WELCOME TO THE BEATING HEART OF YOUR ADDICTION
WE ARE THE SPIT
THE TRADE WINDS
THE HOWLING GALE
WE ARE BACKWASH
I met Rich Blake on a ferry. We weren’t going surfing, there being apparently no waves at our destination, but sure enough we scored a rocky right point on an air mat, a bodyboard found in a field and a convenient piece of wood. The island felt alive and mysterious, it was a joyous trip. Rich channels this sort of joy well, carrying it forward into his surfing, lifestyle and work.
Argal Home Farm is a special place. It embraces the crook of a hill high up above the Argal and College reservoirs. The farm buildings and a purpose-built barn regard a deep valley and big sky, the weather passes by close. It is a focal point for creative talent, makers of good things. Landlord James Smith has a vision for the place, maximum sustainability and a creative springboard, a network of good people who enrich and support each other’s work.
Of course, the crew work on the time-honoured ‘three-foot rule’, downing tools when certain nearby waves come to life. It’s an unlikely place for passionate people to roast coffee, conventional wisdom would have sucked them into one of the cities where coffee culture (and its eager clientele) explodes in size each year. Yet the independence and outsider status is exactly what drew Rich and his co-founder Phil. Isolation can breed strength, honesty and the freedom to make the right decisions.
Backwash Issue Two is a surf anthology featuring Japan, the photography of Chris Burkard and Sergio Villalba, Hamish Laing and Woody Gooch. Kalani Lattanzi swims at Nazare, whilst Amy Kotch surfs barrels whilst pregnant and John Peck knee paddles out as he has done since 1958.Purchase