Here is a video with some of our friends from Tyndale School, Bristol. They have been engaged with our project from the start and have been using the concept of Wavegarden and it’s implementation in The Wave projects as part of their curriculum. Great kids and always a pleasure to visit.
Not sure if it is the cold summer followed by a cold winter, but surfing this winter feels like an all time low….temperature wise. Then there is the North Sea. The surfers up there are a different breed altogether. Here is a great short film that captures the essence of cold water surfing. Many surfers disappear in the winter for warmer climates and to keep their tans topped up. The rest of us…..brave it…..but get rewards of a very different nature. Cold Water surfers everywhere…unite.
Sometimes whilst walking through life you stumble across a Gem, like this film maker, who also found Michael….. Watch, reflect and be humbled.
So many parts of the natural world are being protected by the setting up of national parks, heritage sites, marine reserves. In the UK, there are no ways of protecting surfing breaks that have been reeling out waves for thousands of years. Surfers Against Sewage have set up POW. Protect our Waves. This is aimed at protecting the sea and surfing breaks from all kinds of environmental impact. Please feel free to sign the petitions.
“Natural surf breaks should be treated as world heritage sites, and should never be destroyed no matter what the reason…We really can’t allow any existing surf breaks to be taken down, for whatever reason.” Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of Patagonia, Inc.
Some people are good, some people are great, some people just ooze with something special.
Chris Burkard is one of those people. He shoots film with soul, class and vision. Over the years we have waded through countless books, mags, pages of photos and images and consistently we look at certain photos and are speechless, only to find those words Burkard in the bottom right corner. In a niche which is ever crowding with aspiring photographers, he keeps it fresh and captivating.
We are making good progress with linking in with local Autistic Spectrum groups so that they can use our facilities as part of their development programs. There is an increasing amount of case evidence of Surfing having great multi-sensory benefits to these kids and probably many other kids with multi-sensory impairments. I recently saw an amazing film about a young guy surfing who was totally blind!
read more about it here: Autism and Surfing
Wetsuits, wetsuits….can’t surf in the UK without them…..most of the time.
We’ve been looking mighty hard at the wetsuit market as it is something we will be needing to get our heads around very soon. So many brands, such differing quality and very varied “eco-friendliness”.
Some might be made of recycled water bottles, limestone based neoprene etc etc etc but if it’s travelled the world to get to our door…the damage is probably done.
I guess we are looking at three things.
What is it made from.
Where has it come from.
How long will it last.
In theory a fairly toxic made wetsuit that lasts 20 years is better than a super eco-friendly wetsuit that dies after 2 years…i’ve had a couple of those!
So Finisterre are putting their R & D into the mighty suits and we can’t wait to see how it works out. It could be a great step in the right direction. Go guys.
Check out the story here: Finisterre
Everyone back from holidays at last. Big meetings, big smiles and fire stoked for a busy few months ahead.
The Wavegarden UK team said ” We are really honoured that business leaders have seen the high potential of our project as a driver of positive change and we will do everything we can to ensure this project is as fulfilling as our vision.”
Just re-read one of my favourite books and finished up even more inspired than the first time I read it.
Patagonia is a business that is defined by many for their actions: leading environmental policies; groundbreaking maternity and family centric workplace policies; social policies and their focus on product quality and authenticity.
They are not however what has made Patagonia the enduring success that it has been through the good times and bad. What makes Patagonia tick, humm and buzz is the less measurable stuff in business. It is the fundamental understanding of ‘Why’ a business exists.
From this simple but profound knowledge everything grows, including the bottom-line, or triple bottom-line. Organizations, like humans, make clear and effective decisions when they have a deep understanding of the ‘self’. Likewise erratic, ineffective actions and decisions are the result of organizations that have lost their ‘way’ and their reason for being.
Patagonia provides leadership in our ever-changing world due to its deep understanding and unflinching commitment to the reason why it exists. Its products, policies and actions are simply a result of this.
If you are searching for a little inspiration or a glimpse of ‘Why’, Let My People Go Surfing is well worth a read.
