Jack Freestone's Mid-Year Update
Making the jump from the QS to the CT is probably a little bit like going from middle school to high school. There’s an adjustment period. Come that first day of school, everyone looks bigger, hairier and more comfortable on campus than you. We dunno if Jack Freestone felt that way but after a rough first period and an injury, he bounced back with a final in Rio. Extracurricularly-speaking, he also just made a movie with SURFING magazine called (Low) Profile…and it’s sick. We caught up with Jack and asked him a few questions about his freshman year.
So Jack. First year on tour and so far it’s been a wild one. You qualified, you got injured, you made a final, a movie and it’s barely mid-year. Backing up a bit, how long did it take you to qualify?
Jack: It took me about three years.
And how old are you now?
I’m 24 years old.
Was there a lot of pressure to qualify?
It was weird because when I won my first pro junior world title, I barely even knew what a QS was. I just felt really inexperienced. So to go from that, to having to qualify…like, I seriously didn’t even know what a Prime event was back then [laughs]. So when I won my first Junior title, it was strange. Because it spiraled me into a world I maybe wasn’t ready for.
Sponsors start to expect a timeline for the tour?
Yeah, I think I went from a grom that no one knew, to “Oh he’s gonna be on tour next year.” And I was like, whoa…I don’t even know what Prime is…hold on!
And how do you deal with that?
You just gotta take it on the chin. Going from winning my first pro junior title to struggling on the QS to winning another junior world title…I grew as a person and as a surfer. So after that 2nd pro junior win, I felt ready to be on tour. I came fairly close in 2014, then did it last year.
Jack on his way to winning the 2015 Azores Pro during his time on the QS
Has being on Tour always been your goal?
Yeah, 100%. I think ever since I started surfing that’s what I wanted to do. I think every professional surfer feels like that.
I’d say yes. Even some of the pro freesurfers…I know they want to be on tour. I’d say that no freesurfer would pass on the opportunity if they were put in a world tour event.
Do you have a new approach to your surfing on the CT versus when you were on the QS?
Not really. Not a different approach but I felt like last year my surfing level was peaking and then the start of this year wasn’t as good and then I injured myself and it was a really crazy setback because I was so tentative. But then I got 2nd in Brazil, which I dunno how that even happened. It was strange just coming off that injury, I felt like I was 15 again with just a week before Brazil. I never had an injury that bad from surfing and I hated thinking about it. Because my approach to surfing is to put on a show and now that I was on the world stage I have an opportunity to put on a show for everyone. But with an injury, it’s harder to do that.
Jack celebrates his 2nd place finish in Rio
Who else is good at putting on a show?
The best when he was on tour was Dane [Reynolds]. He wasn’t a tactician, he wasn’t out there looking for certain scores or trying to build a house, he just went out there and ripped the shit out of waves. And then go on to get 2nd or 3rd in an event. It was the best because you never knew what he was gonna do.
What about people that see you get on tour and are like…I’d rather see him in clips and movies like Creed or Ando?
Mmm, I don’t really care what people think [laughs]. I’d rather be doing what I love to do. And I do love that aspect of free surfing…it’s awesome, you just get to surf and film and make a clip, but even while on tour I could go surf a heat and then the next week go film and make content, so why not do both?
Which you kinda just did with (Low) Profile, right? Which was rad, by the way. That wasn’t a normal full-on profile film. What was the message in that film?
Honestly, I kind of hate talking about myself or going on about “me,” so if there was anything I was conveying in it, it’s more the versatility of my surfing. I guess pure entertainment, really. I’m not trying to prove anything but hopefully we made something that people won’t forget quickly. Because there’s a lot of content out there right now that you watch once and are kinda done with after that. Hopefully, this isn’t like that.