Sitting down with.... Michael February - Founder of JUJU Surf Club
Tanner: Mikey! We are currently down here in Mexico, on a trip with Channel Islands, Hows this trip been going for you?
MIKE: It’s been fun, yeah I don’t know. I like Mexico. I feel like all the trips I’ve done with CI have been fun. You know last year Costa Rica, that was amazing. I don’t know, Its a rad team and it's been just fun riding different boards in a place like Mexico, its perfect for that down here.
Tanner: Is this your first trip since becoming a dad?
MIKE: (Laughs) I’ve done a few trips up the coast back at home but this is my first trip for sure.
Tanner: We were chatting earlier about how your sleep schedules have changed, which Im guessing so much has changed for you guys, but whats something that you’ve really learned and found new since becoming a parent?
MIKE: ummm, I definitely think patience is something for sure. I think you learn it takes a little bit longer to get around everywhere with the little one. I use to really stress on time and try to be on time and get things going but you kinda learn to go with the flow with whatever situation you're in. With the baby you know you’re not going to be like “i’m gonna get here right at this time” you know? There is probably a few things that are gonna happen that are gonna make us little bit later. Kinda on this trip with the waves I’ve found myself thinking oh ok well whatever is gonna happen is gonna happen, having patience with that kind of stuff you know?
TANNER: I saw that you brought Miles down to the Duct Tape in Muizenberg, how was it getting to hang with all the Vans Crew in your neck of the woods?
MIKE: It was rad, I mean firstly that was cool getting to have the duct tape at home, and being a part of vans for so long now and growing up in a place like Muizenberg in Capetown it was like two different parts of your family coming together. That was wild, then obviously we’d just had Miles and he is our complete world so getting to have everyone meet him there too was exciting.
Tanner: Thats so rad, and now he’s out in California for the summer yeah??
MIKE: Yeah he made the trip out with us (laughs) He’s a social little guy. He’s been meeting and hanging with everyone which is nice. I feel like we are so fortunate with the lifestyle we have, and we are hoping to bring him along and let him enjoy all of that. Trying to get him used to that
Tanner: So you guys are in California it sounds like, is there any projects that you are working on while you’re in town or just enjoying summer?
MIKE: I think just being closer to everyone is big. And also we have the family closer, being in South Africa to work on stuff you are more removed from everyone. Yeah its cool getting to do zoom meetings and all that sort of stuff but its rad to be in California with everyone. Just being close to everyone who helps support me and be able to have face to face and show that thanks is huge for us.
Tanner: It is actually crazy getting to see everyone after so long. It's such a treat. Thats true, it’s rad that perspective.
MIKE: Yeah if feels so good to be back.
Tanner: Its also really cool because a lot of the JUJU stuff came out right when you guys arrived at the US OPEN. You the know with the Vans collection and then the PVW boards as well. Whats it been like seeing people wearing the gear or even riding on the boards? Is that pretty exciting for you guys?
MIKE: It’s so exciting. I mean we’ve had such overwhelming support from people with JUJU surf club, its been unreal. The collaboration with both vans and you guys I mean we didn’t even expect anything like that at all really. We feel so stoked because it felt like we had the right intentions with starting JUJU and obviously inspired by a lot of the stuff you guys have done, and the projects we worked on together and it feels really nice to be able to put your energy into something that gives back and then having people support that, its been really special. It's been cool seeing everyone wear it, with the clothes and the boards I mean yeah its been really cool.
Tanner: It feels like you guys are creating this amazing platform and it is allowing a lot of people to get involved and be aware of how they are helping, and giving back. Very cool on your guys part for doing that. We are super proud of you guys. You guys must see a lot of interesting groups within Africa that you are potentially going to get to work with, are there certain areas that have caught your eyes? Or are inspiring with what you are seeing?
MIKE: um, I think overall generally Africa coming into light now has been really exciting. I think the coolest thing about starting JUJU is getting to work with all these individuals at these organizations and these communities in Africa. I don’t know we are sorta the middle man in all the situations, and these people are so dedicated supporting their communities on an every day basis so we feel really fortunate that we can help in some way let them keep doing that amazing work. Meeting those people has definitely been a highlight.
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Tanner: Speaking on amazing individuals within Africa, the last two episodes of Sonic Souvenirs have been incredible Mike. So good! Are you guys working on a third? Or are you taking a little break?
MIKE: Our plan was to originally do one episode a year. We released our last one beginning of this year so I think we still have some time to launch one next year. Originally we obviously did them in Africa and now we are excited to branch out to new locations and other parts of the world especially with everything starting to open up again and just get a different perspective on that sonic souvenirs thing that we have going. We are starting to plan all of that, its exciting cause once we find the country and place we wanna go you get to just dive into the music and doing all this research. It’s always exciting that part.
Tanner: Do you feel like inspiration wise in deciding these locations is it based more on surfing locations or music and sounds?
MIKE: Little bit of both, but those are the two main things of sonic. The music and the surfing, I feel like the last one was fun waves but I think it was more 60 % music and culture and 40 % surfing, But I mean I still really enjoyed that 40% (laughs) I think now, after that one we are thinking maybe we should focus on getting some really good waves and just switching it up a little bit. But both sides really get me excited, I mean music is really exciting because with waves once you see a photo or video of a location or the place you are going to be going you have a bit of a rough idea of what the experience will be like, but musically you always have an idea where the music comes from but I feel like nine times out of ten when we start working with people the genre of music and the type of music that comes out of it is completely different from what we were expecting.
Thats exciting because we’ve seen that a couple times and now we’ve kinda come to expect that surprise and go along for the ride with it.
Tanner: Wow, thats rad. I only have one question more (laughs) only because we are on this trip. I’ve noticed you’ve been riding a lot of boards. You’ve got the scrubber, the pro, the twin mid. Which of those boards that you have do you feel like you’re enjoying the most or is it just fun being able to have all that variety?
MIKE: Yeah, I think obviously being here in Mexico with all these little right hand point breaks it kinda seems to me in Salinas Cruz you’re surfing waves that aren’t crazy and going above head high kinda thing. For the waves we’ve had its just been so playful and dreamy I’ve really just been enjoying all the twin pin stuff just because its loose and lively, fits nice in the pocket. Riding the Free Scrubber has been fun, and maybe just because we’ve been watching all that Tom stuff from down here. So yeah its kinda just making so much sense. Its been so fun actually getting to ride his board but as the model that me and Britt made, that was super special to ride that one especially in the waves I’ve seen him ride it before. I really love Tom’s surfing and just being here its all really special.
Tanner: Thank you Mike. That was amazing.
Mike: No problem at all, its been a blast (laughs)