Mickey Smith is a surfer/filmmaker from Cornwall, England. His latest film, Dark Side of the Lens has been gaining a lot of attention within the surfing community. In the film, he wants to see waveriding documented the way he sees it in his head. We spoke with Mickey to find out more.
What was your life like growing up?
My life was pretty simple really. A tiny house in a small fishing village and then later moving to the nearest town. Running amuck with my sister and mum. Happy days around the sea. Struggles and triumphs. Loads of love, inspiration and positivity. A trio.
When did you get your first camera?
When I was about 10, mum gave me a little disposable for a football trip and I took photographs of my friends.
Where did your interest in photography come from?
It just felt natural to observe and document I guess, a camera is something I’ve always felt more comfortable behind rather than being in front of. They help me understand things.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were younger?
My mum and my sister. The ocean. In music: Hendrix, The Stones, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Nirvana. In surfing: my brothers in the water each day, the images of Chris Van Lennep and the riding and words of Mike Stewart.
What inspires you?
Life and its weird and wonderful ways, people with positivity and passion, and friends who live their dreams without any fear or guilt. And those rare compassionate souls that are always helping others.
Tell us about your most memorable wave.
Waves are so weird. Rides are only ever vague memories for me. It’s the feeling I remember more than anything. I just feel lucky to have ridden and to still be able to ride a few more.
How does the surf scene in the UK differ from elsewhere?
Everywhere is all at once different and the same. The UK scene is what it’s like everywhere – full of stoked people that like riding waves. Circumstance provides the differences I guess: Cities with shit waves and real cold water. A tiny island filled of every culture. The empty coastlines and busy beaches. Celtic nations, north and south, east and west. I love it in this part of the world.
How do you deal with the frigid water temperature and weather during the wintertime?
Wear a decent wetty and prepare your shit so you don’t have anything in the way that puts you off getting in the sea when it’s miserable.
Marmite: Yes or no?
A massive YES!
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
That I always want to be learning more and knowing less.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
Plenty of wishes but no regrets. Just lessons learned and hope for another shot.
What are you most proud of?
My mum, my sister Cherry, my brother Lee, and my nephews.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Memories, waves, music, and spontaneity.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Anyone who when all is said and done does what they love for no other reason but that. There are too many names to name. Immediates that spring to mind are Fergal Smith, Mitch Rawlins, Thomas Robinson, Brad Hughes, Dane Reynolds, Anthony Walsh, Rusty and Greg Long, Paul Morgan, and Brenden Newton.
What’s your favorite meal?
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
My band Strays. www.myspace.com/straysuk
What are you most grateful for?
I’m a lucky lad and I’m grateful for so much.
What’s next for Mickey Smith?
Keep on keeping on, brother.
Find out more at http://www.mickeysmith.co.uk/