275 episodes

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

lookingsideways.substack.com

Looking Sideways Action Sports Podcast Matthew Barr

    • Sport
    • 5.0 • 417 Ratings

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

lookingsideways.substack.com

    Episode 229: Freddie Meadows - RÁN

    Episode 229: Freddie Meadows - RÁN

    When Freddie Meadows finally surfed RÁN, it signified more than the biggest wave ever surfed in Scandinavia.
    It was also the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition; the endgame of a ten-year search; and the symbolic culmination of Freddie’s singular career as a surfer of proud Scandinavian and Swedish heritage thus far.
    No wonder he named it after the Norse goddess of the sea.
    But then, the long, thoughtful and myth-strewn trip that led to RÁN is emblematic of Freddie’s wider path through professional surfing.
    I’ve been following him for years, and have always been fascinated by the way he has looked east instead of west - eschewing the classic professional surf career for something much more original and unique.
    It’s an approach that comes through in everything he does, from the particular brands he chooses to work with, to the particular aesthetic that always embellishes the work he puts out.
    And it’s why our thoughtful, involved conversation for Looking Sideways covers so much more ground than the usual pro surfer chat.
    We discuss what RÁN means to Freddie, of course, now he’s had time to digest the experience.
    But we also covered plenty of the classic Looking Sideways themes: our place in nature, the important of honesty when it comes to creativity and a fulfilling life, and why you need determination and vision to follow your own path.
    --
    PLUS! HKC Discount Club is kicking off - click here for exclusive discounts from my partner brands such as Finisterre, Db, Goodrays. Albion and Vivobarefoot. Coming soon - Stance and The Wave!
    To find our more about what I do, you can sign up as a subscriber to my Substack newsletter here. There's a brilliant community and much more than just the podcasts.
    Or you can follow me on Instagram here.


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

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Episode 228: Calum Macintyre - Direct Action

    Episode 228: Calum Macintyre - Direct Action

    Why is direct action important? Why is there such apathy as our democratic right to protest is being removed? How can the outdoor community and industry enact a more impactful and effective type of protest and activism?
    All topics I discussed with snowboarder, activist and campaigner for Just Stop Oil Calum Macintyre. You might not know Calum, but he has a vital story to tell about how our democratic right to protest is carefully being steadily and stealthily dismantled in the age of the climate emergency, and I implore you to listen to what he has to say.
    I first met Calum in Lofoten back in 2019 on a Patagonia activist camp. We became friends and stayed in touch, and since then I’ve watched with great interest as Calum has become more and more immersed in the world of direct action.
    It was Calum who wrote my most popular ever guest blog - last year’s thought-provoking 5 Reasons Why Our Community Does Not Engage, in which he was politely yet forcefully critical of the outdoor and action sports community’s approach to protest and activism.
    We’ve spent much time over the last year discussing these ideas, which has helped inform and shape my own thinking as I’ve been working on The Announcement, my forthcoming podcast documentary series about Yvon Chouinard’s September 2022 decision to give away Patagonia.
    Calum’s participation in this movement has also given him a minor role in a wider, much more important story - the way that climate protest is being weaponised by a government intent on criminalising protest for their own nakedly political ends.
    Which was why, in March 2024, after Calum successfully defended himself in court after being arrested for taking part in a slow march for Just Stop Oil, I decided to ask him to come on the podcast to discuss these topics.
    This is a vital conversation about the climate crisis, the notion of protest, effective activism, and how the climate emergency is being weaponised as part of the culture wars. It’s also about how Calum has found a little untouched snowboarding paradise in one of Europe’s last wildernesses, which might make you want pack up and head for the hills.


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

    • 1 hr 42 min
    Episode 227: Looking Sideways x Db Journey Roundtable Special - How to Pitch and How to Get Paid

    Episode 227: Looking Sideways x Db Journey Roundtable Special - How to Pitch and How to Get Paid

    HUGE thanks for Db for kicking off my new HKC Discount Club with a whopping 15% off for Looking Sideways listeners and readers. Use my Db Journey discount code LOOKINGSIDEWAYS at checkout for 15% off, or this link to have it added at checkout
    I’ve been really enjoying the recent online ‘Creative Exchanges’ I’ve been doing with my friends at Db Journey. They’re such a brilliant idea that I’m not surprised they’ve had such a great take up.
    The premise is really simple - Db gather together some of their ambassadors and creatives to form a loose panel to discuss that week’s topic. We then extend the invite to people on our mailing lists, jump on a Google Meet link, and see where we end up.
    The most recent was about a topic close to my heart - how to pitch ideas, and how to make sure you’re being paid the right rate, rather than be fobbed off with the old ‘it’ll be great exposure/networking’ nonsense. As I’ve long maintained, any company, brand or outlet event who says they can’t afford to pay speakers or contributors properly is either being disingenuous or has a problem with their business model.
    For this discussion, I was joined by panellists Caley Vanular and Db’s Jon and Marcus, as well as over 100 passionate and smart people who proved there’s a huge appetite for this type of debate and knowledge-sharing. We discussed our own experiences, took questions, and generally engaged in a really fascinating and wide-ranging debate on this thorniest of issues.
    Big up the Db team for the brilliant idea and for getting me involved, to Caley for her amazing insights, and to everybody for participating. We’re talking about doing a couple of these live over the coming months - if you enjoyed it, please do share or leave me a comment


