We are happy to introduce our newest Creator & Innovator, Andy Jones, from Canada. Follow along as we chat about what its like being one of the few surfers coming out of Canada and why there is more to surfing than just riding one type of board. Andy's a special one... we're stoked for you to get to know him!
What's it like being a surfer based in Canada?
Being based in Canada (Vancouver island) is pretty sweet. The swell and weather can be fickle as hell but it makes it all the more sweeter when you score. The ‘cold water surfer, wilderness adventurer’ image gets milked pretty hard by people and social media, but at the end of the day it’s an extremely beautiful and rugged zone and I’m stoked to be amongst it.
We love the "surf everything, ride anything" mentality. What makes you ride shortboards, longboards and everything in between? Is this common where you live?
I’m all about riding as many different boards as possible. I love riding a slabbing reef on a knifey twinny as much as I love riding a log on a waist high peeling point. Canadian surfing has been late to the ‘alternative craft’ movement but it’s slowly catching on. Been seeing more and more logs and fishes around and I think people are realizing that there’s more to surfing than trying to shred like John John on a board made for John John on a mushy beachbreak... oh and you’re not John John.
Was it hard to get into surfing in such a cold area which requires thick hooded suits, booties etc?
It’s definitely hard to get used to but your fitness catches up to the resistance of the suit pretty quick. I like slapping on rubber. It also hurts less when you hit the reef...
You also do boat tours in the Summer months as a job. Can you tell us a bit about that and what it’s like during the Summer?
I’m actually writing this right now from the boat. We’re on a little Surf trip right now for the day. I run boating tours for a remote wilderness lodge in Clayoquot Sound near Tofino. I pretty much just do whatever the guests want to do, whether it be checking out bears, whales, wolves or whatever we can find. Waves can be fun up here in the Summer but the Winter time is where it’s at for me.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in the Canadian waters? Have you ever seen a killer whale in the water?
I’ve never encountered a killer whale while surfing but definitely from the boat, quite near where I surf actually... seeing bears and wolves on the beach during a surf is pretty damn cool though. Other than wildlife, Canadian waters are impressive in the raw power that exists within them. The swells that occur in the Winter are mind blowing in sheer size.
What inspires you the most?
I’m really inspired by the people/ surfers pushing the limits and going where no one else has gone whether it be board design, surf locations and really any sort of design or exploration. I’m pretty inspired by the untapped surf potential in the cold water world.
Any trips planned?
Nothing solid but I’m weighing up between Scotland and Chile for the next trip. Probably a California trip in the mix as well this Fall!