Looking Sideways: 10 Things

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

1. My latest episode of Type 2, the podcast I make with my friends at Patagonia through which I explore the intersection between the outdoors, action sports and activism.⁣

This week’s guest Rob Hopkins is a UK-based activist, author, podcaster, lecturer and environmentalist who describes himself as a ‘champion of the collective imagination’.⁣

This one fairly blew my mind to be honest. Rob is a truly original thinker with an ethos that is a beguiling blend of pragmatism and untrammelled creativity. ⁣I found this to be a hugely inspiring, thought-provoking and insightful conversation. Click here to listen.

2. Lost Track Atlantic Episode 3! More sensitively-told surf travel amazingness from Torren and Ishka. With this series I really feel like we’re watching a film-maker and surfer at the absolute top of their game. Watch it above. 

3. Argentinean snowboarding! Las Lenas in 2002 is still one of my favourite ever trips. Hat tip to my friend Mariano Gilbert for letting me know about this one. The full film is out on Sunday, but watch the trailer above.

4. My pal and previous podcast guest (click here to listen) Hannah Bailey has spent ten years tirelessly documenting women’s skateboarding and it is brilliant to see the media world finally catch up with her. Like the Guardian, which just gave her project To Balance is Trust, which focuses on women, non-binary and femme-identifying skaters, a prominent platform. Click here to read it. Amazing work Hannah!

5. My pal Lyndsay McClaren is the first female cover star in Boardsport Source’s history. Lynders is doing great work around making skating as accessible as possible through her Neighbourhood Skate Club, something which she explored in a recent Instagram Live chat with Source Editor and friend of the pod Harry Mitchell Thompson. Watch it here

6. Barry Lopez, author of the massively influential work Arctic Dreams, died in December 2020. This piece about the last months of his life by his wife Debra Gwartney is beautiful and devastating, and deals with the biggest themes of all. Click here to read it. 

7. On a similar note, I also found this Outside story about the death of skier Laura Kosakoski and her partner Adam Campbell’s survivor guilt to be extremely thought-provoking on the topic of grief and mortality. Click here to read it. 

8. (*conspiratorial whisper*) Not sure if you’ve noticed, but skateboarding recently made its Olympic debut. And, with Sky Brown winning a bronze medal, the profile of skateboarding in the UK has never been higher. So does it matter when the CEO of Skateboard GB seemingly dismisses ‘older’ skateboarders during a TV interview, as per the above quote? The ensuing debate seemed to me to be the perfect encapsulation of the post-Olympic position skating (and surfing and snowboarding as well, obviously) finds itself in. Click here to read some nuanced (and some not so nuanced) views on this one. 

9. Another consequence of skating’s Olympic bow has been a veritable onslaught of hot takes on what this means for the culture. Like this Atlantic piece on how skating shaped the Olympics, rather than the other way round -click here to read it.

10. As a counterpoint, Anthony Pappalardo’s take on the Olympics is typically thought-provoking. Click here to read his essay Skateboarding Is A Sport - So Now What?