Drift catches up with Portuguese genius photographer Hugo Silva, owner of www.undonephotos.com. Born on the south coast of Portugal in Portimão, Hugo now finds himself plying his trade near Lisbon in Carcavelos. His challenge has always been to capture the perfect swell, that one wave or the big manoeuvre.

The Mentawais have given a lot to surfers; now it's time to give something back. Kate and Luke Gerson celebrate the beauty of these islands and highlight the continued need for aid following the recent earthquake.

Meeting a legend is something few people have the opportunity to do. During a short stay in California last winter Dave Muir created his own luck in finding Skip Frye at home. He was welcomed in to take a look around. Words: Dave Muir Photos: Dave Muir and Skip Frye

From WQS warrior to independent filmmaker via a AUS$27,000 debt, Johnny Abegg has trod an unconventional path through life so far, and proves that a relentlessly positive outlook and upbeat character can see you through the toughest times... Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Johnny Abegg

In Florianopolis - Brazil's surf capital - during prime swell season, an incomplete line-up gets Clare Howdle thinking... (Photos 2, 3, 4&8: André Côrtes; photos 1&7: Zander Grinfeld, www.venncreative.co.uk)

A road trip around the Scottish coastline reveals all of the anticipated joys along with a few unexpected pleasures. Words and Photos: Jonathan Barattini

Following the demise of Clark Foam, 'eco' boards and alternatives to petro-chemical products have been the focus of developments in surfboard technology. Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

A shaper with a real passion for his craft, Tyler Hatzikian has consistently refused to compromise the quality or the integrity of his work in order to make a quick buck. He talked to Drift about nose-riding, refining longboard design and his reluctance to take the limelight. Words & photos: Jamie Bott

Bing Copeland was a pioneer of the modern surf industry. In his excellent new retrospective, ‘Bing Surfboards – Fifty Years of Craftsmanship and Innovation’, Paul Holmes discovered what makes Bing tick. Words: Bing Copeland & Paul Holmes Photos: Courtesy of Bing Copeland

A worthy addition to European surfing culture, the surfilmfestibal festival attempts to connect the global surfing community through moving picture, art and education. Words: Howard Swanwick. Photos: surfilmfestibal

Follow cameraman Mike Lacey as he takes on Hawaii. An amazing collection of photos from the spiritual home of surfing. www.mikelaceyphotography.co.uk


Surfing Brilliant Corners


June 22, 2010 | Words By: Howard

surfing_brilliant_corners A book worth reading if you’re looking for a one-man jazz-infused tip-toe along the road of life.


Sam Bleakley breaks the mould. I’ve never met him or spoken to him, but I think I’d like the fella. Sent to us a couple of weeks ago, his new book ‘Surfing Brilliant Corners’ dropped through the internal mail, and landed on my desk at Drift. I don’t know what drew me to the book, but I’ve been reading it over the last few weeks and it’s genuinely interesting.

Sam simply shares his past, his present and his frequencies with us, which is worth sharing. He’s well travelled, a Cambridge alumni, and speaks with soft tones. Sam travels from his birthplace in West Cornwall to Indonesia and the Philippines; through vibrant West African highlife in Ghana, to war-damaged Liberia; to Mauritania, where landmines litter access to some of the best waves on the planet; to a serene Buddhist oasis in Communist China; to Ecuador, Oman and Haiti, whose complex culture seeps into his psyche and captures his heart. He looks deep into the jet-black eye of a surfacing shark in Kenya, and faces a stacked set of foaming lips during typhoon surf in South Korea.

Unexpectedly he uses his interest in jazz as a vehicle, sometimes a metaphor for surfing and his relationship to it, the title drawing on Thelonious Monk’s 1956 LP ‘Brilliant Corners’. “Surfing,” he says, “has opened me up, split my skin, widened my horizons, and closed me down, because any obsession restricts your involvement in other aspects of life.”

I could go on, but I enjoyed it and I think anyone reading Drift probably would too. Some things are best left unspoken, just go get yourself a copy and see what you think.

Picture 2 of 8


Pin It

2 Comments


  1. Sam is one of the best voices in UK surfing, a talented and considered individual. I can’t wait to read this.

    1
  2. Surfing Brilliant Corners is a beautifully written book by Cambridge-educated multiple European, British and English longboard surfing champion Sam Bleakley . It follows his surf travels in the last ten years and is accompanied by some stunning photos from top surf photographer John Callahan. It also uses the metaphor of jazz both for surfing and ultimately I guess, life itself.

    It packs in some incredible trips which are well off the beaten track from the likes of Oman and Haiti to to China and Liberia. A great read and a wonderful contribution to the increasingly rich library of literature by British surfers from Andy Martin’s Stealing the Wave and Walking on Water to Tom Anderson’s Riding the Magic Carpet, Grey Skies, Green Waves and Chasing Dean and Alex Wade’s Surf Nation.

    2

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Surfing Brilliant Corners | Sam Bleakley – News 19 08 10
  2. Surfing Brilliant Corners | 24 08 10
  3. Surfing Brilliant Corners reviews | 25 08 10

Comment


Advertise here