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.
MF: Near the end of the trip, you both got injured and the trip had to end quite abruptly — John with a torn ACL and Eric with a strain on his MCL. What happened when both these injuries occurred?
JJ: Mmm, that’s a heartbreaker...We didn’t succeed in the trip the way we had intended: to reach Chile by a certain date to catch the helicopter to go snowboarding. We were pressed for time. We tried to film, cover ground, and edit all in the same boat. On the jump we got injured, we built it half-assed because we were pressured for light. We just literally rushed with no speed checks. I hit it first and totally misjudged it, more than I have ever misjudged anything. It was like a bad dream where you are falling out of the sky. The injury made us totally pull the plug. It was sad.
EJ: I hit the jump a couple of times and couldn’t land anything, and then I switched the trick up. My speed got a little faster and I didn’t go nearly as big as John did, but I just landed low on the landing and in an old landing track. I tweaked the knee immediately. I knew that it wasn’t super serious, but I was having trouble walking.
MF: You both were adamant about giving back in some way while doing this trip. How'd that go?
JJ: We wanted to do something that could actually sustain itself and make a difference in people’s lives. We had the idea to make a piece of jewelry through our jewelry company, Jax. A couple of friends have gone down to Nicaragua and worked on an orphanage several times. They are trying to build another orphanage, and we just felt like—this is it, this is what we want to build. I’m super glad we did, too. The kids are so amazing.
EJ: It was cool, too, because there was all this talk about making this piece of jewelry. To just talk about it is one thing, but to actually get the piece of jewelry made and go down there and see the kids the money will go to. That was so rewarding. It’s such a special feeling, for sure.