第2回 JJウェッセルズ The Tradesman〜ブランドを司る多彩な才能

2nd JJ Wessels The Tradesman ~ Various talents who control the brand

JJ Wessels is in charge of BEACHED DAYS brand creative together with Mitch Abshire. He has been involved in various units including CAPTAIN FIN CO. and Scotty Stopnick's CYCLE ZOMBIES, and has fully demonstrated his multi-talented talents in photography, video, and art.

Of course, his ability as a logger is also solid, and he has been featured in numerous movies with his technical footwork and nose ride, and has even been invited to Joel Tudor's Duct Tape Invitational. The second installment of the STORIES series takes a closer look at JJ's many facets.

Who was your favorite TLC member when you were little? Or did you have a poster of Britney Spears in your room?

Don't go chasing water falls♪ There was never a time when I was fascinated by pop stars (lol). That's more of Mitch's specialty! I grew up in a household where my parents listened to Megadeth, Metallica, and Ozzy Osbourne, so unfortunately I didn't have much exposure to pop music.

What kind of music do you usually listen to?

Lately, I've been listening to podcasts to suit my mood at the time. The rest would be Bruce Brown movie soundtracks, Ray Barbie, and surf-inspired music.

Which do you prefer, burritos or hamburgers?

I like both. However, since my wife is a health freak, I've been eating healthy every day since we got married. When I eat fast food, they check my food and ask me, ``Oh, what are you eating right now?'' (lol).I used to love cereal, so I used to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (lol).

You look like an American (lol). How about Japanese food?

I can't eat raw fish, so I'm not what you would call a sushi guy. I don't like sashimi. But I like ramen.

Did you watch Dragon Ball when you were a child?

No, I wasn't into so-called Japanese anime, but my favorites were American-style hand-drawn characters such as Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam from Looney Toons (Warner Brothers cartoons). It feels more like art. My dad has a Bugs Bunny tattoo.

Let's get down to business. In May, BEACHED DAYS Aquatic Division will be releasing The Commonor, whose shape and design you created. In Japan, I've been flooded with inquiries since I posted the image on Instagram.

I'm so happy! I've been doing Garage Shape for a long time, but I was making everything for myself and my wife, not for sale. It's difficult to take it seriously as a business. I'm currently sponsored by Chris Christenson, so I rely on him for all my boards. He's a tremendous shaper and has the skill to turn ideas into reality. That's why I try to shape my wife every chance I get.

I was approached by BEACHED DAYS to release a model with my own shape, and The Commonor is user-friendly and has an all-round design that allows you to enjoy surfing more closely. Although the base is a nose rider with a wide tail and a kick (tail rocker), it is not too long at 9'2" and 9'6", so it is easy to turn. Also, it's moderately light, so it's not too difficult to carry, and it's not too heavy, so it's easy to rotate.

Of course, when the waves are really good I'll probably pick up Chris' shape board, but I think it's a board that you can easily enjoy surfing with family and friends in normal wave conditions. Surfers of any level can enjoy it, and that is the brand concept of BEACHED DAYS.

Meanwhile, tell us about your model, Tradesman, released by Christenson last year.

He's a master craftsman and has been shaping boards for longer than he's been surfing. I'm very honored to have him make my model.

The bass began when I took my favorite board that I had shaped in my garage to Chris's factory, and from there I rebuilt it and completed it according to his interpretation. The nose template is mine and the tail template is from Chris' old board. I put those things together, spent a day in the shape room with him, and created it together. Not only does it have a nose ride, but the tail movement is light, making it a very user-friendly board that is easy to turn. I plan to keep the handshape I created at the beginning forever. I've tested three boards so far: 9'5", 9'6", and 9'8", and personally, the 9'5" length is the most comfortable. But I think 9'8" would be good for slow waves like San Onofre.

Where does the name Tradesman come from?

From the Dodge B300 Tradesman I drive. I got it cheap from a German acquaintance a few years ago, and I like old VANs because they're cool and I like them a lot. He was also named after his father, who was a carpenter and tradesman. Here in California, surfing was originally a blue-collar (working class) thing, and these people were craftsmen who created things with their own hands. I respect them, and each and every surfboard is hand-finished by a craftsman. The idea is for people to actually ride it at sea, rather than just display it on a wall and look at it.

I used to drive a Japanese sedan, right? Famous for the cover of the movie "EXPENSIVE PORNO MOVIE" (2014) produced by Tin Ojeda.

ah! It's a 1985 Toyota Corolla. I got it for only $300 and drove it for 7 years without changing the oil, and Toyota is hands down the best car. It's fuel efficient and doesn't break down. Not only for surf trips to Rincon and Malibu, but also for rough handling off-road.

What I learned from riding the Corolla is that it's not a bad idea to drive at your own pace in the slow lane. There are a lot of new cars on the road, but it is clear that the value of something is not determined by its price. There are many more important things in life than sacrificing your family and personal time to pay off your car loan. In the end, the gasket blew and it broke, but I have only fond memories. nostalgic. Now that I have a child, I need more space, so I drive a Toyota Sequoia, but the reliability and security of Japanese cars is the best.

You are also a member of CYCLE ZOMBIES, but do you usually ride a motorcycle?

