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The Wave Sliders journal

ENTRY # 030

Intro By: Jack Ventura

Written By: Nate Stephenson

This week we introduce you to one of our new friends, Nate.

A man of many talents, Nate is not only an excellent photographer but also a passionate surfer and sailor. He's been living aboard his boat since late 2019 and has taken to the waves like a fish to the sea. His journey from the corn and soybean fields of Madison County, Ohio to the Pacific Ocean in California is a testament to his adventurous spirit and dedication to following his passions. Join us as we delve into his world, exploring his experiences, insights, and his unique perspective on life, surfing, and sailing.

Enjoy this entry by Nate!

@nate_stephensonn |

I grew up 6 hours away from the nearest ocean. The sea surrounding me was made of corn and soybean fields in my childhood home in Madison County Ohio. There was open and expansive space I could explore as I pleased. Not that a tilled bean field is particularly interesting or inspiring but having the freedom to roam around instilled something in me.

I moved to California after getting a taste of surfing a wave in the Pacific on a trip. I got to go down the line for the first time. A feeling I had never experienced before on the occasional trip to the east coast for wind swells and whitewash growing up. Here people pay many millions to live on top of one another and hardly know their neighbors. The culture is different and space is limited but there is the great Pacific Ocean right there in front of me. One big blue liquid bean field that I really wanted to explore.

After a few years of daydreaming through the everyday muck of 9-5 work, going to college, paying expensive rent with too many roommates etc…

I got a boat for free on craigslist and decided to live aboard and fix her up so I could start sailing around and surfing more regularly. That was in late 2019 and it was the best decision of my life.

The ocean feels like a fair playing field to me. I can kind of understand what’s going on out there. The cycles of nature, the wild life, the forces at work all inspire me and make some sense. Not like on land. Land is way more complicated. Even if the ocean throws a storm at you and constantly tries to destroy all your things, it feels perfectly fair and expected.  Unlike dealing with greedy landlords, health insurance, or the awful mood of the guy at the DMV.

The average crowded lineup in Southern California can show a bit of overlap between the worlds of land and water. Everyone is after the same thing out there and when I see people upset or frustrated in the ocean I feel for them. Sometimes it seems like people can carry their problems from land into the water. I can’t blame them, they can be endless.

It’s also triggered by all the others trying to have a one on one experience with a wave. It’s nice to have a boat. To really get far away. Settle in and slow down. Get your rides and slides when you can. I wouldn't say I’m a “good surfer” by today’s standards but I know how to have fun in the water and let it continue to enhance and bless my life.

What Nate Is Stoked On!

In The Surf Community:

I’d say something I like in the surfing world is whenever I meet someone who has clearly dedicated and centered their entire life around riding waves, even if it is very brief. It has always been very fascinating to me.

Check out this rad lady that I discovered online a few days ago.


In Thoughts And Quotes:

“Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink”

-Charles Bukowski

In The Faro Workshop:

I met Jack at FARO through a mutual friend and have since been making some photos of the bags here and there. Just glad in general to be connected with a good  brand and a founder that makes things with his hands. The gear has been holding up great on the boat too, which says a lot.


Follow Nate on IG or check out his photography on his website.

Thanks for reading, ya'll! Look out for the next WAVE SLIDERS JOURNAL coming soon.

- Jack