The born-and-bred Sunshine Coast wonderkid has been making waves, or more, smashing waves to pieces, both sides of the Tasman for the last couple of years having worked his way up through the ranks of his local boardriders clubs, North Shore Boardriders and Alex Mal Club, and state events.
At the rapidly paling complexion of his onlooking mother, Kristen, Nic was propelled into his earliest waves by his father, Peter. An avid surfer himself, Peter’s influence on his son shaped the young grommet into a highly proficient performance-oriented surfer. Nic traded his dummy for his first surfboard!!
“I’ve always ridden a mal because Dad has been on one since I was born – he reckons he’s too old for shortboards! I rode shortboards but then to-and-fro’d on the mals and mixed it up.
“When I was eight I started competing with the local boardriders – I’ve always been a pretty competitive person!”
The Boardriders Clubs kick-started Nic’s competitive urges and soon he was winning events and the thirst for more was upon him. Under the expert guidance of his coach Ian (Porto) Portingale, fitness trainers Personal Fitness on Buderim and varying between long and short boards, he gained the strength, agility and skill to handle his longboards in a more technical manner, throwing his lightweight craft around at least as much as the average thruster-rider and he developed a style of his own: high performance but with the subtleties of a more traditional surfer, noserides and cross-steps peppering his routine.
Nic was extremely fortunate to gain sponsorship with Da Bomb Surf Centre in 2009 and through this connection, also gained fantastic support from NRG and OAM. The value of this sponsorship has been extremely instrumental in Nic's progression as a surfer. Not just the financial assistance, goods and services but also through the encouragement, recognition and support of his goals and achievements.
Nic has tried a few different boards over the last couple of years, in conjunction with his retail sponsors. But, having ridden a few of fellow Classic Mal rider, Mitch Surman’s boards, he realised he was missing out and pursued a place on the team.
“Classic Malibus are by far the best boards I’ve had. I’ve always seen Mitch’s boards and had a go on his. And, growing up, Grant Thomas has been an idol. So I’ve always known they’re good boards, but then it was Dad’s idea to open up and see what other boards are like. So we came to Classic Malibu and now I’m on one.”
Nic took his new Classic Malibu board to New Zealand for the Hyundai Pro Tour and promptly decimated the competition, winning at Piha, Port Waikato and a very close 2nd at Sandy Bay.
“New Zealand was a great wave to feel my board out on. I could step back on the tail and smash the heck out of it, but then I could find softer sections and noseride through them. It was a great wave to have a great board on.”
Getting to this stage of competition, ranking amongst the highest Under 18 longboarders in the Southern Hemisphere, has been a steady progression through local, regional and national events. His home boardrider clubs gave him a taster in both long and shortboard comps but, by his own admittance, he “sorta sucked at the shortboard comps” and began focussing far more on the plus-nines.
“There’s a great feel at the mal comps – it’s just a lot of fun, and I have a lot of friends who do them. I got into them about five years ago and decided to just do them more.”
His list of events has remained relatively local, with regional and state titles and Noosa Festival of Surfing being the majority of his entries, although the Crescent Head longboard titles and Malfunction at Kingscliff drew him outside his home state a few years ago. The last two years have been Nic’s time to shine, with finals spots in the state titles, 2010 taking out the Queensland U18 Longboard Title. Nationals have yet to prove so fruitful, although semi final berths have shown him as a distinct challenge and more than worthy opponent for Australia’s younger surfers.
A definite shift in Nic’s surfing has been his new partnership with Classic Malibu. The refined shapes have given him a new edge, and this has been reflected in his results, with his Hyundai Pro wins coinciding with his first major events on new equipment.
“I’ve got a lot more confidence on these boards to push it harder and hopefully take it to another level in the juniors.”
The future is salt-encrusted for Nic, he is currently in Year 12 at Immanuel Lutheran College, Buderim and looks forward to a full-time commitment next year to his competition surfing to thrive and gain the best opportunity possible to advance. He is also keen to re-educate the world about the new wave of longboarding.
“I want to open longboarding up to more people and make it a more world-renowned sport.”
At the prime age of 16, Nic still has a significant time on the Under 18 circuit and with the way he’s travelling will be at the top of his game before his time’s up.
The future’s bright and expansive for Nic Jones, and with Classic Malibu, NRG, OAM and Dallas & Carlos on his side, he’s setting up to kick goals.
And no – there isn’t a ‘K’ on the end of his name…
Adapted from Tommy Leitch’s article in Mar’11 Classic Malibu Newsletter