Taylor Nelson Interview
Interview by Glenn Sakamoto
Taylor Nelson is a talented longboard surfer from Thousand Oaks, California currently residing in Hawaii. Raised in the Malibu tradition, Taylor is the latest member of the Bing surfboard team. We spoke with her to learn more.
What was your childhood like?
I was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California, a small town in Ventura County that is 12 miles from Malibu. I had a very active and fun childhood. My dad took my sister and I sailing to the Channel Islands pretty consistently, and on those sailing trips I fell in love with California and the sea. I was always outdoors surfing, sailing, kayaking, or swimming. In our home, TV watching was not encouraged and video games were not allowed.
When did you get your first surfboard?
I got my first surfboard when I was 5. I shared a yellow 7’0 Doyle softtop with my sister. I ordered my first customized “hard” top when I was 12 years old; it was a Zamora.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
I loved surfing the very first time I tried it! I was five years old, and at the time and I was terrified of wet sand because I hated sand crabs. So when my dad put me on a surfboard I was stoked because I could be in the ocean and not have to deal with the gross stuff that laid on the bottom. I was immediately sucked into surfing because I loved being active.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a child?
I really looked up to my dad. I loved my childhood and I am really thankful for the morals and lessons he instilled in me at a young age. Surfing-wise, I looked up to many people at First Point, Malibu. Carla Rowland took me under her wing when I was very young and instilled everything that I know now about surfing. Also all of the women at First Point I really looked up to as well. They really paved a path for me and taught me what it meant to be a woman surfer. Some women that I must thank and include are Ana Osgood, Margaret Yao Calvani, Andrea Kabwasa, Erin Ashley, Kirsten Harrington Powell, Eveline Van Brande, and of course Gidget (I know there are many more, but I can’t list them all).
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
Ashdod, Israel is a place that stands out the most! I was honored to promote surfing tourism there in the spring of 2013. I never in a million years thought that I would go to Israel to surf, and when I went there the culture and hospitality was amazing. People were so loving and kind. It holds a very special place in my heart and I cannot wait to go back one day!
Who/what inspires you?
Meeting people with sincere, truth seeking, loving hearts are those who inspire me. I love meeting people who refresh my perspective on life.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud that I stepped out of my safety net of Ventura County and moved to Hawaii. This move is what I am most proud of because it was something that I didn’t want to do – life in Southern California is very lush and easy! But God put such a conviction on my heart to move out and go to school in Hawaii. I am so happy and proud that I actually did it! I am a homebody, so this move was a huge accomplishment for me! It has been such a good and exciting challenge!
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
God has a plan and that there is growth beyond the comfort zone.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
My boyfriend Tyler Morris has had a huge influence on my surfing today. He is an amazing surfer and he really has pushed and encouraged my surfing. My best friend Eveline has also shaped my surfing. Since we were young groms we have always pushed each other to be our best. I would have to say that the entire Bing team and crew have played a huge influence on my surfing today. Matt and Margaret have totally helped broaden my board and surfing knowledge. I appreciate how they have encouraged me to stay true to traditional roots and logging!
What is your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
My favorite board is my 9’2 Bing Elevator. My favorite spot is my home spot, the Bu!
What's your favorite meal?
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I love coffee and strawberries. But I also have to say I love my burritos from Olas Mex Grill with side of guacamole and mango salsa!
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
I have quite the mix of music… Country (I blame Eveline for that!), Ben Howard, Alt-J, Matt Costa, and The Shins.
What are you most grateful for?
I am so thankful for life. I am so blessed for each breath.
What’s next for Taylor Nelson?
My priority right now is to graduate college! After I get my bachelors degree I want to travel and surf!
Photography by Adam Reynolds of BHBsurf.