Up Close: Nathan “Noodles” Webster

Interview by A.C.

In case you didn’t know, Australians bloody f¿kin’ rule. They’re a bunch of crazy blokes who love to have fun¿even if it means inflicting pain on their mates to do so. Nathan “Noodles” Webster is a mild-mannered Australian who’s currently rated tenth on the WCT (World Championship Tour). I used my time with him to figure out what being Australian is all about.¿A.C.

Where are you from?

Narrabeen Sydney’s Northern beaches, Australia.

Do you miss being at home?

Yeah, a lot. The older I get, the more I enjoy traveling. I like to take as many opportunities as I can to go and check some shit out. Coming here from Europe, I stopped in London for a few days to check it out. I’m doing that sort of thing as much as I can.

Are you proud to be Australian?

Yeah, sure.

How come V.B. Victoria Bitter won’t send any beer up here?

I don’t know. Maybe you guys don’t know how to handle it.

Do you think America would be a lot cooler if we had V.B.?

It might be. It might rough the edges up a little bit.

The Olympics are going on in Sydney right now, and I saw in the paper last week that Tom Carroll was carrying the torch and some guy tried to tackle him. Is that a typical Aussie thing?

Pretty much. Some blond-haired kid tried to get a bit of glory for himself and cause a bit of havoc. That’s pretty Australian.

How important is drinking in Australian life?

It’s pretty damn important. Growing up, especially with the boardrider scene we have in Australia, there’re always the older guys with the kegs on the beach, so you start drinking at an early age.

Do you have to learn to fight when you’re young, too? Australians fight a lot, don’t they?

I remember being a kid at Narrabeen and having fights in the car park or whatever. It’s all part of it.

Was there a Narrabeen club?


How does that work? A lot of kids in America don’t know how the clubs work.

Your local beach will have a boardriders club. There’re so many really good surfers in Australia that nearly every local beach has decent surfers. We get together every month and have a little contest¿we have divisions. It’s really tight, everyone’s kind of looking out for each other. Within that little club structure, you have the end-of-the-month contest, but then there’re other things where the clubs get together and have big contests. You get to go with your club, all your tight friends and your buddies who look out for you, and go and surf against the other clubs. You get to see all the other kids as well. It’s at a really early age. It’s an amazing little setup we have there.

In terms of coming up and surfing in Australia, does it matter what club you belong to or where you’re from?

Not particularly, but there’re strong clubs for sure. One of the stronger clubs in Australia right now is the Snapper Rocks club. They have Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. They’re a crazy team of young guys. When I was really young, the Narrabean club was strong with Luke Egan, Nick Wood, and Matt Hoy. I was lucky to be a part of the Narrabean club. It’s such a crazy beach to grow up. There was so many good, competitive surfers. I was fortunate to grow up there, and that definitely helped me a lot.

What do you think about that whole group of young guys coming up like Mick, Joel, and Shaun Cansdell?

It’s pretty scary. Those guys are really, really, good. I don’t know what you guys have going on here. I’ve seen a little bit. Those guys are going to be really hard to stop.

Do you think they’re going to rule the world one day?

They sure are, unless you guys throw up some kind of freak like Kelly Slater again. Things are looking grim otherwise, because there’re so many talented guys.

What do you like to do when you’re not surfing? Do you and your buddies ever hide the nugget? Do you guys spit the winkle?

No. That’s probably back to the boardriders club roots again. That shit’s always going on, on thee way to the contest or stopping at McDonald’s. There’s always some crazy shit happening.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen your mates or anyone in Australia do?

This one guy who used to be in the rival club, Mike Psillakos, who’s a shaper now. He used to surf nearly all of his heats naked, just with his contest vest on. He had a f¿kin’ huge dick and a huge set of nuts, so he liked to show them off. He did some crazy shit. The club was on the bus to go to another event, and pulled up at McDonald’s. He tore the bottom out of a large Coke, and put the lid back on. He walked out and put his dick in the cup. He then walked up to the manager, all serious. The manager said, “What’s wrong?” Then he said, “F¿k. I have a dick in my Coke.” He ripped the lid off and the manager freaked out. At another one, he did the same thing except he said he had some hair on his nuggets. Then he showed the manager his nuggets. He’s a pretty crazy guy. If your surfing career¿God forbid¿were to end today, what would you do?

I’d probably go home pretty happy. I’m fortunate enough to own a house and car. I won’t have to worry about putting food in my mouth for the rest of my life. I don’t know. I’m definitely stoked doing contests, but it’s not something I want to do forever. I definitely want to pursue other avenues in surfing. Hopefully, it doesn’t end that soon.