Jens Rasmussen
(Saturday) 9.8.12

An interview with JoJo Roper

Jojo Roper is the son of San Diego surf legend Joe Roper.  Joe made a name for himself in the reefs of La Jolla and on the North Shore of Hawaii in 80′s.  An accomplished tube rider, he was invited to the Pipeline Masters in 83 and 84.  Today Joe runs Ropers Ding Repair (what would we do without) and Jojo is making a name for himself in both tube riding and the big wave realm.

How old are you and where did you grow up?

22 years old.  Grew up in Pacific Beach

Who influences your surfing? Past and Present?

When I was young I grew up in a pretty diverse group of people, from the Crystal Pier to the La Jolla reefs and sneaking around the rest of San Diego (south of Blacks) which is a pretty localized and sacred zone.  My dad, Joe Roper, of course being my biggest influence from everything he has accomplished and still does.   From Big Rock to Pipe…he has passed his knowledge on to me and showed me the ways.

Growing up I had the pleasure of watching the older guys like Skip Frye and Hank Warner and the rest of the PB locals rip, but when the reefs would start pumping I would be watching guys like my Dad, Henry Hunt, Peter Lochtefeld, Randy Lind, Johnny Jacobs, Joel Tudor, Johnny Maher, the Rotgans brothers, Dunfee’s and plenty of the other local characters.
Today the waves I am trying to go after has shifted my desire to pursue more of the bigger heavier realm.  Looking up to guys like Derek Dunfee who has pushed me and helped me a lot over the past years to surf big waves. And looking at guys like Shane Dorian, the Long brothers, Kohl Christianson, Nate Fletcher, Skindog, and all of the madmen at Mavericks and in Hawaii.  Of course there are so many guys that I am leaving off the list that are all really pushing the limits and getting bigger barrels than ever.

 What types of waves do you prefer?

I love getting big tubes, waves like Puerto Escondido.  Also waves like Mavericks, Todos, and the outer reefs in Hawaii that really scare the shit out of me when its big.

Where have you been traveling lately?

Since May I was on a good program and did a big leap following a bunch of swells.  Did Fiji, Puerto, Fiji, Puerto… and had an insane run.  After a 10-12 ft Cloudbreak warmup in May, went to Puerto for a good run of waves to finish May… then straight to Fiji for the Massive “Code Blue” day in June during the Volcom Fiji Pro.

That was the most amazing and intimidating waves I have ever seen.  That few days must have been one of the best experiences of my life, between the waves and the crew that went down there for the swell… it was nuts.  Went home for a bit after that and went back for a 4th of July swell in Puerto.

That one slowed my roll though.  Pulled in on one…was too deep and got smashed on the sand.  Strained my neck and clavicle before whiplashing my head onto the sand and having a concussion.  Since then, was out for 6 weeks, but recently got the go to start training again.  Been working at it full throttle lately and will be on it for the next swell wherever it is.

Traveling adventure that you want to share with us?

Puerto last season 2011, was probably the best few months of surf I have ever had.  There were two 20ft swells in one month and plenty of 8-12 ft swells in between.  Posted up down there pretty much from end of April into the Coco Nogales Tube Challenge in July. I got some of the best waves of my life and some of the worst beatings of my life.  Also watched some of the best rides I have ever seen in my life go down between the puerto regulars and the local Mexicans…some serious barrels and beatings went down.

The lifestyle and routine down there is all time, you pretty much wake up and get barreled every morning, and then eat really good healthy food.  All the local guys down there are awesome and really nice people, but like anywhere you have to respect them and know your place in the lineup.

Any shout outs?

Huge thank you to my sponsors, Quiksilver, Dakine, and Rusty Surfboards for all the support.

Huge thank you to my dad for everything he has done for me and taught me.

Rusty for spending so much time dicussing and building such insane boards and thanks to all my friends for pushing me.

Check out a video interview with Jojo

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  • ben

    No actually you can’t some people just need to learn limits and when they can’t handle the conditions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jens.rasmussen.solspot Jens Rasmussen

    I have watched JoJo grow up…and he has always been respectful in the lineup. Respect is earned and not given.

    • http://linkedin.com/in/timchandler Tim Chandler

      Great read Jens – thanks for the article. Totally agree – respect earned not given. ‘Lineup rules’ work, and as part of enforcement sometimes you need a good bark to keep everyone honest and show the noobs what’s what. Someday, if they keep at it, they can bark and we’ll all have a good laugh together over beers afterwards…

    • http://www.eatshit.com jhvg

      well his dad cut me off when i was like 14, i was surfing blocks from my house too. he did it just to be a dick… i dont know his son, but i’d expect him to be like his dad

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