Ain’t old aquaintances just the finest? A friendship maturing like fine wine over the years, conceived during our exploits filming La Cabane in France, Born in the world of send in Amsterdam, and celebrated in Rome! Yet now separated by geography and a global pandemic – the horror of it all!
Enter Notre ami Jay Davies with his stelar nouvelle part – ‘On Stress Leave’. Needless to say, we hasten to add, New Years celebrations, COVID contractions and the usual time difference hurdles means we’re a little late to the game but we finally managed to get Jay on the blower to check in on stress levels amongst other things, and it turns out he’s doing just fine! Uncork, below.
WT: Mr Davies ! Happy New Year mate !
Jay Davies: Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello. Happy New Year to you and the guys over there! How’s things ?
We’re good.. I mean pretty much everyone here has COVID right now but it seems like this Omnicron variant is a little less hectic and everyone we know is fine. Where you at right now ?
Ah that’s good that everyone is ok. I’m at home… Been here about a month and a half now. I just took some time off after work wrapped up at the end of the year and I just haven’t answered any calls to go back to work yet. I’ve kind of just been enjoying some time off.
So when are you back to work ?
They kind of call you when there’s jobs on and you can either go and make money, or you can just bum around and cruise like me right now. Haha.
That sounds pretty good but easy to never go back… Are you still working on the tug boats ?
Yeah well I guess money kind of becomes the the thing that you get addicted to in this game. You can make a lot of money but you lose a lot of life. I’m in the marine construction industry these days. I’m not heavily on boats or tugs anymore, I’m mostly working in the the mining and resource sector which is pretty psycho. It’s hard to explain until you go and get involved with it but everything to do with this sector is just so grand and crazy.
So you’re a miner these days ?
Nah we’re basically just the team who build and repair the walls and the structures so they can get the stuff on the big ships. Kind of like ding fixers. Big dings. We’re in there sorting and fixing things.
I’m really working here because I just got thrown on my ass when COVID hit a couple years ago*. I’m not loving it, but I mean, I’m not completely hating the work either, it’s just time away from the family. I’ve got a Missus and a dog, and I just don’t want to be away from them all the time. If you start thinking about having a family you go well fuck, I’m going to end up being away from home half the time and you can get pigeon holed into this way of life! I don’t have any other skills so this is how I make bread for the family. I’m sort of at a crossroads right now.
*Note Jay’s contract as a full time professional surfer got ripped up overnight when COVID first hit under a natural disaster clause.
Are you looking at any other career paths? You could probably start a gym with that rig?
Mate there’s like four gyms (here) in Yallingup already! I’ve always got little ideas… There’s a few things in the background that are happening. Things I’m looking into which are cool and could revolve around being my own business. I’m not quite there yet though…
It’s always good to have ideas brewing…
Exactly. I’m just trying to make a bit of money so I can have the freedom to run with these ideas one day. Right now I’m working with pirates. They are really great people, but they also don’t really have the same hobbies as we do. They don’t travel and chase surf so it’s kind of hard to relate to people when you’re on these jobs.
Everyone must love the pub at least ?
They Loooove the pub mate. Love drinking piss! Especially where we work. We work in the northwest of Australia and it’s hot as fuck so you can always feel like a beer by the end of the day. Actually you feel like a beer by the middle of the day, let alone the end. It’s like Indo… by the end of the day you feel like you deserve one just without the surfing part.
You still living in that container you converted over in Yallingup (Western Australia)?
That chapter came to an end and I sold the container. We’ve just got a new little place right on the hill outside of Yallingup which is amazing. I’m just looking across the paddock right now watching kangaroos migrate from one side to the other. There’s cattle and other animals… it’s really dreamy! I’m pretty happy with the new location for the family and it’s just the best time of the year here right now to enjoy it all. You walk around in boardshorts all day, go fishing and surfing.
I’m currently sat at a desk with my hood up, slippers firmly on.. It’s hard to relate to any of the above.
I can picture that. Well we do that for the other half of the year when you guys are all sitting back drinking those Spritz in the Summer !
