The Surf Strong Show

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In this conversation, Sam Bleakley discusses the power of connection in the digital age and the positive and negative aspects of technology.

He emphasizes the importance of in-person interactions and the value of surfing as a global connection. Sam also highlights the significance of compromise and conversation in addressing challenges within the surf community.

He explores the role of surfing in community and activism, as well as the inclusivity of adaptive surfing. Additionally, Sam discusses the potential of integrating music into surfing events and shares his personal journey in the world of surfing.

The conversation explores the themes of following your passion, the intersection of geography and surfing. Of being present and grateful, future goals and hopes for the surf community, and sustainability and balance.

Resources

Takeaways

  • Technology has both positive and negative aspects, and it is important to be mindful of how we use it and how it affects our lives.
  • In-person interactions and connections are valuable and should not be overshadowed by digital connections.
  • Surfing has the power to connect people globally and transcend barriers such as race, gender, and ability.
  • Compromise and conversation are essential in managing challenges within the surf community and finding sustainable solutions.
  • Adaptive surfing provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to experience the healing power of the ocean.
  • Integrating music into surfing events can enhance the overall experience and create a unique atmosphere.
  • Sam Bleakley's personal journey in surfing has involved a combination of competitive surfing, writing, filmmaking, and academic research. Following your passion and doing what you love can lead to a fulfilling and meaningful life.
  • The study of geography can provide a comprehensive understanding of the coastline, meteorology, oceanography, geology, and the relationship between humans and the environment.
  • Achieving greatness requires hard work, resilience, and determination.
  • Being present and grateful for the opportunities and experiences in life can bring joy and fulfillment.
  • The surf community can work towards sustainability by designating world surfing reserves, embedding sustainability in competitions, supporting locally made equipment, and promoting diverse narratives.
  • Finding a balance between creativity, productivity, and self-care is essential for long-term success and well-being.

Full Transcript
Sam Bleakley (00:07.178)
Hi there, my name is Sam Bleakley, and you're listening to the Surf Strong Show.

Greg Finch (00:13.542)
And then the last thing is I obviously do some editing after and at the end, what it does is it uploads a really high quality version of our recording. So it doesn't usually take very long. So I just end recording and then we're still in the studio. And then I'll just let you know that it's uploaded and then we can end it from there. Perfect. Hey Sam, thanks for being on the Surfshark Show. I really appreciate you taking the time.

Sam Bleakley (00:43.934)
A pleasure. Thanks for having me. You know, always grateful to connect internationally digitally. The fact that I'm in Cornwall, you're in the States, it's really nice.

Greg Finch (00:51.926)
I know it really is like I say this, I probably have to stop saying this on the shows that I do. But I did one last week, he was in Australia. I did one recently here in California. And you're right, like, if you stop and step back and go, Oh, my gosh, I'm connecting with all these people in real time. It kind of will blow your mind a little bit.

Sam Bleakley (01:12.854)
Absolutely. I mean, I'm, you know, I'm mid 40s now. So when I was graduating from university in the late 90s, early 2000s, it was just when the internet was taking off. And it meant that remote work was viable. And me as a, an emerging professional surfer, a writer, I could, you know, submit work from all over the world. And that, you know, to be part of the generation that has benefited from being able to have that local global connection has really been a, you know, a huge asset to the things that I love and do.

Greg Finch (01:42.338)
Yeah, absolutely. And we talked about this recently on another episode, but also like I'm about the same vintage as you. So I'm able to have the benefit of that, but not have the childhood totally immersed in it either. So you had I still have the memories of leaving in summer in the morning and being gone all day and disconnected. And as a parent right now as a teen with a teenager, that sounds so frightening. But as a child, it was

that total openness and freedom of that. And I really value having both those things.

Sam Bleakley (02:17.658)
Yeah, it's been interesting and it's amazing how humans are so good at adapting, how quickly we have adapted to these new technologies. And like you, I remember, you know, hooking up with friends over the telephone call and, you know, making all the arrangements that way and in person. And then the early days of a lot of our surf adventures, when I started to collaborate with a great photographer called John Callahan, when we just started to kind of hook into these

Sam Bleakley (02:47.486)
so unique and refreshing that we could have these spaces that we could privately curate all of our research. And now to think that, you know, that Instagram and social media is so prevalent. And it can be a blessing and a curse, a blessing for being able to share work and also hone in on celebratory positive news, but a curse because of the way we can get sucked into.

you know, really starting to feel as if everybody else is doing better, more impactful things than us. And we kind of can lose our sense of worth. So I think it really reinforces the value of activities like getting in the water and being present because they're things where we can't stay digitally connected whilst we're doing them. We really have to be in the present, just be with the here and now. And that's a really healthy, even more important thing than it ever has been, I think.

Greg Finch (03:43.406)
Yeah, totally agree. It's also that idea that you're right, like, like any tool is a has a positive and negative aspect to it to how you implement it. And it goes to that idea of being aware, being mindful of that. And how, how am I reacting to this? And how am I utilizing this within my life and, and to just be evaluating those things. It's almost like so many other aspects of our life, just on steroids, because it's ubiquitous.

Sam Bleakley (04:11.134)
Yeah, absolutely. It's just like, you know, the ability to tolerate things or to know our limits. The same with food, you know, is, you know, to know that we want to enjoy those treats, you know, those candies. But at the same time, if we want to stay active and physical and, and really thrive in action sports, we have to watch what we eat and, you know, and consume kind of healthy things. And it's that same thing we have with everything we do in moderation. You know, things can really be

OD on something particular, that's when you can really hit some challenges.

Greg Finch (04:44.942)
Yeah, yeah, and it's that idea, right? It's almost like having just the blinders on down to the single piece, like you said, like, whether it's food consumption, or any other, like any other crutch that we might have alcohol or otherwise, back to the idea of technology is that is something that you're self curating in a way. And that's what we almost disconnect from a little bit. And again, in the positive, like

I look at the things that I do when I have to be on social media, and I'm not surprised that it's full of surfing, and has a little bit of baseball in it and has like, you know, it's like, I'm doing these things, you're, you're actively cultivating this, but you have to remind yourself of that, because it's going to just keep giving you that. And that's our human condition starts to break down a little bit.

Sam Bleakley (05:31.747)
Yeah.

