What makes for a surfing life? With a blaze of groundbreaking performances and a swag of titles claimed from all over the world to his name, Australian world champion surfer Nat Young might know. His seventieth birthday inspired some reflection on exactly that, and on the waves and characters that have marked his remarkable life – Miki Dora and Midget Farrelly to name a few.
But surfing for Nat Young – and so many like-minded surfers – has never been about winning, never been about the sport. It’s a calling, an endless quest, a philosophy, a religion. Most of all, surfing is a way of life that has underpinned his other identities as board shaper, film producer, writer, raconteur, conservationist, activist, pilot, husband, and father.
Join us for a presentation on Nat Young’s new book, Church of the Open Sky, which explores what it means to be a surfer and gathers true stories of Nat’s surfing life – and the friends, foes and heroes he’s met along the way.
Nat Young is a World Champion Australian surfer and author who grew up in the small coastal suburb of Collaroy. He was runner-up in the Australian Junior Championship in 1966, won three Australian titles in 1966, 1967 and 1969, won the Bells Beach Surf Classic four times, and was named World Champion in 1966 and again in 1970. He is celebrated for pioneering the shortboard revolution in surfing. He has appeared in a number of surf movies, including the iconic Endless Summer, and produced two documentaries of his own: Fall Line and The History of Australian Surfing. His books include Nat’s Nat and That’s That, The Complete History of Surfing, Surfing Fundamentals and Surf Rage. He divides his time between the North Coast of New South Wales and Sun Valley, and he still enjoys paddling out to a catch a wave every chance he gets.