Aloha, welcome to the 24th episode of the third series of our podcast!
Today with us, from California, is Jonathan Freeman, comedian, surfer and paramedic…
We discussed with him about surf, surfboards and much more! It was very fun!
You can find the episode in all major podcast platforms or read the interview below, while forgiving us of missing part or mistakes while transcribing it.
TTOS: Aloha Jonathan, welcome to the show, where are you today?
I’m in San Diego county in Southern California.
TTOS: today, we're going to talk about many things and we're going to talk your way so different episode than the usual ones. First question is common to everybody, in your opinion, what is the most important thing in surfing?
Respect, respect for other people around you… surf is an inherently selfish sport, it's all about getting that feeling over and over again and getting stoked on a good wave. So you want to catch as many waves as you can, but what that leads to is a lot of people, button heads. Being respectful of other people in their time, you never know what they're going through in their life, they may need those waves more than you do, so try to mellow out and wherever you go in the world, if you're just respectful, you'll be amazed at the people that will reach out to you, it'll open up so many doors to get invited to dinners, to meals, meeting people's families, just be respectful, whatever ability you're at. Even if you're the sickest surfer ever, you're still respectful, you'll be a king or queen wherever you go.
TTOS:I agree with you and that applies to life as well.
TTOS: Let's talk about surfboards, you have quite some today, I was following in Instagram, you have maybe around 15 in your collection right now…. What was your first “proper” surfboard and do you still have it?
I do not have my very first surfboard and, actually, recently there's been a lot of talk amongst my circle of friends about my first surfboard, because the guy who gave it to me says that he did not give it to me to keep that I was forced to give it back. It was a short board by a shaper named Kunny out of, I believe , Newport beach or Costa Mesa area. It was a full 8/0 sharp board, flat, fast, super sick, I learned on that thing and I think I sold it to somebody or I may have broke it and just never told this guy and now, 20 years later, he's after me…..
When I was kid, I played traditional sports, but then, when you grow up in Southern California, surfers are the coolest, they live on the coast, but I didn't quite live on the coast, I lived maybe 25 minutes from the water right up the freeway….they considered us Inlanders… I would just boogie board and we had friends that surfs, but it never dawned on me to try to ask somebody to teach me, but then, about to turn 13, I decided that I was going to be a surfer, they're the coolest, I want to wear the clothes. I want them. I thought they got all the girls. I want to meet girls. I want to be at the beach all the time and so I learned on a, what we call the soft top (now you would say wave storms), these were called Doyle. Cause I think maybe Mike Doyle made the soft surfboards and all the junior lifeguards would use them. So I learned on that totally addicted and summer leaving eighth grade, I was almost 15 years old is when I fully committed to surfing, but I still kinda like played a little football and then made a decision by the time I was almost 16 I will surf forever.
TTOS: Did you get all the girls that you wanted or that was just like, kind of a dream?
I'm sitting here right now on the temple of surf podcast and that means all of my dreams came true in surfing, I have everything. Everything in my life is for surfing, who I married, what I do now, how I make money, what makes me happy, what brings me joy in life….Like it's been there, it's this constant thread that runs through my life. Surfing's one of the best things I ever took up.
TTOS: Let's talk about surfers in Instagram, do you think they take themselves too seriously?
The ones that do are definitely the funniest, those are my favorite accounts to follow….a surfer who's just posing… there are just a lot of staged situational, like videos that they make, but you can tell, cause they're not that great at selling what they're doing that it's fake, but God bless them for trying. You know, whatever the market demands, there's a market for that. There are teenage girls that love to just look at a dude holding a surfboard and those people have 2 million followers and go for them, whatever.
TTOS: It's an different kind of industry, right?
I have no idea what's happening, all I know is once again, the Instagram led me to the temple of surf podcast and that's all right with this guy. That's the best thing that's happened. That's all I'm saying.
TTOS:I don't know if it is the best thing but I thank you for saying that! Let’s talk about comedy because you have always like a good spirit and, sometimes, you take subjects that are really painful, but you just talk about them with the smile and it's so amazing to follow you. If I have to ask you the same question that I asked you at the beginning, you know, what was the most important thing in surfing? What would be the most important thing in comedy?
I think the most important thing in comedy is just realizing that you could die at any moment and so you're going to say things that need to be said in a way that people find humorous and it needs to be done because this life is too short. I feel like I was wired for comedy, I'm the youngest, I'm the only boy I have two older sisters and like my whole life, like I just was like “I want to get on stage, I want to make people laugh, I want to make people smile” because that made me feel good. So if you feel inclined towards that, and then you combine it with a sense of like buy for short, you'll just care less about what people think and your self-confidence will go up and you can just do the things you want. And if people don't like it, who cares, you'll find people that dig what you're doing.
