by Rini Sampath
Most toddlers are figuring out how to work their kiddie toys at a young age, but not Taylor Nelson. She was already in the big leagues: At just five years old, this budding surfing superstar was grabbing her board and heading to the water.
Now, as a teenager she continues to pursue her passion for surfing. With her sweet smile and genuine nature, there’s no doubt this California native will make it big.
“I am so thankful to God for this beautiful earth that we live in. God has put in my heart to love every moment and to always soak up what the day has to offer,” Nelson said. “I rise because I know I am blessed to be on this earth and that it was created for me to love it and soak in all that it has to offer.”
As a resident of Thousand Oaks, Nelson spends a lot of time on the shimmering shores of Malibu beach and sailing the Channel Islands with her father. In preparation for her surfing competitions, Nelson runs marathons.
“Running is a huge part of my cross training for surfing. When I run I know that it’s all about perseverance and stamina.” She said. Nelson also loves to sail. “Nothing beats surfing in the morning and sailing in the afternoon. Sailing is special because it’s a hobby that was passed down to me by my dad and like my dad has taught me many life lessons.”
She draws inspiration from the talented female athletes in her life — from her surfing coach, Carla Rowland to Erin Ashley, another logger, many mentors have contributed to Nelson’s positivity and love for the sport.
“I look up to the lady loggers that have paved the surf path before and have been gracious enough to take me under their wing and show me their way,” she said. “Eveline Van Brande who I call my dynamic duo is an amazingly strong water woman she is such a good surfer, lifeguard and swimmer! She pushes me to keep up with her and push my ocean boundaries to the next level.”
Most recently, Nelson committed to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Though it appears only logical for a talented surfer to take her voyage to the islands, the choice was out-of-the ordinary for Nelson.
“The moment I decided to accept the challenge to step completely out of my comfort zone was a huge step in my life,” she said. “I am really shocked and proud of myself that I did because years from now I know that I am not going to regret moving to Hawaii for college.”
As Nelson makes all kinds of leaps in both her personal and professional career, Rise Bar is excited to support her journey.