A British Leadfoot With A Relatable Life Story
Seb Smart is still figuring it out.
Seb Smart is not dumb.
Hailing from England—a frigid and not epsecially surf-rich land—he realized that achieving competitive success would be something of a pipe dream. The spectre of competition also doesn’t jive with Seb’s personality, which from a young age has been free-spirited and rebellious. Pair this with a pleasing surf style and desire to spend inordinate amounts of time in cash-poor, wave-rich locales, and you have the makings of a modern freesurfer.
In the video above, Seb tells us about his life in Sennen, on the tip of Cornwall, England.
Our pal Paul Evans from Surf Europe interviewed Sen to learn more.
Paul Evans: What’s she like pard?
Seb Smart: Really good, thanks. Been training, surfing as much as poss. I had a little surf this morning, getting ready to go again later when the tide’s right.
How does an average day pan out in Sennen Cove?
Get up, make coffee, go to the beach. Go running on the beach, surf, skate, do some drawing and go for a walk with my girlfriend. But not necessarily in that order. I’ve put on quite a bit of weight, so I’m doing dune running, quite easy on your joints but super intense, so it’s quick. But so far, so good, it’s working, I’m getting rid of that Christmas indulgence. Well, that, and the Covid.
Yeah, I did a surf trip to the Basque Country last year, and when I got back, that’s when we were doing the video, I got Covid. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had it during all the interviews in the vid. That’s why I seem so zoned out (laughs). But it got worse, so up until about two weeks ago, I’ve just been doing absolutely nothing. My mate Sam Breeze was shooting the film. I gave him the Covid as well.
Has lockdown made Sennen seem even further away than usual? Has Cornwall got longer?
Haha, we are right out on end, but it’s beautiful here, great for tourism. That means summer is really vibrant and warm. The bad thing is that the winters, they do drag on. Lockdown or not, it’s pretty dead anyway here out of season. If anything, it’s probably made it seem busier. Because of lockdown, everyone’s getting out walking for their exercise, getting out and about.
Tell us about your sesh this morning.
It was beautiful. This morning, up and at ‘em first light, at a secret spot, can’t tell you where. We were out there for a wicked sunrise, man, so beautiful, but so, so cold. I can’t describe how chilly it was.
You tend to lone wolf it? Or surf in a crew?
I’ve been surfing with a great little crew, my brother Sam Smart, Lou Smart, John Buchorski, Ollie Clark… Sennen’s pretty small, so it’s easy to get a posse going; we all just surf together.
How do you amp up to ride waves? Tea? Tunes?
Music is a good amp up, I should be listening to music to get psyched, but I never do. It’s usually more like an impulse. If I hear the waves or see it, I just get changed and run down in a frenzy. I’ll rush down the hill, probably slip over. But I should amp up with some tunes, and if I did… I dunno something like The Prodigy.
You used to lifeguard all summer to save up for long trips away. Any good money saving tips for tightwad surfers?
Yeah, definitely — avoid pubs. It might not be a problem now, obviously, but in general, that’s your downfall for saving your money. Beer adds up, and the price is ridiculous these days. Getting rounds in at a fiver a pint, you’ll spend fifty quid thinking you’re doing a good thing. Yeah, try and avoid drinking in pubs… and of course, just buy less shit. But if the pubs are open and you want to socialize, get a cheap six-pack from the corner shop and sit outside on a wall nearby, best of both worlds.
For the time being, travel’s out. So what’s the plan?
I’ve cut drinking out, and I want to get really fit. For the last four years, I’ve sort of just been floating around. I’ve been surfing a lot, but I really want to go for it this year. I feel I haven’t really reached my potential. I want to take it more seriously. I mean, still, focus on the fun side, not competing, but go bigger. Bigger waves, bigger airs. And yeah, for the foreseeable, it’s surfing around here. We get good waves here in winter. Spring’s coming up real quick, too. It’s getting lighter already. Things are looking up.
The link for the full video can be found here.
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