SAN DIEGO — The best longboard surfer calls Oceanside home and makes hanging ten look as easy as a high five.
Taylor Jensen can do things on a longboard most people can only dream of, because he’s built for it.
“The fact that I’m 6-feet, 5-inches and 200-pounds doesn’t hurt,” Jensen said. “I think it makes a longboard kind of like a short board for me and I’m able to do some of those maneuvers.”
Jensen’s maneuvers led him to a second straight Association of Surfing Professionals world longboard championship. He picked up number two in China on November 29.
He knows that with those rewards come responsibility.
“I definitely feel pressure to be a good representative of longboarding,” Jensen said. “And to be a good spokesperson, and to try to help build the sport both nationally and internationally.
Jensen said he took to longboarding because he grew up on Coronado where the waves are small. And now he said he’s living every beach kid’s dream: earning a living by surfing.
“I get to travel for free and see all these beautiful places,” Jensen said. “At the end of the year start all over again and keep doing it. I’m not really putting away big bucks but I’m making enough to survive and to have a good time and to just enjoy the lifestyle.”
Jensen started surfing as a pro at age 16, but needed to mature before he could win consistently.
The 28-year-old now splits time between his home in Oceanside and Australia, where his girlfriend, Nava, grew up.
The two will become parents in April and Jensen said that also provided incentive to improve.
“Having a baby next year kicked me into gear even more for this year’s title,” Jensen said. “That definitely gave me some motivation to win and make a little bit of money. We need that diaper money.”