Catching Up with Bing Ambassador: Hannah Sheldon
Photos: Yoshi Tanaka | @yoshitanaka1
You have recently become an Ambassador for Bing Surfboards. What does being a Bing ambassador mean to you?
Becoming a Bing Ambassador has been my biggest goal for the past 2 and a half years. Recently achieving this dream has been an exciting journey for me. Being supported in the growth of my surfing by a company in which I admire immensely has opened new doors for my surfing. Having the opportunity to try so many different boards allows for my style and knowledge of wave riding to excel. Being able to represent for Bing Surf Boards is an honor that will continue to give me the confidence and experience to achieve future goals.
When did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was 9 years old a few weeks in the summer at Cola Surf Camp in San Clemente. When I turned 14 I started to discover the world of long boarding which won my heart over. Ever since then I have been learning more about the history around the world of long boarding, growing through the culture, and expanding my style through years of passion and love for the sport.
Where are you surfing mostly these days? Close to home?
I moved to Oahu one of the Hawaiian Islands about 3 years ago and my surfing style has flourished in the warm tropical waters of Hawaii. I mostly stick to various breaks in Waikiki such as Queens, Pops, and 3’s all a 15 minutes drive away from my house in Manoa Valley. I find myself drawn to surf queens most days due to the fun waves, shelter from the wind, and the amazing friends I’ve made since moving here.
Can you tell us a little about the 9’2” Bing Elevator with the floral pattern?
A few years back I opened up the book, 'Bing Surfboards 50 years of Craftsmanship and Innovation'. I came across an image of old school floral boards Bing Copeland used to make in the 60’s and my heart was set, that was my dream board. Of coarse color/ print isn’t what makes a dream board, the shape of the board does. The way a board makes you feel when you are riding a wave and what it allows you to do is what makes a dream board true magic. Never the less I kept this retro floral design in my mind and tried multiple different boards. The only model I had left to try was the elevator but from lots of positive talk I figured it was worth the risk and put in the order. My 9’2 elevator with its unique yellow and brown flowers came in just in time for a south swell, headed straight for my go to break, Queens I came to find that this truly is a dream board. The elevator model allows me to turn quickly, the needed speed to make sections, and holds into the pocket for smooth nose rides.
What Bing models have you ridden so far?
I have ridden a hand full of Bing models including the Izzy Rider, Pocket Knife, Pintail Lightweight, Levitator, Elevator, Silver Spoon, and Twin Fin Fish. I rode the Silver Spoon for two years and wouldn’t trade that board for any other! It’s the perfect long board to practice nose riding from any level beginning to intermediate. I have recently been riding a 9’2 Elevator and didn’t know a board could ever beat how much I love my Silver Spoon. Both the Silver Spoon and Elevator are amazing nose riders and each have their individual perks. Definitely enjoy having one of each in my quiver as well as a Twin Fin Fish for bigger days.
Who in the surfing world inspires you the most?
There are so many amazing female surfers today that inspire me! In my local line up Haley Otto has inspired me in the last few years with her effortless graceful backside hang ten. Her grace on waves as well as her positive encouragement has inspired me to push myself to try new things even if I may fall and fail until I get a goal down to where it becomes effortless. Another surfer who has inspired me is fellow Bing Ambassador Anna Ehrgott. She has been a surfing/ travel inspiration to me for many years. Being able to see the incredible places she has been around the world to find new waves and the pure stoke she has to surfing no matter the conditions has always been an inspiration to me. Being older and able to make surf trips possible the excitement of new waves far away holds a strong passion in my heart.
Do you do any competitions are you mainly a free surfer?
I enjoy free surfing more than competitive surfing because I see Surfing as my escape and form of expression. Adding the pressure that contests bring into surfing usually gives me anxiety. There are a few contest that have sparked my interest that I would love to be apart of in the near future after I graduate college. The Single Fin Mingle in New Zealand and Gliding Barnacles contest in Portugal look like a good time.
If you were to give a young female surfer any surfing advice, what would it be?
Let go and have fun while respecting the ocean in all her glory!
Early morning surf, afternoon, or evening glass off?Always a Morning surf
Most importantly, shave ice or ice cream? haha
Ice cream all the way!