Michael Kew ist Autor von “Crossings“, einem Buch dass 10 Jahre Surf- und vor allen Dingen Reise-Geschichten aus dem Leben des Autors erzählt. Seine Surftrips gehen an die entlegensten Stellen der Erde, hin zu einsamen Inseln und vor allen Dingen zu Gegenden die noch nicth vom Surftourismus erschlossen sind. Richtig gelesen, es gibt sie noch, die einsamen Wellen die man sich nicht mit dutzenden anderen Wellenhungrigen teilen muss. Wer das Buch liest wird schnell feststellen, es geht hier nicht nur ausschliesslich um die Surferlebnisse, vielmehr geht es um das Reisen selbst, das Land, die Leute und die vielen verschiedenen Kulturen auf die der Autor trifft. Gund genug für uns den Autor Michael Kew über sein Surfbuch und vor allen Dingen sein Dasein als Surfjournalist etwas auszufragen…
Hi Michael. Last year you published your book “Crossings”. As far as I can see it is your first book, besides you wrote articles for different surf magazines…
Please shortly introduce yourself to our readers, where are you from, how old are you, when did you start to surf, what are you doing to earn a living…
I was born in San Diego and raised in Encinitas, Calif., where I began surfing as a young boy in the mid-1980s. Since then, I moved to Santa Barbara County, Humboldt County, then back to Santa Barbara. I make a living solely through creating stories, films, and photos in and around surfing and world travel.
What is your book “Crossings” about?
It’s a collection of surf-based travel tales that I wrote between 2001 and 2011. Locations are based in Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Asia, Africa, Caribbean, British Isles, Scandinavia, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Northwest. The stories don’t represent the totality of my travels during that decade; regrettably, I took trips to several countries I wrote not one word about. “Crossings” would’ve been twice its current size!
How did you become an surf author, was it coincidence or did you plan to become a writer some day?
As a child I always found the travel articles in surfing magazines to be the most interesting. I was also a fan of National Geographic, and my parents used to make me watch all kinds of nature and culture documentaries on television. The world was a place I wanted to see and surf.
How does your “everyday life” looks like?
Out of bed early, assess the surf and weather conditions, work at my computer…just the usual life of a freelancer. It’s not too exciting except when I am heading to LAX or scoring some good waves around here.
How can one become a travel writer and make a living out of it?
Don’t quit your day job. I barely make a living doing what I do, but the freedom and healthy lifestyle and everything that goes along with that are worth more than a large bank balance. Freelancing is very, very difficult and frustrating, especially in these current economic times. That said, who you know (not what) is everything.
What is your “local” surf spot and how often do you get in the water?
Rincon Point is the spot nearest my house, which is good and bad. Good because Rincon is consistent and an excellent wave, bad because everybody in the world also knows this. I try to get into the water at least once daily, but during the summer, this normally requires a bit of driving.
Are you still traveling a lot to surf ? What was your last surf destination?
Yes. My last surf trip was to a West African country that is rife with right points. Look for the story soon in a surfing magazine near you.
What is your favorite country you have been to during your surf traveling? Which is your favorite surf-spot?
I don’t really have one favorite country, but if I had to choose one in the tropics, I’d pick Seychelles or Kiribati; in the colder climes, I’d pick Scotland and its isles, or the Pacific Northwest. Similarly, I don’t have one favorite surf spot, but I have a favorite kind of spot: long, perfect, fast right pointbreak.
What was your scariest / worst experience while traveling? Did you ever had any serious trouble?
Not really. I’m fairly conservative and careful in my traveling techniques.
What was your best / funniest / most amazing experience while traveling?
That’s a really broad question that’s impossible to answer since the whole act of traveling to foreign lands exemplifies all three of those adjectives.
Are you already working on another book? If yes, what will your next book be about, and can you give us an interesting story as a preview?
I don’t have any preview tales, but I am scheming to create a deep book of unseen photos from all of my travels, followed by another text-only collection of recent and future travel stories. All in good time.
What are your favorite surf-books and favorite surf authors? Which surf-books can you recommend to our readers?
This might sound weird, but I don’t really have any favorites in surfing, nor can I recommend any because I don’t generally read any of them. I read non-surf literature/authors/books. I like to look at the pretty pictures in surf magazines, though.
Thanks a lot for your time Michael, I wish you good luck for the future and hope to read a lot more of your surf stories in the future!
Thanks for this opportunity, Sascha!