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Interview: Joey Hall

int7 Interview with Joey Hall about the Wolds in 2009 and his new video: Interference.

kayak surfThis interview was originally produced for the Portuguese Playak partner site  'kayaksurf.net'.

int8 Name: Joey Hall
Age: 31
Address: North Carolina, USA
Occupation: Graphic Designer and Video Producer
Paddling since: 1993
Sponsors: Smith Optics, Airtime Kayaks, Aquabound, H2O Audio, Shred Ready, Ninja Surf Kayak Designs, Immersion Research. Rapid Transit
Team: Team Interference!
Recent competition results: 2nd at US National Championships - Long Boat, East coast circuit champion a few times, 4 time US East Surf Kayak Team Member (2003, 05, 07, 09 Worlds)
Gear: Helmet: Shred Ready Shensu, Paddle: Aquabound Shred, Drytop and skirt: Immersion Research Drydeck, Layers: IR, Sunglasses: Smith Optics Chemist, Kayaks: Airtime Alushe (designed by Yellowboy), Airtime Sword (designed by Ninja Surf Kayak Designs).

int11

Favorite break: Tafadna, Morocco
Favorite surf kayakers: Yellowboy, Dave Johnston, Edu
Websites: www.deadmanproductions.com and www.interferencesurf.com

int12

Hi Joey. Before we talk about Interference, let's hear your recap of the Worlds 2009.
I loved the Worlds, it was a lot of fun, most of my friends were there, and the waves were great. The best thing about the 2009 Worlds for me was seeing our crew do so well. I can't explain how good it made me feel to see two of my dearest friends, Yellowboy and Naomi, make the finals and finish 3rd and 1st respectively! I knew Naomi was going to win, and she surfed so well. And I always say that Yellowboy is the best surf kayaker in the world, it was great to see him finish so high in the competition. To top things off, they got engaged afterward, I'm really happy for them. It was a good event for Team Interference. Thanks to the Ocean Spirit Festival for a wonderful time.

int7
Joey Hall. Photo by Naomi James

You were also in the organization... what were the main difficulties about it?
Well, organizing the heats and making sure we had enough time to get everything done, amongst all the other sports going on at the festival, was a challenge. Plus the WSKA committee were all surfing in the event as well, so there was a lot of rushing around. But I'm happy with how things turned out, and big compliments to the judging crew at the event, they really raised the bar for our sport.

Most people there said that the video shooting on that beach was really special. Would you agree?
Yes, and I got some great comments from the competitors as they got out of the water, really nice shots. Effort Inc and I are putting together a DVD of the event, a joint work between Interference and Rapid Transit, which will be out this spring featuring the best of the footage from the contest.

Ecuador
Spencer surfing in Ecuador / Photo by Nathan Eades

And about your World Championship - East Coast 2011 - how are things going?
We're close to announcing the dates, just finalizing the permit issues now. We'll have a website up soon with loads of information for the competitors. And I'm really excited to say we'll be having one person who will be in charge of making sure all competitors find proper housing near each other. We want to have an "athlete village" feel to the contest housing. We're also going to be providing resources for our Portuguese, Japanese, and Spanish speaking competitors to help them get the information they need. (translators, etc)

Now, about your Odyssey - Interference! Why did it take you so long?
That's a tough question to answer. The main thing that caused the delays was that I had too much good footage. I wound up having way more shots than I thought I needed, and I kept adding segments and bits to flesh the story out. When I started Interference, I planned for it to be a 45 minute video...the final run time is 1 hour and 54 minutes! I'm sorry for the delay, but I wanted to do the video properly, and I hope everyone will be happy with the fact that there is so much more content in it. On top of this, I've had to deal with equipment failure, budget, and a host of other issues I did not anticipate. I wanted to make the film that I've had in my head all these years, and I feel like I accomplished that, and I thank everyone for being patient with me.

int10

What footage can we see on it?
The video features the 07 World Championships (Mundaka), Basque, Spain, Portugal, Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Island North Carolina in the US, and Ecuador.

The highlights of the vid?
I wanted to make a film that shows how much fun our group of friends has when we go on an expedition. There is a story to the movie, it isn't just random surfing shots. I'm extremely happy with the surfing in the film, but my favorite bits are of the scenery (shots of snake charmers, flowers, wildlife, sunsets, etc.) As far as the surfing goes, there's a segment of Yellowboy surfing some quite big and somewhat sketchy waves, getting out past the break each time only by the skin of his teeth....I'm fond of that one. Also, Marc Holland was absolutely destroying the waves in Ecuador while we were there. It was impressive to watch, and some of his best rides are in the video. I'd stack the way he was surfing there against the top performances I saw at the World Championships this past summer, he was flying.

And where can we buy it?
My good friend and collaborator Spencer Cooke of Effort Inc and Rapid Transit helped a lot with the production of Interference, and he will be handling the distribution in the US. Yellowboy is going to be distributing in the UK and Europe, and we're working on other distributors too. If you're in the US, you can order from http://rapidtransitvideo.com . We'll have the UK site set up soon for people to buy from there, and if you are outside of the US or UK, contact me through Interferencesurf.com and I'll make sure you get taken care of. The US price is $24.95 USD, other prices to be determined.

When will we see you again in Portugal?
I would love to come back to your beautiful country any time. I'm pretty poor right now, but hopefully some day in the future I'll have the money to come back and surf in Portugal again!

Marc, Nathan, Naomi and Joey, Ocean Spirit Festival 2009, Portugal
Marc, Nathan, Naomi and Joey / Ocean Spirit Festival 2009, Portugal

I suppose you liked our country ;)
Yes, I've enjoyed my trips to Portugal. Our first trip there (the trip covered in Interference) we spent a lot of time on the north coast, and we enjoyed how quiet it was. Most of the breaks were completely uncrowded, and we had found great places to camp. Afife and Furoduro were two of my favorite breaks we visited. Also Ericera, further down the coast, is a really cool area, and I'd like to go back there and see it with a big swell.

Closing remarks?
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of the Interference project. I could not of made this film without Yellowboy, Marc, Naomi, and Spencer, my co-producers. Thanks to the people we met in all the places we traveled, and a big thank you to Finca Punta Ayampe in Ecuador who treated us so well while we were filming there. I also thank Smith Optics, Shred Ready, Airtime, Murky Water, Ninja, Immersion Research, Aquabound, Nookie, Mitchell Blades, Robson, and Lobster Bob for their support of Team Interference. Also thanks to the record labels Jade Tree, Civil Defense League, Southern Lovin', No Idea, Red Wax, Suburban Home, and the other musicians and bands featured in the film. And of course Luis and Kayaksurf.net!

I am humbled and feel lucky to of been able to travel the planet with some of my best friends in the world for the past 3 years.

int3
Finca Punta Ayampe, Ecuador / Joey (yellow kayak) and friends / Photo by Pete Blenkinsop

Thanks a lot Joey! All the best for INTERFERENCE and you know that you are always welcome in Portugal!

[interview by Luis Pedro Abreu]

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