Under The Covers with Daniel Jones

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The story behind this month’s cover shot with Daniel Jones

By Travis Ferre

SURFING Magazine: Daniel, what were you doing on this wave?

There were only three of us out there and it was easy to know who was up. When this set came, I was first. Mikala second then Timmy Turner. The waves were coming out of really deep water, so the swells were very ominous looking, almost black. When they reached the reef they would stand up the entire length. It was very intimidating to be out there backside. It was around midday and I was up. The first wave bent out to sea a bit, and I thought, “I could do a big sunset bottom turn, but I don’t want to take the rest of the set on the head.” So I passed and Timmy took it. He ended up on the reef. The next wave was even bigger and coming straight, moving towards the grower a little. I thought it was going to break on us, but the waves were doing this weird thing where an 8-footer would hit the reef and you’d stand up and it would quickly be a six-footer. When I got the ledge I noticed a fat lump where the grower section was. That’s not good. I then saw Mikala paddling. Not good either. I know Mikala loves huge barrels and wasn’t too sure if he was going to pull the big brother card on me and take it. I yelled to him, “You want?” He said, “No, I’m too far out. Go!” I turned aourn and saw the perfect point of entrance. I told myself I was at Sunset and went. My eyes stayed on the nose of my board all the way down, small bottom turn, stale stance until I felt like I was going to same speed as the wave. Then I just stood there. The water was bright blue, lit up from the high-noon sun. I remember watching the wall exquisetly turn into a lip for several seconds. I thought, “This reminds me of that Davey Miller print in the bathroom at my mom’s house.” It’s a painting looking out of a right-hand tube. I also though, “This wave is tall, bigger than any barrel I’ve had at Sunset, with no chops in it. Just a sheet of glass, almost like a calm swimming pool. The wave kept getting bigger and I knew I’d hit the grower section. That’s where it gets bigger, faster, shallower and more powerful. There was no way I could doggy door this one. I wasn’t really feeling like getting axed by this beast was a good idea, so the thought of straightening out went away. As I headed into the grower section, the large circular barrel turned into a large oval shape and I started going faster and the bottom began to drop out. Right before detonation, I did a Michael Phelps inhale to five and got exploded out the back.

What’s under Foot?

That yellow board is my 6’8″ Mike Woo from back in the day. I think it’s seven years old. It was super narrow, 17-something from back in my grom days. That board had been repainted by the surf shop in Bali 4 years earlier. When they paint your board they must power sand them first because they always seem to dent up more afterwards, plus the heat over there weakens the boards a lot. I took it out thinking it was going break right
away, but it didn’t even buckle or crease.

First cover, how’s it feel?
I’ve been surfing my whole life. Reading all the surf magazines since I was 5.
I think back and remember so many covers the great shots and surfers on them and now I’m on one, crazy. It feels great. The best part is all my friends telling me, “You’re so stoked! That’s a mental cover.” Some of them seem more amped than I am. I had to hold the cover up in the mirror so it looks like someone else to see what they were talking about. I usually down play everything especially when it’s about me.

Let’s hear the creepy Fortune Teller story.

Mikala told me that it was between him and I for the cover, several weeks ago — I don’t think we were supposed know, but MJ has his ways. I was at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco with Jonathan Flick and my lady. I got a fortune cookie that read “Your efforts are budding — results will appear soon. With the cover on my mind I said “Yeah, we’ll see about that” and put it in my wallet. 10 days later I’m home and go to PF Changs with my family and my cookie tells me “Any doubts you will have will disappear early this month.” I thought, “Wow, these cookies are getting deep. Just before mid-month I was told the mag went to print and now I often say in the Ms. Cleo voice, “The cookies don’t lie.”