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Joseph Harding + Simpel.

Joseph Harding is a talented young surfer from Southwest England. He grew up in the UK but has spent a lot of time traveling searching for waves with and without his family all over the world. The fact he has surfed his whole life surrounded by a mixture of generations and on a variety of waves, shines through in his style and seemingly natural ability. Read more about Joe below.

 

How old are you, Joe?

 I'm 24 years old.

Where did you grow up?

 I grew up in a quiet little village by a river, close to the beach in South Devon, UK

Do you have a favourite wave, can you describe it?

 A long right hand river mouth that breaks kind of like a point. When it’s good it has a variety of sections, one wave can be barrelling, have a long cruisy wall, and a bowley turn sections. When it’s small it provides quick, well-shaped waves which are perfect for long boarding. 

If you could only have two boards, what would they be?

 The first board I’d probably choose would be a performance twin fin around 6’ with heaps of volume through the centre, with a thinned-out tail to make it perform more like a shortboard. I’d use this to surf a variety of waves, from small beachies to more chunky slabby waves.

 The second board I’d have would be an 8’ step-up shortboard with lots of volume and a quad fin set up designed for much larger waves. On smaller days I’d remove the quad fins and replace them with twin fins, turning it into a fun board for smaller waves.

How do you make a living?

 I enjoy variety in my work, so I make a living through working a few different jobs.

 Firstly I am a shaper, making custom board under my own brand @waveformcreations. I’ve been making boards for around 7 years, during that period I have been lucky enough to work and build relationships with shapers from around the world that I grew up admiring.

 I’ve been surf coaching since around 14, and have been lucky enough to visit and work in a few different countries with it. I still love seeing the joy surfing brings to people so don’t see myself stopping any time soon.

 I also contract to local agricultural businesses where ill usually be outside working with trees and plants. I find the life cycles and seasonal changes of the flora really interesting and working with them very rewarding.

 From time to time I also work on stage construction, for tv and film sets with some local friends.

Do you have any other hobbies?

 Skate, make music, practice yoga, and I also like late night walks as I feel it’s the most peaceful time of the day and I like to gaze at the stars and moon.

How long have you surfed?

 I have surfed for about 21 years. The first time I surfed was when I was about 3, it was at the local beach in the summer with my family. My parents have surfed the majority of their lives, so I have grown up at the beach spending time with a lot of the older surf crew to which I am very grateful for.

How has surfing impacted your life?

 Surfing has impacted me in lots of positive ways. Its connected me with a lot of great people who have become lifelong friends. It’s enabled me to travel and see lots of amazing places I would never have seen if I didn’t surf. I feel surfing has also taught me the importance of determination and patients as well as having fun and being part of community. I have always found the ocean a peaceful place to be and somewhere I feel most content.

Who inspires you most?

 There's a lot of top surfers that I love to watch from a variety of generations, but I think I prefer some of the older surfers style, I find them more graceful. However, I think my parents and the local crew inspire me most. My parents are the reason I surf and have spent their spare time taking me surfing all over the place, they always took me and my sister on fun surf adventures growing up. The local crew are an eclectic group, most surf a wide range of boards to maximise the wave conditions throughout the year which I think brings a unique style to the area. Being surrounded by this community of people, makes me want to continue surfing for the rest of my life.

Above Joe's Mum and Sister

Above Joe's Dad - Photo Alex Williams

 

Any final words of wisdom?

Respect people, engage with your community and help when you can. Show etiquette in the water, sometimes watching can be fulfilling too, and you can learn a lot!

 

Great words, thanks Joe!

Images from the Harding family and friends @Lauramaywilson13. @joewoodyear

Thank you for taking the time to read. Joe, and the Team at Simpel.

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