Underground: Jeff Myers

Jeff Myers is a 25-year-old goofy-foot originally from Virginia Beach who now lives on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Although he spends May through December at home, he finds himself traveling the rest of the year due to the freezing water and weather conditions of the Mid-Atlantic.Life isn’t easy being a professional on the East Coast, especially when it comes to getting exposure¿that’s why he finds himself living on the road most of the time. Despite his adversities, Jeff keeps plugging along doing what he does best¿pushing his surfing to the limit.¿A.C.What’d you do when you were a kid and you couldn’t travel to tropical destinations?We just roughed it in ice-cold conditions¿no matter how windy or how bad the surf was. We had a ‘core group of guys¿well, kids¿who’d bum rides to the beach and make a day out of it even if it was freezing, rainy, windy, small, cold, or whatever.

How hard is it being a pro from the East Coast, especially the Mid-Atlantic area?You get out of it what you put into it, pretty much. The harder you try, the more connections you make. The more traveling you do and experience you get, the easier it comes. You’ve got to pay dues coming from the East. It’s worthwhile in the long run, though. It’ll make itself happen¿it works out.

What drives you?Just all the experiences, having new friends, riding perfect waves, and the new places you get to see when you travel¿you can’t trade anything for that stuff. Plus, it gets so cold at home. You lose motivation to surf when it gets too cold. Eventually, you get bit by the bug and you want to travel, meet new people, and surf new waves. Once you get a taste, you just want to take off.

A lot of pros in areas like Orange County or Southern California had guys who mentored them and got them through. Who was your mentor? As a kid, we pushed each other and watched a lot of videos. For every school break, we’d stay in Hatteras Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and surf better waves with better quality. Every summer, we’d go to California and that’d push us. The older guys when I was growing up in Virginia Beach¿like Steve Avery, Wes Laine, and John Kleintop¿pushed us, rode us until we wanted it. They pushed us, ragged on us, belittled us, and gave us so much shit as kids. It made us want it that much more¿we wanted to outshine the bigger guys. That pushed everyone.Virginia Beach sucks you in pretty bad as you get older. It has a heavy bar scene that’s easy to get sucked into. I started traveling when I was younger and had an opportunity to do the NSSA Nationals¿it was a really big deal for me. I actually ended up separating with my peer groups when I got to high school. I traveled solo and met new people¿all the other guys kinda got sucked into the whole bar thing in V.B.I slowed down a bit, went my own way, and did it all myself. I made all the connections and went to California to do the contests¿whatever it took. As a kid, I wanted to make it professionally as a surfer, saw a window, went for it, and never looked back. I tried to make it happen.

What are you gonna do when your traveling’s not paid for anymore? How do you see yourself transitioning into another career and not stagnating in Virginia Beach?There’s always the surf industry. That’s kind of a no-brainer¿as long as you portray yourself the right way, get along with everyone, and don’t burn bridges. I didn’t do the college route, and as a result, I made so many friends in different places that by the time I’m through surfing professionally, I’ll be able to secure a job in the surf industry¿if that’s what I decide to do. I’ve still got a couple years in me, for sure. I have a lot of friends who own different businesses, so I have a couple different options to fall back on.

If you didn’t surf, what would you be doing right now?It’s hard to say. I definitely would’ve graduated college with a degreee¿you know, the whole school thing. As far as a profession goes, it’s hard to say. Even as little kids, we’d look up to all the reps who got tons of free gear and stickers¿being a rep at the time seemed like the real deal. Either way, I’d really enjoy doing something outside of surfing. I’m sure it’d be business related¿start over with something outside the industry.