Sport

Comeback 'kid' Nathan Hedge makes plan for return to tour

Nathan Hedge has finished 2012 with a world ranking of 74 after rediscovering his passion for surfing.
Nathan Hedge has finished 2012 with a world ranking of 74 after rediscovering his passion for surfing. Kelly Cestari

FORMER world No.7 Nathan Hedge is "super excited" about his 2012 comeback season and remains intent on returning to the world tour.

After a two-year break, the man affectionately known as The Hog resumed his career this year and finished it with a world ranking of 78.

That means he has qualified for every Prime event for at least the first six months of 2013.

Armed with that advantage, Hedge is confident he can force his way back on to the elite tour for the 2014 season.

He turns 35 in May of that year, but it appears his time away from the sport has revitalised him, and the power surfing goofy-footer believes his vast experience will give him an advantage over most of his rivals.

"The fact that I've been there and done it before is encouraging for me," he said.

"I know what it takes. I'm not wondering.

"What I've been through in and out of the water puts me in the best position of my whole career … I'd rather do my talking in the water, but I'm pretty confident of making an impact."

Hedge finished seventh on the world tour in 2004 and eighth the following year during a six-season stint in the elite series.

A form slump in 2006 led to him losing his world tour spot and he would later admit to being burnt out.

After winning his first event since 2007 - Coolum's Chiko Sunshine Coast Pro in April, the second event of his comeback - he confessed that he had lost his way the year before and felt a huge amount of pressure to keep producing.

He said he needed "a bit more Nathan time" so he could rediscover what was important to him.

As a result, he learned he was more than just a surfer.

"I had some time off competing … so it's really refreshing to be back on my board," he said at the time.

"I've taken some time off for myself. I've sort of rejuvenated to the point where me, myself, I'm much more comfortable.

"It (the Chiko result) is a reflection of how things are going for me. I'm feeling much more comfortable on my board."

Hedge, who used to surf with newly crowned world champion Joel Parkinson on the Sunshine Coast as a boy, relocated from North Narrabeen, Sydney, to Buderim last year.

He said it was part of his attempt to rediscover himself.

He now divides his time between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast as he prepares for one of the most important seasons of his career.

"I'm super excited. I've got myself into a good position for next year with my seeding," he said.

"So, you know, time goes pretty quick and the new year starts.

"There's a few events pretty early in the calendar. There's not really much downtime for the surfing tour."

 

Nathan Hedge

Age: 33

Nickname: The Hog

Lives: Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast

Stance: Goofy foot

Best season on ASP World Tour: Seventh (2004)

Topics:  asp world tour, nathan hedge, surfing



WATCH: Police release CCTV footage of Goodna robbery

An armed robbery took place at the IGA in Goodna at 6am this morning (27-9-16).

Masked men armed with large hammer hold up store

FINALS CHAT: The AT80 team talk NRL and Bears vs Cutters

FINALS CHAT: Manager of rugby league Ipswich Brendon Lindsay joins co-host Anthony 'Bomber' Breeze, host Ben Wilmott and special guest Colin Scott this week on After the 80.

Grand final spotlight should be on NRL heroics

Police remember fallen colleagues

Police Remembrance Day march to Brown's Park in North Ipswich on Thursday.

Police remember falen colleagues

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released