Sam Bleakley (05:36.202)
Yeah, absolutely. You can get in that echo chamber where your message is only being heard by people who know exactly what your message is. And, you know, there's a lot of other mediums in which to share work, communicate, interact, you know, from just going and seeing people, you know, on the streets. You know, that's the one of the best places to stay connected with is the is the physical space of seeing friends at surf competitions being inspired by.

people you might see if you go out and do like a run or some training or go to the skate park and those types of things. You don't want the next generation to forget that that's where the electricity really happens.

Greg Finch (06:14.466)
Yeah, absolutely. And it's just that that, that false sense, right. So we talked about how amazing it is that we're connecting here. And we do have videos. So we do have some of that facial cues and stuff, but body language and this perception of depth that's really not there, you have to be more practiced at it, you have to really pay attention. But when you're in person, a lot of those things are, of course, so intrinsic. And you also

get in front of people that are outside of that model of you, again, whether it's social media or otherwise, where you've cultivated this and you're always kind of around the same. It's like, that's what travel is so amazing for you. You're bumping up against people that you wouldn't be doing that in other spaces. And this aspect of most people are generous and open, especially within person.

You know, to say something, some of these things that we read on social media, the internet, otherwise, would never be said face to face. The people just could not do that. And if they could, you would know it right away and go, Okay, well, I'm gonna avoid that person. And it's that that's what travel and you're right. Local coffee shop going down and interacting, we can never lose sight of that.

Sam Bleakley (07:34.35)
Yeah, and it's amazing how wherever you are in the world, how compassionate people generally are, irrespective of if you don't speak the same language. And I've always appreciated the fact that if you're traveling to surf and engage with coastlines and the communities you'll come across, you know, in that route is a really great way to be let into a world because people really appreciate that you're here to do something very specific and something that can seem to be quite

spent time traveling to maybe less normal surf destinations, for example, in Africa or Southeast Asia. When you appear with a surfboard under your arm in a fishing community, the interest factor is great and that's a really wonderful way of tolerating others, of appreciating different cultures, of coming together in that kind of space.

Greg Finch (08:29.538)
Yeah, yeah. And you're right. And an already common language, even if it's not fully understood, like you said, in more remote places, or just a place where there's maybe one or two or three or four instantly, it's like, whoop, that's the connection right there with very vast, different backgrounds. And it's just like, Oh, well, we know this. We may not speak a word the same, but we can certain things we're going to be able to communicate just because of this. Commonality and connection to the ocean of course.

Sam Bleakley (09:02.334)
Absolutely, yeah. I mean, the connection to the ocean is fascinating. In my own career, what I'm really starting to appreciate is that we have stand-up surfing, but wave riding on wooden boards has been existing in ocean communities around the planet for so long. And it's such a common form of play and a way of generating a safe experience with a physical space that might be the historical livelihood for a fishing community, for example.

But as surfing continues to grow, we've got so many new challenges emerging with the fact that the surf populations are bigger. We've really start to go, we need to start to understand what the carrying capacity is of surf breaks and how we as a surf community manage our shared coastline because you know, you go to some world-class spots around the planet now. And yes, some places have been busy since the 1950s for standup surfing, but.

other places have become busy only in the last 10 to 15 years. And it's really important for surfers to talk about all of these challenges we face and to accept that, you know, we, we will have to compromise that, you know, that's a big part of how we kind of create solutions in the world is that there's not always going to be the perfect answer, but if we become comfortable with

dialogue with discussing the good and the bad of certain situations and find solutions that might not be what everybody wants, but they could represent a portion of a number of different points of view and being able to accept that level of compromise for how we might manage a new development on a coastline that could impact the quality of a breaking wave or how we support a local surf community or an expat community or...

how we manage resources in surfing or access to waves. If we kind of appreciate that compromise is a big part of that, then that's a much easier way of less argumentative, less confrontational situations, which we see with aggressive localism, we see when big outside, or sometimes even national kind of private or even government funded industries come in to develop.

Sam Bleakley (11:18.414)
tourism in particular areas where there might have been a kind of grassroot surf community that might impact the quality of the wave. And giving surfers a voice in this global community is something that for me I'm really realizing over the years with what I do, how important that idea of compromise is. And that's a quality that a lot of us aren't, we don't learn at school as kids. We learn to be competitive, we learn to try to succeed

but we often don't learn that the best victory is often compromised because it could be for the sustainable kind of solution over the long term that's going to benefit future generations.

Greg Finch (12:00.154)
and that ability to have a conversation, even those skills right there, they're not taught in that same way. It's, it ha, and it goes back almost within what you just said within a single conversation is that same thing. Am I already thinking about what I'm gonna respond to this because I either have a perceived agenda or maybe it's even unconscious, or am I truly listening what this is because what I might wanna get from this conversation, I might.

I rarely will have the full picture of what that is. And if I'm open and listening and really taking in what we're talking about or what they're saying to me, it might totally change what this conversation is about for me. And in the larger sense, exactly what you're saying, like compromise has this negative connotation, but really what it is just being open to opportunity. Well, what I never really thought of it that way. Well, if we did this or

or change this in a certain way, we can both get to an approximation of where we want to get to. It may not be exactly what we thought we wanted, but that's pretty good. And that just comes down to being open and having that conversation. And that's a difficult thing, right?

Sam Bleakley (13:14.19)
Absolutely. And if you can kind of embody the determination, the passion you get in surf communities and apply that to these kind of needs. You know, the last three surf communities I've kind of seen in the last month, I've spent some time in Morocco over the Christmas break with my family surfing at Im Swan. And I recently did some work in Sri Lanka on the West Coast.

around a hangama and I just now dropped my daughter for a quick surf at our local beach break in West Cornwall in southwest England and you know in all three of those places what I see is you know dedicated passionate men and women old and young surfing but also huge issues you know huge big political social issues affecting all those surfers on a daily basis but throughout that what you have is these people who love getting in the water and

You know, really, you know, my kind of aspiration for as surfing continues to evolve is if we can start to apply that love and that devotion we have for that one activity of wave riding into some of our wider roles within the community, whether it's in business, in politics, in environmental activism, you know, to be able to remind us that, you know, if we can tackle some of the issues with the same level of passion and determination.

then the voice and the power of surfing is a really tangible, important aspect of society.

Greg Finch (14:49.902)
Yeah, absolutely. And it's that idea that feeling that you describe as passion is why and almost despite some of those other stressors that you mentioned, political, whether it's financial, personal, this is what keeps us coming back to surfing as the really just the entrance into the energy of the ocean.

and what that gives to us and that feeling that we have that just allows a lot of those things to just come off us and to have a clear perspective. And that passion for that part, you're right. Like, how do we carry that back into these other aspects and share that and expose that? And then that circles back around to the same issue is the numbers of surfers are climbing. And then it comes back to that same idea. We want to share this passion and this energy that we feel.

