A great surfer + awesome human, this is the delightful Hannah Bennett, Girl Surf Network & Her Magic Surfboard by Fiji Surf Co.
The first competitive female Fijian surfer, Hannah ‘Bubba’ Bennett, also rides boards made by the first Fijian surfboard manufacturing company, Fiji Surf Co. She is also a role model for other up and coming female Fijian surfers and an ambassador for Girl Surf Network, the #1 global platform for female surfing.
Hope you enjoy meeting the Delightful Hannah Bennett, Girl Surf Network & Her Magic Surfboard by Fiji Surf Co.!
All the best,
My name’s Hannah Bennett. I’m from Fiji, the Republic of Fiji, actually, and I was born and raised there and I grew up surfing there and I’m so proud to call Cloudbreak and the whole Tavarua area part of my home so I think it’s pretty cool and I have this board right here that’s shaped by local Fijian people and it’s the first surfboard shaping industry in Fiji.
It’s part of Fiji Surf Company. They started up making boards about a year ago. This board right here was made for me to come and surf here in Australia but with also a little bit of Fiji in it. Hence, I have the Fiji flag right here which obviously I’m really proud to be from there and that’s just a little piece of home that I wanted to add onto my board and bring with me here to Australia to compete.
It’s been a great experience but I’m quite homesick actually, just missing my reef breaks and barrels and my step-ups every now and then but surfing here has been a great experience.
This board is a 5’7.” It’s a round pin. I typically like round pins just because – I honestly don’t know that much about tails and all the dimensions – from my experience in the past, it’s just been a lot smoother for me, especially in a place like Fiji. Even my step-up boards around 5’11” are all round pins as well. It works great for this 5’7.” The volume’s perfect for here and these beach breaks.
I feel like I’ve found my magic board. The first day I took it out at Wilkes Passage, which is right across Namotu Island and as soon as I got on top of it, I was like, “Whoa. This feels so good.”
My ribs were all in the right places. I didn’t have to readjust as much. I felt like for the size, for 5’7″ which is probably one of the smaller boards that I’ve ridden, it’s quite buoyant and it holds me up pretty well. My first wave, I was flying. I was like, “Whoa!” This is definitely made for Australia. You need so much more speed here.
I usually like riding a thruster setup, especially when it’s bigger. A couple of the days out here in Australia when it was quite small and choppy, I just threw in a quad setup for fun and I actually had a blast.
It was so much faster for me and I think I’m going to start doing that from now on. Like when it’s a little smaller, I don’t know. Some people like to ride quads when it’s bigger, but surfing at Cloudbreak I don’t know if I’ve ever surfed a quad there before.
Fiji Surf Co is the board brand. I’m the first surfer to ride for them professionally and I’m really stoked about that and 100% approval on these boards because I’ve surfed it all along the coast of Australia and it’s been my magic board.
I can’t wait to surf it when I get back home. Also right here is Girl Surf Network, which I’m an ambassador for. It’s a global network started by Kim Eulo and I’m also really proud to be a part of that as well, which is supporting female surfing globally and especially in a place like Fiji. As of right now unfortunately there are not many female surfers. I’m one of the only ones to be at this level. I want to be a great advocate for that and I think GSN has helped me be able to spread the froth of surfing to other little girls throughout Fiji and hopefully it grows more.
I can’t wait to go back and fully surf it in good conditions back home. With a little more power and a little less people as well. I’ve got a few pressure dings here and I think it’s just for me like being so frustrated when dealing with crowds every now and then!
Also, with this board, I think I’m a bit heavy on my boards so I like that it’s a bit wider and the volume is 26.5 I think which a lot of people that I’ve met out surfing in competitions here are like, “That’s pretty thick actually.” It has a lot of volume and I love it. For me the worst thing is when you have a super thin board and it can barely keep you afloat and you’re constantly nosediving. Like I said, this is my magic board. I’m very fortunate to call that home and to have backup like Fiji Surf and Namotu and have inspiration from Girl Surf Network. It has been awesome.
Thanks again for having me. I’m Hannah Bennett from Fiji. I’m actually originally from a smaller outer island just north of Fiji. Yeah, we’re Polynesian and in my island, in my language, we would say [“foreign language”]. Thank you.