Words by: Steven Thomas
Photos by: Moonwalker
Justin Hugron is amazing: it’s sad that this guy is so underrated at surfing. I believe the best surfer is the one who can ride the different styles boards the best, and he’s got them all down. From a 6’2 standard three to the beach thruster to a 9’0 longboard, he can hold his own with the best. With soild style, speed, and grace, Justin turns heads when he’s surfing. From the car he drives to his political views to the boards he rides, he’s definitely not your typical hunting beach resident. To top it all of, he’s one of the nicest guys I know and rumor has it he parties with Lakers girls (who said nice guys finish last?) I dropped this interview on him to catch up and find out what’s behind his relentless ripping.
Last memorable wave
JH: I was surfing with my dad yesterday in front of our house and fully scraped my head on the bottom. I was doing a little foam climb and things went a little differently than I had pictured. Now I have a big scrape on my forehead. Definitely remember that wave.
ST: Maybe you should wear a helmet. I worry, you know.
Favorite food après surf
JH: Chipotle veggie burritos. They’re massive. I can barely eat one and Dodger inhales two chicken ones in one sitting. It’s pretty impressive.
ST: Dodger Kremel sounds like he can take down some big burritos.
JH: Tea, decaff.
ST: Tea? What the F%$K! I can’t stand tea.
Black or with milk?
ST: Just like you surf, straight up, no sugar. Well if it was coffee I’d be impressed but….
Describe your surfing and feel free to lie if you have to?
JH: People say I do cutbacks like Parko. I don’t know though, I like to go fast.
ST: Don’t sell your self short. Parko surfs like you. We got to work on that self confidence.
What Lines are you pushing right now?
JH: I’ve been repping Von Zipper for a couple years now and I just started to doing Rhythm too. So pretty much sunglasses and trunks.
ST: Yeah I checked out that Rhythm’s line. Those Aussies know what they’re doing. Oh, and thanks for those VZ sunnies.
JH: ‘Cause I got to put gas in the Prius and food on the table.
ST: Don’t we all. To bad your sponsors don’t realize how much of a diverse bad ass you are on a surfboard. You should be paid to surf.
T or A?
ST: A, fo-sho.
Hot Dogs or Tacos?
JH: That’s easy. Tacos.
ST: Remember that time I ate fifteen tacos in Baja at some random outdoors taco stand after we were in the desert surfing that right hand dream machine for five days? That’s probably one of my most favorite memories.
Describe your dream girl.
JH: She’s got an amazing sense of humor and has no problem laughing at herself or me. Gives good back scratches/massages, likes the outdoors, cuddling, and adventures. She’s got the best smile ever.
ST: Sounds like she is real.
White pants or black pants?
JH: Black pants.
ST: That’s what I’m wearing right now – its like were on the same plane of consciousness.
Are you a showoff?
JH: I don’t think so. At least, I try not to be,
ST: There’s a saying in the US, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. In Japan it’s “The nail that sticks out of the fence gets hammered down.” Since you live in the US you had better start squeaking.
So you drive a Prius?
JH: Yes, it’s the best car ever. The things gets 50 mpg, my stand up paddle board fits inside, I’m reducing my carbon footprint, and whenever we go to Baja, someone else drives. I think if I didn’t sell Von Zipper and Rhythm, I’d sell Toyota Prius’.
ST: I want one, there just too much money.
Commando or bathing suit?
JH: Are we talking under my wetsuit, in the spa, or bronzing at the beach? There’s nothing under my wetsuit, the rest of the time I’m running trunks.
ST: I was talking about all of the above.
Why do they call you Huggy? Is it because you’re a hugger?
JH: Kinda. My last name is spelled H-U-G-R-O-N, so they just got the Hug from that. I’ve gotten Huggy Bear, Hugs, J-Hugs, etc. I do like to hug though,
ST: OK that makes sense. So you just like to hug it out.
Do you give big hugs?
JH:The biggest and best ones ever.
ST: Ever, ever?
Hip Hop or Maney Metal?
JH: Hip hop and some jazz too.
ST: I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don’t stop the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat…
Why do you Longboard?
JH: Cause it’s smooth and flowing, and there’s nothing like putting a 9’ board on rail.
ST: That’s what I’m saying but no one listens.
Do you have your own blog?
JH: Yep. hug-life.blogspot.com
JH: Rhythm, Von Zipper, Stamps Surfboards, and Ocean & Earth
ST: I met the Stamps guy – he’s cool.
Lakers or Kings?
JH: I’m the biggest Laker fan ever. If you’re a Lakers hater; please stop reading this. Mark my words: Lakers world champs 2009.
ST: I’ll call my bookie and put some money down.
Mac or PC?
ST: Macbook pro.
iphone or Blackberry?
JH: I have this tiny white phone that AT&T gives you when you break yours. Its super basic, and I tell everyone that it’s the iPhone Nano. They all believe me.