But then it's bringing more people into this idea and how do we balance all those things? And they're complicated questions, but then that goes back to the conversation. We just have to keep talking about this. And how do we connect those dots? And this is almost a larger part of the same issue, which is, do you experience this in all the travels that you do? And we're gonna get more into how you've got to that place and where you are now. In all those travels,

Sam Bleakley (15:57.795)
Yeah.

Greg Finch (16:15.966)
And in your own experience, even, don't you find that surfing, while we're so connected in this experience, can be such an individual pursuit. And while there's wonderful things about that, and I love that idea that I can just kind of go and be in the ocean by myself in a sense and just be present and really tune into what I need. The idea of community within surfing sometimes breaks down to where I'm like,

I just said this the other day as a perfect example, like, there's somebody I've been surfing with for at least 23 years in my local space. And I know him, I see him every week, if not multiple times a week. And we're on a first name basis. And I said to him the other day, I was like, dude, where do you live at? Like, do you live here? Like, I never see you anywhere else. He's like, Yeah, I live. It's just like town Los Santos, just a town down the road. I was like, how do I never see you at a store?

at a concert over all of these years, he's like, yeah, I don't know. And it's like, how do we keep? How do we raise that connection out of the water? To my point is getting to, to exactly what you're saying, like, how do we bring that surf community together to tackle some of these issues and problems?

Sam Bleakley (17:36.526)
Yeah, I mean, I think that it's really interesting because it is extremely individualistic, the pleasure of wave riding. But at the same time, the decisions that we make as surfers, from what we consume with regards to our board choice, our wetsuit choice, our leashes, to how we travel to the coast, to the way we...

we appear to the young surfers who might be looking up to us. All of those things have an impact on the community. And I think that was one of my driving forces with the mindfulness and surfing books. It was that originally I wanted to really articulate within the kind of aspect of blue health, of how surfing is not so much a form of meditation for to be internalized. It's also a way for us to...

put ourselves in the bigger environmental space that we need to be stewards of. And it was almost a form of environmental activism to kind of really start to explore the idea of mindfulness and surfing. I think of like an acronym when I think of surfing and it's P E R M P E R M Positivity, empathy, resilience and mindfulness. And, you know, surfing gives us a lot of positivity. It gives us a lot of empathy because we share experiences with others as much as yes, the

there's individualistic elements. That empathy is about, especially when you're learning, to see a friend on the green face or to see someone make a breakthrough, that's a shared experience. Resilience is such an important thing about the way we develop that skill to go back out for more, to keep at something. And mindfulness is being in the present. And I kind of wanted to kind of write about putting...

all of that into the space of how we as a shared surf community need to look after the coastal space that is our playground that we enjoy this activity in and that comes down to health of coastlines, of coral reefs and then beyond that I kind of really honest in another mindfulness book I really started to think more about those ideas of community that you're mentioning and how...

Sam Bleakley (19:52.37)
you know, we really engage with the fact that we are in an increasingly crowded wave riding environment and you know, and how can we continue to learn from nature, but also be able to share space and manage coastlines and respect that, you know, by doing certain types of things badly, you know, we, you know, we really not only embarrass ourselves, but we, you know, we present the wrong type of examples for the next.

generations coming up. So I kind of, you know, everything from phrases like the gift of hospitality, you know, that is something that is such a beautiful thing to experience when, irrespective of whether something is to just do with someone giving lending you learning you something or supporting you, you know, to also translate that into the ocean environment is really special. And I had fantastic hospitality in a

really negative Malibu experience in the fall where my car was broken into. But yeah, the gift of hospitality I received from the Malibu locals, the number of people that came up to me and helped out so that we could resolve it at one of the busiest, most famous surf breaks on the planet. It really gave me faith in the fact that surfing still got so much wholesomeness.

Another thing, another couple of topics that I really like to explore in my work is, you know, age is that, you know, we have now generations of surfers where it might be the grandmother, the, you know, the son or daughter and the grandchild all surfing at the same time. And that's exciting. And then probably even more inspiring is when you have access to the adaptive and parasurf community. And there's one chapter in this, this mindfulness book called.

Zen through diversity. And I really kind of really celebrate my love of adaptive surfing and the fact that, you know, when you are around the World Parasurfing Championship and you see surfers who might live with spinal cord injuries riding prone, you know, the spirit of and the soul of Stoke that they embody is beyond many other things you'll see in wave riding. And I recommend that

Sam Bleakley (22:18.618)
If you feel you're lacking community in your surfing journey, if you feel like you want to broaden your horizons, access some of your local parasurf scene because there will be either a high-end adaptive surfers in your community who are aspiring to compete and perform and interested in equipment and training and surfing together.

But there will also probably be organizations that simply use wave riding as a form of therapy for people in need, whether it's just simply body surfing or lying on a board or just safely getting into the water. And those two worlds for me are something that I would recommend all surfers having some access to because they really reinforce how powerful saltwater play is and also how powerful the opportunity with inland surf parks is.

And they make us suddenly realize that, no, this is not just about me as the individualistic surfer. This is about an activity that really can transcend race, gender, ability and all kinds of barriers. And that can be extremely healing.

Greg Finch (23:30.69)
Yeah, yeah, I couldn't agree more. I've done volunteer work with adaptive surfing within the veteran community. And it, I just get, it's hard to put into words how powerful that is. Just as a shared experience, just in one really small aspect of it, not to say even what that does, the positive impact it does to.

reposition some of their struggles, those struggles don't disappear, of course, reposition and add more tools to it and a place to find excitement and something that you wanna pursue. In this particular aspect, these are very highly trained, physically attuned soldiers that changed, whether it's PTSD or it was injury specific. And that...

change of their own perception of themselves to have surfing, you can see the spark. And with it comes this is almost a whole other conversation with it comes this fear, right? Of course, like, for some of them, the ocean is very foreign, you know, and so just that idea itself, and to have this shared experience, you're right, it would just strip things back down to so much of the fundamentals of surfing itself.

and of just true experience. And to be able to share that, I mean, it's powerful, it's just an underwhelming word for what it gives you. You would just be, I would both be just absolutely exhausted after those weeks and completely elated. It was just these two things that are just constantly fighting each other. And I had to learn after I did these events, like one time I did that and then we went on like a road trip with my family.

Sam Bleakley (25:10.935)
Yeah.

