056: Shambles McGoldrick/Mysterious Currents

Shambles. Photo: Tozer

“I’ve got a crazy life. Weird things happen to me all the time”.

It was back to Ireland for episode 056, as I visited Strandhill in Sligo for a few days and grabbed legendary local bodyboarder Seamus ‘Shambles’ McGoldrick for a chat while I was at it.

Shambles at the trad night in Strandhill. Photo: Tozer

Although he’s too modest to admit it, Shambles first made his name as part of the local crew of surfers and bodyboarders who pioneered the mean array of ugly, evil-looking slabs that the west coast is now famous for.

Another green world.

With peers such as Fergal Smith and Mickey Smith, Shambles explored places like Riley’s and Aileen’s and helped redefine Irish surfing and bodyboarding in the process.

He’s also, as I discovered, a deeply original thinker with a quicksilver mind; somebody who is attuned to life’s mysterious currents and has a completely infectious worldview.

In this atmospheric chat, recorded on an autumnal evening on the shores of the Atlantic, we chatted about Shambles’ life as a bodyboarder in Ireland, and got heavily into the details of the life-changing wipeout he suffered at Riley’s.

Shambles at Riley’s.

Its a lovely, reflective conversation from a true one-off, somebody as happy discussing poetry and Irish folklore as surfing and bodyboarding, and one of the warmest and most generous characters I’ve yet had on the show. I was also lucky enough to get Shambles to play me a couple of tunes at the end of the show, so make sure you keep listening for that.

Looking over Strandhill, September 2018. Photo: Tozer.

Big thanks to Owen Tozer for coming with me and taking the amazing pics that accompany the episode. And thanks to Matt Ward as ever for theme tune.

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