Drift speaks to Jim Heimann - cultural anthropologist, graphic design historian and author of a new publication TASCHEN's 365 Day-by-Day Surfing - a collection of vintage photographs and art works that will have you waxing nostalgic for bygone beach vibes.

When his career as a pro surfer was ended by cancer, Richie Lovett forged a new career in the manufacturing industry. Now he's singing the praises of machine-shaping technology. Words: Chris Preston Photos: Jamie Bott

Hidden away in a Falmouth boatyard among the classic lines of traditional timber ships is an unusual surfboard factory: one in which the boards are finished with wood and natural oils. Here tradition meets modernism. This is Glass Tiger. Words: Mark Sankey Action photos: Kirstin Prisk Other photos & design: Alexa Poppe

Portugal explodes onto the global big wave circuit with a handful of household names and a freakish wave canyon. Photos: Jorge Leal and Wilson Ribeiro.

Quietly considered and eloquent, you might know of Nathan Oldfield through his films 'Lines From A Poem' and 'Seaworthy'. Surf Screen's Christiaan Bailey popped him a few duly thoughtful questions about creative motivations and the surf film industry. Photos: Nathan Oldfield

Mark Sankey and Alexa Poppe head through Spain and Portugal in search of a surfing paradise.

Ireland's fierce and unpredictable breaks have been valued by its home-grown big wave riders for some years now, but competition has been a long time coming. All that changed with the inaugral Mullaghmore Tow Session 2011. Conn Osborne got in harm's way to steal a photo essay.

James Bowden kissed goodbye to Blighty and set off for Tasmania's wild in January this year. He shares some of his findings along the way with his own distinctive style.

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.

God Went Surfing with The Devil is a film by Alex Klein, which documents the war-torn region of Gaza. At a time when tensions are high, this film investigates the attitudes and aspirations of a small pocket of people where surfing removes socio-political divisions and lets the ocean carry their aspirations for peace.

Homeless at fourteen, prison by eighteen, Jonny Gibbings endured a violent and difficult start to life, resulting in being illiterate until late teens. Now a published author Jonny talks to Drift and shares his lifelong passion for Surf.


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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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

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