Catching Up With Oakley’s Nate Yeomans After His Win At The Cold Water Classic


Oakley’s Nate Yeomans won the 6 star WQS Cold Water Classic last weekend in solid overhead North-west swell at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz. Never recognized as “The Next Big Thing” when he was a grom, Nate defies the predictions and proves the power of perseverance. With this win, Nate shoots from 27th to 8th on the World Qualifying Series, which gives him a great opportunity to make the 2010 ASP World Tour. We caught up with him before he jumps a plane to Hawaii for the last two deciding contests.

Congratulations on winning the 6 star Cold Water Classic. In your quarter final heat you decided to sit on the lefts which no one else had done yet. Did you stick with a strategy for most of your heats or did you make last minute decisions?

I just saw that those lefts were coming in really consistently and if you got the right ones you were going to get a really big score. They also made the heats longer so you had more time to work with to get the good ones. I definitely had a plan going out there and stuck to it.

What challenges did you face getting to the finals?

Every heats a challenge and I was going into each heat really focused on what was at hand and not worrying about all the other stuff such as points, your opponent, conditions, etc. My quarter final heat against Cory (Lopez) came down to the wire, but over all I was really relaxed and felt good. At the lane it really comes down to getting the right waves. I was trying to be patient and make sure I got the waves that offered the most scoring potential.

You have said, “I wasn’t handed much and I earned where I am at now. So to all the kids who aspire to be professional surfers, never give up. I’m living proof that dreams do come true!” Describe what obstacles you faced on your way to where you are now.

Shootz. There is so much work that goes into something like this. I have been competing full time on the WQS for 4 years now. I love what I do and Love to surf. But competing non stop and traveling all the time can really drain you. There are so many ups and down. I heard a quote recently that I liked, “It takes years and years of practice to become an over night sensation." I never won an NSSA contest as a grom. I never made the top 100 surfer mag groms. And there were a lot of kids who were better than me. But I have kept at it. Every year I set goals for myself and worked hard to achieve them. I say this to encourage the groms to persevere and enjoy it. Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep at it.

How are you preparing for the contests in Hawaii?

I’m getting there early and getting my boards figured out. I’m going to be getting coached over there so that always helps. I will be surfing a ton and putting in a lot of time at Haliewa and Sunset.

How many and what size boards are you bringing?

I have about 10 boards already over there from last year. I’m taking 5 boards and then Rusty is sending 5 boards over from their factory. I have everything from 6’2 to a 7’10. Rusty has been shaping me some insane boards and my new guns look insane. Can’t wait to get over there.

How long will you stay in Hawaii?

I will be over there for a month.

How did you start surfing? How old were you?

My old man took me out for the first time when I was 5

Favorite books:

Mind Gym, The Godfather, Bible

Favorite meal:

Chips and salsa.

What is the biggest obstacle you have faced?

Having to shave everyday.


Erin Edwards


November 11, 2009