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The Inertia

Nathan Florence is no stranger to hairy paddle outs. If the waves are good, he’ll put himself through hell to get to them. Most of us, after looking at the paddle out, might just sit back and mindsurf the Scottish reef slab in the video above, but Nate decided to give it a go. And (spoiler alert) he did eventually manage to get himself in the spot.

“The paddle out was so sketchy,” Florence said. “When we were paddling in the foam — did you see? — my head wasn’t above the foam. I had to keep sitting up and keep looking. I was pretty worried from the paddle out. I was like, ‘this is not super safe.’ The gnarly part was that once you’re in it, the current… I couldn’t even have turned around.”



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Although it might look like fun, that foam can be deadly. In May of 2020, a group of surfers died at Scheveningen Beach in the Netherlands when they found themselves in up to nine feet of seafoam.

After he made it through the paddle out, he managed to snag a few waves. Getting back in, though, was a different story. Nathan had to paddle half a mile down the coast to find a place a little more sheltered. “The current ripped us out,” he continued. “When we went to come back in, it was like, no way. It was impossible. The current that took us out would have fought us on the way in and taken us back out. Then we would have caught one of those bombs on the head.”


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