2017 will be Jordy Smith’s tenth year on Tour. Ten years! That’s a decade of hope, hype, and for the most part, unfulfilled expectation. Sure, Jordy’s had two runner-ups in that time, in 2010 and 2016, but he’ll be the first to admit that second in the world (twice) just isn’t cutting it. A few months back, we tagged along with Jordy to J-Bay during a special-late season swell. We stayed at his house and got to talking. About J-Bay. Being a vet on tour. The world title that has so frustratingly eluded him. When he first qualified at 18, did he ever imagine he’d be ten years into his career without a title to his name?
“You know, I qualified and suddenly I was straight onto the global stage,” Jordy says. “Everyone wanted a piece of me. Everyone had something to say about me. And at some point, I started to believe some of the things people were saying and I got carried away, being so young and impressionable.”
So, what’s changed since then?
“After a while, you learn not to say that kind of stuff out loud. You have to keep that within yourself and learn to be more respectful toward your competitors, and to the people who are around you. All of those things have matured and blossomed over the years, and they’ve all added up to make me a better surfer, and more importantly, a better person,” he says.
Jordy’s surfing is clearly world-title caliber, especially at the right points on tour (Snapper, Bells, J-Bay), where he’s as good as they come. And with the first event of the year only days away, we figured now was a good time to release our edit from J-Bay, and remind everyone why the preseason Jordy hype is always real, and always deserved, even ten years in.