Going with the Grain
Choosing what to feature is a constant challenge. I try to post new photographers where possible, and I’ll always post a less known location over one of the classics. I have two objectives with selection; helping people discover new locations and helping great photographers get the recognition they deserve.
I am unconcerned with distances, times and temperatures and swim for my creativity. For time and space away from distractions. I find the water gives me a great clarity of thought.
To our right, the bikes were half stacked, half abandoned, our shoes and helmets scattered around the wheels thrown off sweaty brows and swollen hot feet. To our left, the others milled about with hazy expressions on their tired, sunkissed faces and beers in hand.
Wild angry currents take souls every year and consequently this stretch of coast remains unloved and isolated. The length of the bay was strewn with debris from both our own tourism and fishing industries as well as foreign imports of bottles, bags and brick-a-brac from Europe and the Americas.
When it comes to waterproof layers, the secret to longevity turns out to be washing!
The outdoors meant everything to me for a long time growing up, until I lost my way. Now I’m back, at somewhere past 40, and I’m gutted at what I missed out on. It drives my passion for helping others find happiness and contentment in the outdoors.
Surfers see an instant and tangible impact on their environment. Obvious examples of this are plastic or sewage in the oceans. It immediately impacts their health and enjoyment – they are quite literally in it – and it is unpleasant, invasive and damaging.
I've spent 18 years going to the wildest coastlines on Earth looking for surf. Marine litter has become more and more of an issue I couldn't ignore. There was a tipping point though on a remote beach in Iceland four years ago where I found a McDonalds carton and Coke bottle, just sitting there. That was the catalyst.
Our swims have taken us to the maelstroms of the Arctic Circle, tropical rivers of Venezuela, pristine beaches of the Philippines and emerald pools of the Himalayas, but it all started here in the UK. You don’t need to leave these isles to find absolutely breathtaking swims.
The peace and quiet, isolation and beautiful landscapes are fantastic for both body and mind. Being able to use a Bothy shelter in an amazing location, at no cost to you, is an extraordinary experience. I can’t recommend it enough.