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By Andrea Swayne
Professional surfer Nathan “Nate” Yeomans grew up in San Clemente, learning how to surf at the age of 4, becoming one of the area’s most talented groms and then embarking on a successful pro career. Now a father of two, Nate is passing the love of the sport—bestowed on him by his father—to his children, and couldn’t be happier about it. For this, Isabella, 3, and Isaac, 1, are this week’s choice for Groms of the Week but we are also including Nate as an honorary grom.
“I am so happy to be able to see the joy learning to surf brings, in the simplicity of watching my kids,” Nate said. “It’s like I get to relive it through them. Obviously I love surfing but to see the beginning stages of that love starting in your own kids, in their smiles, it kind of comes full circle. It’s pretty awesome and I feel really blessed.”
While Nate is having fun reflecting on his own gromdom, Isabella and Isaac really enjoy beach time with their dad and can’t seem to get enough of it. And although Isaac is still too young to go out, he loves pretending to paddle and ride waves on the sand.
“I have only paddled out with my daughter about six or seven times and she already loves it,” Nate said. “The last time we went out, she was shivering cold and still didn’t want to come in. She asks me every day when we can go again. I haven’t taken little dude out yet, but my wife has to hold him back because he always tries to follow us.”
Nate and his wife Jenny began giving Isabella swimming lessons at 18 months old and plan to start Isaac at the same age.
“I am very careful not to get over excited and take Isabella out when the waves are even a little bit too big,” Nate said. “I don’t want her to get freaked out. You really, really don’t want anything to scar kids and make them fear the ocean. We only go when the waves are very small. Even though she can swim, I am always careful not to get her in over her head.”
As far as whether Nate will actively try to bring his little ones up to follow in his competitive surfing footsteps, he said that will only be a part of the plan if and when they express an interest in pursuing it.
“If it’s something they’re in to, it’s cool, but if not, that’s fine too,” he said. “I am just really happy that Isabella’s getting to the age where she’s able to enjoy some of the things I like doing and it seems like Isaac will be into it too. It’s a really fun place to be in life.”