Looking Sideways: 10 Things

Here are the ten things I thought were worth sharing this week.

1. My latest episode with Sally McGee of Surf Yonder

Whenever I run a poll among listeners asking who I should interview, one name always crops up: Sal McGee from Surf Yonder. 

⁣I did some digging and quickly came to understand why. Yonder, which Sally runs with her husband Tom, is a surf school, a coaching company and a brand. But more than that, it symbolises an inclusive approach to surfing that has come along at the exactly the right time to meet the rather hectic moment UK surfing finds itself in right now.⁣

⁣So in May 2021, when I realised Sal would be in Devon at the same time as me, we arranged to catch up for what was only my third in-person interview since Covid came along. I’d almost forgotten how much more fun and enjoyable it is to do this in person, and what followed was a really lovely chat about about all things Yonder and Sal’s approach to surfing and life.⁣ Click here to listen. 

2. Yes I know I put Torren Martyn and Iska Folkwell’s Lost Track in the last 10 Things, but part 2 of the Atlantic series is out now and is a total must-watch. See it above.

3. As you may have noticed, the G7 summit is currently taking place in Cornwall to great fanfare and publicity. As the global spotlight shines on Kernow, I found these takes on the current reality of life in the country by Mickey Smith and Tanya Gold for Unherd to be pretty fascinating. Click the links to find out more.

4. Jamie Lynn is one of snowboarding’s undisputed GOATs, and this new series by my pals at Absinthe does a great job of explaining why. Watch it above.

5. Should sport and politics be kept separate? It’s an argument that comes up whenever anybody attempts to use their platform to explore societal issues through sport - even in snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding, as I always discover when I explore remotely challenging issues through my episodes.

With that in mind, England football manager Gareth Southgate’s ‘Dear England’ open letter is compelling defence of the idea that sport and politics are inescapably intertwined, and a powerful example of real leadership when the country needs it most. Obligatory reading - even if you hate football. Click here.

6. I enjoyed this exhaustive look at Andrew Reynolds’ career through thirty years of video parts. Also a fascinating insight into how somebody who has punished their body to such an extent has managed to stay at the top of the game (spoiler alert: it involves sobriety, foam rollers and yoga). Watch it above.

7. ‘Thank You, North Face’ - in which Chris Wright, an oil industry exec, robustly calls out The North Face and every other brand in the outdoor sector for their perceived hypocrisy. Worth a watch.

8. More surf eye candy, this time from Craig Anderson and friends way out in the sticks in the Australian desert.

9. I’m attempting to book Paul Theroux as a guest for the podcast, so am currently reading his latest novel Under The Wave At Waimea (like a geek, I am also still saving every book I read as a Highlight on my Instagram; click here to see that).

Theroux’s take on big wave surfing has certainly been polarising, as these takes by friends-of-the-show Chas Smith and Matt Warshaw demonstrate. Click the links to read their takedowns.

10. Looking Sideways Vol. 1 is finally out in the world, and myself and co-author Owen Tozer continue to be humbled at the amazing reaction from listeners, readers and press. We were especially chuffed with this Telegraph piece, as well as all the posts, comments and messages about the book. Myself and Owen are doing an Instagram Live chat on Thursday 17th June at 8pm GMT with our pals at Golden Rays, in which we’ll be choosing our favourite pics and chatting to host Alena about how and why we made the thing. You can tune in over at the The Golden Rays IG (click here), and you can buy the book here.