Iron-Jawed Will

November 24, 2012

‘Some people will always tell you that what you are trying to accomplish is impossible; those people have no idea what they’re talking about,’ says Frosty Hesson, surf legend and first-time author of Making Mavericks.

As well as the book – co-authored by Frosty Hesson alongside Ian Spiegelman, Rick Hesson – a film titled Chasing Mavericks has just been released. It tells the life story of the surfing legend Frosty, played by Gerard Butler and his mentorship with Jay Moriarty, played by Johnny Weston, a then budding 12-year-old surfing novice who, like many surfers, planted their boards in the surf of Northern California’s’ Half Moon Bay, with an appetite for the towering waves of the notorious surf-spot ‘Mavericks’.

In 1990s, Jay approached Frosty to train him to surf one of the most behemoth waves on Earth, the legendary Mavericks surf break near his home in Santa Cruz. It was Jay’s audacity that propelled Frosty to mentor him. Through his coaching, not only was a friendship created but raw courage and life lessons such as the importance of not letting the fear of others affect one’s success, were breathed into the heart of Jay, who became notorious for being one of the youngest, at only 16 to brave the 40ft waves of Mavericks.

Since the young age of three Frosty, who was nicknamed that for his white as snow hair, was not only destined to do great things on land but also in the sea. It was growing up by the bay in San Francisco in the 1950’s that began Frosty’s connection with the ocean. ‘My parents were concerned because I had no fear of water.’

But it wasn’t just Frosty’s determination and loving relationship with water that made him a phenomenal surfer, but his ability from young to observe the world and to take lessons from every opportunity and every aspect of wonderment that he came across. He overcame the hardships of an at times tumultuous childhood burdened with financial troubles and riddled with a hard-drinking father and a chronically ill mother.

Despite the adversities, the welcoming nature to others his parents created in the home along with his passion to help others, enriched his life and pushed him forwards towards a life spent surfing on the beach, chilling in his van and mentoring others in the value of not only being great surfers but great purpose-filled people who believing that anything and everything is possible.

‘No one can live out someone else’s vision; it had to come from within you,’ he says in his book. He goes on to explain where the basis of his attitude about life came from by telling the story of the summer his parents took him and his siblings to the Mohave Desert where they came across an abandoned mining town from the 1800’s called Calico. In that ghost town one of the miners had built a house out of brown, green and clear wine bottles and mortar. Upon walking in, Frosty describes the impression it had on him to see the majesty that someone could build up from what others may have considered disposable. ‘It was just four walls and a brownish-gray weathered door, the grain raised from all the moisture being sucked from the wood by the heat, but when I stood staring through those walls long enough, they became the stained glass window of a church, and they became a kaleidoscope.’ It was in this moment that Frosty developed an understanding that life is all about which angle you look at it from saying, ‘Just because you don’t see what everybody sees it doesn’t invalidate your view.’

It was at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, California on December 19th, 1994 where Jay Moriarty paddled out to meet a 40fth wave, the biggest wave of the morning. Upon rising to his feet, the wind pushed his surfboard into the air and dropped him down five stories into the ocean which sucked him 40 feet underwater and while many thought he was dead, he walked away becoming an iconic surf star. Sadly, Jay’s life was cut short at the tender age of 21, when he drowned while free diving.

While Frosty may appear as a superhero, with a book and a film about himself and his experiences, at the end of the day, he is just a kind-hearted fellow human who stands as a role model for the enduring spirit and willingness to give, in order see others shine with great purpose.

For Poetic inspiration:

31 Responses to “Iron-Jawed Will”

  1. Even though this is a story about a surfer, the lessons are something that anyone who has struggled to achieve the impossible can relate to. Good description and congrats on being FP! 🙂

    • Magnolia said

      Yes, I agree, I feel we can all relate to working to achieve a dream that some may see as impossible. Thank you so much for your comment & for the congrats! 🙂

  2. I’ll have to check out the movie; you have me interested.

  3. Kris F said

    Thanks for letting the world know of this incredible man. I love the line about perspective. It’s all about how you look at life that gives it meaning.

    • Magnolia said

      Hi Kris, thank you for your note. I got to interview him and he was very kind, uber positive, and a very refreshing person to speak to. I agree w/ you about perspective, how you look at things can make them look shiny or dull. Thank you for stopping by & reading.

  4. segmation said

    What a touching blog! Be careful when surfing! We have some awesome waves here in San Diego. Have you had a chance to try to surfing here in San Diego?

    • Magnolia said

      Thank you so much! No, I havn’t surfed ever actually, I knowww I feel like that’s a no no for someone writing an article on surfing. But I’m sorta’ a land animal, I’m a sprinter and the story was moving to me as a an athlete. My brother wants me to try surfing so I may very well w/ him this Christmas, we’ll see. I have heard of San Diagoos waves, I may have to get better here in L.A w/ the smaller waves:) Thanks again for popping by & your comment!

  5. wwwedirectory said


  6. stephsoul said

    I’m so looking forward to seeing that movie! I hope it’ll rock! 🙂

  7. ssrijana said

    ‘Just because you don’t see what everybody sees it doesn’t invalidate your view.’ truth rings in these words ..nice post.

    • Magnolia said

      That’s actually one of my favorite lines from him. A truth that all with a vision to be great must keep in mind. Thank you for popping by & your comment!

  8. Simply wonderful post, thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Magnolia said

      Thank you kindly on the blog & congrats kindness! I’m so excited I got freshly pressed. I want very much to share my ideas w/ the world! So thanks for popping by:)

  9. Stormy said

    Finally a blog worth reading, I lived in my 1968 VW from the age of 16 🙂

    • Magnolia said

      That’s very nice of you to say, thank you! Wow, that’s very hippy cool that you lived in your VW. Must have felt very freeing. Thank you for reading my blog, makes me happy that you like it!

  10. Great post…haven’t seen the movie yet but looking forward to it.

    There are people amongst the millions that can look at things in a different perspective. I like the idea about not letting the fear of others affect your success. Change is a word that many fear yet change and success go hand in hand.

    • Magnolia said

      I agree with you very much! One has to, at times, isolate their higher thinking in order to not let the fears of others affect their pro-activity and journey. Thank you for reading my blog, I really appreciate it. : )

  11. My kids begged me to take them to watch this movie… My youngest is DeafBlind so we watch movies that have a good message. They love surfing movies, animal movies etc… Movies about the underdog or disabled. This touched home with the because they don’t have a loving caring father around. We have restraining orders against him because of his choices in life involving drugs and alcohol.
    Nice movie. Tragic in the end though!

  12. iagd2012 said

    Very Inspiring, Thank you for the story I will now definitely endeavor to watch the movie. Wishing you the very best with yours….

  13. kirisyko said

    Reblogged this on Sykose.

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