1. No new episode this week. But my recent chat with US snowboarding legend Hana Beaman slipped through the newsletter net, so I thought I’d post it this week.
Hana is a rarity - a pro rider with a career that has lasted almost two decades. In snowboarding, it’s a rarified feat that only a handful have managed. Those that have accomplished it have navigated ups, downs, injuries, sponsorship vagaries, trends, and everything else that life can throw at you.
As is often the case when it comes to these lengthier career arcs, Beaman got her start on the contest scene, before shifting her attention to the backcountry. Today, she enjoys a rep as one of the true legends of the women’s snowboarding scene.
It’s a position she relishes, happy to pass on her knowledge to the next generation and own the mentor role now she’s in the position to pay it back.
Naturally, given the sheer weight of this resume, I was keen to chat to Hana while I was in Jackson. The resulting conversion is a study in the long game, and an object lesson in how humility and curiosity are the fuel for longevity. What I found particularly interesting is the way Hana’s been happy to diversify and follow interests outside of snowboarding as way of keeping things fresh.
I’ve long been intrigued by Hana’s story, and I very much enjoyed our conversation. Click here to listen.
2. Even after being at this for 25 years, a byline in a new title is still a notable event. So I was happy to have this piece on the drone tech behind Natural Selection’s unique approach to broadcasting featured in tech heavyweight Wired Magazine. Ignore the shonky headline, and click here to read it.
3. Brighton surf scene represent! Cliff Cox is undisputed local legend of the south coast surf scene, and has just had this little film made about this surfing lift. Watch it above.
4. Dave Carnie is one THE great skateboarding writers, so I was very stoked indeed to belatedly discover this treasure trove of recent blogs. Click here to find out more.
5. I found the recent Race Representation Index (through which the organisation Sporting Equals is attempting to hold publicly funded sporting organisations to account on their commitment to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion) to be a pretty depressing read. Click here to read the background.
6. Upsetting news from the Scottish surf community, where a fire has destroyed the Jay Surfboards workshop, meaning local legend and stalwart support of the scene Jay has lost everything and the scene has lost a critical focal point. There’s a GoFundMe campaign to help Jay get back on his feet - to support this worthy cause, click here.
7. The debate around trans athletes’ participation in women’s sport has been rumbling on for a while. But Lia Thomas’s recent 500-yard freestyle victory at the NCAA Women’s Championships sent it properly mainstream.
At its heart, the controversy comes down to one fundamental issue: if trans athletes are allowed to participate in women’s sporting categories, is it possible to guarantee both inclusion AND fairness?
There’s a huge amount of emotive commentary around this issue, but to get a flavour of the different arguments, try this Swimming World article and this Independent story. I also found this thread by Dr Sheree Bekker and this thread by Ross Tucker helpful as a way of understanding the nuances of the issue.
8. As the caption says, we’re witnessing one of the greats in his prime. Watch Ishod’s latest part above.
9. The Andy Warhol documentary series on Netflix is the best thing I’ve watched in months. Turns out even one of the twentieth century’s great artists suffered from imposter syndrome. Who knew? Watch the trailer above, but track it down: it’s worth it.
10. I’ve been talking about Looking Sideways Live for a while now, and it looks like something is finally brewing in this area. I’ve been chatting to some friends-of-the-podcast about organising an event in Hossegor in June. Expect live interviews and all manner of podcast-related good stuff. More as I get it. In the meantime here’s a pic from the last live event I did in September 2019. Truly, more innocent times…