Greg Finch (25:23.826)
fun with friends camping all great. And my wife looked at me after like a day or two and she was like, are you all right? And I was like, I don't think so. I can't seem to calm down and I can't seem to focus. And I looked back after that and I said, ah, okay. So after these, I have to give myself some time to process all of this emotion and experience and exhaustion.

And really put that in a place that made it healthy to then come and be able to go back into it and really benefit from that experience. They're amazing.

Sam Bleakley (26:02.258)
Yeah, absolutely. And we you know, over in the UK are health services known as the National Health Service, which is funded by the government that actually now uses a surf therapy program called the wave project to for children and teenagers who've been diagnosed with particular issues that have, you know, that they've not been able to make progress with through other forms of treatment.

and being able to volunteer on those, the wave project programs is that similar level of elation and exhaustion. But then when you see surfers who've then gone to an elite performance level like Jose Martinez or Jesse Belour or Elena Nichols or the laser Eric Lazar, you know, four names who I had the pleasure of watching at the 2023 ISA.

World Parasurfing Championship in Huntington Beach before Christmas. You know, one particular tube ride Elena Nichols got on her ski was just absolutely mind blowing and a particular bow that Eric Lazar got on a boat, you know, on the pier bowl left at Huntington. And Jesse Balawa is like, he's always a joy to watch because he's like the Jerry Lopez of parasurfing. He's just so zen. And then Jose Martinez.

He's just got such core strength and he's a triple amputee who, I believe it was an incident in Afghanistan. He's from Compton in Los Angeles and he has this kind of emerging stoke because he's quite new to wave riding and that's really, really great. Whereas the likes of Eric Lazar and Jesse Balauer have been surfers for decades. And then someone like Elena Nichols.

has been an alpine athlete for such a long time and has had para gold success in skying and all of her achievements in the mountains. But someone like Jose, you can see, and you can watch him on, follow him on Instagram if you don't know much about his surfing. But what he is experiencing at the moment is he's getting better every week. And that is really special to see, but not only better, but...

Sam Bleakley (28:26.07)
performing at a level that could win him a gold medal if parasurfing gets in the Los Angeles Paralympics. And I think it's a really exciting time for California because I remember as a kid, aged five or six watching the LA Olympics in 1984 in my television in the UK. And actually at the time, we still didn't have a color television.

I mean, this is the eighties. Most people would have a color television by now, but we still had a black and white television. And I'd always been a keen sports person. And I remember watching Carl Lewis when the 100 meters, the triple jump and the relay. And I believe later in life, maybe there was, he was a drug user, a drug enhanced, for drug enhanced performance. Yeah, exactly.

Greg Finch (29:14.714)
We didn't know that at the time though. We just got to enjoy it.

Sam Bleakley (29:18.19)
Yeah, and that's exactly what I was going to say. You couldn't, I couldn't have summarized it more perfectly. At the time it was this, it was this embodiment of grace and movement and athleticism. And I remember the glamour of that. I remember as a kid watching the glamour of a great elegant athlete performing at the very highest level. And you know, I've had the pleasure of seeing that with elite long boarders win world titles over my time as a competitor. And then now my time as a commentator.

And I've also now had the pleasure of seeing para athletes do that in the world parasurfing championship. And if when it comes to the LA Olympics and Paralympics, if we have short boarding, long boarding and parasurfing in the LA Paralympics, what a great opportunity for California, which essentially is the birthplace of modern surfing. And, you know, as me growing up in the UK, that

the power of California in the way that it is driven surf trends and helped narrate a lot of the ideology around the history of Polynesian surfing and the developments of foam and fiberglass stand-up surfing and hot dogging from the late 50s is so important. It's important that we honor and cherish that. And L.A. could be a great...

time to really bring that all together in a really special way.

Greg Finch (30:44.922)
Yeah, I hadn't really even thought about how much of a full circle that is. So it's like I grew up in Southern California and those Olympics, it was, it was pageantry and it was like so much bigger than life and, you know, the LA Coliseum and all of these iconic places and all of those memories of that. I was very young too. I was 10 years old, but old enough to same thing.

I'm watching it on television, you know, my parents weren't big sports people. Otherwise I would have been there probably, but just you're right. It, it engulfed that whole area because it was such a big deal. And to bring that kind of full circle back to being able to get surfing and para surfing into that event. And you're right. Such an iconic time for that. Wow. What an opportunity. Let's make it.

Sam Bleakley (31:38.483)
Yeah, absolutely. And maybe if longboarding and parasurfing's in the Paralympics, I might be there working. Maybe not, you never know if you're in vogue or not at that time. But irrespective, I think I would definitely want to be in LA at that time to at least watch the show. And I have some good friends, Jim and Louise Ganza that live in Malibu, Jim Ganza of Jimmy Z fame.

Greg Finch (31:50.344)
Yeah.

Greg Finch (31:54.17)
Yeah.

Sam Bleakley (32:04.77)
and I was talking to them recently when I was staying at their house about their memories of 1984 LA Olympics and for sure I want to be there with my family enjoying that because you know I think you know I enjoy sport and I'm of a cultural background in surfing where I really have a close affinity with free surfing and you know I've also benefited from being linked to that

Greg Finch (32:04.811)
Oh no.

Sam Bleakley (32:33.994)
of sponsorship and free surfing and longboarding through my own career. And I really, you know, I love all of that world of how it's documented and how it's progressed and how you kind of create it and make it thrive. But at the same time, I've never not been anti-contest. You know, I recognize that competition isn't for every surfer, but particularly for me, I have recognized that

competition has been doing a lot of good things for traditional longboarding in the last 10 years and, and most profoundly with female longboarders and the types of performances we see from the likes of Kaliskelia Paha, Honolulu Bloomfield, Soleil Ereco, Tully White, then I could list a big number of names. It's this great blend of, you know, of athleticism and grace.

and elegance, but strength. And in the culture of a competition format, it really intrigues me how it can bring out certain qualities. And sometimes the only thing that longboarding needs more of is just the right waves. You know, the more open-faced point break waves are when the longboard really shines. And obviously when you have to pin down a competition format to a particular week or weekend or waiting period.

you're not always going to get the best waves in the same way that short boarders might be tuning into pipeline or, or Tahiti or, you know, hoping that it's going to be big barrels or Portugal and watching big airs. And it might not always be like that. And that's part of it. But when the conditions are really suitable for, for the boards that are being written, that's when I get so excited and, um, seeing, you know, good, competitive longboarding at good.

longboard point breaks. It's been the women for me that have really just kind of taken the performance levels to new places and that's great and I still think on the grassroots level we have a great format for the ISA and the WSL and a lot of the governing bodies can crown national champions in that kind of route but for grassroots surf competition I've just come back from collaborating with some good friends in Sri Lanka.

