Back into the light.
Can you introduced yourself, and give a little background on how you became involved with bodyboarding?
My name is John McKinney. I grew up in the coastal town of Ventura California, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been spending time at the beach, bodyboarding and surfing.
My mom enjoyed boogieboarding and both my parents sailed, so the ocean was always a big part of my life. Around age ten, bodyboarding in particular became an all consuming obsession. Eventually I started competing, travelling a bit, and grew closer with some of my idols like Jacob Reeve, who was inspiring to me at the time in many ways.
Although bodyboarders were the minority in my area, globally the sport seemed to be booming, and I wanted to go pro, travel the world, learn to ride heavy waves well, and grow up to be like the King, Mike Stewart.
Your responsible for classic movies like “Boogie Knights” and ” Smorgasbord”, how did you get into making bodyboarding films?
Along with surf, skate, and snowboard films, I was constantly watching bodyboarding films by legends like Tom Boyle, Chris Stroh and especially Scotty Carter’s Enough Said. I injured my back bodyboarding when I was 17 and was totally sidelined, so I started filming around home with the guys I’d been riding with. When our winter came I decided to go to Hawaii as I’d been planning, not to bodyboard as I had originally hoped, but to film.
After that trip I started taking filming seriously and around August of 1998 released Boogie Knights. Two years later was Smorgasbord, and immediately after that I started film school.
What prompted you to dive back into the archives release edits from the Hawaiian 98/99 season you had filmed?
I hadn’t really looked at that footage in ages and one day pressed play out of curiosity and along with what I had used in Smorgasbord, realized that there was a lot of footage of solid riding that I hadn’t used. Back then if something didn’t make the cut, no one would see it. So I took a couple days and gathered up the best clips from the old miniDV tapes, not sure what I would do with it. I was happy to watch it again and thought others might dig the ride down memory lane as well.
Did each section require putting together, or had you already previously finished the edits?
I made each section each week just before I posted it. Initially I looked at it as sharing raw footage, which is why I didn’t use any music at first.
No fence sitting aloud, which has been your favourite clip so far, and which has been the most popular with viewers?
For me the Ryan Hardy clip was the best. Raffi Meyer’s clip seemed to get the biggest response as far as I can tell though.
We know you worked with Matt Meyer last year to produce his ” From the bleachers” clip. Any future plans to produce fresh bodyboarding content?
I don’t have any specific plans at the moment but I’m open to it. I really enjoyed making that clip with Matt. The thought of filming certain riders at certain waves and then getting to play with piecing it all together is exciting. I also think there are more stories within bodyboarding to be told in a documentary style, like what was done with Holding On.
Outside of the bodyboarding world, what are you working on with your “Thomas Triunfo” production company?
Mainly providing motion design and video production for clients needing advertising content. I have a few narrative projects at various stages of pre-production that I might ultimately produce under the Thomas Triunfo banner as well.
View all of John’s classic edits on his IGTV channel.