236 episodes

Presented by Matt Barr, Looking Sideways is a podcast about the best stories in skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and other related endeavours.


Looking Sideways Action Sports Podcast Matthew Barr

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 410 Ratings

Presented by Matt Barr, Looking Sideways is a podcast about the best stories in skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and other related endeavours.


    Episode 197: Kimmy Fasani - Luminosity

    Episode 197: Kimmy Fasani - Luminosity

    “Death isn't scary to me. Dying isn’t scary to me. I’ve seen it, and I’ve been close to it.”
    When my friend at Whitelines magazine asked me to chat to snowboarder Kimmy Fasani about her cancer diagnosis for this year’s annual, we decided to join forces on a print/audio double-header. The print version of our conversation was released last week, followed by the full audio version of our conversation on the podcast.
    The result was a hugely affecting conversation that moved me greatly. As I wrote in my introduction to the Whitelines story:
    “Death, serious illness, grief. These milestones are or will be a part of all of our lives.
    Yet as a society, we are strangely reluctant to deal with them or even consider them until they’re in our immediate future.
    So when we see somebody we care about confront these hidden commonplaces, and address these taboos openly, it has real impact. And when that person has a high profile in their field, and chooses to share their experiences in a vulnerable, confrontational, yet generous way, it can change the way we all think about and see them”.
    “How else to explain the awe-inspiring power of the way Kimmy Fasani has chosen to tell her story through the prism of snowboarding?
    As a rider, Kimmy has always been held in great affection by the snowboarding community. She is also somebody that has long been aware of how her profile gives her the ability to ‘shift the needle and change the conversation’, as she puts it.
    Following the birth of her first son Koa, she did just that by challenging the perception of what it means to be a mother and a professional snowboarder.
    Now, thanks to the wisdom and grace she has shown in sharing her experience of being diagnosed with and treated for stage 3 breast cancer, she is doing so again - by openly exploring the biggest, scariest themes of all.
    Over the last decade, Kimmy and her family have dealt with a series of escalating crises that culminated in her diagnosis with stage 3 breast cancer at the end of 2021.
    By choosing to share their experiences with her trademark combination of grace, beauty and great generosity of spirit, Kimmy is once again changing the collective snowboarding conversation in the most powerful way of all”.
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    I’m so grateful to Kimmy for the generosity and trust she showed during our conversation. Big thanks to Owen for the Zoom portraits, too.
    Enjoyed this episode? Have thoughts on the issues raised?

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit lookingsideways.substack.com

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Episode 196: James Joiner - Flyover Country

    Episode 196: James Joiner - Flyover Country

    Lifer alert!
    It’s been a while since I had a good, honest lifer chat on the show, and this episode with my pal James Joiner is a rambling comfort blanket of a conversation in the classic Looking Sideways fashion.
    James is a journalist, photographer, podcaster and all-round creative doer who I first met when I was a guest on his own 1% For The Planet podcast a few years back. We hit it off real well and have since stayed in touch. And James has become a huge supporter of Looking Sideways, writing a couple of stories about the book and podcast for sites like Monster Children, and generally being the type of positively-affirming cheerleader that any creative type like me needs.
    James also has a really great story himself: the type of classic, by-the-bootstraps tale that long-term listeners to the show will be familiar with. He tells his tale with real candour and humour, and the resulting chat was a rambling stemwinder of the lifer genre which I enjoyed hugely.
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    Expect discussions on different creative approaches and the importance of recognising key life choices; as well as digressions on the peculiarly British habit of trainspotting, the classically Gen-X tendency to self-mythologise (guilty as charged), the term ‘flyover country’ and plenty more.
    Thanks for doing the show, James. Looking forward to catching up in person when we make it over for round two next year.
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    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit lookingsideways.substack.com

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Episode 195: Chris Moran - The Good Ship

