Surf's up with Tegen Bishop

Welcome to our journal. Each month we’re celebrating innovators, artisans, creatives, designers and crafters of all types giving you an insight into how their creativity has shaped their lifestyle.

For our first story, we chat to North Canterbury surfer Tegen Bishop. Tegen placed fourth place at The Single Fin Mingle, a local Sumner Beach longboarding festival that celebrates the heyday of surfing. 

Tell us about your skate and surf journey. When did it all begin?
I first starting surfing when I was 10. Earlier in the year, I had broken my leg so I did water sports like swimming and surf lifesaving to recover. After surf lifesaving training on Sunday’s I would surf at New Brighton with my Dad. I started to skate around the age of 11 using my Dad’s old board from the ’70s. Later I started skating on Smoothstar skateboards to help improve my surfing. From 2015 I’ve been super lucky to have some awesome sponsors who have helped me take my surfing to the next level, especially my surfboard sponsor Surfline Custom Surfboards and my skate sponsor Smoothstar NZ

Favourite places in New Zealand to surf?
Taylor’s Mistake or New Brighton on pumping days. I love surfing anywhere with a clean, running right-hander. 

Describe your style?
Both in surfing and skating, I would say I like keeping flow and speed. I’m not overly aggressive with my turns, I prefer to harness the power of the wave rather than overpower it. I love wearing vintage and opshopped clothing. I also prefer baggier clothes which look cool but are comfortable as well. My favourite item of clothing is high waisted mom jeans. 

What are your dreams for the future?
Looking to the future, I would love to travel and get as much overseas experience as I can. The dream would be to travel, surf and ski around the world.

What advice do you have for girls picking up a board for the first time?
I think the main thing if you are learning how to surf is to have fun and not take it too seriously. Sometimes being overly competitive can make you lose sight of why you started in the first place. Go for it, never be embarrassed by your ability and try not to compare yourself to others. At the end of the day, everyone is equally out there to catch some waves and have a good time. The same applies to skate and snowboarding.

Tegan is wearing: