Rider Of The Week- Paul Jonesy – The SUPer Father!
Who is Paul Jones?
That’s a bloody good question…When I was at school my friends called me “Jarvis’ which is an Australian slang term for a sea dog or so I’m told.
I got it because every morning I would turn up to school with a surfboard under my arm looking like a salty dog. If I wasn’t surfing I would be in the water doing crazy stuff with my mates. Also, my Dad was a world champion sailor and my step Dad who was in my life from the age of 10 is a boat builder so salt water runs through my veins. Looking in the mirror today I still see the same young grommet spending every day in the water just a bit more weathered and a lot greyer around the gills and everyone just calls me Jonesy.
First, how was that 2017 season?
I’m a person that doesn’t like looking back at the past, good or bad, its done and dusted and the future is what it’s all about. I’ve always love striving for the next thing, planning events, thinking up adventures and saving enough money for that epic surf trip. But Yes, 2017 rocked! At the start of the year I hooked up with NSP, then in March I ran the big SUP event in Australia. Throughout the year I felt like I smashed it competitively, work wasn’t to painful but most importantly watching my kids excel was my crowning glory.
Was there a particular event/competition you wanted to do last year? And Why?
No question the Molokai 2 Oahu race in Hawaii. The M2O is by far the most prestige open ocean event in the world. It took me 6 years to finally convince myself 2017 was the year to conquer the channel of bones solo and like everything I do I put everything aside. I trained and committed a lot of energy getting myself in to peak condition for the event as I didn’t want to go over there thinking “what if” or “only if I trained harder”. It all fell into place on the day, I had an amazing race coming away with the 40’s 14-foot stock world title, but most importantly I enjoyed every bump and flying fish over the 5 grueling hours.
How do find that perfect work/surf life/family balance?
That’s easy……..Try to be good to the cheese and kisses (the wife) and everything else will hopefully fall into place, hahaha. I would say I surf 4-5 times a week, train 3-4 times per week, work 40 hours per week, keep my dog happy on the SUP and spend as much time playing in the water with the kids. I’m also a shift worker so luckily that gives me the opportunity to have a string of days away from the workplace. Yes, its a juggle, but life is short, so I’m determined to just make it work.
Are you working on some other projects for the new season ahead?
My main role with NSP consists of giving feedback to the designers. I have long chats the Alain Teurquetil about the race boards, giving him that 40’s perspective on how the boards perform with an older body paddling it. Alain is extremely passionate about producing the fastest boards on the plant but he understands we aren’t all freakishly skilled like Travis Grant and Titouan Puyo, so getting that perfect balance is the key. I’ve also been spending time with the master craftsman Dale Chapman in his factory on the Gold Coast. Its an honour to watch him work and weave his magic. He’s been around for a very long time but he’s always willing to listen to my ideas and evolve the SurfX concept into something special. On a little personal side project I’ve been designing a fully moulded splash guard for the 2018 Sonic. Not everybody will need it as the Sonic as a great rocker and nose kick and with the high sidewalls to stop the dugout from filling up when you nose dive in big ocean bumps. But over the last 4 months I’ve been playing around with my technique which involves standing a lot more forward for longer which ultimately causes the board to nosedive a little bit more. The splash guard is just a prototype but at this early stage it seems to be keeping my feet dry.
How is surfing and SUPing on your home spot?
Its very cliche, but my local is the best place to live in the world. The Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia has gorgeous beaches and surrounds, the water is warm in summer and perfect in winer. We don’t have the barreling waves like the Gold coast but at least the crowds are a lot smaller and we have epic setups for longboarding, SUP surfing, short boarding, down wind paddling, flat water rivers and secret reef slabs. I live in an old timber house with the most beautiful bushland around it only 5 minutes from the surf, So every time I come home I feel blessed and grateful.
You’ve been a great ambassador for NSP in 2017 and you will keep representing the brand in 2018, what do you think about our new range?
The main reason I signed up as a team rider with NSP was so I could play with the best boards in the world. I strongly believe NSP are consistently improving their construction ideas, the designs are always evolving and strive to be at the cutting edge. Everyone supports each other like a big family and I just love how you can pick up the phone and speak to anyone at NSP from the traveling rep’s, to the designers and even the big boss. The new 2018 range is a big step up from last year, the race boards have been tweaked with an emphasis on more stability but they didn’t lose any of their winning forms. Construction has improved greatly and amazingly boards lost about 2kgs in weight without compromising on strength. I’m totally frothing over the new Coco boards. Each board has a great flex and drive from an epoxy pop out construction, I feel warm and fuzzy every time I paddle out knowing its eco-friendly. The boards are extremely light which is great for hitting that lip, easy carrying down the beach if its a big 10ft SUP and the shapers have worked hard making user-friendly boards for all abilities in all surf conditions.