Editor’s note: This episode of CREATORS was made possible by Toyota RAV4 Adventure Grade.
The instructions were at once explicit, and vague. “Be at The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica at 4:30 p.m. and Jeremy will be there.” That’s all we had.
When our filmer Alex and I rolled up promptly at the specified hour, things turned a little hectic. We scoured the hotel for a quiet place to shoot an interview. We spoke to the concierge. Nothing. Right at that moment in the editorial process where the heart elevates with the thought of a missed assignment, in walked Jeremy Jones, cool as a cucumber. He’d traded his GORE-TEX for shorts and a t-shirt, snowboard boots for flip-flops.
We exchanged pleasantries and Jeremy explained that he and his friends from O’Neill had been scoring waves up north, from County Line to Leo Carrillo, all day before heading down in anticipation for the world premiere of his newest short film, Life of Glide. Sunscreen remnants on his nose and cheeks confirmed as much.
With nothing available at the hotel, we elected to film with Jeremy across Ocean Avenue in the long green belt overlooking Santa Monica Pier. Drivers caught in the Thursday afternoon traffic snarl weren’t shy about laying on their respective horns, especially when we bolted across the street, and the crowded thoroughfare made the choice less than ideal. Still, Jeremy wasn’t stressed. “No worries. Let’s do it,” he said.
“Oh, and would you mind standing the whole time.”
“Not a problem.”
By all accounts, Jeremy Jones’ life is an enviable one. Snowboarding beautiful pow, bagging peaks, and surfing are just a handful of the pursuits he chooses to spend his time chasing. But according to Jeremy, his life is a product of thoughtfully and intentionally constructing it around a feeling that encompasses most of the sports he does – a feeling he calls “glide.” It’s dictated virtually every decision in his life, from where he calls home (Truckee, California) to who he chose to marry. But, Jeremy says, you don’t have to be a professional snowboarder, surfer, or skater to construct your life around that feeling. “I’m surrounded in the lift line by everyday people who have had that same compass,” he says.
It’s the pursuit of “glide” that also propelled Jeremy to found Protect Our Winters – a climate advocacy organization with a focus on climate change and its impact on snowsports. In recognition of his love for ‘the glide,’ and in an effort to preserve it for future generations, Jeremy’s testified to Congress, penned an open letter to President Trump in the fallout of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and continues to be a vocal advocate for the planet.
Jeremy’s parting wisdom is telling of a man with a life that’s already been well lived: you need to work at happiness. Well said, Mr. Jones.
Shot and edited by Alex Smolowe with additional footage from Teton Gravity Research. To learn more about Protect Our Winters, click here.