1. My recent episode with Yvette Curtis of Wave Wahines, the women and girls only surf club through which she is on a mission to make surfing in the UK more accessible for women and girls from all cultures and ethnic communities.
I think the reason I’m such a fan of Yvette’s work, and why I was so keen to chat to her for the podcast, is that it’s a story of how one person can impact the grassroots by the works they do.
I talk about lot on the podcast about how we need to ask questions of traditional surf culture. Well, Yvette is out there doing that work, and it’s through initiatives such as Wahines that change will happen, however irrevocably. Even if, as in Yvette’s case, it sometimes comes at great emotional and personal cost.
Firstly, because like everybody, Yvette struggles with the dreaded imposter syndrome, and the very idea that she has any right to be a spokesperson on any of the issues we discuss.
Secondly, because anybody doing such work, and daring to pose questions of the status quo, can find themselves open to attack, something which happened to Yvette when she appeared on a BBC Spotlight segment and subsequently received a truly horrendous amount of bullying and abuse.
Undeterred, Yvette dusted herself down and came back more energised than ever to make a difference. As she should have, because her experiences as a British woman of colour in the 21st century are real, impactful, challenging and are as valid a contribution to our culture as somebody who is venerated for being good at riding a piece of wood, foam or carbon.
When ordinary people do extraordinary things, change can happen, as Yvette’s story demonstrates. Listen above.
2. Round two of Natural Selection from BC is now live! Replay the entire broadcast above.
3. I was tickled by this one: 25 years after I had my first story in the mag, my pals at Whitelines conducted a lengthy (and swearword-filled) interview with me about my work as part of the selection committee and commentary teams at Natural Selection. Click here to read it.
4. I also put together some reflections on the first leg of Natural Selection at Jackson Hole for my pals at Sidetracked Magazine. Click here to read that one.
5. A couple of days before Joel Tudor was banned by the WSL, he recorded this short interview with LogRap. Watch it above (is it me, or does he really look like Abe Lincoln!?) and click here to read a post-ban Inertia chat with Joel and an unnamed WSL Insider about the entire farrago.
6. Like everybody, I’ve been trying to vaguely understand the situation in Ukraine, and have found a few podcasts particularly interesting. Dominic Sandbrook and Tom Holland’s four-part history of Putin’s post-Soviet rise was particularly enlightening (listen to part one above); as was this episode of Doomsday Watch, in which European geopolitical expert Alexander Clarkson explores Putin’s ‘disastrous miscalculation’. Click here for that one.
7. 107 years after it was crushed by sea-ice and sank, scientists recently found Shackleton’s boat Endurance perfectly preserved at the bottom of the Weddell Sea. But what was the point? I enjoyed this piece by Tom Robbins, which articulated perfectly the vague sense of ennui I had about the whole business. Click here to read it.
8. Everybody’s favourite purveyor of Cosmic Pardism, Mickey Smith, just released HUNROS JORNA, a typically wondrous new collaboration with Allan Wilson and Gwenno Saunders. Watch it above, and click here to listen to my conversation with Mickey from a few years back.
9. This week’s guest Yvette is also a speaker at the forthcoming Surf Girl Summit, which also features my old pal Demi Taylor. Tickets and more info here.
10. Finally, this just really made me laugh. Who knows, maybe it’ll make you laugh too. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day for yesterday.