Greg Finch (34:29.297)
Yeah.

Sam Bleakley (34:56.286)
And we put on a really fun longboard event that was not so much about contemporary criteria, but about creativity. And what it did is it showcased some really great longboarding, but also a lot of fun. And that's one thing, but I still think that music and surfing have a lot of potential. And I think with inland surf lakes for parasurf events, adaptive surf events, shortboard and longboard events, even bodyboard or body surf.

you've got this space where you've got a controlled environment, why not integrate music into it so that the surfers can create soundtracks and perform to music or musicians can play music that is being surfed to and I'd love to turn up at a like a an event in a wave park or an inland surf site and know that there's either a band or a dj or a created bit of music and a group of surfers really surfing to a new level.

because they've got that great music that they're performing with and to. And I think that that's something that we could really kind of go further with in competitive surfing. You know, we have a great system that exists in the Crown's ISA and WSL World Champions. We have everything from our boogie boards to our big wave surfers, but we've got room from grassroots surfing to be much more experimental.

And if there are going to be more and more surfers and more and more people are trying to make a living from doing what they love, why not explore some of these more creative ways of putting on different alternative surf events?

Greg Finch (36:31.666)
also just as an experience you're elevating it both from the competitor's side and from the spectator like just that idea of crossing live music that's you're experiencing that like i would almost do it as an analogy i this one time i remember going and watching like um like an old black and white movie i can't even remember which one it was and it was it had a live four or five

small little like it was like a quartet. And then there was some there was like a little it was it was recorded music, he would have been more of like a DJ, but that was very subtle. And it was they were basically doing the soundtrack of the movie. And and I remember like, just being so right in the moment of it. And this black and white movie was interesting, but it wouldn't probably have captivated my interest for the one and a half hours it was on.

but this live music and this experience, and I just remember being totally captivated by that. And that idea of being in a space, now you're right, the controlled space of a destination and the wave comes every minute or whatever, and then have this experience around it. I mean, like the music festival scene in the United, around the world, but in the United States, like through my lifetime is, I can't believe the capacities and the numbers that are supported by it.

Like a new every year a new festival pop up and I'll be like, Whoa, look at all the people playing at that. It's sold out. All right, there's still space there and to marry that with surfing and that love and oh yeah, that's it. I'm in

Sam Bleakley (38:15.502)
Yeah, it'd be great. Yeah. And like you say, the music events industry is thriving and long will it thrive because people love the arts. We need music in our lives. It's one of the things that enriches every second of the day and to hear good live music is incredible. Years ago, I did this project with a French filmmaker called Thomas Jablon and he made a film called Step and Soul where he got...

the license agreement to use a Wynton Marsalis jazz track. And a French company called Extreme Video had released like a waterproof MP3 headset. Their brand was called Accessories. And he pitched this idea to do like a kind of surfing to jazz music film. And Tomer was, the film is, I guess, it's free to view online these days.

It was good because what we did is we had like a timing system where I was listening to this seven or eight minute Wynton Marsalis track and he filmed multiple sessions but in the edit he honoured editing only the surfing that was happening to that bit of music. So the edit was a montage of sessions but he honoured the exact phrasing of the tune at that particular time and glued it all together. And it was a cool concept.

a lot of sometimes in life, a lot of the really cool things you want to do more of, you just don't find the funding or the opportunities to do again. And I was like, this is great if we could just now improve this and do more. And, you know, had I got, if I come into like a pot of marketing money to spend on some other surfers, that would be something I would kind of really push.

Greg Finch (39:58.234)
Yeah, absolutely. So I wanna back up a little bit. I wanna kind of hear your story, your arc of how surfing came into your life. I think just like reading on it, like very young. Also, I think also in Cornwall, there's where you started surfing. You grew up there and just kind of, you don't have to go through it. You have such a vast life and all the things that I wanna touch on those things before we end, but.

I just want to kind of hear your arc of your personal journey in surfing to close to where you are today.

Sam Bleakley (40:29.038)
So my father was one of the early generations of surfers in Cornwall. So he grew up in a place called Newquay, which is in southwest England. And there was a generation of visiting surfers, often Australian, South Africans, Americans, who inspired the teenagers who'd grown up in that area. So in the early sixties, he, he got passionate about surfing. He's now in his mid seventies. So he's been surfing.

for over 60 years now, which is pretty exciting. And he's still going strong. He's still surfing, that says a lot. So I grew up within a surfing family. So, you know, going to the beach was, you know, second nature, I've got two sisters. We all grew up as surfers. In the summertime in the UK, we do have quite a vibrant beach culture. I think people have a misconception about what life is like in parts, coastal parts of the UK. But you'd be surprised at how

Greg Finch (40:59.794)
Are you still surfing? Yeah.

Sam Bleakley (41:25.974)
how fine the weather can be through the summer. And there is an active beach culture. Beach tourism has always been a big factor of the economy of the coastline here in the Southwest of the UK. So surfing for me was like a passion before I realized it. And in the 80s, we traveled occasionally to the States and my father had grown up with a good friend called Paul Holmes who went on to edit Tracks magazine and then Surfer.

Paul still lives in Laguna. Paul and my father, whose name is Alan, but his nickname is Fuzz, because his brother had fuzzy hair at school and my dad didn't have fuzzy hair, but he inherited the nickname of the older brother. So Paul and my dad and a woman called Simone Renvois, they ran a really cool surf magazine here in the UK in the early 70s. And that inspired Paul to stay in the world of surf journalism. He edited tracks after Phil Jarrett.

And then Jim Kempton hired him as editor of Surfer through the 80s. So he edited a hundred issues of Surfer through the 80s through a golden period. Paul Holmes still lives in Laguna. He's a great family friend. I see him regularly. I saw him like six weeks ago. And in the late 80s, we were visiting Paul and that was really inspiring for me as a kid because he was so plugged in to where surfing was at. And he gave me a beautiful five finned Brian Bulkley.

