How the Wave Project gives struggling teens a lifeline for surfing Business News


ootballers speak of “work rate”. Cricketers must “slog”. Rugby players have the glory of getting stuck and sacrificing themselves for the team. But no one has ever accused surfers of “working” too hard. Rightly or wrongly, surfing is synonymous with pleasure. So the notion of surfing as a profession will strike many readers as an oxymoron. These are all palm trees, shimmering blue waters and perfect waves, right? Joe Taylor, for his part, knows it’s more than that. Surfing is hard, it’s serious, it’s demanding, but it’s also a way to overcome your inner demons. For some, it’s a lifeline, which is how he came to set up and lead the surf charity, the Wave Project.

For a surfer, it helps to be born in Hawaii or California or Bells Beach. Taylor was born in Northampton, “one of the most landlocked places in Britain”. He attended school in Liverpool and studied at St Andrews University in Scotland. It’s fair to say he had strictly limited access to the palm trees and perfect waves. He found himself in London with no idea what he wanted to do next.

Taylor worked in television for a while, as a third assistant director (“ie dogbody, mostly making tea”) on Caroline Aherne. Mrs. Merton and Malcolm. “He bombed,” he says. But he took a journalism course in Cornwall and fell in love with the South West and took a job at a local newspaper, the Falmouth Package. During this time, he had discovered surfing.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-16 14:38:31