Interview by Daniel Ikaika Ito/Contrast Magazine

A cover shot is the most-coveted published image in the surf industry. Perhaps, it’s the front and center exposure and ensuing glory that makes the picture so rewarding. Or, it could be the photo incentives from sponsors that makes the cover of a surf magazine a lucrative achievement. Whatever the reason, it’s the sickest shot in the whole issue. The North Shore’s Daniel Jones graces the cover of the latest Free Surf Magazine and can look forward to some bonuses from his sponsors (RVCA, Ocean Minded, Tropical Blends, Nixon, Matuse and Vertra). Lately, the 29-year-old, goofy foot has been scoring super fun waves at home. We caught up with the Jones, who was recently married this year, to see how good the surf on the Seven Mile Miracle has been and how it feels to get the shot. What is your favorite Raynor shape and why?

Daniel Jones: 5’0″ Nugget – Because it’s small and easy to have with you at all times. it’s easy to angle through little tubes and despite its length does surprisingly good carves. It also gets out of the lip with ease and with all of the extra width under the front foot it feels really stable upon landing.

How did it feel to earn the cover of the latest FreeSurf Magazine?

I wasn’t expecting it. I was here on Oahu. The waves had been horrible for a majority of the summer. Then I got the cover. I was stoked.

How many cover shots have you earned in your career?

Two: a cover of Surfing Magazine and now FreeSurf.

Where are your surfing on the cover and when was it taken?

That was taken in Central Calif. by Chris Burkard the last time I went to California.

Seems like there has been some fun early winter waves lately, where have you been surfing and how good has it been?

It’s been firing: 10-foot plus Sunset, guys were getting pitted. Lots of glassy days between 2-to 5-foot. Everywhere has been good with mellow crowds for the last 2 weeks. I’ve been surfing mainly Rocky’s and Sunset

What is like to grow up at Rocky Point?

We didn’t live here until I was 10. I grew up surfing Shorebreaks in Kailua and Rockpiles and Bowls in town. But, I remember seeing Occy out at Rocky’s everyday, all day, year after year throwing huge buckets. Trying to surf the end bowl at Rocky Lefts on the bigger days a sa grom was intense. Felt like you were battling the current for your life, trying not to get swept down to Rocky Rights and Gas Chambers. It was fun though because there would always be a bunch of us little groms laughing at each other as one of us got sucked out to sea.

How does it feel to know that your local spot is about to be inundated by the surf industry in a month?

It’s been going on since before I was born, so I can’t complain. It doesn’t last long either, plus I know most of them.

What do you love most about the winter season on the North Shore?

Not having to drive or fly to find waves.

Why is the North Shore such a special place in the world?

Because it has the Banzai Pipeline.

What projects are you working on?

The last project I worked on was a surf film titled, “Hangs Upon Nothing.” Its still being edited, should be coming out 2013. For now I’m going to take full advantage of these early season swells and get as many waves as I can before it gets crowded.

Hangs Upon Nothing – trailer from Jeremy Rumas on Vimeo.


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