HOFF INTERVIEW

by Bright Krinsky / Photos by Zach Epstein

AROUND 2007 this kid from VANCOUVER skating for Powell, reached out to me, to see if the mountain would be interested in sponsoring him and his team. AT that point we BARELY KNEW what sponsoring was, so I just sent him a sick pile of tees INSTEAD and he represented... There are some people that are just amazing souls. jordan has touched lives the world over with his skill, personality and style, but the one thing that stands out for me... he’s the nicest badass I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  HOFF started the mountain wolfpack and we’re pumped he’s still part of the tribe.

- Mcgloin

What’s the story behind “Going Hoff”?

JH: Well, it started right around the time Instagram blew up. I felt like everyone had some catchy names at the time and I felt compelled to make one as well. My nickname is Hoff so it was a pretty easy fit. After that it turned into a website. I had built a bowl in my backyard and was inviting friends and other pros to come film segments for the site. I wanted GoingHoff.com to be more of a Berrics type platform, but more for the bowl & mini ramp skaters. After doing it for a while, I realized those things need non-stop updating and continuous content to take hold. ha-ha. I still like filming and updating the site, but its more of a fun side gig. Otherwise I would never leave the house.  

It’s a lot of people’s dream to have a sick bowl like this in their backyard. How did this come about?

JH: Well with the creation of the website we needed a place to film. I had always wanted some skateable features at my house, so this kind of created the perfect opportunity to go ahead with the bowl. I had a little patio at the bottom of my property and we were just going to start build a couple quarter pipes DIY style and go from there but then my bud Kyle Berard (who worked building skateparks at the time) said “dude why don’t we just build a sick bowl back here”.  We designed it to where it made sense and pulled the trigger. Its 5’ with a 7’ clam shell. I thought that sounded pretty mellow as I’m a street skater and just wanted something to dick around in. Turns out a narrow 5’ bowl it gnarly enough to steer away some of the vert dudes as well. ha-ha. It super sick, but it definitely tight and fast. The pool coping added another dynamic as its a bit harder to lock in and visually pretty intimidating.  It turned out great though, so stoked to have a place to BBQ with my buds and have some sick private sessions. I think we are going to add some new stuff in the new year as well. 

North County San Diego is a pretty beautiful place to be, very different from BC though. Is there anything that you miss about living in Canada?

JH: My family and friends, all day everyday.  There is a special bond with people you’ve met and beloved early on in life. They’ve helped me mold who I am today and have a special place in my life. I could not speak or see any of them for years and still feel like nothing has changed when we get together again. As you get older you meet people for different reasons, business relations, convenienceetc. But it doesn’t compare to the transparent friendships you create in your childhood. You wanted to hang out just cause! There’s no ulterior motive.  I also miss the landscape of Vancouver, its a beautiful place. The clean air and water are clearly noticeable, when I go back. Its just an amazing place to live and raise kids. I may attempt to move my family back up there at some point. 

Dude why don’t we just build a sick bowl back here?

Canadians are super friendly. Why do you think Canadians are nicer than Americans?

JH: Not necessarily. I know just as many nice Americans as I do Canadians. I think Canadians get excited more easily and therefore come off as “nicer” out of the gate. But I have a great deal of amazing American friends that are just as genuine and good natured people as my Canadian friends. Actually I’ve introduced a lot of them to each other, and now its like one big family. Pretty awesome.

Who do you think is the best skater in Canada right now?

JH: Both Matt Berger and Bobby De Keyzer are incredibly gifted skateboarders. I love watching those guys skate.

What do you think about American faux maple syrup? Actually areWest Coast Canadians into maple syrup or is that an East Coast thing?

JH: You can definitely tell a difference, from taste to price. True Canadian maple syrup is imported obviously and it raises the price in the US significantly.  I know in the big scheme of things its not really a priority to splurge your hard earn bucks on some syrup, but I do recommend giving the real deal a try and understand what the hype is about. Its definitely the best.

You were probably the first Pro skater to rep The Mountain T-shirts. What originally attracted you to Mountain shirts?

JH: I liked that they were different. I’d go on tour and we would get excited about finding them at all the gas station stops. I think I drained most my per diem on those things.  Then as time went on, the shirts would remind me of all the great times we had on those tours, which made me like them even more.  Its just a cool product, that wasn’t really trying to be that cool. The Mountain did their thing and either you loved it or you didn’t. I like that they have stayed true to their roots after all these years. 

In my experience people react pretty strongly to Mountain shirts on the road. Do you have any stories of experiences that came from wearing a Mountain shirt?

JH: I’m sure I have stories from the road, I probably wore those shirts the whole time. But there was one thing that definitely made me realize how hard I repped them and that was when I looked at a 10 page interview I did for Color Magazine. Literally every photo was a different Mountain shirt.  I started to think I may have a problem.

If you’ve got a trick, may as well take it down the biggest you can.

You have a pretty wild animalistic approach to skating. Do you have a spirit animal that you channel?

JH: I think you mean I just eat shit a lot. I kind of need to feel like I’m working hard to get stoked to land a trick. If you’ve got a trick, may as well take it down the biggest you can. I don’t want to look back at my video parts and feel like I digressed over the years. Its definitely getting harder to outdo myself, but I still lay it all out there. As long as I know I gave 100% effort, its acceptable to not land everything all the time. It’ll just give you more ambition to land it the next time. So if that sounds like a certain type of spirit animal to you, let me know. I do have the classic wolf head shot tattooed on my inner arm though. So maybe that’s it? The Wolf?

You skate some pretty big gnarly shit. Is there anything that you do to prepare physically or mentally for jumping off stuff?

