#myLOTW series 2: Being inspired by whats on your doorstep
It's time for our next entry in our interviews the characters and personalities who tell us about what has inspired and pushed them to pursue a life in the mountains, or the coast, or chasing concrete.
Pete owns Kingsurf Surf School - based in Mawgan Porth, North Cornwall (where we call home, too). He has been at the helm of one of the most chilled, approachable and entertaining surf schools in the country for nearly 20 years.
He is looked up to by the huge weekly gathering of groms that come down to surf with him in their after-school club. You’d be there for a while counting Pete’s regular following who surfed their first wave with Kingsurf 18 years ago, and still come back to this day now they’ve left home and are all grown up.
Thinking back to who Pete’s own legends were growing up, there were few British characters to look up to. Aside from being an avid skier and rollerskater as well, he admits wanting to be the next generation of Mark Harris-es, Ben Baird-es, Crissy Owen-es, who at the time were the peak of the Newquay scene.
Further-afield, Pete coveted the style of Dave Rastovich. But in the media, there was little local influence, and not much in the way of British surfing in the magazines, and definitely nothing within 1000 miles from Cornwall in the DVDs he watched.
“What bloke isn’t gunna want to play the guitar and sole-arch into Pipeline. So I’d probably say Donovan Frankenreiter is up there too.”
Pete admits he didn’t idolise these people, as what they were doing seemed so unattainable, living in boardshorts and jet-setting around the world on a whim. Like a lot of us, Pete picked up sticks and relocated to Cornwall, after finishing university and can't imagine living anywhere else.
As he says attainable 'legend-status' is a lot more empowering if it's with someone closer to home.
“Alan stokes was always the ‘good guy’, good looking, living an incredible lifestyle. So part of my inspiration was the way these people were living, not just the surfing they were living.”
Pete then reassessed his answer:
“After all that, the true person who is someone we should look up to is Jamie, the surf school’s accountant. It’s someone we know well, he’s such a nice guy, works really hard, and gets out there whenever the surf’s good. And he shreds.”
Pete has drawn inspiration from what's familiar.
Standing as an inspiration for everyone that comes to his surf school, himself, Pete's inspirations come from what is attainable and characters that he has encountered on a personal level.
This notion that it should be what's in front of us that defines who we should look up to has shaped Pete's career. It's all well and good watching edits of epic boat trips of the pros in the Mentawis (and they have definitely worked hard to get there) but the distance means it isn't relatable.
Maybe it's the people we've met, who we might come across in the car park getting changed, or who were the first to teach us to surf, skate or board that are the ones who are the most capable of encouraging us to push harder, try something new, or get back on the horse.
Here's a cheeky clip of what the Kingsurf crew got up to on their team trip to surf in Ireland. They are a really inspiring bunch, with tons of energy - children at heart!