In a sport heavily dominated by the southern hemisphere, Northern Europe doesn’t exactly spring to mind as a destination to find talented bodyboarders. Hailing from Cornwall’s sunny seaside town of Penzance, 26 year old, former British Bodyboard champ Jack Johns spent his youth travelling the world with his bodyboard under his arm. He gained a reputation for himself in the best waves the world has to offer, all the time sporting one hell of a gentlemen’s moustache.
After seeing photos scattered across the world wide web of his recent Irish adventure amongst one of Europe’s most infamous waves (Aileen’s) alongside current world number one Dave Winchester, we thought we’d catch up with the Cornish gent to talk careers and facial hair.
Firstly what do the ladies make of that mo?
“The ladies seem to love it, but not so much my girlfriend.”
Facial hair jealousy?
“I Went to Austria this summer and there were some serious lederhosen, beard combos… it was awesome.”
Facial hair the world could do without?
“A freshly shaven face, with a long stringy goatee.”
Any plans for Movember?
“I just want to relax as I’ve just moved into a new house in Porthleven and like to spend some time here before I disappear off anywhere.”
How long have you been riding the boogie?
“A fair few years; since I was a kid really.”
“As a destination I love the waves we get in Ireland, they usually fulfil my needs. Aileen’s for the scare factor and the big barrels and just all the other fun waves over there.”
Who are your sponsors?
“NMD boards, Zion Wetsuits, Soyroll, LeCerfBlanc, Stealth and SAS (Surfers Against Sewage).”
Do you have any trips planned?
“I’m heading to Gran Canaria at the end of the month for a few weeks, but other than that I like to keep my options open, wait for swells and just do a few trips to Scotland and Ireland.”
When you’re not floating around in the sea what are you up to?
“I’m a freelance camera assistant, but I have to travel to London for that, so when I’m down here (in Cornwall) I put most my time into my business, Boogtique.com”
What are your career aspirations?
“Dude, don’t ask me that, such a hard one to answer without sounding like a knob. I’m pretty happy with the work I’ve been doing recently, I’ve been learning a lot as a camera assistant, but I guess one day I’d love to be a DOP. (Director of photography)”
Current World number 1, Dave Winchester, was quoted saying he’d like to see you get the funds to make a go at the world tour. Do you fancy it?
“Geez, I’d love to give the IBA (International Bodyboard Association) tour a go, it would take a lot of commitment and pretty much the whole year travelling, but if someone was to give me the money to do so, I would jump at the chance.”
Boogtique seems like it’s been a real success not only as a business, but also at pushing the UK Bodyboarding scene further. How has it been creating a business out of the sport?
“It’s been awesome; Fintan (Gillespie) and I both feel pretty proud of setting it up. It’s still more for the love at the moment as it’s not making us any money, but we’ve learnt a lot and we’ve had fun doing it.”
This year’s pro model looks like a real beaut? How long have you been with NMD, and how has that been?
“I’ve been with them for around 6 years now and the boards just keep getting better and better.”
You’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to work alongside Mickey Smith on so many of his projects; do you guys have anything more lined up?
“We just did a pretty mega 6 week stint filming on a commercial around Europe and Mick’s still stuck in the edit suite trying to get it finished off, so once he’s done with that I think he’ll want to chill for a while…. but who knows, he’s always creating something.”
Cheers mate, any shout outs?
“Love to Ruthie (jacks girlfriend), my mates and those supporting the Mo cause.”
bit of nostalgia, all footage from over three years ago.
All filmed within UK and Ireland.
Filmed by: Andrew Course. Allan Wilson. Richard Stewart.