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Getting Gnarly: Five Questions with Pro-Surfer/Cannabis Advocate Justin Quintal

Getting Gnarly: Five Questions with Pro-Surfer/Cannabis Advocate Justin Quintal

cannabis world news interviews photo of Justin Quintal holding large orange fish on boat

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As a world-renowned surfing longboarder, Quintal is the first surfer officially sponsored by a cannabis brand.

Quintal is a 10x Vans Duct Tape Invitational Winner, 5x U.S Open Winner, and 2019 WSL World Champion, and has his own board company, Black Rose MFG.

Sunburn is a premium brand celebrating Florida’s distinct cannabis culture, based on the true story of CEO and Founder, Brady Cobb, and his late father, who was a cannabis smuggler in the 1970s and 1980s.

Quintal utilizes Sunburn products as part of his surfing and workout rituals.

But most importantly, working with Sunburn Cannabis allowed Justin to attain the first cannabis sponsorship in surfing, integrating the benefits of the plant; cannabis into his athletic regimen, thus breaking stigmas associated with the plant.

I’m truly surprised that more surfers aren’t being sponsored by cannabis companies. The surfing culture is pretty laid back, wouldn’t it make sense? How many people have seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High? If not, find it. The surfing groove… And California culture is deep in this film. A good segue into the (Florida based) accomplishments of Justin Quintal.

Warren Bobrow: Please tell me where you are from? Where do you live now? Please tell me about yourself.

Justin Quintal: I am a Jacksonville, Florida, native and live there to this day. I have been a professional surfer since 2004, when I began my longboard career and started to travel to competitions worldwide. Most recently, I partnered with Sunburn Cannabis to help normalize cannabis use as a natural extension of the surfing lifestyle.

WB: Tell me about your partnership with Sunburn? What sets the brand apart from others? What makes Sunburn different-therefore better?

JQ: Cannabis has long been an incredible tool for alleviating my anxiety and stress. I also work it into my recovery regimen to provide physical relief after an intense day of surfing and working out and to promote a more restful sleep.

Partnering with a cannabis brand like Sunburn was a natural fit for me. Sunburn is a brand for Floridians, by Floridians, with an unmatched commitment to quality and authenticity that I truly resonate with. This brand is driving cannabis culture forward, promoting responsible use of the plant and fostering a real community. Also, after visiting one of their farms here in Florida and seeing their process for growing and processing their plants I am convinced they have the best product.

WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals?

JQ: I just got home from surfing in Indonesia for the past month working on a film project with my friend Tosh Tudor, his father Joel Tudor is a bit of a mentor for me and the original advocate of cannabis in the surf industry. Within the next 6 months I will be competing at the Vans Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Hawaii. I will be spending as much time as possible until the first week of December preparing for that.

I typically organize a traditional single fin longboard invitational surf competition in my hometown as well, “The Loggerhead Classic.” The event is more like a small festival. With the help of a few good friends I incorporate local artists, musicians, restaurants, and bars and plan an incredible weekend celebrating our East Coast and North Florida surf culture, heritage, and community. I just recently received my invitation to the Pipe Masters, and it happens to be running the same weekend I was applying for a permit to run “The Loggerhead Classic,” so I will be looking to organize that either this spring or the following fall. Over the next year I plan on continuing to push my surfing forward through travel, creating content with Sunburn, and competing in such specialty events as the Vans Duct Tape Invitational.

WB: What obstacles do you face? How do you anticipate removing these obstacles?

JQ: The stigmas against cannabis remain an obstacle in surfing and beyond. The plant has gained momentum across the country and is legal in so many states, yet there are still people that think of cannabis users as lazy and unmotivated. Cannabis doesn’t define the levels of someone’s ambition or work ethic. I could not be the surfer I am today without drive, dedication, and focus, and I also use cannabis. These stigmas only hold people back from giving cannabis a try and seeing how it can improve their lives. Through my partnership with Sunburn, I am continuing to be vocal about my cannabis use and hope I can show people a more accurate representation of cannabis consumers through my actions—beyond the labels—while normalizing the plant for athletes.

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WB: What is your passion?

JQ: I am incredibly passionate about surfing. I have been so lucky to find a career that takes me around the world doing what I love. I have also become passionate about promoting responsible cannabis use, as seen in my partnership with Sunburn. Cannabis is an undervalued resource that could help so many people, and I would love to be an ambassador to help individuals better their lives with the plant.

Feature photo courtesy of Justin Quintal 

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