SOURCE SPORTS: Pro Surfer Hunter Jones and Kona Big Wave Use ‘Share the Big Waves’ to Unite Surf Culture

Pro surfer Hunter Jones has teamed up with Kona Big Wave to delve into the intricate tapestry of surf culture, offering an unfiltered exploration of how this sport can be a powerful force in fostering unity. In collaboration with Kona Big Wave, the Hawaiian-born premium lager, Hunter engaged in candid conversations with surfers of varying skill levels, unraveling challenges and perceptions embedded in surf culture. The beer brand is on a mission to “Bring the Aloha,” uniting surfers by encouraging dialogue, dispelling misconceptions, and forging connections over shared passions and a couple of cold Konas.

“We like to view Kona Big Wave not just as a beer, but as an accompaniment to life’s most meaningful moments of connection – moments that embody the aloha spirit and bring us closer to each other and to the natural world,” said Meredith Ruskin, VP of Marketing for Kona Big Wave. “Surfing may be a solo sport, but it is one that comes with a lot of complexities and nuances when interacting and connecting with other surfers. “Share the Big Waves” shows that when you break down walls and have an open dialogue, there is always a place for connection – especially over a great-tasting beer.”  

“As a pro-surfer, I see all types of interactions in the surf every single day, so it was incredibly enlightening to join Kona Big Wave in having these very real and authentic conversations with surfers at all different levels,” said Hunter Jones, professional surfer. “At the end of the day there is so much we can learn from each other, and I believe if you show up with an open heart and an open mind – amazing things happen.”  


The outcome is a captivating short video titled “Share the Big Waves,” which captures the transformative connections formed when individuals gather, share stories, and embrace the Aloha Spirit. Hunter Jones and Kona Big Wave are not merely promoting a brand; they are igniting a movement that encourages surfers, from novices to seasoned locals, to embody the Aloha Spirit. The initiative advocates for approaching the surf with open hearts and minds, fostering a willingness to connect, asserting that tensions on the waves should not impede the camaraderie on the shore. As the sea unites surfers, Hunter Jones and Kona Big Wave aim to bring people together, breaking down barriers and creating a sense of community in the vast world of surf culture.

In conversation with The Source, Hunter Jones speaks about the “Share the Big Waves” campaign, surfing culture, and more.

THE SOURCE: Can you share with me some of your insights and unique challenges of surf culture that you’ve encountered throughout your career and how those have shaped your experience in the sport?

Hunter Jones: Surfing is such an interesting and beautiful sport. There are so many different dynamics that go into being a surfer. We’re dealing with mother nature, which is, I think, the coolest part of our sport. As a surfer, I’m basically like a weatherman. I’m watching the winds, watching the tides, and trying to master those things. While also navigating the other surfers in the lineup and being respectful. Surfing is a solo sport, but it comes with a lot of complexities. I think there are a lot of misconceptions that might go around. Some unspoken sides of surfing make it difficult. You have to deal with other surfers who constantly surf these waves, and there’s just a massive element of respect that goes into surf culture. I think new surfers who come into the sport may not be aware of all these things.

In the “Share the Big Wave” video, you speak about fostering the conversation and throwing away some of those misconceptions about surf culture that you were speaking about. You’ve mentioned a couple, but are there any other misconceptions you’ve encountered, and how do you think this open dialogue can help remove them?

Totally. The misconception is that in surfing, you have localism. There’s a hierarchy system in the lineup based on people who have been there a long time or who have gained respect for surfing a wave for a long time. And I think those things can be hard to navigate if you’re entering the sport without much knowledge. The cool thing about this campaign with Kona Big Wave is that we can bring surfers who have never met together to have a conversation. These were all surfers from different skill levels, which was cool too. So you had experts, and you had beginners. We got to come together and have a conversation around some of the issues you may have run into while learning surfing or how we could be better people and come together and have the aloha spirit. That’s what surfing is all about, really. It’s really about sharing and enjoying mother nature. And the cool thing was people coming to the beach with an open hearts and open minds and having conversations around these misconceptions, I think, making all of us better surfers in and out of the water.

In this partnership with Kona Big Wave, you are uniting the different skill levels of surfers. How do you think these initiatives can contribute to building a stronger sense of community in the surfing world? And did you have anyone that looked out for you when you were a less experienced surfer?

As surfers, we all embodied the idea that we’re all a tribe looking out for each other. We’re all there to share the same experience, right? And I think it’s our responsibility to help guide people through their surfing journey. Whether they’re just beginning, it’s been a few years, or if they’re stepping out of line and taking too many waves or not being respectful, right? So I think that’s our responsibility to jump into the sport with respect and really just like an open mind and an open heart to learn how to be a better surfer and advocate of the ocean. And I think the cool thing about the conversation we had was, typically, we wouldn’t have, as surfers, an opportunity to hash out the good and the bad of surfing and the unspoken sides. This was an organic and candid conversation. I hope that this piece, when people watch it, people can gain that and take that into the next surf and how they approach surfing with other people. Surfing is a selfish sport. We’re all in it for ourselves. There should only be one surfer on one wave, but sharing waves is special. That’s what it’s all about. And that’s what’s fulfilled me the most: giving waves to my friends, pushing someone into a wave, or even getting a DM from someone asking for a tip. That’s the most rewarding stuff. And I think this campaign embodied being a good person and a good surfer.

What let you know that Kona Big Wave was the partner for you to do this?

They embody the Aloha spirit. They have an incredible beer; I love sharing it with my friends. This was a perfect opportunity to sit down with people, share a Big Wave, and chat about surfing. That’s what I do with my friends anyway. So when they came to me with this opportunity to speak to surfers and learn from each other and have open dialogue around these things, it felt like a perfect opportunity and something that I’m passionate about.