Recently watching Ben Stiller's, 'Secret Life Of Walter Mitty', the subject (Walter) embarks on a journey to secure slide #25 from an elusive and revered photographer for the cover image of the last ever print edition of the magazine, LIFE. The consequent adventure served as an amiable reminder to the efforts of dedicated individuals to justly and honestly document and tell a story.
As we've bid a farewell to beautiful magazines of old, we rest assured that independent publishing and the art of storytelling is in safe hands as a new staple emerges. The Backwash anthology is exactly that. We caught up with Finisterre Ambassador and Backwash co-founder Matt Smith in light of the launch of Volume Three.
Print is well and truly not dead.
I first connected with future Backwash team Chris McClean and Noah Lane on a trip to Scotland filming for ‘edges of sanity’. Those weeks formed a relationship that encompassed friendship, admiration, respect and inspiration. We flowed together and it was fun; the years following, we travelled together many times and often talked about how we fitted into and if we agreed with how surfing was represented by the surf media and corporations.
It awoke something in me and I noticed it in the others: the need for freedom to tell our stories.
We would love to share the way we saw beauty in surfing any mediation. Working with them on trips with Finisterre offered us the time to cultivate our dream and in 2015 along with Dan Crockett, James Bowden, David Beckett and Al Mackinnon we published Backwash Volume One. A ode to Ireland. When I held it in my hands I felt the weight of being a publisher, the responsibility of a storyteller and felt honoured to have known some of the men and women and the stories they shared in our press.
It is now December 2017 and we have just printed Volume Three, launching in the Finisterre London store on Wednesday night. This Volume we dedicated to the United Kingdom. We visited corners and coves and the folk that live and ride waves there. We have featured Sandy Kerr, Easkey Britton, Sam Bleakley, Fergal Smith, Noah Lane and myself. Finisterre Ambassadors are woven into the fabric of Backwash; its pages open to the stories they have heard and want to share.
Pre Order Volume Three here.
Words by Matt Smith | Image by Al Mackinnon