Meet Jane Paddler: Hannah McEwan, Knoxville, TN

Jane Paddler Hannah


Hannah McEwan. Known aliases: Hannerz, Hanners, Hamma Hanners, @nzhanners

Where you were born and where you live now?

Palmerston North, New Zealand. Currently reside in Knoxville, TN. However, I have a second home in Chattanooga for paddling purposes.

What is your occupation?

On the lam from the feds as a runaway stayover in a career in health care. (In all seriousness, on extension from a work visa with pending status).

Where do you SUP the most?

Well. During race season (Christmas through Day after ChattaJack) a lot of time in Chattanooga. Also Knoxville and other locations of the Southern Stoke race series. Occasional forays to Florida, North Carolina.

Jane Paddler Hannah

Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

Billy Lush Board Shop in Knoxville. Super great people – they got me plugged into racing and appreciate (tolerate?) my need to paddle constantly.

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

14’x23.75″ custom MHL (Greg Tysor’s 2014 CJ board).

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?

I dabble in loaner boards and craft including OC. Why own when you have friends with great toys? I am strategic with my friend choices. (Kidding, but I am lucky.)

What paddle do you use?

Quickblade Elite Race 90

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?

My first four races were completed on three different boards ranging from a 10’6″ surf style to a 14′ race board. (See strategic friending, above.) My first full season in 2014 I was fortunate enough to ride for NSP on a 12’6″x25″. I began 2015 on a KM Compressor 12’6″x26 before moving to the Speed Stick 14′. While Annabel and I share the same home country, at 5’9″ Annabel and I do not share the same dress size; I’ve found it difficult to find a stock 12’6″ with enough volume that’s still built for speed for my frame.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?

Anywhere in Aotearoa (New Zealand), Lake Tahoe.

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t get too close to the monkeys…” But seriously, first Carolina Cup 2014: First big race, first ocean race. Greg Tysor told me to keep my paddle in the water for balance in the swell and chop. With 11 concussions, that’s like the only thing that has stuck.

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

Got a little too close to the monkeys. Twice. Once involved interrupting their meal. Bad plan.

Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)

Hammer Nutrition: Nocciola (like Nutella) gel, Perpetuem, Recoverite. Hydration for long races a combination of orange juice, coconut water, and salt.

Goals for this next year?

Podium at Carolina Cup Graveyard 14′ Women. Retain current title at Two Gun Paddle Classic. Delay deportation long enough to race Chattajack 2016 (I’m thinking new craft this year).

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)

Hot cheese. Mountain Dew. Chick Fil A (can be pre or post).

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

Driving to go paddle. Actually, I coach soccer (played collegiate) for an urban youth program. Active in my local church and serve as a board member on a local non-profit.

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

Monkey-proof, snack-dispensing, no-cost, speed machines.

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

Remembering to paddle just to paddle – without devices, mileage or time goals, or focus on technique. Just being out there and enjoying God’s beauty.

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

Having someone take my photo with Annabel Anderson at Carolina Cup 2014, and we got photobombed by Danny Ching.

Jane Paddler Hannah

Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.

I am accepting applications! Obviously the Hodges-Turner clan, as that is my second home when in Chattanooga. Team Lehgiit (you know who you are), my Knoxville crew, my massive ChattaJack family, and all the friends I am lucky enough to see at races throughout the year.

Jane Paddler Hannah

What was your best SUP travel tip?

See monkey reference, above, and quick retreat from monkey in photo just above paddle blade. Also, warn fellow caravaners on SUP trips WAY in advance in need of bathroom breaks. #theydontlistenorstopquickly

Jane Paddler Hannah