Tatum Ambrose

Durban, South Africa

Photo Credits:  Dennis Schroeder:

Tatum Ambrose


Tatum Ambrose

Years Surfing: 24

Fave Board: Rusty 5’10 SistaBrotha

Instagram: @not_a.stranger

What/who got you started surfing? It was my brother who bought me my first surfboard and got me started in surfing when I was quite young. I vividly remember my first wave. We were down at a spot called South Beach on Durban’s Golden Mile, there was no wind, it was clean, sunny and high tide. I was in the water paddling around (read flailing) and failing to make it onto any waves. My brother had come off the beach and swam out to me. Moments later this beautifully clean, blue swell popped up, Dustin spun me round, told me to paddle and pushed me onto the wave. The initial thrill of feeling the wave catch and carry me while lying prone was the first hook, until I got to my feet and felt the exhilaration of being moved along while standing on my board, the water moving swiftly beneath my feet, the wind in my hair……. I can still feel the smile on my face as I rode that wave straight to shore, somehow over the reformed pounding shore break to free fall and land fins first, planted into the sand. I stepped off the board, still in a kind of disbelief at what had just happened, but full of stoke. I picked up the board and ran full charge back toward the water wanting to get another one. In my complete inexperience I ran straight into the shore break where a wall of water heaved up in front of me and pounded me all the way up the beach in a swirl of water and sand and extreme exfoliation. Not knowing which was up or down, or where I was or what had actually even happened I eventually rolled to a stop with sand everywhere, a bit stunned. I was hooked for life…

What is your philosophy on surfing? If you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right.

Best wipeout story? Getting so badly worked on a sizey wave, underwater was black and I’m swimming for the surface only to swim face first into the sand bank, unsure I was going to make it back to the top. That was pretty scary.

Most memorable surf moment? There are too many, but always the encountures with nature are the best and most memorable.

What do you love/hate (you choose!) about surf culture as it pertains to women surfers? I’m not a fan of those bikini bum shots of girls surfing.

Who are your surf heroes, and why? Dolphins, because they were riding waves long before we were and are the only true locals.

Favorite spot to surf? (If you’d rather keep it a secret, you don’t have to name it!) My favourite surf spot is about 2 hours down the Kwa-zulu Natal South Coast, uncrowded and not well known 🙂