Jeremy in a contest jersey at Teahupoo, something not happening in 2014. Photo: Timo
Jeremy Flores’ reaction to a close loss to Sebastian Zietz at J-Bay has been punished with a (US)$6000 fine and a suspension until August 27th.
Fallout from the incident polarised opinion on social media, which ranged from widespread moral support coming in for Jeremy, as well as more pragmatic observations like, ‘How could he be so sure what Seabass’s score should(n’t) be, when he was watching the wave from the lineup?’
Either way, missing Teahupoo, an event Jeremy has shined at in the past will be a blow to the 26-year-old, both from missing a chance to grab valuable Tour points in his now even more tricky quest to stay on the WCT, as well as missing the chance to get barrelled at one of his favourite and strongest events.
We caught up with Jeremy for a feature in the current issue SE105, and found him pretty frank and upfront about his less than stellar results of late. Here’s an excerpt from Sean Doherty’s interview…
How would you say you’ve changed in the years you’ve been on tour?
It’s my eighth year, I’m 25 now, I feel like a veteran. I was talking to my friend this morning while we were checking the surf and I went, fuck this shit, I’ve been so negative the last month or so and I’m usually not like that. I’m usually frothing for a heat, frothing for a surf, but when I lost in Margarets for the first time ever I didn’t even care… and I don’t think that’s a good thing.
In what way?
Before I was not okay with losing. I’d be losing it at myself when I lost. But I remember talking to guys who were on tour back in the day, guys like Andy, they told me that after a long time the system stole their love and passion for surfing. I didn’t understand that because I was young and everything was great, but now I’m starting to feel it. The whole thing – the contests, the behind the scenes stuff, the bullshit – it puts you off it and you’re suddenly just doing it because it’s your job. I’ll always love it, but it used to be everything to me and now it’s not. It has moments, sure, but when things happen and I get robbed like what happened on the Gold Coast – and I’ve had so much of that stuff happen to me all my life since I was a kid on Reunion – I’m over battling against it.
Do you often feel the world seems stacked against you?
No, but you get so over it and you want to let everyone know how fucked up and messed up the whole system is, but you don’t because it’s your job. But, you know, I’m lucky to have the life I have.
Does the tour need more honesty? Does it need to be told how it is?
I think it does occasionally. You can’t make it so perfect. It’s not how it really is. I’m good friends with all the guys on tour and they’re legends, but you see them in the media and it’s not who they are. If these guys really expressed their true selves even more people would relate to these guys I think. Before I was careful with everything I was saying and now I’m like, fuck that. Some people are going to like me as a result, some people are going to hate me as a result, but at least they’ll say something about me.
So black or white, just not grey?
For sure. I’d hate to be that guy who when people asked, “What do you think about Jeremy?” they’d go, “Err, Jeremy who? Oh, that guy.” I’d rather have one guy going, “What a loser!” and the other guy going, “What a legend!”
Have you got unfinished business with the tour?
For sure. I want to do good in France; it’s the one event I’ve never done any good in. France and Teahupoo are special to me; a win at one of those would be so special.
Do you feel the surfing public at large – especially outside of France – misunderstand you? They don’t have a real sense of who you are?
In a way. It depends. I don’t know, I think it’s better now, it was worse a few years ago. I think people respect how honest I am and I think that’s taken some time to happen. I never really hung shit on anyone, I respect everyone, but I’ve said things I’ve regretted, I say stuff I didn’t really mean, but I’m 25 now and when I was saying a lot of that stuff I was really young, still a kid. You’re allowed to make mistakes. But I feel I’ve learned. But in saying that I don’t regret much [Laughing].