LISTEN: Fergal Smith Talks Food, Family, Farming and Giving Up Flying on the Inspired Surfers Podcast, Presented by Jimmys – Wavelength Surf Magazine

In the latest episode of the Inspired Surfers podcast, Jim is in conversation with Fergal Smith; surfer, environmentalist and regenerative farmer.

For longtime fans of British and Irish surfing, Fergal needs no introduction.

From the late 2010s to the early 2010s he set the bar high on Ireland’s spookiest slabs, gracing magazine covers, dropping incredible video parts and establishing himself as one of the biggest big wave tubing riders of his generation on the international scene.

Then, in 2012, he suddenly went from jet-set free-surfer to transplant farmer, starting a small community garden in County Clare, spurred in large part by the decision to stop flying for good.

In this episode, Fergal takes us through the thought process that led to this moment, describing how his upbringing, surfer career, the Fukushima disaster and a chance encounter with Kelly Slater in Fiji all converged to see him dig his single furrow.

From the story of his last tow wave in Tahiti ten years ago, to a recent catch of two waves under the Cliffs of Moher, he is full of interesting stories and varied information on parenting, food and the changes in agriculture that we desperately need to secure the future of our planet and all who inhabit it.

Summary of the episode:

  • Spending January away from the farm, hoisted onto a small island with the family.
  • The different experiences of Fergal and his wife of the cold and dark days of winter.
  • Plans for a wind adventure in the future.
  • An in-depth look at his decision to stop flying at the height of his surfing career.
  • Reflections on the pro-free-surfer lifestyle of constant swell chasing, honed by an encounter with Kelly Slater in Fiji.
  • The bountiful rewards drawn from feeding people in the community and seeing the land improve.
  • The impact of food and food production on physical health, biodiversity, climate change and social issues.
  • Acquiring an education on holistically managed and mixed farms.
  • The story of Fergal’s last towing wave.
  • His surfing experience now.
  • His desire to inspire others to embrace regenerative agriculture and the guidance he offers.
  • The huge potential impacts for people and the planet of changing the way we manage ecosystems.

If you enjoyed this episode, you can find more conversations on our Wavelength Community Radio channel.

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Cover picture: George Karbus

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