Fergal Smith is one of the world’s premiere big wave surfers. His new series Growing introduces us to Ferg’s other passion, which is growing food for sustainable living. We caught up with him for a quick chat.
BH: Hey Ferg, how’s it going? Had any good waves lately?
FS: All is going very well thanks. Very busy but a great busy – the gardens are taking off and there have been some great waves as well.
We had two really nice days here in Clare, one really good session at Aileens. Probably the best session out there for the whole winter. I surfed a new 6’10 single fin which went amazing. Buzzing on it still.
BH: We’re loving your new series Growing. It’s much more real and interesting than what you see in a lot of the surf media. Do you miss the jet set lifestyle and surfing Pipe, Teahupoo and so on? Or is it all about balance?
FS: Haha glad you’re liking it. I definitely don’t miss the jet set lifestyle. I miss the pumping waves alright but it is really about balance. Now I have the time to do things like Growing but I still can get epic waves when they come. It may look like I missing out on waves but what I am gaining with being connected to the land is well worth it. It’s even more than that though, it’s being connected to the area and the community. Those connections are priceless.
BH: The whole sustainable approach to living is something we’re passionate about. Do you have any tips for people who want to make a change but don’t know where to start?
FS: Plant a tree! Or a hundred! There is nothing more simple then planting a tree and you’re really are making a difference.
Picking up rubbish off the beach is always a nice thing to do to feel like you have made some kind of change. However small it may seem it’s still a positive change. If it’s growing people are interested in and don’t know where to start, just find a fish box on the beach or some kind of container with holes in it. Fill it full of good stuff and sow a few salad leaves. They are so easy to grow and you can’t beat having fresh salad leaves for your lunch. Grow things that don’t fail – like kale, spinach and broccoli – that also keep producing.
BH: A dream surf trip… anywhere, with anyone alive or not. Where would you be, what would you be riding and who would be sharing it with you?
FS: These days my dream surf trip is right here, it may seem a bit boring but when we get good waves they are amazing and to be surfing them with all your mates that’s the dream for me. The other day was that kinda dream and it’s all I’m after in surfing.
I do dream of sailing to surf spots around the Irish and European coasts with my mates, that sounds pretty dreamy.
Find out more about Fergal on his website www.fergalsmith.com