful YouTuber-
Initially, Nathan wasn’t earning from his YouTube channel even though he was investing money into his YouTube channel; he used to travel the world for content and return home with zeroed bank accounts.
Eventually, as his videos started becoming popular, he started getting brand deals.
As of June 2023, Nathan has 344K subscribers on his YouTube channel and 448K followers on Instagram.
He earns from a variety of sources: advertisements, ‘Super Thanks’ and Membership on his YouTube channel, merchandise, and numerous sponsorships.
Nathan films his videos with GoPro cameras.
In 2021, Nathan married Mahina Florence.
He lives in Oahu, Hawaii.
Some interesting facts about Nathan-
- He is a globetrotter and has surfed in various countries: Australia, Tahiti, United States, Indonesia, Mexico, Fiji, Ireland, Scotland, Portugal (Porto), etc.
- Nathan’s other passion apart from surfing is fitness, he loves fitness training.
- His favourite foods are sushi and Double Cheeseburger; he is a knife throwing extraordinaire and an ailurophile.
- Nathan is an avid reader and read the entire Game of Thrones series.
- He is a caffeine addict and drinks coffee and Red Bull drinks.
- Nathan’s favourite surfer is his younger brother, Ivan, and he likes his style.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Nathan Florence?
Share with me in the comment section below.
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