I think Harleys and vintage bikes are really cool, but I don't own one myself. I sometimes ride dirt bikes, but I don't ride them on public roads. I can feel the spirit of freedom in bikes that is similar to surfing. My dad and grandpa had choppers and they would customize them like the guys from CYCLE ZOMBIES. Similar to what I said earlier, if I had the money and time I might buy a bike, but right now surfing is my passion so I don't have that option. I thought it was great when I saw it for sale at Scotty's, but it cost easily 4 million yen.

You once came to Japan with the CYCLE ZOMBIES team. What is your relationship with them?

I went to Japan as a photographer and filmer. It was the coolest trip. At that time, I thought Japan was a very beautiful country.

Regarding my relationship with CYCLE ZOMBIES, I think I first met Scotty in 2010 when we went to Florida together for Joel Tudor's Duct Tape Invitational contest. At the time, we were both sponsored by HURLEY, so we started surfing together and became good friends, and after that, I started taking photos and videos of the CYCLE ZOMBIES team. I made a movie with them as part of a project for the magazine ON THE BOARD. Take pictures of bikes and surfing.

Around the same time, I met Mitch, CJ Nelson, Alex Knost, and Tyler Warren, and started not only surfing, but hanging out.

Where was JJ born and how did he start surfing?

Born in 1984 in Torrance, LA. Shortly thereafter, he moved inland to a place called Riverside, and at the age of 10 came to San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, where he still lives. My grandfather and grandmother were Dutch, and my father was born in California, so I'm the first generation. I started surfing late, when I entered high school. At first, my parents drove me to the porch of a beach break near my house. Afterwards, a guy who worked in the military nearby took me with him to the military base (north of San Onofre) and we surfed at Church (Trestles). Church is still my favorite Blake.

Around that time, Thomas Campbell's movie Seedling was released and I fell in love with single fin longboards. He was living in Dana Point at the time and I also remember filming Seitaro (Nakamura) at Doheny.

The first log I bought was Donald Takayama's Model T. I was really influenced by the older surfers that were active at the time. For the generation of Joel Tudor and Mitch. I also vividly remember reading an article about Mitch in Longboard Magazine. Matt Howard and Brittany Quinn were still in California.

What is your current occupation and title?

Yeah, I guess you could call it a private contractor. Currently, I am fortunate to be able to work in a field that I have chosen. Just like my father, I like to create things with my hands. Surfing is my driving force for creating things, and at the same time I need it to be creative. There are so many great surfers around me like Brian Bent, Mitch, Alex Knost, and Robin Kegal that inspire me every day, and I approach surfing from a creative perspective. This is a little off topic, but all of my work starts with a surfing connection, and I provide photography, video, and art to various brands. At BEACHED DAYS, he similarly utilizes his skills and is involved not only in photography and video, but also in product development and feedback. It's still a new brand, but I'm happy to have fun and be a part of this project.

What is your artistic background?

It originally started when I entered high school in San Clemente and couldn't make the surf team. I remember losing to Tommy Witt in a competition at a school full of high-level surfers who went to CT. I took an art class instead, and I really liked drawing. I surf in the morning before going to school and immerse myself in art after school. He then majored in art at junior college, studying screen printing, graphic design, and film production.

Upon graduation from high school, he was sponsored by Becker Surfboards. Through that connection, he also worked on designing T-shirts for Becker's shop, and teamed up with Brian Bent to create limited edition art T-shirts for Becker.

My art is definitely connected to surfing, but I'm really influenced by John Severson and Rick Griffin from the 60's. Art is something that can express freedom, just like surfing. I also learned sketching and landscape painting at school, but my art style is not to look at photos or things and write about them, but to express myself broadly and freely in the imaginary world in my head. Although I have time constraints right now, I would like to put more effort into creating art.

My son is almost 3 years old, so I designed a t-shirt for him and bought a 3D printer to make some small toys for him. But in reality, it takes time, money, and effort, and it takes up to 20 hours to 3D print something this small, the size of your palm. Then I paint with a small brush, which is a simple process, but it's just fun. I've created about 12 characters so far. Even if I were to sell them, I wouldn't be able to make any money, but I'm learning a lot of things right now. I think there's a possibility that the toy could become a finky or a wax comb, but I hope someone is interested. I think it would be fun to make surf figure toys featuring my friends Tyler Warren and Alex Knost.

Your children are still young, but do you go to the beach with them? What is JJ's beach life like?

Oh, of course. My wife and I are happy with our current California lifestyle and are so grateful to be able to raise our children here. Living in this environment is great and we go to the beach as a family as much as possible. San Onofre has remained the same for generations, 50, 60, 70 years ago, with unpaved sand roads and surfing just like it used to. And even if you have children, you can enjoy the beach with peace of mind.

Just the other weekend, the water was cold, but it was a very warm day. I was able to spend a peaceful and special holiday with other families. California has a nice climate, so just surfing and spending time at the beach is great, but I try not to take it for granted and live my life to be grateful for everything.

Interview/Mio Kawazoe ● Born and residing in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from California State University, San Diego, surfing club. The son of a 1st generation Japanese surfer, he encountered foreign culture from an early age. For 10 years starting in the early 1990s, he lived between San Diego and Malibu, California, experiencing the longboard revival. After returning to Japan, he became the editor-in-chief of ON THE BOARD and worked on GLIDE and other magazine media. Until now, we have introduced real California logs and alternative surf scenes to Japan through our own network.

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