ST: iPhone Nano. Idiots!
Dogs or cats?
JH: I’m allergic to cats.
ST: I just don’t like cats, sneaky little f@#kers.
Sneakers or shoes?
JH: What’s with all these questions about my weaknesses? I like sneakers. I have a couple pairs of them. Next question.
ST: Touchy, touchy.
Fullback or thong? Or nothing?
JH: I though this was suppose to be about surfing. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as there are no visible no panty-lines. Are you asking me these questions because I have a degree in fashion or because you’re trying to make me sound gay?
ST: Yes to all of that.
Bareback or saddleback?
JH: I’m not a cowboy.
ST: So, Indian style, which is bareback.
Leash or no leash?
JH: Never a leash. I take that back. I never wear leashes at home. I live in Huntington so when you lose your board it may wash up on the beach and gets all slimey, but it never gets dinged.
ST: I hate leashes especially when you’re longboarding. It bugs.
Giant Puerto or Mavericks?
JH: In my old age, I don’t think I really have any desire to surf either one. I’ve surfed Puerto pretty big and ended up breaking all my boards and getting stitches in the face. Add a full suit, booties, and some rocks into the equation; no thanks.
ST: So big San O. I bet you would kill it at Mav’s. I’ll go back out there if you go with me.
Beach breaks or point break?
JH: I grew up surfing dumpy beachbreaks, but its kinda nice to be able to do more than two turns on a wave. I’d go point breaks.
ST: I’ve seen you destroy it on a point break.
Can you imagine being an emo vegan?
JH: I think it’d be easier to be vegan than emo. I don’t eat red meat anyways. Is emo even around anymore? Kids were emo when I was in highschool. Are they still doing that?
ST: I think I’m thinking of Hipster.
So you are a pro longboarder, what kind of art do you do?
JH: I’m in a band. I’m a painter. I’m a photographer. I make films about surfing. I go to art shows 6 days a week, mostly to be seen and drink free booze, but I do appreciate the art. I put on fashion shows. I paint fixed-gears for people I meet on Craigslist. I cut up my clothes up so people know I’m creative. I drive a huge van that gets 5 miles to the gallon, so I can urban camp outside of the art shows and store all my entire retro quiver of logs and twin fins. I am very unique.
ST: That is really original and unique.
Favorite old skool surfer? 60’s long-donger?
JH: I think of Occy as old school and Curren as really old school. So either of them.
ST: Those two are rivals. I wonder if the like each other.
Favorite new school surfer long-donger?
JH: I guess I like guys that are great people and great surfers. I’d pick Joel Tudor, Noah Shimabukuro, Andrew Logrecco, and Dustin Franks. Wait, those are all goofy footers, I guess Bonga too.
ST: Bongo is probably the most well rounded longboarder there is. That guys a graceful freight train.
Any other sports?
JH: I like basketball, fishing, diving, cycling, snowboarding, running, and skating. Oh yea, and my friends and I are in a kickball league through the city of Huntington Beach. We’re actually really good. We’re trying to make it all the way to the kickball world series. We’re called The Blasters, so keep an eye out for us on ESPN.
ST: I don’t watch sports, I play them. I’d like to get a kick ball team going.
What’s under your bed?
JH: Some dust. I don’t really know.
ST: Try looking.
How many pairs of shoes do you have? (I’ll go first: I have six pairs.)
JH: I don’t know. I though we were done with these types of questions. Like fifty. I don’t count them or anything.
ST: That’s more than six. I’d better step it up.
How many surfboards do you have?
JH: Maybe 25 between here and the grandparents’ house in Hawaii. I see where you’re going with this. OK, I have twice as many shoes as I do surfboards. Something’s wrong here.
ST: Yeah, you kind of sound more like a pro skater than a surfer.
What sizes? From smallest to biggest.
JH: 9 ½ and 10’s. Oh surfboards. I got lots of stuff. 5’6” to 10. From 3 fins to 6. From quads to stand up paddlesboards.
ST: I know you got a SUP. Did you know Noah Shimabukuro is super good at SUP-ing?
Of all of the surfboards that you have, which ones do you like/how many to you actually ride?
JH: I have this little 5’8” double ender egg thing that’s is the best board I’ve ever ridden. Stamps calls it the skillet. I also like to ride 5’9” quads, 6’0 and 6’1” proper thrusters, 8’12” HP longboards, and some bigger logs and stand up boards when it’s completely flat.
ST: So you do have a SUP. I knew it.
Eating Chocolate all day: Ach-ya (yes) or nich nich (no)?
JH: This is fabulous. Ach-ya!!!
In the 60's they would call this a "Roller Coaster." Now its just called "The LB Lip Lover." I'm completly Serious right now.
Next time you give someone shit for Longboarding consider this.
Driving a Cadillac on a race track.
Then Turning that Caddi.