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Checking In with Jay Davies

Interviews July 14, 2020July 23rd, 2020

photo: Pierre David

Often people say “I can’t remember where I first met xxxx”. 

Jay Davies isn’t one of those names.

Whilst planning a surf trip in France, followed by a premiere tour through Amsterdam and Rome with Dion and Chippa last year, they sent us a message along the lines of; ‘Jay has been with us in Waco and is with us in New York now, he’s keen to come to Europe – that sweet?’

Well I’m a firm believer in the more the merrier and Jay was welcomed with open arms. Starting things off as we meant to go on in true French fashion with a large evening at Hossegor’s Café de Paris, and unspeakable acts in the ‘Dirty Merc’ , Jay quickly became a family favourite at WT. His easy going manner and mischievous streak for a good time saw him downing Aperol Spritz’s in Rome, signing contracts with Globe Europe via headlocks in Amsterdam and breaking hearts in Hossegor. And his surfing? We’ll just leave to you skip to this air at 2’56 right here. 

So on hearing he left his long time sponsor of RVCA, and was working on the boats out of Western Australia. A little catch up was long overdue. 

photo: Wyatt Dylan

Wasted Talent: 

Jay!  It’s Alex. This work?

Jay Davies: 

Sure does mate! 

Here we are! 

There you are my bruv. How are ya?

Good mate! Summer in full swing. More importantly how are you? What’s cooking over in WA?

Bloody beautiful. Summer is a great time, lots of beers and beach time. Well winter is in full swing over here.

Many waves? 

Surf has been pretty cooking! Lots of swell heading to the north west tomorrow.

Nice, which waves are up there? 

Kalbarri but even more north is a place called Gnaraloo, should be absolutely chooffing. I’m stuck at work though  – Gonna miss it 🤦🏻‍♂️

So talk us through it. No more RVCA? What are you doing work wise?

No more RVCA. As the COVID shit hit all payments were put on hold and I was like ‘yeah all good’. I was sure everything would be sweet. But then a few weeks later my friend from RVCA contacted me and said my contract would be void due to the virus. I was completely rattled. I had just signed for two years but had only spent a month on that contract. Definitely an eye opener. Now I’m working out of Fremantle on tug boats. Throwing ropes working on barges and moving ships.  haha.

Holy shit, so it was a Force Majeure contract void?

Yeah I guess there was a clause in their saying if a pandemic or natural disaster was to happen my contact was to be ripped up.

Shit, so how do you manage the transition from Pro Surfing to Pro tug boating? Tough pill to swallow or did you take it in your stride with your usual easy going nature?

I was completely freaked out in the beginning. Then once it settled in and I’ve excepted the fact that I had a great run. Then I was good. The crew I work for are really understanding, so if there’s a great forecast of waves coming I can usually get away for a day or two. Which has been good for my mental health. After spending the past 17 year chasing waves ya can’t just cut it off or I’d completely lose it haha.

Yeah of course man, so talk me me though what an average day or shift on the boats looks like? I’m intrigued. Got any iPhone photos to show us? Plus we will need a selfie…

Well all depends on what kinda job is on. Could start at 0600 meet at the yard. We do some stuff for BP or assist ships into the harbour and crew runs. Days could be long drawn out days like 12 hours or just a couple short call out, which could only take a couple of hours. So it means I’m basically on standby in Perth waiting on the job. Can get tiring but then some jobs are exciting and gets the blood pumping. We had a coldmove today.

What does a coldmove consist of? 

Which means the ship is a dead ship and won’t be able to start the engines So we will hip up against the ship and move it to its holding. This is us going out to retrieve hoses from BP ships. The ships are full of crude oil. Basically the stuff that gets turned into fuel for our car. It’s pretty interesting.

So you move the hoses to the docks to pump the oil out? 

Not exactly. We will also attach huge fenders to the mother ship full of oil, then a small ship will come along side and fill her self up with the hoses we’ve also attached. The small ship will get filled to the brim then head into port and off load the oil for them to refine and make into shit we can use.

Got ya. So how did you fall into this line of work? 

Before everything happen with RVCA, I had done a few courses to possibly get a few days work just to get experience. As I had only surfed for so long I thought it would be good to go do a few days work to just get experience and once the surfing thing fell apart I could step into this. Little did I know it would happen a few weeks after getting a couple days on the boat. But I have a fair few friends in the industry that I lent on for advice and somehow found my self on a boat throwing rope.

I back it! So tell us about this swell chase work / mix then, hard to swallow missing the swell this week?

Fuck I wish! I took three days off last week, went down south and surfed for a few days it’s was good. I’m locked into a full week of work on the boats which I’m a little upset about but need to pay the bills.

Fuck man, that’s life. Who did you go down south with? 

Yeah I just did the run home and met up with my brother and a few of the boys were around. Terry (Taj) and I surfed a couple crazy waves at this beach that gets good this time of year. What a fun few days.

Haha epic. Good times hanging out with the Goat?

Yeah it’s really good, he’s always talking about how good things are and how good the waves are going to be so gets ya pretty excited. He’s a blood positive prick which is so good, he’s dead set still the most frothed guy on the planet about getting tubed, it’s epic! 

photo: Wyatt Dylan

Haha that’s rad. So – what does the winter / rest of the year have in store for you? 

I’ve been working on a part for the past year, and I’m going to release that at the end of August. So till then just keep plugging away at that and throwing rope. Definitely need to go north for one of these swells and the way things have been going it should be a fruitful year up there for waves. So the next few months should be good. 

Fuck yes! That’s good to hear. Well I’ve got something up my sleeve involving you and Morocco for early next year so watch this space big rig. 

I like Morocco… 

photo: Andrew Semark

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