6-0 which I took home to Cornwall and that was like um you know really like my pride and joy for years and then in the early 90s I was kind of tall and kind of gangly kid into a lot of other sports but the Lombard Renaissance was emerging you know Nat was really spearheading things he got started working with the French brand Oxbow Joel and Wingnut were coming up um there was the great film by Chris Irons called On Safari to Stay so you had

the Momentum film by Taylor Steele, but at the same time you had On Safari to Stay. And if you were kind of like where I was, someone who had a 60s kind of connection through their family and loved a bit of surf history, I loved, you know, I was raised on watching Big Wednesday with my friends relentlessly, even though it was made in the late 70s. It was, you know, a homage to 60s Californian surf culture from Denny Auerberg's stories and everything of the Malibu crew.

Sam Bleakley (43:51.586)
And the longboard Renaissance for me really, it touched me. And we got hold of some old 60s boards that were built here and started to kind of get tuned into the new wave of longboards that were being made. And I really looked up to Wingnut. I liked what I saw from Wingnut internationally. I saw a kind of refined young guy who seemed to be a little bit intellectual, surfed great, but was cool. And...

and he had a bit of class, you know, and that was like, he was kind of my hero when I was getting into the longboard renaissance. And when I switched to the longboarding, my surfing suddenly started to get celebrated. I went from just another little shortboarder to someone who was standing out. And that kind of led to sponsorship, competition, and he eventually got a sponsorship with Oxbow that for a long period of time, the French brand were one of the big supporters of global longboarding. They had a big team.

spots of the annual World Longboard Championships. But I was also into school and I studied geography at Cambridge University, which was an achievement to do that. And I think that link with my interest in education encouraged me to have opportunities to work with surf magazines. So I would edit longboard specials of Carve Magazine. I started to write freelance for a really great British based global publication called the Surfers Path that was like the...

the European version of the Surfer's Journal with a lot of good narrative based writing. And that kind of role in the surf media as a writer and as a competitive long boarder, that was quite a healthy space. But then I started to really work a lot with a photographer called John Callahan, grew up in Hawaii, had moved now to Asia. He was the guy that named Cloud Nine on Char Gao in the Philippines.

first person to shoot the Andaman Islands, a lot of exploratory trips in Southeast Asia and Africa. And John was really excited about collaborating with a lot of up and coming European surfers, Asian surfers. And I really bonded with John and spent a long time working with him, doing a lot of writing that we'd syndicate and we'd shoot all around the world on big adventures. And that kind of fueled my sponsorship with surfing.

Sam Bleakley (46:10.882)
but at the same time it kind of opened up my opportunity to write books and, you know, to sustain some of the literary ideas I had as a writer for magazines into more bigger kind of ideas with metaphor about surfing and jazz music and cultural exchange and geography. And then as the kind of the period of the kind of support of magazines kind of started to wane a little bit.

through the kind of funding platform and the kind of demise of print media. At that point, I kind of started to kind of reactivate my links to academia. I did research to PhD, got some roles, doing some, you know, some lecturing, got really involved in the fields of sustainable tourism, but I also got more into kind of film work and working more, you know, on the screen, either being videoed on a rating.

So as I was shifting out of competition surfing, what emerged for me was the opportunity to make a travel series called Brilliant Corners, which was a presenter-led show about emerging surf communities. And also for me to walk into the space as a commentator for the World Longboard Tour, and then that has evolved onto also working at the adaptive surf events. So that would be where I've got to now, where I have this.

role as a commentator in longboarding and power surfing, as a freelance writer for magazines, and I do a lot of book work, as a voice within the field of what we call responsible and sustainable tourism, both from an academic side, from my background in geography and having researched a PhD in that field, particularly on actually on Haiti, which is an unusual place to research a surf-based PhD.

but also a great space culturally to have done a lot of interesting research. And then, and then the film work, which keeps me comfortable with, um, researching, I've learned how to edit, you know, I've collaborated with a lot of different camera people to kind of make the brilliant corner series, which I did for a while with the world surf league. And I do, I still do quite a lot of grassroots stuff with, um, you know,

Sam Bleakley (48:31.042)
community-based projects in communities I've stayed close with around the world. So it's quite a juggle of activities, but that fuels me. And I think the fact that I've been able to juggle such a mix of surf-based activities, kind of almost on the creative edge of surfing. Longboarding is one kind of slightly more kind of isolated element of the surf industry. And then...

Around that, there's all these other things from the mindfulness books to the music relationships, to longboarding and parasurfing, to a lot of grassroots stuff. And working within that space, it's got to the point now where sometimes good projects come to me. Often I have to pitch for work, but sometimes I get asked to create museum exhibitions or attend conferences or host events

Sam Bleakley (49:29.934)
together those things allow me to continue to work within this kind of creative side of surfing. So pretty grateful that I've had the resilience to stick with what at times it seems like a challenging activity to make an income from. But then over time through becoming a specialist in certain areas and staying authentic, you know, writing work, whether it's the films or the books or the commentary work that's kind of respected by people as you

You know, you put a lot of heart and soul into that. And then that's kind of attracted to kind of, you know, new projects that, you know, sometimes when you least expect it, something really big will come and it'll help keep you going for another couple of years.

Greg Finch (50:12.142)
Yeah, goes back to your acronym, resilience. Yep, I mean, it's just one of those things like when we it doesn't even have to be drastically different than what we perceive as the path in front of us. But to do that, the rewards are huge. But the aspect of that is that there's so much unknown. Of course, there's unknown in life in general.

Sam Bleakley (50:16.15)
Absolutely, yeah.

Greg Finch (50:40.122)
But sometimes it's perception of things. So I just, I had a conversation with somebody recently where he gave up a corporate job and, um, it's a pod. It's an episode that's coming out. He gave up a corporate job in Australia, traveled for a year with his wife. And now he's a professional surf photographer, oceanscapes and other things. And we talked directly about this, which is, yeah, sometimes you don't know how you're going to pay the next mortgage, but

You're also doing something that you wake up and you just have passion for and energy for, and you feel like this path that you're down is the right one, even though it's the more difficult path. And he made the comment of like, yeah, I'll send you know, pictures of my wife and I because she works remote now too, in Bali. And we're, you know, doing something. And my friends are like, I can't believe you're there. You're doing that.

But they don't see all the other aspects it takes to be able to do that, of course.

Sam Bleakley (51:38.743)
Yeah.

Yeah, I got some, I got a good thought on that. Can I just, just let me, one second, I just wanna quickly tell my son something. Is that good? I like, I'll just do one sec.

Greg Finch (51:49.574)
Sure, no problem. Of course. Yeah, no problem. I got no full edit.

Sam Bleakley (52:12.79)
Sorry, Greg. I just noticed that he was like... He was like... Getting increasingly louder and I'm like... But yeah, to pick up on that point that...

