On September 11th, URT is hosting their annual WOMP contest. This is a bodysurfing competition at North Beach, near dog beach / NASNI. This event for kids and adults raises money for One More Wave, a non profit that helps veterans, wounded veterans, heal through surfing. Supporting the cause is Jon Wayne Freeman, a surfer and social media maven, lending his talents as the Master of Ceremony.
Jon connected with Ian Urtnowski, owner of URT, originally over the C4 Foundation. Now, becoming Master of Ceremony for the Annual Womp Contest, Jon says, “this is the one useful skill I have. I’m not the greatest surfer or body boarder, but I can make people laugh on a mic. I try to use my talents the way I can.”
His journey to letting go and embracing his gift of humor, came with a lot of resistance. Jon describes coming from a family full of fire fighters and police. “I am the worst at doing manly things,” Jon laughs, “I was fired from being a fire fighter twice, I was a paramedic for ten years and I wasn’t very good at it.” Jon describes his adolescence, “I was a musical theater kid in high school.” Then, “I stopped trying to be [my family] and started being myself. At 38 now I am getting laughs for never fitting in. I talk how the military talks and with my surfing background, I was able to quit my day job.”
While his content garners laughs for over 68K Instagram followers, he also promotes what he believes in – the military and surfing. Jon shares a story of a veteran he met in the surf, “this guy was a triple amputee and uses an assistant. He lays flat and gets pushed into the water. He’s happier than ever now! He tells me, ‘I never stopped, I got blown up in Iraq and this is where I am’.” Jon says that he meets people in the water all the time.
With the contest taking place locally, Jon says, “Coronado is such a special place. You have great wealth, and people serving from all over the country, and they mix so well. They are supporting each other.” Jon jokes that his least favorite thing about Coronado is the Circumnavigation on July 3rd, when he got stuck in one place for over an hour and it may have threatened the end of his relationship.
To hear Jon as Master of Ceremony and watch an incredible group of bodysurfers, head to the beach on September 11th for the annual WOMP contest.
One More Wave
Updated September 11, 2021 to clarify details