Stab Magazine | Peter King might just be surfing's most powerful journalist

Peter King might just be surfing’s most powerful journalist

Tournotes is, in Stab’s opinion, the best behind-the-scenes World Tour documentary series in digital existence. To call it a documentary series might sound dramatic, but only because of its breezy nature. In reality, it captures the essence and vitals of life around the tour. What really makes it fly is the access that its creator […]

Words by stab

Tournotes is, in Stab’s opinion, the best behind-the-scenes World Tour documentary series in digital existence. To call it a documentary series might sound dramatic, but only because of its breezy nature. In reality, it captures the essence and vitals of life around the tour. What really makes it fly is the access that its creator has to the world’s absolute best. And that man is Peter King, better known as PK.

He was the first to break Kelly Slater’s frontside spin, he gets more animation out of John John Florence than Rosy Hodge, bless her, ever could. He has a perfect mix of timing (he’s always in the right place when he needs to be), access (the pros all love him), and pace (his turnaround time through filming, editing, uploading and posting is fastest in the biz). The edits are just the right length, catering to the churn-and-burn consumption rates of internet content in 2014. Really, he’s a perfect journalist for the digital age. But he’ll never admit it.

Peter Jasienski, one of the brill minds behind Hurley’s marketing, offers his perspective on the evolution of PK and Tournotes: “When I came to Hurley, PK was a guy with huge talent for getting up close and personal content and the ability to deliver it faster than anyone. With all the guys on tour coming from Nike and Hurley we needed a way to market our dudes. We also recognized the power of consistent branding and also the fact we could produce better content than our media partners. We had the best athletes and the the best access. I showed PK some stuff from the skate world, more like editing style, and Tournotes was born. For the last two years PK would send me cuts and I would edit them down only leaving the juicy stuff. Shit caught on eventually and now PK is a master. It really does come down to his history in the industry and content capturing talent. He’s an amazingly witty guy so he’s able to draw the best out of people like I’ve never seen before. Now it’s like auto pilot for PK but we still talk about the future of Tournotes and opening it up more to audiences so they can engage directly with athletes and the industry. Stay tuned for Tournotes 2.0! We start a new season in Hawaii this winter.”

Interview by Craig Jarvis

Stab: What the hell is your actual job description?
PK: Well, I have a bunch of different jobs, but one of them is filming and editing as much fun and interesting stuff that develops around life on the ASP tour. Camera gear doesn’t matter and lighting is irrelevant, so it’s all about just trying to be where things get interesting. I usually travel with the Hurley team. So, in essence I wake up really late; eat well, and then wonder where everyone has gone, and hope to find them during the day.

How are you always in the right place? The miracle that something worth watching and commenting on magically appears from thin air makes all clips seem incredible to me. As far as being in the right place, the ASP tour is quite simply an amazing place to be. It’s where the most progressive surfing and most interesting conversations are happening. A nice mix of performance and drama makes for some sweet entertainment. Tournotes is like a long form Instagram, or Snapchat. It’s just these moments that people are willing to share.

You have an obscene amount of close pro surfer pals. I’ve been a pro surfer, a photographer, a filmmaker and host of ASP events for the last 25 years. So, I know a lot of people. All the guys on tour are pretty cool. It just seems really easy to me to strike up some silly situations.

What about the BWWT? You got friends there, too? I know some of those guys, like Carlos (Burle), Pete Mel, Makua (Rothman), Jamie (O’Brien), (Mark) Healy and Greg Long. I haven’t been to any of those events, but would love to. I always hold my breath when I go through tunnels so I think I’m ready to get out there with the boys.

People really open up to you. Definitely more so than anyone else doing what you do. Why? Well, what can I say? I’m a people person.

Who’s the best on camera? Simpo, because he is genuinely the happiest and funniest guy on tour.

What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve caught on film? Well I don’t know, to each his own, but between 700 foot bungee jumps and Kelly Slater spinning magically through the air, there have been quite a few. It wasn’t gnarly, but the episode of Simpo pretending that Kolohe and Brandon Guilmette were in a heat was really great to me.

Simpo is so fabulous! Lols aside, are you the most powerful man in surfing right now? Absolutely. Have you seen just how much spray I throw? Have you?

Yes! Such rail! Oooooh, um, nah. To answer your question, I’m just having some powerful fun.

Help me out: How would a lowly journalist such as myself get such incredible access to the top surfers in the world? Is it all about trust? Loyalty? Or must money exchange hands? Look, these guys are all trying to make a living, and at the same time they are having fun. For them it can be a real stress from comp to comp. If you’ve got a good sense of humour, and you’re filming with them, it can be an easy way for them to blow off steam and be silly in the moment.

Breeze through all the Tournotes eps, here.

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