To kick things off, Mike, could you walk us through your morning routine? How do you start your day?
"Mornings start with me coming downstairs with Enys (our two-year-old) and trying to convince him that we should do something else other than watch the TV. I'm glad to report we’re doing well on that front. So, it’s bananas, book reading and drawing, with me sneaking off to make a coffee if I can. Then when the sun comes up, we try and go for a walk with our dog Ronnie, sometimes we manage it, sometimes we don’t, you never can tell with a two-year-old!
Do you have any surf essentials you can’t leave the house without (besides your surfboard)?
I’m 20 years into my surfing life now and my ears reflect that. I've pretty advanced surfer’s ear - a condition where the bone at the opening of the ear begins to grow over in reaction to repeated exposure to water and wind - so can no longer surf without ear plugs. If I do, I’m guaranteed to get water trapped in my ear and lose hearing. Luckily, I’ve got amazing custom plugs from a local Cornish company called Surf Mould Pro, they’re keeping me in business. Any surfers reading this who don’t currently use plugs should make it their mission to start wearing them as soon as possible, don’t be like me and think it won’t happen to them!
Other than that, there’s the obvious wetsuit and, this time of year. Wetsuit boots. But honestly, I get so excited to surf normally that I forget to even bring water...
Beyond the waves:
Surfing is a central theme in your life. When you’re not balancing catching waves and the responsibilities of being the Editor of Wavelength magazine, how do you choose to spend your time?
Being a father is the most time consuming and rewarding thing I’m doing at the moment. It’s a wild and exciting ride. Other than that, I try to spend as much time outside as possible, walking or working in our vegetable garden.
We’ve heard whispers of a special furry friend in your household. What’s your dog’s name and do they come on any of your surfing adventures?
Haha, yes. Ronnie! Walking him is one of my favourite things to do. Under special circumstances he does indeed come to the beach with me, if it’s quiet and the beach is one that he knows then he can come. He normally sits and watches me but will get distracted by other dog walkers, especially if they have balls, absolutely loves a ball...
Beyond the waves and pages of the magazine, how do you engage with the local surfing community? Are there any community initiatives or projects that you’re particularly passionate about?
The biggest way I engage with the local surf community is through lifeguarding. I’ve worked as a beach lifeguard for 15 years now and absolutely love the job. It keeps me connected to surfers, dog walkers, sun bathers, anybody who feels drawn to use our coastal environment. Lifeguarding allows me to spend a lot of time at my beach (other than my house I’ve probably spent more time at my local beach than anywhere else in my life), it allows me to look after people, and occasionally to literally save lives.
Do you have any favourite memories from surf trips or adventures? Whether it’s a hidden gem of a surf spot or a cultural experience, we’d love to hear about the tales from your travels.
Last December in Scotland I had a truly incredible surfing experience. There was a convergence of light, small and unexpected waves, people and places which made for a surging memory which will be with me for my entire life. Snow fell over distant mountains, just me and a handful of friends, watched on by highland cattle before the sunset drenched the entire sky in pink and orange. It was heart achingly beautiful stuff.
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