054: Keith Malloy/A New Decade
“Why did I change things up? It was a combination of things. Life on the tour felt like being on the hamster wheel. I wanted to be out in the ocean, out in nature, and remember why I started surfing in the first place”
Keith’s is a surfing life in three parts. He spent his twenties on the tour, following the contest circuit and enjoying a huge profile as one third of the Malloy brothers.
As he approached 30, Keith made an abrupt left-turn by dropping out of the tour to concentrate on reconnecting with the surfing values that had driven the brothers as kids.
It was a move that coincided with the Malloys as a trio moving to Patagonia to help the brand shape their entire surf category, something they have been doing ever since, and saw Keith embark upon a decade of wave-chasing to some of the remotest, coldest climes on the planet.
Now, as Keith settles into his fifth decade, life has changed once again and in this lovely, ruminative conversation we cover plenty of ground, including Keith’s involvement with Patagonia, #wornwear, his relationship with his brothers and father, how his family life has completed a wider, cross-generational circle, being an auto-didact and much more.
Big thanks to Patagonia for hosting me down in Newquay, and particularly to Alex Weller, Jelle Mul, Louise Brierley Ingham, Neill Thompson and everyone else for their hospitality.
Listen to the episode below:
If you only have five minutes…
Listen to this section - Keith on why he left the tour and changed his entire approach to surfing
Connect with Keith
- A lucky Newquay Airbnb
- The Patagonia Wornwear Tour
- How Keith and Lauren originally came up with the #wornwear concept
- Keith’s own #wornwear story
- The beginning of the Malloys’ relationship with Patagonia
- The Surfer story about the Malloys leaving Hurley
- Being ready for a change personally and professionally – and the risks inherent in that.
- “I felt like I was on the hamster wheel”.
- How surfing disconnects you and puts you in the moment.
- Competition as a natural progression in California.
- Their developing relationship with surfing and the outdoors.
- How Mike Malloy discovered surfing.
- Mike’s influence over the brothers.
- “He demands respect whatever he goes”.
- When the boys decided to try and pursue a career in professional surfing.
- Chris’s film career as a defining moment.
- Thicker Than Water
- Being prepared to take on any challenge..
- How Keith defines his career today.
- The fine line between selfishness and drive.
- A huge career crossroads – and coping with it as a driven athlete.
- The travel-and-cold-water years.
- Fatherhood and directing.
- Keith’s first film – Hell or High Water
- The intimacy of bodysurfing.
- Working together as brothers.
- Being self-taught.
- How directing is a collaborative art.
- Keith’s last film – Fishpeople
- ‘The ocean was the star.’
- How the stories came together.
- Keith’s ideas for his next project.
- Life on the ranch – and enjoying equine progression.
- Creating a family life that completes the circle.
- Where’s left to go.