Comedy is subjective, like music, some people love just techno and they'll play it in the middle of the day in their car and you're like “what is going on with that person”, but that's their jam, I don't like that, I think it's ridiculous, but that person's having a spiritual experience listening to some DJ trash, but It's amazing.
TTOS: It's like live and let live right? Among all the videos you have done are there some that you had particular fun in making them?
Yeah…. the ones that do very well are the ones I like snd then probably cause they're just personal and I kind of have a funky sense of humor. I guess my favorite is it actually did pretty well. I was out in the water, two of them actually! I was out in the water and I pretended that I was a dude who was in the water and a dolphin came up and hit his board and he thought it was a shark, freaked out and he starts punching whatever's there and it's a bottlenose dolphin and he's just like slugging it in the face. Then he realizes, at the third punch, that it's a dolphin and he's crying in the back of his van after surfing. And he has a surf hat on and his wetsuit and he's talking about like at first you think it's a shark attack and then he switches to, then I saw it was a dolphin and he's apologizing and then he's doing the language.,the dolphin was talking to him in, cause the dolphin was like kind of crying and he's doing like weird sound.
I liked that one that got on cue for the day, that was funny. And then the other one was surfing and there's a girl out, she's not a girl, she's like an older woman and she's in a thong, she's in a, g-string surfing and I see her and I'm like really upset in the parking lot again and kind of crying, because nobody should have to see that when they go surfing…..
TTOS: LOL that’s should not happen! Let's talk about some topics, but your way. The first one, I just saw a video recently where you're talking about the value of a used surfboard.
It may be personal to you how much that board is worth and you pay a lot for it, but they're like when you buy a new car in the United States, the second you drive it off, the lot depreciates in value, like 30%. It's just the fact that you rode it, you can't ride a board without putting a heel in it, doing something to it. And then you get these guys that have boards that are, they have dings and aren't even repaired correctly and they want $400 American dollars for this board. And you go now I'll give you 250. And they're like, oh, that's insulting, but then they call you three weeks later when it's not selling. And they're like, I'll take 250
TTOS: It's amazing, people have their own idea about their own surfboard price and, definitely, is not the market price.
So true. In rare cases, there are times when people get a board as a gift and they hold it and they know right away, it's too smaller, too big for them, then it's worth the money. They'll usually give you like a hundred bucks off what you would pay in a store or they'll take the tax off. And that's a brand new board… it's worth what it's worth, it hasn't been written.
TTOS: next topic, hand shaped surfboards or machine shaped….
I've seen the machines shape and I've watched lots of hand shapes boards and I love both. This is such a nerd way to answer, man. I'm so glad hand shaping still exists and there are guys that can do everything from start to finish. Some guys are hand shapers and they just get really popular and then they need a machine to assist them because the demand is big for their boards. I live in both, I can't say where I fall. I ride them both, I'll ride everything, I'll try everything and I still don't know what goes into a magic board because you get very few of them and when you get them and you just keep riding them
TTOS:, competitive surfing out there
The hardest thing for a pro surfer right now is figuring out the surf landscape because for years and years to be a pro surfer, I mean, it was simple. You went on surf trips, everything was taking care of , you were making good money and, if someone was wearing a surf shirt that was sick, that was cool. But now with the industry changing and brands going away, I would think the hardest thing for a pro surfer would be to restart their career, you know, basically on social media, which we've seen a lot do successfully and I hope there's a lot more, I hope a lot of the guests that you've had on your show, I hope they go onto social media and start using it because that's how people are getting information now. And that's how you pass on your legacy and story to other people. I mean, and there's an audience for it
TTOS: you always promote good values, do you think you reached your goals?
I hope so. Sometimes I just feel like something needs to be said in the moment and it may be because of the day I had or there's something going on in our world. And I just think like good values for me when I was growing up, there's a guy from the United States named Mr. Rogers, he was a children's TV show host. He was just a really nice guy and lived a really great life and he's kind of an American icon and his entire thing was promoting good values. I always kind of had in the back of my head, I would like to be a more kind of off color or maybe a little bit says some crazy stuff sometimes, but Mr. Rogers ish guy, that at the end of the day, like you're still promoting good values because again, life is short. And if you're not trying to make this place better while you're here, I personally think you're blowing in a life. You should be trying to make the world a little bit better place before you leave. So if I can do that on some silly, tiny thing, like Instagram, I'm going to do it.
TTOS: are you currently working on future projects?
