Looking Sideways – Mike Lay

Looking Sideways – Mike Lay

Turns out we’ve all got a lot more time to listen to podcasts all of a sudden. Mike Lay has a brilliant double spread in the new issue so it’s timely he’s been on Matt Barr’s Looking Sideways pod. Dive in and there’s tonnes more in the LS archive.

Words and pod Matt Barr. Photo James Bowden.

The life of the professional athlete is truly an exalted one. There’s the travel. The free kit. The adulation. And the fact that you’re being paid to do what you love.

Small wonder that so many professional athletes get swept along with it all, and start to believe their own hype. As I know from my experience of working in the industry for almost three decades, nothing is more common than the pro athlete who has made the fundamental mistake of thinking their current situation is permanent.

It’s why characters like Mike Lay are such a breath of fresh air. Sure, he’s one of the finest longboarders the UK has ever produced, with a truly beautiful, considered style. But he’s also that rare thing: somebody who is amazingly good at riding a board, and also able to see far beyond the margins of our insular little world.

You can see it in the writing he does for the various surf magazines he contributes to, and in the curiosity that seems to come naturally to him. As you’ll discover, he’s a creative, a dreamer, a reader, a writer and, above all, a thinker, as well as a surfer.

These are the conversations I look forward to the most, the ones that take off into unexpected regions in the finest Looking Sideways tradition. I’m really grateful to Mike for going out of his way to make this conversation happen, and for approaching it in such a spirit of honesty and open-mindedness. Hope you enjoy it.

Full episode and Show Notes – www.wearelookingsideways.com. Thanks to Matt Ward for the theme tune, and to my editor Fina Charleson.