Hunter Jones: South Bay Surfer

Redefining High Performance By Doing It All


he term “high-performance” isn’t just for Lamborghinis, superhumans who go heliskiing every other week and Laird Hamilton. But what about all the South Bay surfers out for dawn patrol, guys just trying to get that red rose, commuters stuck in traffic on the 405 just hoping to make it home in time for a long ride, and, those working to improve the sustainability of the equipment we all use to have all of the aforementioned fun? Well, surfer media producer slash WSL personality slash a bunch of there things we won’t list out here, Hunter Jones, might not have not have made it through the rose ceremony on the first episode of the show “The Bachelorette” he appeared on, but it’s probably for the best, because it gives him more time to do those other things. Hill City makes technical apparel for all of them (except maybe getting booted from reality shows), and they kitted out Hunter for a day spent doing what he loves.

Nothing in life is going to be simply handed to you.

We asked a few high-performance humans we admire to show us their perfect days and talk about redefining high-performance. That’s where Hunter comes in.

Hunter Jones left his job at the World Surf League in Los Angeles to pursue his passions as a video producer in Hawaii, got on the other side of the WSL as a competitor and came full circle as an on-camera new commentator for WS and is now back home in Los Angeles. He somewhere in there found time to make the aforementioned reality show appearance. And also, hey, buddy, take a day for yourself once in a while.

Hill City supplied some of the gear and the thought bubble asking what would you do on your perfect day? Here’s how Hunter spent the time.

You’ve gone from working for WSL, to being a pro surfer with your own media agency/production company and appearing on “The Bachelorette.” Was there a plan? How did it all come about?

Hunter: Honestly, none of it was planned. I worked for the WSL managing their social and working as a video editor for a couple of years and was basically looking for a change of pace and more life balance. I decided to quit to go pursue some other dreams, but that was probably one of the most difficult life decisions I’ve made because I seriously loved my job. I kinda just took the risk and followed my gut with the decision and shortly after my surf and independent creative career started to pick up, along with a crazy opportunity to be on “The Bachelorette.” I had some rough plans of what I was going to do after initially leaving the WSL but they were all ideas that I was going after head-on that actually turned into something.

It’s crazy to think now, a little over a year after leaving my full-time position at WSL, I’m back working with them as a News Personality for their daily show “Surf Breaks.” I’m blessed with the opportunity and I’m stoked to be working with them again.

You’re basically doing it all. How do you think you’re redefining high performance?

Hunter: Thank you! I don’t know if I’m redefining what high performance is, but I have high expectations of myself, I try not to make excuses and I’m ok with failure. Nothing in life is going to be simply handed to you, so I think mindset and setting personal goals for yourself is everything. I think if I can meet my goals, that’s high performance.

What were your hopes in appearing on “The Bachelorette?” Just looking for love in the time of Kardashian?

Hunter: I really didn’t know what was going to come of the whole thing. It’s pretty crazy, I got messaged on Instagram with an opportunity to be a part of the show and after a few interviews and going through the whole casting process I was chosen to be a part of it! Getting that call was insane. Even being cast, we didn’t know who “The Bachelorette” was actually going to be, so there was only so much I could be prepared for. But overall I was stoked just to be apart of the select few people that have been apart of the series as a whole. It was a special opportunity!

We hear Kelly Slater is an avid viewer. Do you think he watched your episode?

Hunter: I heard that too! I have no idea, but that’d be pretty cool if he did! Kelly was on “Baywatch” back in the day, so I guess I’m just trying to follow his lead.

Just having more surfboard manufacturers promoting epoxy construction is a step in the right direction

Why is it important to raise eco-standards in surfboard making? What can be done to continue to improve across the industry?

Hunter: Traditional surfboards are unfortunately toxic and a lot of what goes into building a surfboard produces a ton of waste. One simple thing I’ve done is instead of riding PU surfboards (polyurethane surfboards) I’ve been riding epoxy surfboards. These two constructions have different feels and advantages on certain waves, but the epoxy foam is recyclable where PU foam is not.

Ryan Harris is a shaper I’ve been working with for a long time, and he’s turned his whole surfboard production facility, Earth Technologies, into a zero-waste production facility. Meaning everything he uses to build a surfboard is recycled and categorized into different bins, or even re-used in the next batch of boards he makes. I think just having more surfboard manufacturers promoting epoxy construction is a step in the right direction. And this is something that has definitely become more popular in recent years!

How did growing up surfing El Porto shape the way you surf?

Hunter: Growing up surfing El Porto definitely molded me into a certain type of surfer. The waves here are typically pretty fast and closed out, so I’d say I’m definitely more of a beach break surfer. The waves in our area don’t get quite as good as most places, so when I can, I like to go surf waves that give you the opportunity to link multiple turns together and do more top to bottom surfing.

Current projects or upcoming projects you are excited about?

Hunter: I’m super stoked to be working on a personal full-length surf edit of myself. Kinda like a little movie. I’ve been saving the footage for about a year from some trips, and I’m stoked to be in the midst of editing that project!

I’ve also been working closely with my younger brother’s Blake and Miles who make music together, and last week we got word that a label wants to push and release a full EP of their music! That’s huge news for us and my family so I’m super stoked to be working on that with them too. Check em out wherever you listen to music: Blake and Miles.

How did you spend your Hill City-inspired day?

Hunter: Started off the day with a fun early morning surf in Newport Beach with a couple buddies. It’s always good surfing with friends because we always push each other. We got some fun waves and then went to grab some food. After surfing I came home, cleaned off my surf gear and then set up a new board that I was bringing to Hawaii! All in all, a good day for sure.

Why that?

Hunter: Whenever I have the chance to get waves outside of the South Bay [his home base in LA], I try to! There was a combo swell in the water which means peaky surf, so I thought Newport would be super fun!

What was the best part?

Hunter: The best part was probably watching my buddy Kei Kobayashi who I was surfing with getting launched 10 feet out the backside of a wave. We were cracking up. That and just getting in the water is always a good thing

One place you haven’t surfed that you want to:

Hunter: I’ve never been to Australia and they have some world-class waves I’d love to surf! It’s funny, although I’ve never been there, I feel like I know I’d love it and could probably live there

Three things you consider high performance:

Hunter: Putting yourself in vulnerable situations, Going after something bigger than yourself, …And those Hill City Train Shorts you guys sent me are pretty insane, too.


Photos by: Michael Costa | @mic.l.c
Surf photos: Jawad Chabib | @jawadchabib
video filmed by Nathan Baker | @evo_n8 + Edit: Hunter Jones | @hunterjoness