Yeah. I'm so it's funny, like the doors that have opened from doing Instagram have just been really, really good for me. I think of it is people already know what type of person they're going to eat before they meet you. And they feel like they know you. So you just sort of like, you get comfortable with people very quickly because they've been watching these videos. I’m meeting businessman, people in the surf industry, that's been just incredible. And you know, you talk about stuff, you come up with ideas and I'm blessed to be able to work for a few companies and, and make videos. And it's just the greatest thing ever. I love it. I can't even believe it's real. Yeah. I worked for a company called pure prescriptions and new greens that I worked for. I worked for an amazing, amazing toy here in the United States called bug assault, which is the original salt gun for, you know, shooting flies with salt. It's super fun. It's rad. Yeah, Vipers, the sunglasses I'm wearing what I'm talking on this podcast. I get to do stuff for them, make, make funny videos protect sunblock. And they also do incredible supplements. Yeah. And then just people have been really kind and generous to me way more than I feel like I deserve and I could go on and on that's one of the neatest things is meeting really. Like-Minded cool people. That's a huge positive about social media.
TTOS: you're still keeping your everyday work as a paramedic, right?
Yeah. I have a paramedic license that I've been working on and off for the past 10 years as a medic. And that's just something that's like being a mechanic, having the skill, a way to make money. And it's what I like to do. I like people. So you're out a lot. You're driving in the ambulance every day is different. That kind of thing. So yeah, that's something I'm going to keep up with, keep my skills up. It also helps when you're on a surf trip, people are like, oh, there's a paramedic with us. And I'm always like, Hey guys, I don't have any equipment. Basically. All I can do is walk up and be like, he's going to live, or he's got a 50 50 shot or that's a dead body. That's pretty much the extent of what's going to happen if I'm on your surf trip, unless I have proper supplies, which now that I'm saying maybe I should just bring some proper supplies and not be a scumbag, you know?
TTOS: we're going to finish our interview with us short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes up to your mind. The best surfboard that you ever ridden…
I don't wanna answer this, I'm such a dirk right now,I don't want to answer it. This is like trying to choose your favorite child. The first thing that came to my head, I'm not going say the brand or anything, but it's a fish shortboard hybrid mix. It's 5/10 or 20, and three eights by two and three eights with a wide point forward and a winged pin tail, it has got five fin boxes, you can run it as a quad, you can run it as a twin with a trailer, or you can run it as a thruster, or you could just run it as a twin. If you're going to put one board, I'm always looking for that “ Swiss army knife” and to put in a bag and go surf anywhere. This thing would cover you from two foot to 10 foot….
TTOS: Your favorite shaper….
There are so many good shapers, I love surfboards….Chris Christenson boards are super sick, his boards work really, really well for me. The people at Channel Islands have been awesome to me. There's a bunch of local hand shapers from that area and they do an amazing job. Oh dude, I can't, I do. There's too many to name. There's so many guys. Rob Brown is one of the sickest dudes ever T-shaped for a lot of different companies. He also does amazing lamination. The dude can do it all from start to finish. And three of my magic boards I've had from him, and he in Oceanside San Clemente area is I think his Instagram handle is Santo local, S a N O L O C a L or something to that effect….if you can get a board from the guy , you are set
TTOS: personal question, your favorite song.
That's a good question. Oh man. my favorite song, it's a song by meatloaf, the fabulous American artists. “ I would do anything for love” It's what I do at karaoke, If you ever see me doing karaoke, it's going to be about 12 minutes long and people might start throwing tomatoes at me, but I'm hanging in the pocket and I'm going to finish my song.
TTOS: Your favorite surf spot…
Any left-hand point because I'm a goofy
I'm really tired of beach breaks, I like reef breaks and points, that's my new jam.
TTOS: Your favorite surfer
my current favorite pro surfer is a guy named Damien Hobgood and him and his brother, CJ are amazing surfers from Florida that are just some of the gnarliest chargers that were world tour, highest level caliber surfers in the world for a long time. I've never met the guy and I went on a surf trip with him last week and he's just one of the best human ever, one of the best dudes I've ever met, so humble, so cool. I can completely be myself around this guy, he's not going to judge me. He's just a cool dude.
Damien Hobgood, the man and a goofy foot,
TTOS: The last question is a little bit unusual, we want to know your best relationship advice.
My best relationship advice is, is this when you meet someone that you're attracted to be able to differentiate between the physical things that are happening, meaning like how much you're attracted to them physically and the feeling of like, do you love them or not? And if you get the feeling where you're in love with somebody and it's more than just a sexual attraction, you need to step back and think about the steps you're going to take. I think that nature's way of telling you that, like this should be your partner, that's it right there. You're going to feel something different. And hopefully here's the tough part, sometimes both people don't feel it, it may just be one person for the other person, but if both have that same feeling, my relationship advice is follow that and that's probably the person you're going to make babies with and raise kids together with and it's real hard, especially when you're younger to differentiate between lust than love, but go for love. Don't go for lust. That's my advice.
If you have similar hobbies, like my wife surfs and I've been married almost 13 years and she totally understands the surf addiction and that makes my life so much better because she gets it. She wants to be out surfing too. we have mutual love for basically the thing we love most, we both love the same activity as much as each other…..