    Episode 195: Chris Moran - The Good Ship

    Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to interview people who’ve had a real influence on my life. But Chris Moran, this week’s guest, has probably had more of an influence on my life than any guest I’ve yet had the pleasure of chatting to.
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    Let’s get the snowboarding out of the way first. Chris is certainly one of the most influential figures in early British snowboarding history. He came up on the legendary early 90s Rossendale dryslope scene and quickly made a name for himself on the embryonic British scene thanks to a beautiful, elegant and much-imitated style; and the warmth and generosity that he’s always been famed for.
    Soon after, along with peers like Justin Allison, Steve Bailey, Lesley McKenna and Stu Brass, Chris became one of the first Brit riders to really make a proper living from snowboarding. This was at the point that snowboarding really began to take off, and marketers and brands began to pay attention. Chris and Stu, in particular, really grasped this opportunity, and in doing so set the foundations for the professional British scene that still exists today.
    But if you ask me, Chris’s influence goes way beyond that, thanks to his ability to relish the wonder of life while dragging people along with him. I was lucky enough to meet Chris when I was 13, and he immediately opened my eyes to the opportunities that would eventually define my life, and that there was much more to the world than the grey Mancunian streets we grew up on.
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    It was the beginning of a 30 year friendship which is still going strong today, and I’ve spent a large part of the past three decades riding, travelling and working with Chris: firstly as part of the brilliant Whitelines editorial team we were lucky to be part of for a decade; and then latterly through All Conditions Media, the company we set up together in 2005, and which I still run today.
    Sometimes, if you’re lucky, individuals come along who change the way you see the world at just the right time, and have a huge, important impact on your life. Chris is one of this people for me, which is why I cherish our friendship, and why I wanted to chat to him for this episode. Hope you enjoy it.
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    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit lookingsideways.substack.com

    • 2 hrs 19 min
    Episode 194: Joel Gray - Inside The Tent

    Episode 194: Joel Gray - Inside The Tent

    Twenty four years after snowboarding made its Olympic bow, the often fractious relationship between action sports and the Olympics feels poised to enter a new phase.
    For an entire generation, surfing, skating and snowboarding being Olympic sports is completely normal. And yet, the dichotomy at the heart of the our relationship to this most performance-based of sporting behemoths remains: just how do you place a progression-based culture in such a white-hot competitive environment without eroding the very factors that made that culture unique in the first place? Especially when you throw funding and medals into the mix? And what does impact does it have on the grassroots of the scene?
    All questions that every culturally unique discipline entering the Olympic family has to face, and which British surfing is grappling with now, halfway through the cycle that leads to Paris 2024. And all reasons why I was so keen to chat to Joel Gray, GB Surfing’s newly-appointed Performance Pathway Director, for this episode of the podcast.
    Joel is a true British surfing lifer who has dedicated his life to the culture. He came up as part of the north east scene, and has spent years tirelessly giving back to the community through his Surf Solutions coaching venture. Over the months, he’s also one of the few public figures in UK surfing to have stuck his head above the parapet and ask a few searching questions about the way administrative bodies such as UK Sport and GB Surfing intend to steward the culture of surfing during this critical new phase.
    Now, by taking this role, Joel has followed the approach of peers such as Lucy Adams and Lesley McKenna, who also made the decision to try and effect change from inside the tent, rather than simply throw stones from the outside. Naturally, given my longstanding interest in this conversation goes back over two decades, I was really keen to find out Joel’s plans for both this role, and for his views on the long-term future of British competitive surfing and its attendant grassroots culture.
    Listeners will know I have some fairly strong views about all this. So instead of my using this conversation to expound my own views, I decided to take to Instagram to ask listeners to send in questions for Joel about this new role, his views on the Olympics generally, how he intends to tackle the issues of access and diversity that continue to affect participation, and whatever else people wanted to find out. The response was amazing, and the resulting conversation was a really insightful look into the future direction of travel for British surfing; from a committed, passionate surfer who’s in it for the long haul, and is determined to try and strike a balance between the two opposing poles of the Olympic board sports conversation.
    Big up Joel for taking the time to do this, Owen for the pics, and Watergate Bay for hosting our chat.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit lookingsideways.substack.com

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Bonus episode: Hossegor omnibus

