AT THE BEACH | Sea and surfing the right place for this young man

Nathan Weise making quick progress in the water on dad’s old surfboard

Fourteen-year-old Selborne College scholar Nathan Weise is a quietly tough guy.

He does not say much, but put him in the water and he is gone like a fish.

The surfing bug has bitten him and with water polo as his school sport he has capacity to get to the back line in short time and be ready for his next wave.

Nathan has not been surfing for long and he is making quick progress.

He started on his dad’s old surfboard from yesteryear and has not looked back. 

Fortunately for Nathan, his uncle Bruce Herselman is a quality surfer of good experience at top local break Nahoon Reef.

Bruce passed an upgrade surfboard on to Nathan.

“He is a pretty laid-back dude,”  Bruce said of his nephew.

It’s been really nice to see him so stoked on surfing and seeing him progress so fast. It’s been great surfing with him. He is always keen

“It’s been really nice to see him so stoked on surfing and seeing him progress so fast. It’s been great surfing with him. He is always keen.”

Nahoon Reef is an intimidating break with powerful waves that quickly teach respect.

It is a significant bonus to have an uncle who can paddle out with you and show you the dos and don’ts.

Besides the waves, the local eldership can be a tough crowd to crack but if you are being introduced eyeball to eyeball by handshake, your transition from beachbreak grom to reef local is going to be that much easier.

Nathan rides a Graham Smith 5’11” squash tail and is gently angling off on the free surfing/soul surf course.

He has discovered early on that competitions (at least in surfing) are not entirely his cup of tea.

Water polo is a different matter. But when he is in the surf, fun is the plan and travel is the future plan.

International surfers such as Frankie Oberholzer, David Rastovich, Donavon Frankenreiter, Michael February, Torryn Martin and Clay Marzo have all gone this route.

Nathan has played the hard competition game in cycling before, rising up to #2 in South Africa in cross-country racing but the love of the game seemed to escape and perhaps the training regimen taxed some of the joy.

He is cautious not to put his surfing on a similar path. No shortage of free surfers support this outlook and the local SAC club will give Nathan full support.

SAC is a bit of an inside joke at Nahoon Reef. Surfers Against Contests.

There are those who are not keen to see a flag go up and listen for a heat siren but who are long on affection for their waves and who love their favourite surf spot.

Nahoon Reef has a dedicated crew who ride very well and who choose not to compete.

One of Nathan’s best friends is Michael Miller. Michael’s mother Wendy is something of a legend in local longboard surfing.

“Nathan is in the same IPT water polo team as my son,”  Wendy said.

“I took an immediate liking to this respectable young man. He has lots of energy and is always on the go with sports.

“He just needs a bit of food in between sessions,” she said with a laugh.

A courageous heart with a careful soul, a brave explorer who treads thoughtfully

“Nathan has persevered and conquered.

“His folks know they can drop him off at the beach because he is in the water with the Buffalo City surfing crowd who basically all know each other and look out for each other.

“I think Nathan will still go a long way with his surfing” 

Nathan,  intimating his strong respect for the sea, said: “The ocean is not to be messed with.” 

He was quick to follow this with: “It is a fun place for relaxing and a quiet space.”

Nathan has an amazing enthusiasm for adventure and he has blown me away with his insights on many occasions,”  proud mom Emma said.

Dad Terence added: “A courageous heart with a careful soul, a brave explorer who treads thoughtfully.”

It strikes this writer that the sea and surfing is just the right place for this young man.

He likes riding waves, meeting new people and travelling to new places.

You can take it from an old salt lad, you are in for a wonderful ride.

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