By Andrea Swayne
Age: 8, Concordia Elementary
Surfing since just before she turned 4, Hana Johnson loves everything about it. “I like how when you stand up on the waves it feels like you’re walking on water. And I like being in the ocean and seeing the animals. I don’t have a favorite animal because I like them all, but one of my favorites is the leopard shark,” she said.
Taught by her dad and older brother Hagan, this talented shortboarder already has a goal of becoming a professional surfer. Hana thanks her mom and dad for taking her to practice every day to pursue her dream and to check out the ocean life.
“I like surfing at Lowers and I feel like the leopard sharks there are part of my family because I love them so much. I just surfed there a couple of days ago and saw like 10 of them. It was so cool,” Hana said. “They’ll only try to bite you if you touch them or poke them with a stick or something.”
She has surfed in three contests so far—the Hurley Rip My Shred Stick at Church Beach when she was 5, the 2013 Stoke-o-Rama at T Street where she took fifth place and the San Clemente Ocean Festival Groms Rule event in July, winning the girls 10U division. A family surf trip to Panama caused her to miss the recent Western Surfing Association season kickoff, but she will compete in the remainder of the series.
In school, Hana is a good student who especially enjoys studying science, math and reading. Her favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham but she also recommends checking out The Definitive Visual Guide to the Universe, “if you want to learn about space and be more smarter in science.”
Hana’s best surf training advice: “Surf every day, even if the waves are bad.”