It is with deep sadness that the WSF reports the passing of one of our very own, Tim Jones, who recently lost his battle with cancer.
It’s impossible to do justice to Tim's incredible life, but he truly was one of a kind. A unique and deeply passionate Welshman, who’s love of surfing saw him dedicate most of his adult life to providing the gift of our sport to others.
Tim started surfing as a youngster thanks to the influence of his parents, who used wooden belly boards to ride the waves of the south west and when he first saw a surfer stood up riding a wave, he knew surfing was for him. So began Tim’s love of riding waves, which was to shape his life for the next 50 years and see him travel all over the globe in pursuit of his passion. Over the years Tim spent long periods of time in multiple locations, which gave him a ‘local’ status at numerous premier breaks.
During the 80’s he spent a long period of time in Portugal, taming Coxos and Supertubos. Whilst there he worked for Semente surfboards, learning how to shape and befriending the cream of Portuguese surfing.
Tim also spent spells in North Devon, especially Woolacombe where he famously carried out a 24-hour non stop surf, to which he described the night time element of the charity challenger as, “rather eerie.”
During the early 90s, Tim returned home to Wales, settling down into family life at Llantwit Major. Here he brought up his sons and introduced them to surfing, whilst also enjoying the demanding waves of the Vale.
Whilst in Llantwit Tim became a very active member of Channel Coast Surf Club spending huge amounts of time coaching and training many of the local crew what he'd learnt abroad. A number of Tim’s early pupils were to go on to become national champions, who credit his coaching as a key part in their success.
Come the early 90s, Tim’s passion for coaching and pure stoke, saw him team up with the Welsh Surfing Federation to run our Llangenith Surf School. It was during this time that Tim organised and ran a number of highly successful surf days for the visually impaired as well as for people with disabilities. This was an area of coaching that Tim continued to work on and influence throughout his life.
Tim also became National Coach for Wales and a member of the GB coaching team.
He helped form the Level 1- 4 Instructor Coaching systems in the UK and was responsible for their training videos.
He introduced the concept of soft surfboards for beginner lessons in surf schools in the UK, an idea that later spread worldwide and the introduction of an International Lifesaving Open Ocean Award to be the mandatory accompanying award to all Surf Instructor Qualifications.
In the mid 90’s Tim and his family left Wales for world class waves and warm weather of Lanazarote. Here he established and set up Surf School Lanazarote at the highly consistent waves of Caleta De Famara. offering lessons to the busy tourist trade as well as to the local youngsters. Tim’s school soon became a respected and valued business within the community, delivering first class lessons. Of course, his new home also brought plenty of waves to challenge his skills and plenty of opportunities to surf with his sons.
Despite business pressures, Tim continued to assist the British surf scene and also started working with the International Surfing Association since the inception of the ISA Level 1 and Level 2 courses
During the late noughties Tim became an official ISA Course Presenter and would go on to expand this role from Spain to Sri Lanka and it was here that the next chapter of his life began, as Tim once again relocated and helped to form the Sri Lankan Surf Federation and set up his latest surf school.
Now, running back and forth between the Canaries and Sri Lanka to manage his businesses, Tim continued to offer coaching to high profile surfers. Indeed, it is the coaching systems he helped develop that are used globally, from beginner level to WQS surfers and thought of as one of the most innovative worldwide.
Tim ultimately settled where ever the waves were best, his love of surfing never stopped and he was constantly looking to improve. He rode anything from a belly board to a longboard and loved attacking a steep section with a good old fashioned lay back hack and hunting for a tube. Tim was also an avid skateboarder and could be regularly found carving up a bowl or attacking a half pipe. Even when poor health struck his only concern was when he could get back in the sea or on a ramp, which he did of course.
Tim was loved and respected right around the world from his pupils to his peers and the numerous local communities he could call home. Of course, Tim was loved most dearly by his family and sons, for whom we share our deepest sympathies at the loss of a devoted and dedicated father, who was never prouder and happier than when talking about their lives and achievements.
Tim’s determination, enthusiasm and passion were a rare commodity. He was one of kind, who left a lasting impression not only on those fortunate enough to have known him but also on our sport.
Rest in Peace Tim, thank you for all that you gave to us.