    Bonus episode: Hossegor omnibus

    Welcome to the latest in an irregular series of bonus episodes of the Looking Sideways Action Sports podcast.
    No fuss, no fanfare, just a non-traditional episode banged out every now and again when this opportunity comes up.
    This episode you’re about to listen to is the full live chat with Olympic gold medal winning snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg, water photographer Christa Funk, surfer Kepa Acero and cameraman Tim Myers that I hosted for my friends at Db back in June.
    Of course, I’ve already released individual episodes with each of these guests. But I really enjoyed this chat and it went really well. It’s always a bit of a challenge hosting and stewarding a live interview like this - especially with four people and the temperature in the high 30s.
    But I think it’s an interesting appendix to the four main interviews proper, which is why I’m decided to release it. And if you’ve listened to the other four episodes, this one will be an interesting insight in to the way I approach the whole interviewing business.
    Anyway, enjoy this special bonus episode and let me know what you think.
    There are no Show Notes for this bonus episode, so if you want to find out more about any of the things we discuss or join in the debate:
    Know somebody who would enjoy this post or Looking Sideways generally?


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit lookingsideways.substack.com

    • 56 min
    Type 2: Episode 027 - Keme Nzerem

    Type 2: Episode 027 - Keme Nzerem

    “We are increasingly aware that the construction of the outdoors, as a concept, has historically been the gnarled, wizened white guy in a puffer jacket and a beard, enduring the most inclement of conditions – it’s about conquest. It creates a culture that explicitly and implicitly says if you are a sixty year old woman of Pakistani heritage and don’t have an athletic build, this isn’t for you. That’s just not okay in 2022”
    This week’s guest is skier, cyclist, journalist, news correspondent and broadcaster Keme Nzerem. Keme’s a passionate outdoorsman and has been involved in the outdoor scene in the UK for years, notably as head judge at the Kendal Mountain Festival, and more recently as an articulate and passionate spokesperson on the topic of diversity in the outdoors.
    For the last two years, Keme, myself and a big group of individuals, agencies and brands who work in the European outdoor and creative industries have been involved in the establishment of Opening Up The Outdoors (OUTO), a not-for-profit initiative that seeks to further the continued inclusion and enjoyment of outdoor spaces by people of the global majority.
    As a group, we came together in the wake of the Black Live Matter protests, with the goal of doing something tangible to help create an outdoor community and industry that is truly diverse, equitable, anti-racist and accessible.
    To do so, the OUTO group partnered with entrepreneurship organisation Hatch to introduce the OUTO Changemaker Programme. As you’ll hear, we decided to try and help existing grassroots organisations by offering selected groups expert-led masterclasses, peer mentoring, business coaching and skilled consulting, and are joining other entrepreneurs and leaders from diverse sectors.
    With the first cohort (which featured groups such as Black Trail Runners, Muslim Hikers and Wave Wahines) safely through the programme, OUTO officially launched at the beginning of September 2022. So to mark the occasion and to go into the concept in more detail, I headed up to London to see Keme and chat the whole thing over.
    As you might expect from one of the UK’s most respected broadcasters, Keme is a peerless communicator and it was an absolute pleasure to discuss the OUTO story with him, as well as understand his own relationship to the issues OUTO was formed to help try and resolve.
    Keme is a great friend of the podcast, and over the years I’ve been endlessly inspired by his leadership. I enjoyed our conversation greatly and I hope you do too.
    New episodes of Type 2 are released every four weeks through my Looking Sideways channel. Hear it by subscribing to Looking Sideways via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any of the usual other podcast providers. Thanks to Ewan Wallace for the theme tune, and to my editor Fina Charleson.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit lookingsideways.substack.com

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
410 Ratings

410 Ratings

EvenCorgi ,

Awesome podcast

Matt has introduced me to some people I would never have thought of has being interesting as i am more surfing oriented but his style and obvious knowledge of each sport just draws you in.

Add to that the Type 2 shows and i always look forward to seeing a new edition land

Meridius32 ,

Totally inspiring

What more can I say,Matt has a very good interview skill and the guests are positive, fascinating and interesting.Well done and thank you for a great podcast!

bikerclubby ,

Great stories from people you’ve probably never heard of.

Avid mtber and past snowboarder that hasn’t kept up with the “scene”. Found this podcast by accident but love it. Unrushed stories and tales from a heap of athletes and adventurers I’d never heard of, as well as a few of my teenage idols. Next road trip your on, go back to the start and simply press play.

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