Interview with JOHN HAFFEY


By Aaron Goulding & Joel Tudor
Photography By Aaron Goulding

RIS: When did you start surfing and what was it that inspired you to become a long boarder?

JH: I have been surfing for forty years. I started in 1970 where I was inspired by Skip Frye and Joe Roper. As I got more involved with the lifestyle, people like Phil Edwards, Mickey Dora, and Gerry Lopez confirmed my passion for surfing.

RIS: -You strike me as a very soulful surfer, please describe your inner self and how you see surfing and your place in the sport.
JH: Roots, old school and under the radar.

RIS: You know everyone wants to know…how long have you been growing your dreads and what/who influenced you to grow dreads?
JH: 20 years! I was inspired by the life of a true Nazarite, living with peace, love and respect for all mankind. -Rastafari Love-

RIS: What type of board do you like to ride?

JH: I like single fins, 10 ft plus logs and guns. Anything from the 60’s and 70’s.

RIS: Last but not least, I know you have had many supporters, and perhaps non-supporters throughout the years, do you have anything to say to them?
JH: All my love to my parents for giving me life to surf. And thanks to my siblings for all their support as well. Respect to the fullness to Joel Tudor and his family for their friendship and support.

RIS: Final words?

JH: Surf to live, live to surf!

Joel Tudor On John Haffey

RIS: How long have you known John Haffey?
JT: I first spotted him when I was 14. John and the guys he surfed with were not always friendly back in the 80’s. They were a tough group to crack. I had to earn their respect. John, Rolf and Suddon were known as the spokespersons of ‘who gives a fuck about professional surfing?’

RIS: Knowing John as long as you have, how has he influenced you?
JT: He’s like a spiritual guidance. He lives the less is more lifestyle and I admire and respect that. He does surfing a service because he doesn’t realize what he is doing.
It’s a purist form to him. John is a San Diego icon and he is still psyched to catch a two foot wave.

RIS: John is definitely a staple in La Jolla with his clean style and flowing dread locks. He also is a very simple man. With no cell phone or internet how do you and John manage to stay in touch?
JT: I know his hours of operations and we chat when the sun goes down. We connect when there’s surf whether it’s here in San Diego or further north in Malibu.

RIS:John is not a very aggressive surfer. Tell me why that’s good and why that might not be so good.
JT: His aggressive days were the days when surfing still allowed it. Nowadays it’s toned down with all the lawsuits. And now he has no ego. The only way I could get in with John Haffey was to give him a ride home when his car broke down one time. I think that broke the ice between us.

RIS: One word from you that describes John Haffey.

JT: Rastafarian. Because he lives the true lifestyle of a Rastafarian.

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