JH: I try to stretch and warm up thoroughly. My body has been through a lot so I try to treat it with respect. I used to just try to psych myself up as much as possible and let the adrenaline take over. But now I have a much better concept of what I am capable of and how my body works. I plan my filming missions thoroughly and ease my way into the sessions now. I take notes of all the variables that play into the success of the trick. Every spots different, creating different challenges, so I just make sure I am aware of everything that is going on the best I can to make sure my mind is well prepared for the attempts.    

Has becoming a father influenced your approach to skating at all?

JH: Yeah definitely. I have to land it now. Whereas before I could “just come back”. I had a lot more “me” time before my kids, so now I cant really spend all day driving around looking for spots and chilling on multiple sessions. My skating is pretty direct and to the point.  I pick the spot, call the filmers / photographer, we all meet, get the trick handled and I head back to my family. I’m doing a lot more things behind the scenes with a few of the brands I ride for. So there is a lot more time spent behind a desk these days as well.  I definitely miss the days of cruising out and skating all day with a crew of homies. Those times were simple and made so much sense. A common goal that everyone was working towards, with little to no distraction. Those were special times and a huge part of my life. I still get to relive those times during tours away from home, which is something I always look forward to. But I definitely have a more aggressive work ethic on trips as well now. I know time is becoming valuable and I can’t afford to piss it away.

What are some bands/music you’re into and what do you listen to to get pumped to skate?

 

JH: I’ve always been a fan of Cam’ron / Dipset. I listen to Drake and few others rap artists. But I also like Classic listening like James Taylor and Waylon Jennings. Johnny Cash jams are too legendary not to listen to.

As a pro skater you get to travel a lot. Where is the raddest place you’ve been?

JH: China. I love China. It’s literally the best thing to happen to my skateboarding. I’ve never been to a better place to skate.  We are planning another trip to Shanghai this January.

What is the weirdest thing that’s happened to you traveling?

JH: Not sure if its weird, but it was pretty rad. I got a huge bag of mushrooms given to me after a demo we did in Quebec City, from the girls that ran the skate shop. The whole crew chowed them up and the girls took us to this huge music festival in the middle of the city.  We didn’t have tickets so we all rallied surrounding people to barge the fence since “ the cops can’t catch us all”. Sure enough all but one dude made it over the fence and we ended up front row during the Wyclef portion of the concert. He played a 2 hour set and the Shrooms kicked in right at the beginning of the show, causing the lights to look insane. There was free beer and food as well, so we were pretty much set for the rest of the night.  I just remember everyone being so stoked on life, and the whole thing was completely random and beautifully unexpected. It was also my first time doing mushrooms so that could have a lot to do with the event being forever stained in my memory bank. Stoked it happened though.

What’s your favorite restaurant both in the world and San Diego County?

JH: URBN pizza in my town of Vista, is literally the best pizza joint in the world in my opinion. I could eat there every day of the week and still want it again the next day.

The whole thing was completely random and beautifully unexpected.

You have won some big contests in the past. Could you talk about that a bit?

JH: I’ve won some contests. A couple Dew Tour stops, a few overseas contests.  I always found I did well at the best trick contests.  I was never the most consistentdude, but give me 5-10 minutes and I could Hail Mary some stuff together!

Who are some of your favorite skaters and who are your favorite people to skate with?

JH: My top 3 favorite have always been pretty consistent:  Busenitz, Kirchart, Cardiel. They all have powerful style and the faster they go the more control they seemed to have.  I like skating with the McClung brothers ( Taylor, Trent & Trevor). They are a bit younger than me, but have a good understanding of what’s going on around them.  We all get along and they are super motiving to be around. Positive dudes that are insanely gifted at skateboarding and easy to travel with. Its a productive crew. 

Who are your sponsors?

JH: I currently ride for:  Stereo Skateboards, Bones Wheels, Theeve Trucks, Bones Bearings, 9Five eyewear,  Vox footwear, Grizzly Grip, Diamond Supply, Dakine, Etc Insoles, OC Ramps and 2UNDR.

You have a bit of an acting history. Any acting gigs coming up?

JH: A bit of a history ha-ha. I recently got my SAG card because I was eligible for it so I figured it was good to have. But to be honest I have been way too busy with my other obligations in skateboarding & family that I haven’t really been able to connect with the entertainment world too much.  I know Jason (Lee) wanted to film some more skits with the Stereo crew, this upcoming year, so maybe I can convince him to do another project together in the future. I have so many ideas / concepts that my buds and I go back and forth with almost daily. It’s just being able to put all of that together, with a plot to where it all makes sense, that is the hard part. I’m working on some screenplays though. We’ll see what happens. I’ve always wanted to create a movie start to finish and have my hand in on both sides of the project. I feel like it’s needed to some degree to make sure the product comes out as you envisioned it.

If you weren’t a pro skater what do you think you’d be doing?

JH: Struggling background performer back in Vancouver. Ha-ha.  Which honestly, would still be pretty sweet. I really enjoyed that life as well.  And since I am a union member, the pay is pretty decent!  I would get to be with all my friends and family again as well.  Sounds like a win-win!

If you were writing this interview what would you ask yourself?

JH: The question below this one...    

What do you have going on next?

JH: Well, I haven’t eaten since 5pm yesterday, so I’m about to make myself a big ass lunch and eat it until I hate myself!!! I have been diligently working on my next video part for The Berrics which drops in a few weeks. I am very happy with the outcome thus far. I only need to get my last trick to wrap it up. Keep an eye out for it mid October. www.berrics.com

Long term, I am opening a brewery with my friends in Vista, called Dark Ages Brewing. Check out the website: 

www.DarkAgesBrewing.com

We are making a wide spectrum of premium quality craft Ales.  Our brew master is a Neuro-Scientist from UCSB so You know its gonna be great. I’m excited to see where it leads me next. Cheers.