Greg Finch (52:13.628)
No problem.

Greg Finch (52:22.61)
And

And before you before you go on for a second, when if we need to wrap up Sam, I really appreciate your time and respect it. So if we need to wrap up at any time, you just let me know.

Sam Bleakley (52:36.03)
Yeah, no, we're good for another 15 minutes. We're great. But yeah, in response to that great point you just raised, I think that for me, because I had this kind of drive and interest in geography, which is essentially, if you go by the Greek definition of the word geography is earth writing, writing about the earth. So studying geography might be different in different countries and different school systems, but

Greg Finch (52:39.579)
Perfect.

Greg Finch (52:58.287)
That's great.

Sam Bleakley (53:03.074)
For me, it was a subject that taught me about the coastline, meteorology, oceanography, geology, but also humans, environment, society, and the way humans and the environment come together. And by a lot of hard work, I kind of had the joy of studying that subject at a really prestigious Ivy League equivalent university, as if I'd gone to Yale or Harvard, but here we have Oxford and Cambridge, two big prestigious places.

that kind of hunger for understanding and doing the research served me well because when it shifted into like researching for a travel feature or researching a project in Algeria or Mauritania or Madagascar to surf, I was always comfortable with putting a lot of work in and that you know served me well for books as well and I think that

natural progression was for me to move into academia and there was the there have been a number of fantastic surf academics Jess Pondting is doing great work in tourism and surfing and I did think that would be a natural progression for me to move into that space and I explored that but because I'd had a background as a professional surfer I knew

that I really wanted to keep alive the performative element of surfing and stay active and still be surfing lots. But at the same time, I also recognized that it was nice to have a voice in that world. If you, I got to the point where I recognized if I was gonna kind of go down the academic route, the audience that is gonna read your work is a particular one. But there's a world of people who wanna read books

connected surfing list, they want to listen to commentators talk about surfing or buy magazines and, or watch, you know, more intellectual surf documentaries. And that's my community that I love and honor. And so I recognize that I wanted to stay delivering work to that more kind of mainstream surf media rather than the highly specialized academic world, which is great if you're going to implant

Sam Bleakley (55:15.406)
policy in administration, development, politics, governance, things like world surfing reserves can thrive of having the good hard science from the best surf academics. But I really enjoyed the opportunity for the narrative, sharing stories, bringing together different perspectives and really having that comfortable space between appreciating, respecting culture, but also understanding the physical kind of world.

Greg Finch (55:45.071)
Yeah.

Sam Bleakley (55:45.094)
And yes, a lot of people look at the legacy of work and they see all of the joy and the color and go, you're so lucky. But like you just said earlier about your friend, the reality of it, and exactly the same with the hard work you do with what you're doing, it's that to achieve these things and to have that kind of a veneer, the depth is there and that depth is hours and weeks and years over the laptop or editing or researching or taking notes or.

refining or getting rejected, you know, to publish books. So much of it is the rejection from yet another publisher, and then that resilience to keep trying because you believe in your idea. And that's, you know, it's a big part of everybody that does something. Kelly Slater, we consider, you know, the goat of surfing, but at the same time, Kelly experienced so many competition.

knockdowns that drove him so much family trauma from his past and his upbringing that gave him resilience and grit and determination and all of our really successful surfers have got an underbelly to their life that has given them that drive and I think it's really important to recognise that when we do see somebody who's like, oh they're so lucky, well actually they...

they're probably working hard. You know, I remember years ago for the first time meeting Leighard Hamilton and I'm just, he was just so sociable and articulate and engaging with even an outsider like me, a little kid from the UK who'd never met him before. And I thought, that's why you've gone where you've gone because you know how to communicate. There's more than just this elite athlete. This is someone who...

knows how to engage with human beings, to give kids eye contact, to give people a connection. And they're the people that go that bit further, because not only can they do the performance side that they've trained for, but they're also able to work with the media to collaborate, to be a joy to work with when the media need them to do something on a particular moment. And it's that kind of balance of things that is often what's happening behind the scene that takes a lot of hard work.

Greg Finch (58:05.23)
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, just again, speaking of Laird, somebody he worked with early on, Brian McKenzie, I just did a recording with him to breath work performance, optimizing performance. And we were talking about this idea of just achieving greatness. And what does that mean? And how do you get there? And his term is chopping wood and carrying water. He's like, that's what you do. One foot in front of the other.

everything you see that's achieved is just chopping wood and carrying water, you wake up every day, and that's what you do. How do I do this better? Or more effectively? Or what do I have to change and test to find to be able to keep doing this at the next step? And, and that's true, you see all the stuff and we could circle back around to our earlier discussion of social media and the positives of these stories get out.

whether you talk about sustainable tourism, where you talk about a remote place in Sri Lanka that is like has an amazing way that people might not know about or Haiti or all these things, these messages can get out. But then that other side is this representation of something as quote unquote, amazing or beautiful. It's just a single moment of not seeing all of that chopping wood and carrying water.

You just have to wake up and do that every day.

Sam Bleakley (59:31.25)
Yeah, there was actually someone who I was speaking to in Sri Lanka and they were like, they loved this book and they were asking me where my favorite place to surf is. And I kind of realized when I gave the answer that I'd nailed it. That was the answer I should have been giving for years. And I just said, well, my favorite place to be is wherever I am, wherever I am in the now.

And I've really learned to respect that, whether it's commentating at an event in El Salvador or going to the Philippines, which I'm doing soon to take my daughter to a competition, or just being at home working on editing or book work or magazine work or collecting my son from school. It's really being grateful that this is where I am. I've got the opportunity to be by the coast.

I have a carbon footprint I'm not proud of as an environmental activist, but yet when I'm in a space, I'm trying to be as clear, as transparent as possible, and I'm really trying to be conscious of the other things I can contribute to that I do tend to develop deeper relationships with one particular place rather than being in an area and traveling extensively around it.

And then I do make conscious choices with my ULUX wetsuits, with the sustainability of the surfboards, with the people I collaborate with. And it's also about some of the cultural messaging, you know, this whole idea of sustainability, that there's the environmental side, but there's also the cultural side, you know. And surf culture is something I wanna continue to support, to grow and flourish, and being able to make sure that our Senegalese

surfers like Sherry Fool have as big a voice as our Peruvian surfers have as big a voice as our Hawaiian surfers that you know we can start to represent you know all of these great people like the great organization in California called Textured Waves that I've been doing some writing about for a longboard a magazine that we put together that is you know really empowering a lot of surfers of color in California and being able to be someone who

Sam Bleakley (01:01:46.99)
hones in on those new narratives and shares them, that for me, that's a big contribution that I like to give to surfing is, I wanna give a voice to the things that aren't getting as much recognition as maybe they deserve.