We apologise for all of you who know this guy’s work but we did not want people who visit our blog to miss out on his talent. Mickey is the most incredible waterman/photographer and has done some stella pieces of work in the last few years. Here is our favourite piece of work but it is worth looking up the videos he has done for one of our current favourite musicians, Ben Howard. Both are UK based and are just creating beautiful pieces of work. Here is a taste of them both.[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/24380083[/vimeo][vimeo]http://vimeo.com/22163776[/vimeo]
One of our other favourite pieces of music is by Richard Asquith and Henry Price, a beautiful track called Haven. You can see what they are up to at friend-of-mine.co.uk[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/22592967[/vimeo] The video has our ambassador Sam Bleakley looking as soulful as ever and Andy Cummins looking super smooth on a retro board. Enjoy.
The Wavegarden UK team
We are a bit wave starved in the UK at the moment…..and sun starved coming to think of it! The Jet Stream is quite south at the moment and throwing lots of rain and very few big swells our way during a time when it should be pretty good surf.
We went for a walk with the kids yesterday, just outside Bristol. I do a lot of running normally and i took the time on this walk to see how the kids engaged with the surroundings. Once the immediate (and somewhat predictable) making of swords and twig guns was over, they settled into really detailed exploring. They found things that i think many adults would have never seen. Hatched eggs, spiders webs, caterpillars and amazing patterns on trees.
Thinking about our Wavegarden, it made me think about how we need to be encouraging this foraging around in nature. At the moment the site is fairly baron, however, if we landscaped things sensitively and allowed a good deal of natural growth and wildness, it could become a real treasure trove for explorers.
It’s so easy as a parent to try to get your kids to see the world through adult eyes, but if i had run through that woodlands yesterday, i would have missed all of those things. Mental note to self….keep looking at the world through child’s eyes, they are wider and wiser in so many ways.
The kids and i were just sat looking out of the window at a bird collecting some old twigs in our garden, presumably to make a nest. I’d never really taken the time to think about this before. They really know how to recycle.
As you may imagine the Wavegarden project is ever so slightly obsessing on our minds of late, but watching this really made me think about the Portway site in Bristol. What we would like to try and achieve is really similar to the birds we saw. We want to take a tired and used bit of land and build a new nest out of it. A place where a new project can grow, be nurtured and then set to fly. Minimal impact, maximum regeneration and handing over for future generations.
We went for a wonder down into the Gorge as a family, along the south side. I have to say…i was shocked. This beautiful Gorge is actually in places an absolute rubbish tip! Plastics, drug stuff, hypodermics, plastic bottles. We couldn’t let the kids stray from the path. Anyway, we managed to arrange a bit of a clean up a week later and 5 of us from the Bristol Surf Club cleared about 30 bags of rubbish and needles.
Yesterday, i got a call from my wife, excited.” have you been over the suspension bridge? There are a couple of guys clearing masses of bags of rubbish off the lighthouse bay, the pile of bags is enormous!”
So, now other people are now taking the initiative and instead of weeks and months of trying to find out who is responsible for clearing it up….it just gets done.Seems so simple?
Next job……The cause of the problem.
Kids bored and sitting around getting high. Most of the rubbish was syringes, caffeine tablets, aerosol cans, nail varnish remover and booze.
We will have to think hard about getting these kids engaged with the Wavegarden project. If we can get them involved, so they are not bored, instead give them a natural high from surfing, giving them responsibility and self worth and environmental respect…it might make a change?
So whilst there are groups that support and protect the Gorge, bio-diversity and indigenous species, there is also rubbish, pollution and a whole bunch of kids being unprotected from themselves. As always… a dichotomy that is hidden. Seems like these waters need to meet.
I’m genuinely glad we have opposition from a few local residents. Whilst we have always had a very clear and determined sustainability agenda, i could imagine in the busy reality of delivering a project like this, some of this could become diluted. Having Chris Hines on board has ensured we walk the talk with our triple bottom line on sustainability. However i would like those who genuinely oppose the project to continue to do so, challenging us will make the project stronger….. provided it is done in an open and transparent manner.
The difference with the nest building analogy and our project. We will keep the nest clean and new for the next generation, it will not be abandoned once flight has been taken. We are in Bristol to live and stay. We want something built to be proud of,for our kids and their kids to be proud of too.