Nat Young

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Nat Young
Personal information
Born (1947-11-14) 14 November 1947 (age 72)
Height193 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight73 kg (160 lb)
Surfing career
  • Inverted Bodyboarding
  • science bodyboards
  • Attica wetsuits
Major achievements
Surfing specifications
StanceRegular and goofy
Shaper(s)Channel Islands Surfboards
Favorite wavesThe Wharf
Favorite maneuversBarrels

Robert Harold "Nat" Young (born 14 November 1947) is an Australian surfer and author.

Surfing career[edit]

Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Young grew up in the small coastal suburb of Collaroy. In 1964, he was runner-up in the Australian junior championship at Manly, and two years later was named world surfing champion in 1966. He won the title again (then called the Smirnoff World Pro/Am) in 1970. Young won three Australian titles in 1966, 1967 and 1969, and won the Bells Beach Surf Classic a record four times.[citation needed]

Young featured in a number of important surf films of 1960s and 1970s including the classic 1973 surf movie Crystal Voyager and he also had a featured role as surfer Nick Naylor in the 1979 Australian drama film Palm Beach.

Post-surfing career[edit]

Young ran for NSW Parliament in the 1986 by-election for the seat of Pittwater.[1] Labor did not run a candidate, and he was narrowly defeated by Liberal candidate Jim Longley.

Since retiring from professional surfing, Young has written several books about surfing and sailboarding in Australia. His son Beau Young has also seen some success in the sport, winning the World Longboard title in 2000 and again in 2003.

In 2000, Young was a victim of 'surf rage' when he was severely bashed on his home break of Angourie after a long-running feud and heated altercation with another local surfer. During his recovery he wrote a book titled Surf Rage, calling for greater tolerance and mutual respect in the surfing community, although Young admitted he had acted aggressively during his career (where he had earned the nickname "The Animal"),[2] and had acted provocatively towards his attacker, whom he met and forgave several months after the incident.[3]


  • Nat Young, Bill McCausland (photographer) (1979). Nat Young’s Book of Surfing: The Fundamentals and Adventure of Board-riding. Sydney: Reed. ISBN 0-589-50130-5.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  • Young, Nat; Craig McGregor (1983). The History of Surfing. Sydney: Palm Beach Press. ISBN 0-9591816-0-1.
  • Young, Nat (1983). Surfing Australia’s East Coast. Sydney: Horowitz Grahame Books Pty. Ltd.
  • Young, Nat (1986). Surfing & Sailboard Guide to Australia / Nat Young. Sydney: Palm Beach Press. ISBN 0-9591816-2-8.
  • Young, Nat (1998). Nat’s Nat, and That’s That: An Autobiography. Sydney: Nymboida Press. ISBN 0-646-35778-6.
  • Young, Nat (2001). Surf Rage, a surfers guide to turning negatives into positives. Sydney: Nymboida Press. ISBN 0-9585750-1-0.
  • Young, Nat (2008). The complete history of surfing: from water to snow. Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 978-1-4236-0266-8
  • Young, Nat (2019). Church of the Open Sky. Michael Joseph. ISBN 978-0-1437-9671-8


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Felipe Pomar
ISF World Surfing Champion (men's)
Succeeded by
Fred Hemmings
Preceded by
Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships World Champion
Succeeded by
Gavin Rudolph