The beach can be the best inspiration no matter what the weather.
For one young man, it has been the food for his creative soul. He manages to juggle two very exciting careers being a professional windsurfer traveling the world and a writer.
Here Graham Ezzy tells us what its like to live between two very diverse lands of opportunity, that being Maui, Hawaii and New York City!
A must watch…..a mini video about one incredible waterman
What did you have for breakfast?
Today? Hard boiled eggs– simple and nutritious. Even though I don’t often have the energy for it when I just wake up, I really enjoy cooking. In modern life, agency is not always obvious. Cause and effect hide from each other. Cases in point: “It’s not me, it’s my ADD” or the working world’s obsession with meaningless resumes. Or sports: put in work today that will maybe pay off tomorrow. In the kitchen, do A, get B. Pure agency. I like that. Music is similar in this way.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always wanted to write. Or, I always thought I should write. But for most of my life, I thought I wasn’t very good, so it was only in my last year of high school that I started writing. A few things happened.1) My senior English teacher– one of the best teachers I’ve ever had–exposed me to poems and poets (W S Merwin, Charles Simic, Charles Bukowski) I fell in love with. Reading so much poetry, I couldn’t help but write some too.2) I met a girl. Just before graduating high school, a future Princeton-classmate and I started a long distance romance founded on emails almost every night. This lasted for months before we finally lived together at Princeton, and I think I wrote between 3 to 4 thousand words a night. Writing became habit.3) I went to Princeton to study math but I hated it. I love math but my experience was terrible. Halfway through my freshman year, I realized that I hadn’t read any fiction or seen any films since arriving to campus. I’m still experiencing the backlash– I need a book with me at all times, and I write.
Why are you attracted to living/working by the coast?
The ocean is another universe from the land. It’s so easy to forget that below the mirror-surface of the sea is a world we don’t understand and can’t survive in. Apparently sailors can become addicted to solo sailing after a solo circumnavigation of the globe. Life on land is so boring comparatively. The ocean is dynamic and always changing; in the sea, staying alive is not guaranteed. To exist with it, you must alert all the time; in the moment.
How do split your time between writing and windsurfing?
I’m still figuring that out, coming up with a routine that works.
What do you love most about what you do?
Risk. Which is another way of saying “Being alive”. So many young people I know live rail-track lives. They get jobs out of college, work for a raise, get married, etc. Their path is completely outlined before they begin; they don’t have to make choices, and there isn’t much risk. What I do involves making lots of choices. I’m not sure what’s next. But, when you stop making choices, you’re basically dead.
What are the highs & lows of being a pro windsurfer?
Windsurfing is the best sport I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of sports. But it’s also relatively small compared to sports like surfing or snowboarding. This makes it much more difficult to get funding for projects. Kevin Prttchard and I have so many exciting film projects to do. The bottleneck is funding.
Describe a typical ‘day in the life ‘ of Graham Ezzy?
There is no typical day! Each one is pretty different. But most involve: checking forecasts, checking emails, reading, eating, writing, and of course windsurfing. Some include skateboarding, surfing, yoga, watching films, cooking, ukulele.
Which author inspired you the most?
For writing or for life? For writing, there are so many: Merwin, Simic, Kafka, Salinger, Jack Gilbert, Linda Gregg, Camus, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Lermontov, Pushkin, Matt Ridley, Hannah Arendt, Wilde, Synge, James Richardson, Hitchens. I highly recommend all of them.
For life: I like the way Hemingway, Lermontov, and Wilde became part of their art. But most of all, I’m inspired by Emile Zola, the archetype intellectual. He risked his life and career to take a stand against unjust treatment of Alfred Dreyfus.
Which one piece of advice would you give to someone wishing to start a living by the sea?
Even if you don’t live by the sea, you can live of the sea or as the sea. Make choices. Embrace risk in motion. Float on the chaos of life.
What are your brief plans for the future?
I’ll make windsurfing films with KP and travel and write. At the moment, I’m in New York, but I won’t be here for long. Where next? Only forecasts will tell. Tentative plans include Madagascar and Sri Lanka at the end of summer.
And we’ve already done trips to California and Baja.
Where is your favourite beach:
Hookipa. I’ve spent so much of my life there. I also really like Praia Guincho in Portugal.
Where is your favourite venue to visit near the coast:
The beach. Sushi restaurants.
What is your most cherished beach essential?
Windsurfing gear! After that boardshorts. I’ve got some pairs of Bluesmith Spartans that I love. Oddly, I rarely remember to take a towel with me.
What do you like most about living in:
– Maui: Hookipa
– New York: my friends from college
If you had to choose between city life or coastal life which would it be? And why?
Easily: the coast. I like cities but I need to be in the waves or at least more physical than normal city life.