Greg Finch (01:02:01.19)
Yeah, yeah, that's incredible. So let me ask you this in kind of wrapping up. So we've we talked about your arc of kind of your life and where you got to this point now. And all of these places coming together of your writing and your filmmaking and sustainable tourism and your education background coming together to give you this place to kind of be on this creative edge of things. What does that look like for you both personally in the next

five years or so and what does that look like for you for what your hopes are for us as a surf community and the places that we can improve and some of the issues that we've discussed what do you what do you see as your ideal involvement in the next five or 10 years and what do you see as us getting to solving some of these problems what are your hopes

Sam Bleakley (01:02:55.542)
Well, I think one of the really great movements is the world surfing reserves and the way that we can designate, like we've done with national parks around the world, particular stretches of coastline that have social, economic and environmental value and, you know, have them really recognized and celebrated and, and managed, you know, in the way that, you know, when we manage our woodlands well, when we manage our coral reefs well, you know, we can sustain them. And.

I think that's a really exciting element, world surfing reserves. I think that embedding a lot of sustainability elements into competition is essential. We don't need to have too many competitions. You know, we need to have high quality competitions that have value. And I think that making sure that we continue to share the narratives so that we don't reinforce.

the same stories that we bring all of these new perspectives into the world of surfing. So all of our emerging African and Asian surfers can have a really strong voice, but we can also honour and recognise the powerful legacy of our Pacific and Polynesian wave riders. I think that with regards to equipment, really supporting national locally made

equipment so that dependence on importing things from all over for grassroots surf scenes is overridden by those surf communities founding their own surf industries to make necessary equipment from locally available resources and I think it won't be long until we see a huge breakthrough in the beginner board technology. I think that many people are close to much more viable sustainable

environmentally friendly materials that will make the similar soft board that we see at surf schools around the world but other material that either is biodegradable or is easy to make and manufacture and the growth of the kind of surf school movement has been a recognizable thing. So finding ways for the surf community to really

Sam Bleakley (01:05:14.858)
tackle some of the dependence on the more oil-based materials that we depend on and things that either last for a long time and can be maintained and fixed or they're made from materials that are much more environmentally viable. I think that's already happening and it'll continue to happen and you know I think that the growth of inland surf sites of surf lakes, wave pools, it does provide

quite an opportunity to better understand how we manage and move our surfers. Because for the first time we have a space that has clear boundaries and we can limit the number of people coming and going. And we can really now start to understand that the things that we can learn there, that we can then apply to some of our busier surf breaks around the more kind of hot surf destinations. So.

Those types of things, you know, I like to keep an eye on. And I think there's a lot of good academics, there's good writers, there's politicians, scientists, all involved in that surfing space. And, you know, and we talked a lot about the parasurfing and the therapeutic and mindfulness elements at the beginning as well. And, you know, you would experience this as a parent. And I feel this when, you know, having, seeing your kids involved in wave riding, that's...

great because you know that if all else fails and you have to just go back to basics, which I'm always accepting that might be demanded, the pandemic taught us that we might have to strip back down and if we're lucky enough to have land and water and clean water and be able to grow food, you know, that that's the reality of the of the space we need to thrive in. But if we can share the water with family or friends, you know that

that's so enriching. I'm always kind of like hungry for creativity, for being inspired, for finding music, for looking at art, for making, for doing, for I'm happy to sit through the long hours at the laptop to kind of try to create new work. But at the same time, I recognize that just the simple joys of eating well and

Sam Bleakley (01:07:39.146)
and sharing space with friends and family. That, you know, that I could live with that if all else failed. So that, I learned that through the pandemic, but like most of us post pandemic, I've kind of got hungry to kind of create and do, and, you know, yes, that can be overwhelming at times when we, you know, we try to do a lot of stuff. You know, I'm in the process of, I collaborate with lots of different crews with regards to...

to a print magazine we do to some various other projects. And within those journeys, I'm always trying to now encourage people to not burn out on the project because it's very easy to put everything into the final stages and burn out. And I'm always now trying to get that dialogue open early in the collaboration stage of, how's everybody's schedules? Can we create a good timeline with this so that

everybody's input can come in a timely way so we can all do our bit without burning out. And I think that, you know, that would be something that I'd like to kind of embed more within some of the surf projects that I'm lucky enough to work on and with.

Greg Finch (01:08:52.274)
Yeah. Sustainable means a lot of things, right? It's the ability for you to sustain into future projects, future opportunities, and, um, and then the idea of the balance of that. It's, it's just a continuum. It's a continuum of self-evaluation, your own understanding back to what we talked about earlier, communication, and what our expectation of this is, and how do we get to this really great final product?

Sam Bleakley (01:08:55.009)
Yeah.

Greg Finch (01:09:20.758)
and still be able to have enough left to then onto the next thing that continues, whether that's a mission specific or just feeding our own creativity. It's this constant. And for me, it comes back to like, in this space right here, I love doing this podcast. I love being able to connect with individual people that I wouldn't

have the opportunity to have this in-depth conversation with. But the back end of it is a lot of work. It's well worth it. Absolutely worth it. But it's to be able to make sure that it the product is really done really well. And at the same time, I never want to go like, oh, I gotta I love it. And you have to keep that passion for it to do something that again back to it's maybe not the most clear path to get to something.

really exciting. You have to keep that resilience. There it is again.

Sam Bleakley (01:10:22.326)
Yeah, yeah. So we can go back to that positivity, empathy, resilience and mindfulness perm. So if you ever lost just picture someone from the 80s with a big perm, and then go, well, where's my positivity? Where's my empathy? Where's my resilience? Where's my mindfulness? And maybe that's like a good recipe.

Greg Finch (01:10:28.102)
Perfect.

Greg Finch (01:10:40.254)
Oh, that's perfect. Hey, Sam, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the Surf Strong show. It's really been great to get to know you a little bit more and hear about all the things that you're doing and everything you're going to do in the future.

Sam Bleakley (01:10:51.818)
It's been a pleasure. And like you say, these are great platforms to communicate, to get to know one another. And, you know, I look forward to, you know, following the show. And, you know, thanks for having me.

Greg Finch (01:11:04.43)
Yeah, my pleasure.

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