It feels like Tanner McDaniel has been on the bodyboarding scene forever, but it might surprise some of you that he’s still only 18. Oh, and until now, he’s never had a Pro Model board. Like us, you might have seen a sneak peak of Tanner’s upcoming signature model floating around the web, so we thought we would get the lowdown on the release from the man himself.
RT: So Tanner! we got word that you’re about to bring out your first signature board model. We first saw some highlights of you in 2011 and then in 2012 you qualified for the Pipeline Pro as a 12 year old already rocking some Science gear…
TM: Yeah, I first started riding for Science in 2011 after I started getting good comp results in some events around Hawaii when we had an amateur circuit. It was such a fast progression from my very first competition of qualifying for Pipe. I hadn’t even been competing more than a year when I entered the Pipe comp in 2012 and it all happened so fast.
RT: You’ve always ridden for Science, so was this a natural progression for you as a team rider?
TM: Yeah overtime it felt like getting a signature model was something that was going to happen eventually. They put out a limited edition board for me when I was 13 and since then it’s kinda felt like this was where things would end up.
TM: We’ve had this in the back of our minds for quite some time now. Last year Mike and I were chatting and he kinda just told me that they wanted to finally really get the ball rolling on it and get the boards into production.
RT: How does it feel to now have your own stamp on a board?
TM: It feels so surreal. As a grom I had always dreamt of having my own signature board, as do all groms. It’s really satisfying being able to think back to that and know that i’ve accomplished it
RT: Did you have much input into the shape, technical specs, materials etc and colours?
TM: They really gave me a big roll in the design of the board. The shape is something we’ve been dialling in for a while now and I couldn’t be happier with how well it turned out. I did things to the best of my ability and knowledge and then they would give me input and then go from there.
TM: I’ve always thought that pushing for new and innovative manoeuvres is where we need to be headed. It’s a touchy subject because there’s always going to be people who will worship the “glory days” and don’t think that things should change. In order for the sport to move forward we have to keep pushing the limits.
RT: Have your goals in bodyboarding changed at all now you have a signature ride?
TM: I don’t think that any goals of mine have changed per say, but I do think that there is a bit more pressure on me to perform, not just to help promote the board and Science brand but also to prove that I’m worthy of having my own signature board.
RT: There has been a lot of chat recently about weighing up the cost of doing the World Tour against just freesurfing and filming clips. What are you going to be focusing on now?
TM: Everyones gotta find their own niche within the sport. This year I’m planning to compete on the World Tour because I still feel like it’s something that can be benefited from. If a free surfing trip presents itself to me then I’ll do that but it’s not really what I’ll be chasing.
RT: Do think wave pools will have a place to play in bodyboarding? And have you ridden one?
TM: I’m still a skeptic on the wave pool subject. I think that they are something that can give people who don’t have access to the ocean a way to ride waves which is cool. As far as artificial waves go I’ve only rode the WaveHouse in San Diego.
RT: What does the rest of 2018 look like for you personally?
TM: I’m currently planning my trip to South America for the Chile and Brazil events. After that I’ll most likely spend some time in Oz around the waiting period for the South Coast event. And then of course the tour schedule takes us to Europe so thats something else down the line for me. Aside from those tour events I don’t really have anything too seriously planned I’m just kinda going with the flow.
RT: Cheers Tanner!
Keep an eye out for Tanner McDaniel’s signature range dropping into a store near you very soon!