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Here’s the Wild Idea

Jamie’s Wild Idea: To overcome asthma and become a world-champion paddleboarder and big wave surfer. To educate himself and the world about sustainable aquaculture practices.

Today’s guest exemplifies what it means to make your wild idea a reality. Jamie Mitchell is one of the best athletes in the world and a ten-time winner of the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race, one of the most challenging, prestigious races in the world where competitors paddle 32 miles between the Hawaiian Islands.

Jamie was passionate about a sport that, at the time he started, wasn’t particularly popular, but he pursued it and made a great career out of it. He isn’t paddleboarding much anymore, but he is on the Big Wave Tour where he has taken the podium many times. If he wins the Big Wave Tour, he’ll be the first person ever to win both this title and the paddleboarding title.

In addition to his amazing career, we talk about Jamie’s struggle with asthma as a kid, and how it actually got him into water sports in the first place and eventually even saved his life. We also talk about the often-controversial aquaculture practices that he is working to learn more about, and how he hopes to educate others. To do this, he recently partnered with Verlasso, a sustainable fish-farming company based in Chile, and he recently made a film with previous guest Eric Wolfinger about his participation with them. We also talk about how much he trains today and tips to living wildly and achieving any goal.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You love the ocean.
  • You like paddleboarding and/or surfing, especially bigger waves.
  • You love a good Aussie accent (I do).
  • You want to hear from one of the best athletes on the planet.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:00 – How asthma influenced Jamie’s career.
  • 6:50 – What the junior lifeguard program is like in Australia.
  • 9:45 – When Jamie competed in his first paddleboard competition.
  • 12:00 – What happened in Puerto Escondido last year and how asthma saved his life.
  • 19:10 – How and how much Jamie trains.
  • 21:35 – Why you have to learn from your mistakes.
  • 22:20 – How Jamie won the Molokai to Oahu race so many years in a row.
  • 24:40 – How much he competes paddling now.
  • 26:30 – Why Jamie is focused on the Big Wave Tour.
  • 28:30 – How Jamie kept his sponsors happy in two non-traditional sports.
  • 32:40 – Why Jamie is really passionate about the environment.
  • 33:35 – The controversy behind aquaculture and Verlasso and where Jamie stands.
  • 41:55 – Why Jamie doesn’t do things the easy way.
  • 44:45 – Jamie’s advice for his daughters as they grow up.
  • 45:20 – Who’s coming to Jamie’s party.
  • 46:50 – What gear Jamie always travels with.
  • 47:50 – Jamie’s message about saving our earth.

Other episodes to listen to

Eric Wolfinger 
Wim Hof
JP Sears
Norah Eddy


Rich Froning
Trash wave in the Dominican Republic
Seafood Watch app
Liquid IV
Doterra Oils
UCSB reading about aquaculture
Journey of a Waterman film
Molokai 2 Oahu competition

Connect with Jamie




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