Meet Nathan Florence’s Favorite Junior Of 2023 - Stab Mag

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Meet Nathan Florence’s Favorite Junior Of 2023

Noah Hassett is ‘Budgetless’ but rich in backside barrel bravado.

cinema // Jan 4, 2024
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: < 1 minute

There was some unsung backside heroism on Nathan Florence’s 2023 Slab Tour — the same one that has him in the top 3 of this year’s Stab Surfer of the Year

Specifically, a blonde-dreadlocked Tasmanian standing tall, backside, in liquid halls of death. That guy was Noah Hassett, a 17-year-old slab enthusiast who made occasional appearances in Nathan’s videos last year by going over the step at Shipstern Bluff and backdooring a behemoth that punctured Dylan Longbottom’s lung. 

Here’s why Nathan picked young Noah as his top male junior of 2023: “Grom from Tazzie. Tows big slabs, and more importantly, he paddles when it’s right too — nobody should call themself a pro surfer without a solid base in paddling. He is doing it right, honing his skills and charging on paddle then towing when the situation warrants. He is goofy so surfs a lot of rights on his backhand in real heavy waves. He is gonna be exciting to watch over the next few years. You will see his name a lot more.”

Above, Noah shows us a few fun-sized tubes and a few more not-so-fun-sized tubes he navigated in the last year. Contrary to my initial perception, Noah, who grew up outside of Hobart, says he prefers frontside barrels to backside. But a scroll through Noah’s Instagram reveals him threading far more hollow rights than lefts. So I asked the goofyfoot for some advice surfing with his back against the wall.

”The best bit of advice I have ever been given is to sit super upright and set up early, it doesn’t matter how much of a kook you feel like,” Noah replied. “It’s always going to look less exaggerated than you think and will help you carry speed through the sections.” 

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