Orange County-based surfer JJ Wessels is a Renaissance man of sorts, relentlessly hustling across a wide variety of artistic and commercial pursuits. Of Salt and Dust takes a candid look into what drives them, including the life-altering setbacks Wessels feels has molded his surfing and other work. As you’ll see, his multifaceted talent on waves runs parallel to his mixed-media endeavors in art and photography.
“JJ rides a log in a way that only someone who has carved a life around being in the water every day can,” says filmmaker Kevin Voegtlin. “While his name may not be as well known as other high-profile surfers from the area, when JJ stands up on a wave you can be sure all of them are watching. The film is an in-depth look at the life and hardships of a person who has dedicated himself to carving out a lifestyle that allows him to surf and create daily. This film touches on some pretty hard things—some of them still fresh—but JJ is a generous and genuine person, and I’m grateful he and his wife, Natalie, opened up their lives for me to tell this story.”