We're here with Mikala Jones, world traveler, and free surfer extraordinaire. What are you doing in California and why did you surf three times yesterday? Have you ever surfed three times in Cali?
No, that was my first time ever, or in the last five years for sure. I just flew in from a Split trip and I had to do a Matuse wetsuit shoot. I had some downtime yesterday. It was a nice beautiful sunny day, nice and warm so I trunked it, three times. I'm stoked.
Mikala Jones, not during one of his three sessions in SoCal Monday. Photo: Nelly
Tell me about the Matuse shoot. Did Derek Dunfee's brother shoot it?
It was a pretty crazy shoot—a bunch of hot chicks and guys in tuxedos. It's hard to explain, you just have to wait until it comes out…
Was it kind of an 80's theme?
Nah, not 80's. Retro, Ron Burgundy style.
You were part of the original crew that moved to Bali. Nowadays you hear, "I'm outta' here. I'm moving' to Bali" quite a bit, but you did that eight years ago. What are some of the major changes you have seen over there?
Well, after those two bombs happened it became pretty un-crowded. The whole island of Bali is all about tourism, so it is good to see that people are coming back especially lots of surfers, which is good for the local people and their economy. There are still a lot of spots and it's close to the Mentawais so there are still a lot of waves to surf by yourself. It is still crowded at the main spots though. It's good and bad that it is getting so much hype but I'd be there anyways because my wife and her whole family live there and my daughter goes to school there. It's good to split it up, half my time there, and half in Hawaii.
You mentioned the bombings. Do you think people have forgotten about that, or is it still in people's heads?
I think it is still in the minds of people that were there when it happened. It was so unexpected, so unreal. I still don't go out to Kuta and party much. If you do go there, it's in the back of your mind. The party setting was where it all went down.
On a lighter subject, what do you have going on now? Are you going back home? Any cool trips lined up?
I'm going back home, probably do some traveling through Indo, go to the Philippines for that tube riding contest and looking forward to an early season in Hawaii, before it gets too crowded.
When is the signal for you to pull the plug on Bali and head back to the North Shore?
Usually when you start seeing those first swells lining up for the North Shore. And once the sand starts moving out of Pipe and Backdoor you get a couple swells before people get there. Keep your eye on the swell.
Good day at Keramas or good day at Rocky Rights?
It's different. It's two different times of the year, so you don't have to make that choice. (Laughs)
Lucky for you! Anyway, thanks for coming by and we'll see you in December.—Justin Cote