Joe Davies | Ocean Guardian
We met up with Joe Davies at home in Jersey to chat surfing, family and island life.
Joe spends his days working at the beach at Little Joes surf shop, surfing and making his girls smile.
I have always thought when I look back on my childhood that if I am lucky enough to give my family half as much fun, happiness, adventure and love my parents have given my sisters and I then I will have made a success of my life.
My family have influenced me, they have grounded me and helped shape me into a semi responsible adult. When it comes to surfing my influences have changed as I have grown older but I suppose at the core are Phil Edwards, David Nuuihwa, Joel Tudor and my Uncle Tim. I always wanted to drop knee like Phil, nose ride like David and Joel really brought that all together with timeless style at a time when it wasn't cool to ride single fins. My shaper at the time always said for contests you needed a 2+1 and he was right but all I wanted to do was noseride. I didn't realise it at the time but it was my Uncle Tim who always showed me that surfing was a fun way of life, that style in surfing was way more important than any comp.
After school, I studied Chemistry at Cardiff University and received a BSc with Honours. It gave me the independence that I was craving but in doing a subject like Chemistry really pushed me to work harder. I was lucky enough to travel with my surfing to contests around the world and then when the opportunity of the shop came up at 21 I scrambled to get money and loans together to purchase it and then create a surf school with the ideas and values I thought would work well. Then I suppose my learning path has been all about evolving and growing as a person in order to run a business and In turn be a husband and a dad. Oh and make people nauseous with answers like that.
I feel pretty settled, there are things that My wife Nat and I want to achieve, things that We would like to do but they seem to be along the path we are walking down.
I would really like to introduce surfing to my two daughters in a way that has them loving the sea like I do, without brainwashing them!
What 'battle' have you fought that you consider being the most important? I don't really feel I have had a major 'battle' as such, there are so many people who have, that I believe mine pale in comparison. I'm not sidestepping the question I just believe that every person has different obstacles- for me to say I have made a better go of it isn't fair. Without sounding like a hippy, my experiences have shaped me to who I am and I feel better equipped to deal with most of what is thrown my way.
We live at a stage where being responsible and aware is becoming increasingly important but understanding, problem-solving and consistency are not. I think that all goes hand in hand. Just reading and sharing a news article, regardless of provenance, does not make you more enlightened than another. By doing one good deed doesn't make you a great person. We want others to solve our problems because its easier than solving it ourselves and we don't have to have consistency because scrolling and tapping means we work on a case by case basis with a pretty swift jury system. We are all guilty of it because by being so connected we need to see so many more issues to digest ready for comment. Our empathy is expected to be strong where our knowledge and understanding is weak. I believe we need a real considered approach in order to maintain our values. For example, did you know how much energy goes into running the internet? Is that electricity used from a renewable source? These are the kind of questions we ignore because it would compromise our beliefs. But if we heard the answers and then had the mindset to tackle them in a considered way then I think our responsibility and awareness is more powerful.
I find it hard to asses the impact of my decisions after an event so I spend a great deal of time figuring out the implications before I set out to do something. I look at it from all angles and look to work out what to expect based on my experience but also on gathered experience too. For me, if I have these levels of expectations then I know I won't be selling myself short and then I can properly evaluate what has happened down the line. This has worked for me in the past with my business but I find it even more challenging with trying to be a Dad and Husband. So much more requires split-second reflexes, like a fighter pilot. You know they are happy as they are smiling but things can change so quick you worry you are not doing the right thing. I've found that if I give it my all if I throw myself at whatever is required then when I look at my impact I can't be upset with what I have done but see that maybe I could have done it in a slightly different way.
Being humble and grateful for all the opportunities I have had and look to carry them forward into everything I do.
I wish I was more well read but unfortunately the books I tend to read are crime thrillers. I have always held stock in being guided by our elders but not becoming reliant on that advice. Listening to it, think about it to see if anything has been glossed over and then adapting it for my use has always been more dynamic for me than reading it in a book.
What brings you the most joy? Getting smiles as I walk through the front door, getting called Dadda and paddling into a glassy wave at Cutty Sark.
What legacy do you hope to leave? Saved the trickiest question for last? If people can see what I have tried to achieve and think I did good then great. For me, my real legacy will be a selfish one, if I can help guide my children to be the best they can be and for them to be happy, then I will be pretty chuffed with that.