True! Should we talk about your new video ‘Stress Leave’ ? The real reason we’re here…
Yeah so I hadn’t been to Gnaraloo for about two years, I think since the first lockdown in 2019 Maybe? It was actually really late in the season and we did a full two day run for it. It was brutal because I hadn’t been in a car for that length trip in a while and it’s like a 13 hour drive. When we got there we slept, woke up and surfed, then drove home the next day because the the waves didn’t turn out that great. Fuck my back and my body is so out of practice these days. I was huffing and puffing and missing waves. We still got tubed, but it wasn’t good as it could get. You just realise how unfit you are in those waves. Usually when you’re doing surfing for a living you just take that fitness all for granted.
“It was a funny world that I was living in, like a dreamland really. Just travelling the world with friends and I’m stoked that a lot of the boys are still doing it! Take it on as long as you can. Make the most of it like we all did! “
Like surfing every day?
Doing it every fucking day! That’s why I’m enjoying being home at the moment. I’m just fucking fit again, because at work you become this robot that doesn’t really focus on the whole body health kind of thing. I’m not 20 years old anymore and my metabolism is slowing down a little bit.
I don’t for a minute believe you’ve lost any of those muscles…
Well I guess I had but now they’re coming back mate…haha. Been doing a little bit of work on my body these days.
You can’t drink 20 beers every night and just go surfing the next day and still have an eight pack?
Nah those days are done.
Back to the video… Your brothers filmed a lot of your videos over the years (including this one) and contributed to lots of other surf films. Does he film surfing full time or have other stuff on the side?
Nah he’s a wedding photographer by trade. I guess we’ve just worked on pieces since the younger years and I throw him a bone every now and then when people throw me a bone, I guess. It’s just kind of a love thing. We still kind of get to throw the boards on the roof and argue like we’re fucking 20 years old again it’s great.
Wyatt Davies on the tools
And how long have Creatures been supporting you?
Well, it’s a funny one… It was my first sponsor slash job when I was a young kid and I remember jumping off the school bus and going into their factory and packing stickers. So I guess that’s when the money started getting put into my hand.
So that’s like 20+ years?
Exactly. There’s a solid crew in there that are all from the same walks of life. There’s guys that I shot films with when I was super young and now they do all the design and product development so yeah it’s a cool set up.
Who else is supporting you these days?
Well you boys at Wasted Talent throw me some garments which has been great..
Yep love a suit! The boys from Former have actually started flowing me gear as well which is sick. Dane (Reynolds) and Craig (Anderson) have just started giving me bits which is cool. It’s nothing serious but I want to support the boys and they’ve given me some rad gear to hang in.
Chilli surfboard have always filled my closet up with boards too which is a blessing. They’re always stoked to make me a quiver for winter, and come Summer there’s all these fresh new designs that we play around with which I’m really fucking thankful for. Globe have kept my feet covered for the last four or so years and then Otis look after my eyes & put polarised lenses on them so I can see the fish darting around my boat.
What’s in the agenda for 2022?
I’m actually going to Gnaraloo in May which is exciting. A bit of camping… Nothing too much locked in yet.
And you’re coming to the Ments with us on the boat in May right?
100%. Well if the borders open I’d love to be coming. Quarantine still looks like a nightmare though. Travelling is a nightmare full stop. I don’t want to say too much as I know this whole COVID thing has affected people badly but fuck, we got to get on with it don’t we ? It’s going on 3 years… I mean I’ve had a really big change up in my whole life because of it so it’s just been even more confusing but yeah I’m over it.
Despite the change in your career as well as travel restrictions would you say you’ve explored Australia more?
I’ve been to a lot more places than I would have ever imagined for work. I mean if I still had the support from the companies that allowed me to travel around and live freely like I did I could have. I’ve just had a whole change of scenery which has been an eye opener. It was a funny world that I was living in, like a dreamland really. Just travelling the world with friends and I’m stoked that a lot of the boys are still doing it! Take it on as long as you can. Make the most of it like we all did!
Well we’ve just got to do this reunion tour then. 2023 is going to be the year and we have big plans. For now please keep filming and putting out videos. We’d love to see a Sprit II! Good chatting to you Jay. We miss you !
Thanks boys. Can’t wait to see you all again soon!