I first met John when he was a little grom on Llandudno beach. He must have been about 14 or 15 years old and I remember him and his whole family being there. It was in Winter and during the waiting period for the then ‘Red Bull Big Wave Contest’. I am friends with Anthony Tashnick who was here for the event and also friends with Alex and the boys – so he introduced us and we got chatting…
I remember Alex (John’s mom) saying she didn’t really know where to go and where to surf ect – and that’s kinda how our friendship started. We went surfing a couple times and all got on really well. At the time John was just a grom who frothed to surf, Nathan was about 13 and Ivan maybe 11 – so just little groms really.
The rest, I guess, is history. They have come back and surfed in Cape Town and South Africa every year since then. One year Alex couldn’t come so she sent John by himself. I remember taking this little grom up the West Coast on what must have been one of the first trips without his mom around. We had a case of Red Bulls in the back and I remember John pounding like 6 and just going so hyper in the back of the car that I thought he might have a heart attack!
Anyway, the point is, John has been coming here and surfing for a long time. He absolutely loves our West Coast and its waves – if you ask him his favourite place in the world besides Hawaii I’m pretty sure he will say Cape Town.
Fast forward a couple of years and John John becomes a really successful surfer. You must remember those first years they visited South Africa he was just a grom from Hawaii who ripped, but wasn’t really doing well in comps. At one stage I remember when Jordy signed with O’Neill while John was kinda not making heats. Jordy was the main guy. But, he grew a bit, got a bit taller and the next year he came back… He was so good, like 100 times better than the year before. I dunno what happened but something did and it was amazing to see!
Shortly after I signed with Hurley South Africa and then by some weird chance John singed with Hurley too. He has always been fascinated with film and had been talking about making a movie for a while. One day I get this call while I’m in California about 3 years ago, I think. John’s like: “ Frank, you wanna come to the Hurley office and chat about a project with me?” I was like: “Sure, I’ve never met the guys at International – seems like a good opportunity to meet the team and see what John wants to do.”
I remember getting to Hurley HQ and being pretty nervous about meeting everyone. The Hurley campus is the size of a small town. I walk in there and meet the whole crew, Things relax a bit. John starts chatting us through what he has in mind. He makes me sit next to him at the head of the table with all the Hurley big shots and Curt Morgan ( director of Art of Flight / Brain Farm ) who is there pitching to them to be the production company. These guys where talking about huge numbers and all kinds of camera terms that I had no idea about at the time. I remember thinking: “What on earth am I doing here?”
Then John says he wants the first section of the movie to be South Africa and he wants me to be in it and help organise the whole thing. I couldn’t exactly say “No”. So I told the whole group a bit about where we wanted to film and the challenges we would face and yeah, thats how it started, pretty much, for the South African part of this film.
From that point onwards things happened very quickly. “View from A Blue Moon” was becoming a reality…
Fast forward 3 years and I have been lucky enough to sign with Hurley International and be apart of it’s amazing team. Just before I left for Ireland Evan Slater, the head of marketing for Hurley, called me up and asked if I could please say a couple of words and be a part of the premier in Cape Town as it plays such a big part of the film. I was so excited to be able to come home for a couple of days and see my friends and family and then also be involved with this film.
As I am writing this I am sitting on a plane back to Dublin after being home for 4 incredible days. Thank you so much to everyone who came out and watched the film and had to listen to me say a couple of words – I really hoped you enjoyed it. I am here in Ireland for another 2 weeks before heading to Hawaii to finish up my own movie “Let’s be Frank”.
Catch up soon!