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carve magazine

'Conquistadors of the Useless' Carve Issue 189

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'Behind me I can see waves wedging off down the beach and beyond. Miles into the haze more waves coming down towards me. I wonder what difference the walk makes? The same above, the same below. I walk nonetheless, past the numerous markers that me and Al have placed on the beach to mark choice sections and provide some sense of place on our frequent journeys down the stretch. A sand castle with a glass bottle perched on top, a craggy piece of driftwood where Al scored an epic bodysurf ride an afternoon ago.'

Excerpt from Al Mackinnon's and my adventures in 'Conquistadors of the Useless' featured in issue 189 of Carve Magazine. The title of the story is inspired by the mountaineering book of the same name by the great French Alpinist Lionel Terray. Those words have always spoke to me and this seemed like the perfect surfing foil, a discourse on the meaning of and search for perfection.

An honour to feature on the cover and have my words woven around Al's beautiful photography.

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'A Harbour Affair' Carve Magazine 185

'The winter sun dips beneath a solitary cloud. The temperature drops. I pause against the retaining wall that separates the flashy cliffside houses from the south-western approach to the harbour. The granite is warm to the touch. Leaning in, I watch a silhouetted figure paddle from behind the tight pack; finding that invisible, but ever-present west-wedge energy that is key to unlocking the peak. Rail engaged on take-off, he drives through one, then two sections. My hoot coincides with the suns re-emergence low on the horizon line. The wave now illuminated in a hue of pale straw and russet gold, begins to straighten, before turning square. On the inside ledge, the surfer bleeds off the unbridled speed and hooks into the draining inside section. The invincible summer within us will never die. '

Carve Issue 185 ' A Harbour Affair'. A pleasant (and rare) surprise to have my surfing included in one of the spreads - thanks to talented water photographer Mike Lacey for sharing a moment in this Biscay Beauty with me.

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'The Headland' - Carve Magazine, Issue 176

Chuffed to get a run in the latest issue of Carve - A first hand account of surfing at the elusive 'Cribbar' a rare big wave that breaks off the headland at Newquay. It is my first piece of writing for a UK surf magazine, so for it to make a cover feature as well makes its all the more sweeter. 

Carve Issue 176
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Carve Magazine December 2016

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I grew up near Callington in South East Cornwall. Like a lot of Cornish towns, Callington used to be a mining town - Nowadays it is notable for being home to the beige culinary delight that is the Ginsters Pasty and for also being about as far from the coast as is possible in this peninsula of a county.


My mates at school used to dream about being old enough to run amok through Union Street at night, chasing the saccharine buzz of Barcadi Breezers and pursuing the elusive Plymouthian maid. I also used to dream about becoming a surfer.


Intently poring over and escaping into the articles in surf magazines; listening deep as my Dad regaled stories of him and his friends surfing hollow waves like Porthleven in the West of the county and big waves like Milook in the North. We would load up the car with surf gear every weekend and when the spring started to win-the-war over the winter we would go after school too (my dad being a teacher at the time). You could find me scrapping around every lineup from Tregantle to Sennen - styling in my ill-fitting, blue and beige Gul winter suit.


It is why that when I look at this shot of myself surfing at Porthleven, back in November (shot by @amysmithphotography) featured in the latest issue of Carve Magazine I am proud to see a surfer stare back at me. The same kind of surfer that I used to read about and heard my Dad talk about.


I say this not in a ego-driven, self-congratulatory way but in rather more humble manner - the accomplished satisfaction of perseverance . It doesn’t matter where you grow up or how much natural talent you possess, it is always worth working hard for the things you are passionate about. But hey, what do I know - I’m only a surfer after all.

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