Gran Canaria is already a favourite getaway for many Europeans. Year-round sunshine, virtually no rain and an abundance of home comforts have the tourists flocking in by the thousands. But Drift discovered a far better reason to visit - literally hundreds of hidden surf spots that can be yours alone to enjoy all year round.

Championed by surfers in the know for over 30 years, but largely ignored by mainstream riders; has the time finally come for the Bonzer to shine? Words: Steve Croft & Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

Crime and punishment, it's all relative. A brush with the law is nothing more for most of us than a speeding fine or curt telling off, but we're a very privileged bunch... Words & photos: Carly Lorente

This is the story of an epic coastal journey from North Germany down to Morocco in an old Fiat Ducato. We documented the trip, the places we saw and the people we met. We called this Gen Süden www.gensueden.com. A project that focuses on being on the road with a van and a surfboard and all the great things that come with it.

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

The Sunshine Coast. Home to some of the world's most accomplished surfers, including marquee names like Julian Wilson and Mitch Coleborn. As a result, the region is fast becoming a breeding ground for some of the most progressive young surfers that Australia, and the world, has ever seen.

A tale of surfing reefs in South Africa, but not knowing what you get yourself into. Drift contributor Tim Conibear points a finger at localism and finds three more pointing right back. Photos: Mike Reich

As the Campbell brothers wrap up a European shaping tour, Mark Sankey discovers Bournemouth's hidden Californian connection, and why old designs aren't necessarily retro. Photos and design by Alexa Poppe

Dreamt up over 20 years ago by Renaud and Thomas Cardinal, two French brothers with a passion for board making, UWL has grown to become one of the biggest factories in Europe, while building a reputation based on performance and quality. Rui Ribeiro talks with Renaud about the past, present and future of UWL...

During December 1970 and January 1971, my father, my brother Duncan and I designed the first Bonzer. It was the beginning of an amazing journey. Words: Malcolm Campbell. Photos: Miguel Barreira

Tucked away at the top of a hill near Gwenver beach in Cornwall, Skewjacks was the definitive 1970s surf camp. Drift took four of its founding fathers - Dicky, Harvey, Jamo and Mickey - to the pub and reminisced about good times gone by. Words: Jamie Bott Credit & thanks to Graham Shephard & Mel Sedgwick


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.

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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.

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  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.

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  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

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