“My dream as a kid…” JJF ‘SPACE’

Framegrab may look similar to JJF Brain Waves.

Here’s the World Champ’s return to surf cinema. “Space,” is a 6 minute short film featuring all John’s best clips from the last year. It offers a fresh look at the Icon’s place in today’s surf world.

Florence just premiered “Space” on Facebook live. In case you missed it. Here it is along with the Q and A:

What was your dream as a kid?
My dream as a kid, I think everything kind of revolved around surfing and trying to be really good at surfing. I keep chasing that dream trying to get better.

How do you know when you’ve reached your dreams?
Set a goal you can’t get to, that way you’re always getting better.

Who is the musical artist?
Steve Angello. Actually, Blake [Kueny], who edited the video found that song. We thought it was a fun track to use for it. Just something different from what we’ve used in the past a little bit and kind of empowering, I guess. And fun to go surfing too.

You had a comment from him?
Erik Knutson: Yeah, he was super stoked. He was really stoked that we got to use it and it was a unique place to showcase his music on. He actually emailed us. I got his quote right here. He said, “‘Rejoice’ is the most powerful piece of music I have ever created. I’ve never worked with more meaningful words in my entire career. It came into my life when I needed it most and I needed to make that moment last forever by immortalizing it in a song.” Pretty awesome. T.D. Jakes was the pastor in the beginning.

If you could only surf one spot for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Can I choose for there to be no people out?

This isn’t like a super power question. Nope. One spot and the crowd could factor into this decision, I think.
It would probably be Pipe. Pipe gets really crowded and frustrating sometimes, but it has a lot of different faces to it. From when it’s big Pipe and you’re getting ten-foot barrels on the lefts..

When will you be able to surf again?
I don’t know, soon, I think. It’s just an injury that I don’t want to rush and I want to be healed 100 percent before I come back because of the risk that I take if I start surfing too early. I can really blow my knee out a lot worse than it is. So, I’m taking no risk, just going to get it 100 percent back to normal. I just want to be able to go out and do big airs again.

West Australia.

Will you ever surf the East Coast?
Yeah, for sure. I think there’s some really good waves there and my thoughts are going out to everyone in the path of Hurricane Florence. There’s going to be some destruction over there.

What is your advice for a beginner surfer?
Just have fun, I guess. Just don’t take it too seriously, I think. When you have fun it’s the best. When you’re just focusing on bettering yourself, that’s when you get better—not matching yourself up to anyone else.

Have you ever met Dave Rastovich?
I have, actually. I got to go on a cool trip with Dave Rastovich this year to King Island. They were doing a little thing down there about one of the salmon farm and trying to kind of protest it because of all the damage it does to the ocean around there. So it was really cool to go and get some info on that and surf some really good cool waves and just get to visiting somewhere really cool in the world that I thought I would never end up.

Do you plan doing any around-the-world sailing trips?
I do at some point. I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to yet, I still on competing awhile longer, but I definitely want to sail around the world at some point—find some good waves and keep going to those places that I never thought I would end up.

Is it true that you’ve been working with the tour so that you could sail from event to event?
Yeah, that’s what next year’s schedule is all about (laughs).

How have your boards changed since when you started the tour to now?
My boards have changed a lot, especially bringing Ross [Williams] on last year. It helped me change my ideas and opened my mind up to different boards. [Jon] Pyzel’s always been kind of trying, then having someone else come in, finally it was like, ‘Okay, I’ll try it.’ And we actually found some pretty good boards. My boards when I first got on tour were really, really thin and really narrow. Probably not even enough volume to really even float me. But now I have a lot more volume, totally different rocker, totally different width. Everything.

Are you one of those people that are super secretive about your dimensions?
No, I’m not that secretive.

Because you’re 6’6”, 200 pounds, right? So what’s your volume?
My shortboard’s like 38 liters (laughs).

What would you like to be remembered for the most?
Space? No, I guess being remembered for just enjoying life, not taking it too seriously. You have so many different avenues you can go down and so many different things you can try out. That’s what I really enjoy doing. I enjoy putting my energy into the ocean. That can be so many different things. I just enjoy sailing and paddle boarding and surfing and diving and all these different things, little outlets, as opposed to just focusing on one thing. I spend a lot of time in the ocean.

What’s on your bucket list these days?
I have a lot of things on my bucket list. My bucket list gets bigger every day.

Suspended in ‘Space’

Are they things to do or things to buy?
Things to do, more. Definitely things to do. I have a lot of ideas and my mind’s spinning constantly, 24-7 with little things I want to do. I have to hold myself back for now.

Apple bananas or ice-cream bananas?
Apple bananas. They’re sweet and they grow around here.

What did you think of the Surf Ranch Pro?
The Surf Ranch looked like an amazing event. I was pretty bummed I couldn’t be there. I was really cool to see how much better the guys got at surfing the wave. I think Filipe’s 9.8 was pretty amazing, where he started with an air, got barreled, came out and did that alley-oop and few turns, then got kind of in a half-barrel and did a bigger alley-oop. Just to see that was like, ‘Whoa, okay.’”

What happens if someone drops in on you at Pipe?
Jamie [O’Brien] drops in on me.

Have you ever thought you were going to get a wave, and you’ve been waiting a long time for a wave, and then one of your friends named Koa goes instead of you? Has that ever happened?
Koa Rothman takes waves from me. So does my brother Nathan. Jamie’s the worst surf with. If I see him in the water I don’t even go out. I just wait until he comes in, then I’ll go out. He’ll literally paddle for a one-foot wave just to keep me off it.

What do you think happens to people when they die?
I’m not sure, I haven’t made it there yet. I’ll tweet it.

Do you tweet?
I’m not that big of a tweeter, to be honest. Social media’s great. It’s a great way to spread ideas, but I think it also takes away from people’s own creativity. It doesn’t allow you to be yourself as much. I don’t know. I don’t post as much because I don’t spend that much time on it, to be honest.

When is the next good swell coming?
The next good swell? I’m pretty tuned in. I look at the weather and the forecast every single day when I wake up in the morning. Actually, I think we’re going to get one of our first west swells here pretty soon. Hopefully it will bring some of the sand back because we’ve been having some pretty bad erosion. It’s sad. It’s a lot of things that I’ve grown up with, trees are disappearing into the ocean. It’s interesting. The world’s changing.

What are your thoughts on Mikey Wright getting so many wildcards this year?
I think Mikey Wright is an amazing surfer. And I think he’s a really good competitor too. I really admire when people can switch it on and switch it off during a heat. He’s a super fierce competitor and he’s focused on what he’s doing and wants to win, then right after a heat he’ll come up and shake your hand. And be like, ‘Oh, that was a fun heat.’ I like that about people. [Mick] Fanning did that really well too. I think Mikey’s a great competitor and it’s cool to see him in the contest.

But what’s your thought about him getting the WILDCARD into the events?
I think it’s cool.

Will there be more episodes of “Twelve” ever?
“Twelve” was a super fun little project that we got to work on. It was just different from doing a movie and everything in the past—a little series. Moving onto the future, I’m sure we’ll end up doing something kind of along those lines again because I had fun doing that. Just not sure what that is, or what, or when.

Have you ever landed a 900 air?
I don’t even think I could do it on a trampoline.

When is View From A Blue Moon II coming out?
I don’t think it will be called that, but when we do another movie, I don’t know, I’m not sure to be honest. I think the next film would have to do with sailing to Tahiti and finding some cool, big waves. That’d be pretty cool.


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