For NFL free agents looking for a new home this offseason, the Jaguars, and the team’s home city of Jacksonville, were surely a desirable landing place. With a youthful roster and one of the league’s best defenses, a well-regarded coaching staff and front office, and–now–a Super Bowl MVP at quarterback, the Jags look to be competitive this year.
Off-the-field, players–most of whom are in their early to mid-twenties–can avail themselves of all there is to offer in the ocean-adjacent, sub-tropical paradise we call DUUUUVAAAALLLL! (One of the nation’s youngest and fastest growing cities!)
But despite the team being here for going on 25-years, its not often we hear of Jags players–some of the world’s best athletes–trying to shred the gnar at area beaches. Why don’t the Jags surf?
Cue new Wide Receiver Chris Conley. One of the team’s most-exciting acquisitions, the former Kansas City Chief recently participated in a walk-and-talk style interview with Jaguars reporter Ashlyn Sullivan. An enlightening conversation, to be sure, the two discussed Conley’s friendship with new QB, Nick Foles, his recent nuptials, and… his new found love of surfing!
Conley took a surf trip to Hawaii prior to signing with the Jags he explained. And though he admitted to having little success while surfing at the sport’s proving grounds, Conley’s stuck with it.
Since coming to Jacksonville, Conley’s been surfing two to three times per week (“some weeks four times”), he told Sullivan.
It sounds like Conley’s got the bug! But with little video evidence of him actually surfing, those who wish to know whether the Wide Receiver shreds or not, are left wanting. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we’ve gleaned about Conley’s surfing so far:
His shaka is strong:
Besides in-water performance, a surfer’s shaka-execution is the best indicator of ability. Conley’s got it down.
Check out that shaka! Nice and loose. It’s clear Conley understands that trying too hard–i.e. throwing a stiff, ridged shaka–is the only thing worse than blowing the drop.
He carries his board like a ledge:
Much like shaka-execution, the body language inherent in carrying one’s board to and from the ocean can tell us much about a surfer’s in-water swag.
We won’t deduct points for the GoPro mount on this board’s nose, as it appears to be a rental. But everything else about this is flawless. Hand gripped firmly (but not too firmly), low (but not too low) on the rail line. He even knows to keep his eyes on the ocean in order to be ready to comment on the sick ones rolling through. Like Bodhi at Bell’s Beach, Conley’s just waiting for his set!
He’s tight with his shaper:
True surfers cultivate relationships with their local shapers; dialing-in equipment, talkin’ board-talk, keeping the tradition alive, etc. Conley’s been in the ear of legendary local craftsman, Mike Whisnant, working on a new fish. Good taste, Chris!
He’s a natural aerialist:
Conley’s nickname in college was “Flight 31” for his ability to boost and make the big catch (he wore the jersey number 31). He’s retained the “Flight” sobriquet in Jax and there’s no reason to think, once he has his feet in the wax, he won’t be punting over sections at the Jax Pier.
This is what we know. But we’re dying to know more. Hit us up Chris. Let’s shred!