Hannah Reynolds is a local sophomore at Spruce Creek High School and is Maui Nix’s only sponsored girl surfer. We shot her a few questions to see what it’s like being an elite female surfer in high school.
MAUI NIX: How did you get into surfing? When did you start?
My dad got me into surfing at a very young age. I was three years old and pretty much deathly afraid of getting water in my eyes. But as the years went on I grew accustom to it.
MN: Do you have a lot of girlfriends that are into it, or do you end up surfing mostly with guys?
I have a group of about four or five girls that I surf with. We try to surf together as much as possible but usually it’s just me and the guys.
MN: Do you compete, or just surf for fun?
I am a competitor, I started when I was in about 5th grade. I enjoy doing the contests because I get to see all of my friends and we have a great time but some people just take it too serious. Sure winning is a great feeling but it’s not everything.
Does your competitive surfing and travel interfere with your school work? If so, how have you handled both simultaneously?
No, competitive surfing doesn’t really interfere. I have to take a few days off of school here and there but I always make sure I have all of my work done before hand, my teachers are usually pretty understanding. When I know I’m going to be out of school I ask for the work we are going to be doing. I get it finished and turned in.
MN: How many boards in your quiver?
Currently I have five boards: two short boards, a fish, and two long boards.
MN: In your opinion, does the industry to a good job of bringing women into the sport as participants? What do they do that’s positive? What could they do better?
There are definitely a handful of companies such Roxy and Smart Girls Who Surf that truly believe women are competitors, not just bikini models. There are more companies that are sponsoring women’s contests but they are few and far between. If you look at any surf magazine there are countless photos of guys surfing but how many girls pictures do you see? I personally believe if the pro women were making as much as the men there might be a few more girls paddling out for their first wave.
MN: Are there surfboards made specifically for women? Is there a need for such a thing?
I do recall seeing some “girls surfboards” in the magazines but I think the only difference is the color. I don’t see the need for “female-friendly” surfboards, although having a shaper who knows your ability and needs regardless of gender is a must.
MN: Where’s the best spot you’ve ever surfed?
I have been traveling to Puerto Rico for the past two years, Surfers Beach and Wilderness without a doubt!
MN: What do you think of the local Daytona surf culture?
Daytona has a pretty laid back surf community. Ponce and New Smyrna have their locals who regulate but nothing like California or Hawaii. Last summer I was surfing Lowers when a kid probably 10 years old told me I was wasting my time surfing there then later threatened by a grown man to leave. As long as you show up with respect for locals and the beach you won’t have a problem.
What are your plans after high school?
I am in the finance academy (at Spruce Creek) studying business and marketing which I hope to continue studying in college.
What are your plans for the future with regards to competitive surfing?
My plans are to continue with the ESA and other contests such as the Tommy Tant in Flagler and Sisters of the Sea in Jacksonville. I seem to have a lot of fun at the Arnette All Day Antics contests that Travis Ajay has been running.