Q&A: Eric and John Jackson's Epic Surf and Snowboarding Trip
Here’s how two brothers and professional snowboarders made it from Alaska to Chile, riding the freshest snow and surfing the best waves.
Have you ever wanted to simply take a hiatus from life and do whatever you love instead? Professional snowboarders Eric Jackson, 23, and John Jackson, 29, did just that. Even though most of their year is already spent doing what they love—boarding as much as they can and winning awards along the way, such as the John’s Rider of the Year title from Snowboarder magazine—the brothers wanted to take the love of their sport to the next level. After doing some initial planning, the brothers began their five-month-long trip on April 2, 2012, covering more than 10,000 miles from Alaska to Chile. Wish you could witness the sick boarding, sweet surfing, and all the crazy moments in between? The brothers, in collaboration with Red Bull, had it all filmed in 16 episodes for their YouTube Series, Brothers on the Run.
Men’s Fitness: Where did the idea for your trip and Brothers on the Run come from?
John Jackson: From loving to travel and loving to surf on top of snowboarding all the time. How epic would it be to bring snowboarders and surfers together and do this big long journey from Alaska to the southern hemisphere? I think it’s something that everybody dreams of, at least I did for a long time—driving the whole Pan-American highway.
Eric Jackson: I feel like it's something that everybody wants to do. With a majority of people, you tell them that you are doing this trip, and they are just like, “What! I would love to do that trip!” It's one of those dream trips that doesn't come around very often.
MF: How did you prep for such a sweet adventure?
JJ: We tried to prepare as best we could, but the reality is that the decision to pull the trigger kind of came last minute. We were working on building the trucks and all our paperwork for getting across the borders. It was really a big deal. We have all these cameras and production equipment, and so we had to be prepared there. Be as prepared as you can, but just be prepared for the unknown. You don’t know what you are going to run into.
EJ: It was just a work in progress. That’s kind of what we figured — we never are going to be able to be fully prepared. So let’s just relax, go with it, and we’ll pick things up we need along the way. All we really need is ourselves. We didn’t want to just rush through the journey just to say we finished. We met so many cool people. What you put out there you get back. We were just putting out these good vibes and that was the type of people we’d meet.