Stab Magazine | This kid didn't spring outta no box

This kid didn’t spring outta no box

Jack Freestone strolls into theStab office, and I’m immediately surprised by the dude’s height.A lotta pros have a lower-centre of gravity, but Jack ain’t small. Once we start talking, I forget how old the guy is – his speech and manner far outreach his years. He’s never dreamed of being pro, (though he’d sure like it) […]

style // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Jack Freestone strolls into theStab office, and I’m immediately surprised by the dude’s height.A lotta pros have a lower-centre of gravity, but Jack ain’t small. Once we start talking, I forget how old the guy is – his speech and manner far outreach his years. He’s never dreamed of being pro, (though he’d sure like it) – an odd fact considering the ink on his arm reads “No dreams to big” (no typo). We talk about some deeper, more emotive things than quivers and training routines (A discussion you’ll see in the magazine, along with a sexy, meaty photo spread), before breaching the topic of current, professional surfing. Having just won the first of two contests that will decide the world junior pro champion, Jack’s kind of a good authority on the subject…

Stab: Who’s gonna be the world champ in five years? 
Jack Freestone; I’m going to say Owen Wright. He’s such a good surfer. I’d like to see Jordy (Smith) win a world title. I’d also love to see Dane (Reynolds) win. I think Dane is the best surfer in the world right now.

Where’ll Dane be in five years?With the amount of money in surfing, he’s just going to do whatever he wants now. He’s sorta shown that he can do the competitive thing, and I don’t really think he’s that interested in it. All this money that’s going into free-surfing now – I think he could be doing that. He’s definitely been one of the main leaders in helping surfing evolve.

What do you think of his attitude? It’s refreshing. I love it. You see all those people that are focused and just wanna win world titles, but Dane just seems like the sorta guy that, whatever happens, is in it to have fun.

*At this point, Jack notices some draft prints of a coming Stab edition, laying on the desk. The spread’s a semi-nude pro surfer girl, which will run in the style section of the next big book.

Jack: Is that —– ? She goes out with my mate, he’s gonna be so off it! (Seeing more) Shut up! (Whipping out iPhone, taking photos to send to his buddy) Is that her? Woah! He’ll be pretty bummed over it – I’d hate to see my girlfriend doing that.

What kinda surfer does surfing need more of? I’ve never thought about that. It could definitely do with more Danes, just ’cause of what he’s done to the sport. We could also use another Kelly, just to boost the surfing again on the ‘CT. I like the ‘CT as it is now – I don’t think it’s going to get much better.

So you think surfing’s reached somewhat of a progressive benchmark? What else can you really do? How can you progress more than what it already has? It’s crazy how much surfing’s evolved in the last 10 years. But then again, I said that last year, and it’s only getting more technical. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in 10 years. It seems like there’s a new move coming out every week. Every single kid now can do an air reverse – it’s so gnarly how hard it is to actually win an event these days. It’s like they’re scoring out of 8.00, not 10.00.

Do you think you could ever just be a professional freesurfer? Yeah, I’d love to. I guess… it’d be way better, if you can get the same amount of money as a competitive surfer. I think everyone would.

But you don’t have that urge where, you need to compete? I like competing, but I also love freesurfing. They’re two different things – I think you surf best when you’re free surfing.

When you’re in a heat, do you ever hit the zone where you’re in a freesurfing mind frame? Yep. I guess when you get two huge scores straight away, and you know you’ve got the other person beaten – that’s when you start having fun… that’s when the freesurfing comes into it.

What’s the best type of freesurfing to you? I love seeing airs and big turns – I’m not really into the whole, massive barrel scene. I’m more about the exciting stuff, like flair and futuristic manoeuvres. Riding barrels is a different story: watching them seems like you’re watching the same thing over and over. But I’d rather get a really deep barrel than do an air.

What kinda airs do you like doing? I like slob airs. I like seeing stalefishes – so hard to do, so rare. If you could pull one of them off, you’re doing well.

I show Jack the Lost Atlas site (Kai Neville’s new film), which has a quote from Dion Agius – Tried around a million stalefishes. Didn’t land one. What would you rather have me do?

Jack: Dion is so mental. He’ll underestimate his aerials, but look how big he goes. No wonder you wouldn’t land them all, you’re going ten foot high. (Scrolling the rest of the site’s content), Owen’s gnarly with airs. Craig’s mental – obviously he’s got the best style in the world. It’s like he’s not even trying.

So you can do stalefishes? I did my first one ever yesterday, at D’Bah. It felt weird. It felt awkward.

Like a new pair of underpants? Yep. It’s an awkward thing, to try and get your body in such a weird position. I was worried about grabbing the fin and slicing my hand open. – Elliot Struck


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