We sat down company founder Jim Storey from Surf Perimeters to learn what inspired the collection, and hear how he hopes it will help city based surfers find that elusive surf-life balance.
How does the ethos that underpins your business differ from that of all the other action sports and adventure brands out there?
Most brands focus on selling the dream, but they forget that not all of us can actually live it on a permanent basis. For 90% of the time most of us are living normal lives, navigating urban environments and holding down a busy work or family life. I believe strongly that we shouldn’t be trying to escape our everyday lives and only living toward those moments where we can get amongst the great outdoors. We should be embracing both worlds simultaneously. City and sea can co-exist in a positive, balanced way. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
Is being a surfer more than just surfing?
Without getting too philosophical, I believe that being a surfer means representing a set of core values that transcend into all other parts of life. Commitment. Respect. Ambition. Strength. Friendship. Fitness. Courage. Patience. I also think that surfing is a way to meet like-minded people and experience moments which will stay with you for the rest of your lives.
That’s what it’s all about for me – shared experiences, common values, new friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime
I went to southern Morocco recently on an overland trip to some remote parts of the country where the swell was huge. I didn’t catch as many waves as I’d hoped to, however, it was up there with my most epic surf trips. The people I met were amazing, from such a diverse range of backgrounds, careers, and geographies. And yet, despite this, or perhaps because of it, we all bonded very closely. After only a four-day tour, we were like family and that’s what it’s all about for me – shared experiences, common values, new friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Do you think many contemporary surfers relate to the stereotypical image of a surfer ‘beach bum’?
Yes, for sure. I think a surfer is a surfer regardless of location or vocation, so they can totally relate to their spirit and the image that they represent, it’s just that they may not be able to support that look themselves. Living in an urban environment, it’s not really practical dressing in that way, but they both have a shared spirit which unites them regardless of what they wear.
Your brand is focused around the work-life balance, which is something everyone battles with. What do you think is the key to creating an equilibrium?
As a surfer living in a landlocked location, what works for me is having short trips away on a regular basis, little and often. Trips that won’t break the bank, don’t get too much in the way of family time, can fit around work commitments and are enough to meet the desire to get out there.
Life is short, and if we are only surviving rather than living, then what’s the point?
When my dad died back in 2012 having being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, I made a pledge to myself that I would make more of an effort to create that equilibrium now, because we don’t know what’s around the corner. Sometimes I struggle to find the money, and also work or family commitments may need to take precedence, but I will always do my best to fulfil that pledge. Life is short, and if we are only surviving rather than living, then what’s the point? Work hard and play hard. Don’t relinquish experience as you build your career, do both and live both at the same time. Don’t just live to ‘escape’.
How is your company ethos reflected in your design and technical specs?
Firstly, we’ve created a launch range that speaks to both the yin and yang dynamic; one that enables surfers to weave saltwater spirit into their wardrobes across multiple environments, whether that be commuting to work or checking out the surf.
Secondly, the products all encompass a meticulous attention to detail to ensure that they are both stylistically appealing with the brand’s more minimalist aesthetic, but also versatile enough for use in multiple environments. All products have subtle details incorporated to ensure a premium edge, from hidden wetsuit-inspired key pockets on the softshell and fleece to a brushed fabric handle on the casual tees and a curved drop-tail hem on the technical tee. In this regard, we’re working with some of the world’s leading manufacturers – two of our technical styles, for example, are produced by the same company that Rapha and Sweet Protection have used.
Finally, our branding is sharper and more minimalist. Our surfboard icon, for example, is designed to speak to saltwater spirit and is intentionally ‘clean’ in its design.
We saw that you’re launching a blazer soon. Why do you think it’s important to buy smarter and casual wear from the same brand as opposed to mixing and matching your wardrobe with retailers specialised in surf wear and smart wear?
The driving force behind this was that I often find myself sitting in a meeting or on the train with the feeling of being disconnected from surfing. I wanted to create something that enabled people who want to look a bit smarter whilst representing their saltwater spirit do exactly that. It might sound a bit daft to someone who lives by the ocean, but, if you don’t, that disconnect can be really hard to manage on a day-to-day basis. Wearing a brand that specialises in smart wear but doesn’t necessarily have an identity which you can affiliate with serves a purpose, but it isn’t something that stokes the fire.
I think that, these days, perhaps more than any other, there is a heightened requirement to be connected somehow to the great outdoors and people want to weave that passion into their everyday life and show others they are associated with it. To be proud of it. To keep that passion alive as they navigate different environments in their lives. This is exactly what we’re trying to do with the Navigator Blazer.
If surfing and its associated values are deep within your soul, then I want to give people the option of showcasing them, albeit in a subtle way, whether they’re in a boardroom meeting, commuting on a train, or getting amongst it in the great outdoors.
To find out more visit Surf Perimeters