I wrote a small blog back in April about the impending release of Jaimal Yogis’ book ‘Saltwater Buddha’. My advance reader’s copy is weathered and worn, having spent many a day in the sun and rain, but the point being – it stuck with me!
Anyway, I managed to grab five minutes with Jaimal in order to seduce you all into buying a copy…
FOM: Since the release of the book have you been busy doing readings & signings?
Jaimal: Yeah, super busy, but it has been really fun. Over the last couple months I’ve toured all the way up to Vancouver Island, BC, and down to LA, hitting up little bookstores and surf shops. Oregon has been the best so far because my friends’ band, Nine Pound Shadow, toured with me and the south coast was getting a really good south. I scored some places around Gold Beach better than I ever expected. The locals were all incredibly friendly, which made it even better.
FOM: Do you still get time to surf?
Jaimal: Everyday; almost, anyway. The whole point of going on a coastal book tour is the surfing. Australia, Indonesia, and Hawaii are the next stops. Indo doesn’t really have infrastructure for book touring… so you can probably imagine my priorities.
FOM: What’s in your quiver?
Jaimal: My new favourite board is this 5’7″ twin-fin fish from the 1980s – one of those old Lipstix boards – which I picked up in Mexico more as a collectible. Turns out it still rides insanely well. I’ve also got a 6’3″ Danny Hess twinzer that I love, a 6’8″ Santa Cruz squash that’s great for travelling, a few beat-up boards I’m still sucking the life out of little by little, and an 8’10” gun that mostly just intimidates me, although it did see a handful of days last winter.
FOM: Imagine ‘Saltwater Buddha’ is to be made into a film… Who would play you & what songs would have to be in the soundtrack?
Jaimal: I think Stallone and Keanu should play me at my different life stages. Keanu could wear a lot of makeup and be the young runaway and I’m looking more and more like Stallone in my old age so it’s a perfect fit. Michael Jackson soundtrack all the way. No – I really have no idea, but I’d love for that to be an issue : )
A documentary film is being made and I’ll play me in that. Jim Klar, who does the song on the mini doc Roberto Vezzone made, is composing music for it. My friends Bobby Martinez and the guys from Nine Pound Shadow will probably pitch in some tunes as well. I just sent Jack Johnson a book too. Maybe he’ll want to get involved. Please Jack?
FOM: Who inspires you in the surfing world?
Jaimal: I just wrote a ‘Surfer’s Journal’ piece about my former landlady, Carol Schuldt. She’s 75 and still bodysurfs in San Francisco everyday without a wetsuit. She has more energy than most 18 year olds. That kind of commitment and love for the sea is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the surf world. Seeing what Danny Hess is doing with his eco-friendly shaping and his commitment to fine-quality boards inspires me as well. I just hope he gives me a discount.
FOM: There are some stand-out moments in the book for me, like the guy shouting his way to the car park because of a drop in… What are yours?
Jaimal: Being sick on the winter fishing boat… I’m determined to get my sea legs and that trip still haunts me.
FOM: Is writing a book like writing a song, and did you feel a release when it was finished?
Jaimal: Something like that, a really long song. It was very, very cathartic at moments and a huge weight at others. I recommend memoir writing to everyone. It’s free therapy.
FOM: How can people get hold of the book?
Jaimal: My website is probably the best because you can click through to Amazon or your local bookstore, which I always try to support if I can. If you’re in Europe, Amazon is probably the easiest place, but anywhere in the world you can go directly through the publisher, Wisdom.
FOM: What’s next?
Jaimal: Besides travelling a lot in the coming months, I’m plotting my next book. It’s a little early to talk about though. I’ll keep you posted. Oh, and we’ll be making the ‘Saltwater Buddha’ documentary in Bali and Hawaii. That should be super fun.
FOM: Any thank yous, shout outs, etc?
Jaimal: My mom, dad, sister and friends have been so incredible supporting me in this. They just surprised me by pitching in to get me a new computer. (Mine was starting to rot.) I love you guys so much!
Thanks for dropping in Jaimal, all the best.
I have read a few surf novels, biographies and the like. There are many out there but a handful, only a handful, capture that feeling of contentedness, adventure, and spirit. Read this and you will realise that we all share something pretty unique.
Go seek and you will be rewarded
Buy ‘Saltwater Buddha’ direct here, or just stop by and say hello.
words: Richard esq
answers: Jaimal Yogis
photos: c/o Jaimal Yogis