Greg Martin worked in the British surf media for 10 years, with a varied career spanning a variety of roles including staff photographer and editor for the now deceased Pitpilot, and of course this fine rag. We’ve mined Gregs archive for some of the best shots and stories, which feature British surfing (and it’s peripheries) in what many would consider to be its hay day, and each week we’ll be brining you 10 of these shot/ story combo’s.
This week the selection features the usual mixture of legendary characters, beautifully composed line ups and insightful stories showing you behind the curtain of British surfing.
Greg’s currently works as a photo-journalist for the Cornishman, You can see Greg’s recent work, which is a bit like Humans Of New York, but for the depths of Cornwall, on his Facebook page here.
Click the first image to enter full screen, then click on the image to make the caption appear, then scroll through the gallery with your arrow keys.
February 2010 – Probably some of the smallest waves I’ve shot, and yet this was quite a productive session. With it being only thigh-high, I could get a full view of Sam Bleakley’s style and positioning from the back of the wave, the angle which had the richest colours. I really like how you can see the tail of his 9’6 locked deep behind the wave as well, showing that he is balanced right on the nose
February 2011 – England doesn’t do a very good impression of France, but sometimes, Porthtowan busts out its accent and gives it a go. The main difference though, is that on a magnifique day like this, the line up here was empty. Too much of a close out for the Brits? Or is it just that Les Francais adore le doggy door?
September 2011 – The second most excellent thing about surfing is the amount of progression that has happened in such a short space of time. Every year surfboard design has come on leaps and bounds, extending what is possible to do on a wave. However, the first most excellent thing about surfing is that even if you choose to ignore all of that cool new stuff, you can still get RADICAL!
December 2011 – On a trip to the Algarve with Surf Solutions we bumped into Josh Piper, who was on the brink of recovery from a serious knee injury. Good on him, it didn’t take to much convincing to get him launching at one of the heaviest shore breaks in that part of the world. Definitely not what the doctor ordered, but then, what do they know?
December 2008 – I did some stupid things at Pitpilot Mag, but this idea made a lot of sense. Instead of doing the usual winter fashion guide, I spoke to Help the Aged about involving local OAPs who were struggling with the recently cut winter fuel allowance. Any brand could be featured, so long as they donated their clothes to our new found models. The oldies were stoked, the brands were stoked… only Nike refused to take part in the feature, not wishing to have their ‘youthful’ clothing modelled by people of that age, and deciding against just donating something regardless.
January 2011 – For the 200th issue of Wavelength Magazine, I came up with the idea of doing a road trip to score the best waves I could find during the month in which the mag was put together, but limiting myself to 200 miles. A storm came in, a local gem lit up, and I then wasted about 190 miles on a scenic route home.
October 2009 – I’m pretty sure Shaggy from Scooby Doo was a surfer. And I think if he’d ever done a UK road trip in the Mystery Machine this would have been the spot he’d have surfed. In the shadows of a haunted Northumberland castle, this little beach break was certainly spooky, but at least it was too remote for any pesky kids.
September 2012 – A picture postcard line up from San Sebastian in the Basque Country. We stopped briefly at this fun little wave when I was there on a press trip arranged by the surfing department of the Basque Tourist Board. Why don’t we have a surfing department on our tourist board?
May 2011 – On our first evening in the Mentawai Islands, this was my first ever warm water photo shoot. I jumped off the boat in my shorts, and proceeded to sit on the reef in 2ft of bath temperature water, getting dragged and lacerated along it every time Jayce Robinson or one of the others went over me on a wave. It felt lovely.
October 2011 – Keith Malloy outside the Film College in London. I interviewed him just before the first ever London Surf Film Festival, and we hit it off like wild fire. I shot him with an old camera… he liked old cameras. I asked him questions about his film… he kept saying “Great question!” He was my new best friend. And then he went and won Best Film at the LSFF. And sat in the audience, I watched as person after person asked him a question. And every time they did, he smiled and said “Great question!” Some friend he turned out to be.