Jerome Forrest Is The Everyman Who Surfs Better Than Just About Every Other Man - Stab Mag
692 Views

Jerome Forrest Is The Everyman Who Surfs Better Than Just About Every Other Man

He also got very barrelled this year in Western Australia.

cinema // Dec 11, 2020
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are a lot of good surfers in Australia.

Sounds obvious, but travel just about anywhere else in the world and you’re likely to find surfing alphas whose abilities are laughable compared to hundreds, if not thousands of chippies, plumbers, and sparkies in the Lucky Country. Among these blue-collar shredders (like any collective) there’s the cream, and southwest Australian roof plumber Jerome Forrest is part of the top layer of those not paid to surf in this country.

Jerome had just finished one job and was on his way to another when I called, but he sounded chipper. After a good start to spring in the southwest, it’s turned typically flat, so he could work free of the fear of missing waves. Not that it sounds (or looks, judging from the cinematic offering up top) that he misses many swells. “My boss surfs and understands the anxiety that comes with missing waves,” Jerome tells me. “At the beginning of the week, we’ll pick the best days and plan around it. We’ll both get up for the early, or if it looks like it’s going to be a Northies arvo, then we’ll smash it out in the morning and then duck out.”

Jerome says that this year has been “good, but not epic” in the west, which judging by his clip, leads us to conclude that they just have some really, really good waves over there. Sure we’ve got slabs, points, wedges and epic beachies on the east coast. But there’s not a wave as good as North Point, or as drawn out and challenging as the most serious of the lefts in the northwest. “During autumn and winter they wouldn’t even let crew from Perth come down,” Jerome says. “We were loving it, getting waves at home with no one around. And then the WA restrictions eased and we could go north—I boosted up for the first swell.”

Along with quality waves, West Oz is also rife with quality filmers. Time is money when it comes to shooting surfing, and the way it generally works is that a filmer’s paid a day rate (usually a pretty good one) by the sponsors of the surfers they’re being paid to film. Which for people like Jerome (whose surfing is certainly worth watching) is problematic. However, having mates like local world-class cinematographer Tom Jennings has its perks. Namely, the quality of the clip up the top of this page. “I’m super lucky having a such good variety of filmers around here,” Jerome says. “They’re often working with Jack (Robinson) or Jacob (Willcox), and we’re all mates. Obviously I don’t get paid to surf, but they help me out with clips. If I’m there I get shot.”

Like scores of talented surfers worldwide, Jerome spent numerous years plying his trade on the QS. However, contrary to the usual, demoralising rhetoric of the “pro” surfer turned tradie/surf school operator etc., Jerome seems wholly content with the situation he’s currently in, and the future looks like, well, more of the same. “I’m pretty content hanging at home,” he says looking forward. “I did the QS for four years and travelled heaps but now I’m loving my lifestyle down here. I’m setting my car up for up north—roof tent and all the works—and that’ll be me for the next five years, or as long as I can still throw myself over the ledge.”

Work enough, go camping, get barrelled. Hard to argue with that five-year plan.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022
Advertisement