So This Is What It Takes To Spook Nathan Florence - Stab Mag

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So This Is What It Takes To Spook Nathan Florence

Megadosing on adrenaline with a borrowed board and a small margin for error.

elsewhere // Sep 27, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a soon-to-be forthcoming interview, an anonymous North Shore charger recently told us, “I think it’s good so many people surf Pipe. I don’t know if I’d go on any waves out there if I was alone and other people weren’t pushing me to send it.”

Add a thick wetsuit, a borrowed surfboard, a very imperfect end-section, and an unapproachable rock jump to the fear of solo-surfing a shallow slab, and it’s easy to see why Nathan Florence was so tentative in this clip.

In fact, this might be the most careful and calculated operation we’ve seen him carry out on the Slab Tour. Granted, he still navigated the gurgling peninsula of submerged Atlantic rock far better than most would have — executing two emergency exits amid a minefield of clamping sections.

As Nate clambered back up the remote cliff, we couldn’t help but notice his pupils appeared to be about 5000% dilated, following suit with his shark eyes Insta post from J-Bay.

So, we had to ask him what the deal was — transition lenses? Macrodosing on some illicit substances? Or just a heavy dose of fear?

Princeton University psychologist Daniel Kahneman has shown that pupil size actually increases in proportion to the difficulty of a task at hand. Negotiating the above paddle-out, lineup, and take-off without copping a single beating represents a degree of difficulty absurd enough to potentially justify the extreme mydriasis.

Nate, however, gets cryptic with his response.

“Part fishie mate!” he told me. “Helps me see underwater. Or, maybe I’m just megadosing adrenaline. Or maybe it was the… 10th booster vaccine!”

Or Nate sold his soul to Jon Pyzel to fund the Slab Tour.

Either way, click above for a masterful deconstruction of the aquatic equivalent to a 21×21 Rubiks cube.


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