By Phil Bannan
Photo by DJ Struntz
Early-round Innersection sensation Nate Tyler launched himself onto the September cover of SURFING with a photo from DJ Struntz that neatly sums up the theme of the issue (you’ll have to read it). With the Indonesian grom watching intently from the shoulder, and Nate’s color-coded, tack-sharp frontside grab perfectly centered, DJ’s shot couldn’t have been better if we’d painted it in Photoshop. Here, Nate takes us under the cover.
SURFING Magazine: Can you walk us through the session when that shot was taken?
Nate Tyler: It was a great one. We were pretty surfed out by the end of it, so to be honest I don’t even remember that actual wave. The trip was with the Hobgoods for a Globe film. They are the most psyched surfers ever, so I had to try and keep up with them and surf as much as possible. By the end of the trip, it all became a blur.
Are you allowed to say where that spot is?
I’m not sure about that. I’m guessing it’s a no. It’s somewhere in Bali. It was my first time at that spot. It was so fun and we had lots of swell the whole time with glassy conditions every day.
We were curious — did you land on that grom paddling over the shoulder?
Oh man, there are so many kids out there. They’re just fearless. You’ll see them doing stuff like running across the reef barefoot at low tide. The Hobgoods were joking, saying any move they did, there would be a kid sitting there looking up at them right in the way, that didn’t care if they were about to be landed on (laughs). But to tell you the truth, I don’t even remember the kid on that wave. That’s how close we kept coming to them out there.
Sounds like those kids could have gotten some good photos.
Yeah, for sure. They weren’t scared of anything. And they were the coolest little kids. They were so psyched to call us into waves and it seemed like they wanted us to land on them. But I don’t think I actually hit them, just so everyone knows (laughs). Some close calls though.
Well that’s good to hear that no children were harmed in the making of this cover shot. So do you work with DJ a lot?
It’s actually only the second time I’ve worked with him. I just got lined up with Globe to start working on their new film, 0000. The first time I met him was when we were filming for that Year Zero film in Australia earlier this year. It was great shooting with him during that trip, and I guess it worked out pretty nicely (laughs).
What’s next for Nate Tyler, now that you can check a SURFING Magazine cover off of your list?
Right now, I’m putting a lot of work into the Globe film. I’m really excited to be a part of that film in any way I can be. And pretty much the only other thing besides the Globe trips is filming for my Innersection part. I’ve been putting more work into my section, trying to better my clips for the final submission. It sounded like it would be a lot easier than it actually is. It’s getting a lot harder to nail better clips. So between the filming for Globe’s 0000 and Innersection, this is the busiest I’ve been in my whole life.