Seventeen-year-old Jordy Collins (born 19 December 1998) from Carlsbad, California, is a talented competitive surfer currently sponsored by Hurley, the clothing company. He is moving up the ranks in the local San Diego contest scenes, becoming one of the country’s rising young surfers. Some of his past sponsors include Famous Surf, Futures, Borst Surfboards, Surfrider, and Bony Acai.
To say that surfing is a major part of Jordy’s life is an understatement. He surfs three-four times a day except Sundays. Jordy is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and understands that Sundays is a time for attending Church meetings and spending time with family. In a 3 July 2016 interview with Deseret News, he said, “I usually don’t surf on Sunday, so I get questions. You explain and then they say, oh, OK, that’s cool.”
Surfing is his full-time job, and his work conditions are simply unimaginable. First, to get to “work” each day, he has to walk two entire blocks to get to the beach. Then he has to endure not only the heat from the sun but the water as well. But that isn’t all. His “job” also requires him to travel to competitions in Hawaii, Brazil, Mexico, Barbados, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina. And, every year he moves to Hawaii for a few weeks to train. Being homeschooled, he can work at his “job” full-time.
Seven months ago in an interview with stabmag.com, he was asked what three things he would take to a deserted island and he replied, “boards, friends, and family. Maybe a girlfriend – do I get the fourth thing?” When asked what he hoped to be doing ten years from now, he commented, “I just hope I’m surfing. Whether it be on the tour, or free surfing, I just want to surf.” He stated that the biggest influence on his surfing is John “John” Florence, a professional surfer from Hawaii who is known as “one of the most dominant Pipe surfers of his era” and for his tube riding and aerial abilities. And he also mentioned that he is the most afraid of big waves and the possibility of drowning in them.
According to the 3 July Deseret News article, “Last year he was one of 10 surfers — and the lone American — selected from around the world to compete on a Brazilian island for the title of King of the Groms (in surfer parlance, a young surfer). Sponsored by Quiksilver, it’s part surf competition, part photo session. In the end, Collins was named the winner.”
Jordy has numerous accolades to his credit. At 2016 National Scholastic Surfing Association regional championships – a culmination of 10 qualifying competitions on the West Coast – he was the winner of the junior (19 and under) championship and placed third in the open men’s competition. His father, Daren, was the winner of the super senior division, marking the first time that a father and son had won trophies. In the Surfing America series, which uses a Grand-Prix type scoring system based on the results of six competitions, Jordy won the overall 2016 Series championship. And, at the Volcom’s global championships in June, he placed fourth in the junior competition. His ultimate goal is to qualify for the World Surfing League and make surfing a career. He also has hopes of making it to the 2020 Olympics as well.
Jordy learned how to surf as young as two-years-old when he would ride on the end of his father’s surfboard. He has three siblings – Justin, a returned missionary currently attending BYU, Joshua who is serving a mission in the Czech Republic, and Jill, who lives at home. All of them grew up learning how to surf. His father, a 51-year-old sales executive, who still surfs several times a week and competes in local surf events, commented, “The family that surfs together stays together.” Jordy recalls, “As long as I can remember my dad would take me out surfing.”
Deseret News further reports, “By 4, he was boogie boarding and surfing in the white water close to shore. At 7, he began paddling out alone to catch the waves. He started competing in local surf events at 9 and then two years later began competing in regional events up and down the coast.” He has surfed waves in the 25- to 30-foot range, but also has a keen interest in Big-wave surfing (riding waves that top 20 feet and are as big as 70 feet) as well.
Jordy believes his values have given him perspective and helped him deal with the pressure of the sport. As for flying off to spend weeks with other surfers whose values and morals differ from his, he comments, “My parents trust me. They know what I’m about. They know that I’m strong in the gospel and that I have values.”
Keith L. Brown
Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been born and raised Baptist. He was studying to be a Baptist minister at the time of his conversion to the LDS faith. He was baptized on 10 March 1998 in Reykjavik, Iceland while serving on active duty in the United States Navy in Keflavic, Iceland. He currently serves as the First Assistant to the High Priest Group and Ward Missionary for the Annapolis, Maryland Ward. He also serves as a Stake Public Affairs Specialist for the Annapolis, Maryland Stake. He is a 30-year honorably retired Navy veteran.