Beyond the sheer joy of riding waves, surfing, for me, has been a way to explore coastlines and cultures and better understand their geography. Publishing travel features, books and making films have been my primary focus in professional surfing. Alongside this, the academic side of surfing has played a vital role in my work. I am a former Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University (specialising in sustainable surf tourism) and regularly talk and guest lecture on aspects of surfing, travel, writing and geography.
I competed extensively both nationally and internationally from 1995 to 2015, and have been a multiple European and British Longboard Champion, and a regular on the World Longboard Tour. I now work as a commentator for the live webcast at key world longboard title events for the World Surf League and International Surfing Association.
For every sponsored surfer, there are thousands more just surfing for the fun, far removed from the hustle and bustle of contests. Free surfing is true surfing for most. But the ancient Greeks developed competitive sport as a complex cultural and ritual occasion, birthing the Olympic Games. Sport was a way of saying something through the body, a form of persuasion, rhetoric and drama, in front of an audience.