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

    • 1 hr 42 min
    Episode 226: Eric Blehm - The Darkest White

    Episode 226: Eric Blehm - The Darkest White

    HKC Club has launched! Click here for exclusive discounts from some of my partner brands such as Db Journey and Goodrays.
    Eric Blehm is a journalist and author who has had one of the most interesting and quietly-influential careers in snowboarding.
    As one of the original and most high-profile American snowboard journalists, he certainly had an influence on my own career.
    His work at Transworld Snowboarding, in particular, where he combined a none-more-geeky passion for snowboarding with an insatiable curiosity about the wider world, inspired me to think it might be a path that I could also follow.
    Eric’s storytelling talent meant he soon outgrew our little world, and these days he’s an acclaimed none-fiction writer in the Krakauer/Grann mould. But with his latest book, The Darkest White, he’s returned to his sideways roots to tell one of the most important stories of all - the life and death of Craig Kelly.
    I have no hesitation in saying that The Darkest White is the best book ever written about snowboarding. It is a subtly structured and truly brilliant piece of work that, like all the best none-fiction, is about much more than its ostensible subject matter.
    Of course, it a lovingly and respectfully put together biography of Craig, Eric’s friend and mentor who clearly had a huge personal impact on his life. But it is also the grown-up history of snowboarding we’ve been crying out for, which sheds new light on the key phases of our culture’s development.
    And it is also a dispassionate, forensic and at times enraging (for me, anyway) look at what actually happened to Craig, and which cast the entire sorry episode in a completely new light.
    Myself and Eric have plenty of mutual friends and have known of each other for years. But this is the first time we’d actually connected, which made this one a real pleasure. This one covers a lot: the books, of course, but also Eric’s own remarkable career. Hope you enjoy our conversation.
    Buy The Darkest White here.



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

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Episode 225: Matt Olsen - Gaza Surf Club

    Episode 225: Matt Olsen - Gaza Surf Club

    This week’s guest, Matt Olsen, is the Founding Director of Explore Corps, the non-profit that founded Gaza Surf Club back in 2008.
    Although he described himself as ‘just some dude from Washington’ in a recent Inertia interview, Matt’s roots in Gaza and Israel go back to his childhood, when his Dad was stationed in Israel while working as a diplomat. He’s been visiting Gaza since he was a surf-mad teen, and has been intimately involved with the Israeli and Gazan surf communities ever since. As such has a really nuanced understanding of the relationship between these two communities, as well as the roots of the historical and current conflict.
    He has also been involved in the region through his work in development, diplomacy and ‘cross-cultural communication’, as the Explore Corps website puts it, and as a multi-track negotiator.
    All of which means he is extremely well-placed for a discussion on the current situation in Gaza and Israel. What follows is am extremely broad and wide-ranging conversation about the roots of the current and wider conflict, the history of the Gazan and Israeli surf communities, and Matt’s own role in this ongoing story.
    I approached this conversation with an open mind. I also disagreed with some of Matt’s views and statements, and agreed with others. Nevertheless, I learned a lot, and now feel more able to form my own view of the situation, which was really the point of the entire exercise, and what I hope listeners also get out of it. I’m very grateful to Matt for taking the time to participate in our conversation, and for answering my questions so thoughtfully.



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

    • 2 hrs 5 min
    Episode 224: Liz Bui and Jeff Martin - Yulex

    Episode 224: Liz Bui and Jeff Martin - Yulex

    If you’ve been following Looking Sideways for a while, you’ll know that I’ve covered the conversation around chloroprene rubber and Yulex extensively over the last year or so - through my conversation with Big Sea documentary film-makers Chris Nelson and Lewis Arnold (below), for example, as well as blogs such as this one. If you aren’t yet aware of the connection between neoprene and higher rates of cancer among one hugely impacted Louisiana community, find out more by clicking those links.
    It’s through those conversations that I first made contact with Liz Bui, CEO of Yulex, the natural rubber alternative to neoprene and so-called limestone neoprene, which is touted by Yulex and partner brands such as Patagonia and Finisterre as a natural alternative to these materials and is, according to Yulex ‘proven equal or better when compared to neoprene in all applications’.
    So when my pals at Finisterre invited me to host a live q&a with Liz and Yulex founder Jeff Martin at Finisterre’s London store in February 2024, I was in. Particularly because, whenever this conversation comes up among surfers, you always hear the same (to put it politely) received wisdom about Yulex. It’s too expensive. It’s not flexible enough. It’s just as bad for the environment as neoprene. (And that’s just some from some of the surf industry’s trade bodies).
    Here was an opportunity to put these very questions to Liz and Jeff in person, as well as find out more about the basics of the Yulex process, while also exploring some of this issue’s more contentious talking points.
    So that’s what I did, and the result was a fascinating, insightful and revealing conversation with two people who understand this topic, with all its nuances, intimately. Huge thanks to my Finisterre family for getting me involved, and to Liz and Jeff for answering everything with such clarity and transparency.


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

    • 1 hr 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
417 Ratings

417 Ratings

the smiddy ,

Always an interesting conversation

Matt’s chats are spot on. Everything from the relaxed and informed nature of the topics to the lovely guitar riff jingle makes this a heartwarming and inspirational listen.

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!

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