Jono the Smit


Trips like the one we just completed in Fiji don't just happen by chance. They take the right kind of people and a lot of heart. That's why we knew Jono Smit was the right person to join us in the capacity of filmmaker.

Saturday09:31am: Local ripper down the line

Dedicated to filmmaking and cinematography, Jono makes his living out of capturing the nuptials of couples with their friends and family, a role he loves and thrives at. He travels all over the world shooting weddings and had just returned from covering two in Norway before we left for Fiji.


"It's pretty fun to have a job where you travel all over, hanging out with cool couples," Jono admits. "I started out taking photos of my dad surfing, with his film camera when I was a kid. Since then it has always been video."


In his spare time he always likes to have a creative project up his sleeve and this is where his passion for surfing, beaches and surf culture kick in. His film These Waters has become a classic.

Saturday06:53am: Loving life, Jono on the job

Jono jumped at the chance to join Fiji Launchpad 2017 and, like everyone on that trip, was volunteering his time and expertise to help accelerate the careers of the selected surf athletes.

"Hanging with the up and coming groms of New Zealand surfing is really what got me pumped," he explains. "Plus, it's freezing here."

He said the highlight for him was watching the young surfers on their journey.

"Seeing the dramatic progression in the boys' surfing over those eight days was so encouraging to watch. Just a bunch of mad dogs really," he laughs.

We ask if he can share details of his next film project. He replies in his typically cryptic manner.

"Hopefully something with a bit of heart behind it," he smiles. "That or a surf clip with David Attenborough commentating."

It probably won't be about surfing in the short term, he's heading to the Middle East at the end of this week as a volunteer.

Jono working the angles

"I'm heading to Israel with an organization called FAI doing medical relief and hopefully meeting some awesome people," he shares. "Gotta follow your heart, so this is us for the next wee while."


Together with his wife, Annie, they'll venture into the unknown realm motivated to make a positive difference to the lives of the people they encounter.


And in Fiji he certainly did that, not just with the surf athletes, but with all of those who contributed in some way no matter how small. Here's the feature film he made from Fiji Launchpad 2017. Enjoy.

Jono Smit Fast Facts
Age: 27
Hometown: Oamaru
Best moment in life: Marrying Annie
Current cameras: Red/5D3
Current board: 9'6 log shaped by my friend Hayden Milne
You can invite any three people to dinner: Ben Howard to provide the music, Rhys Darby to provide the chat and the owner of Nandos to hopefully sell me shares.


See you at the beach ... Derek

PS We have a special on for Fathers' Day – buy a copy of our book Seasons (RRP $50) and our latest Merino Country coffee-table book (RRP $60) and pay just $90. You can do that right here.