OUTside INspiration Daniel Crockett

English surfer and writer, Daniel Crockett, is a man who, in the scope of art and literature, wears many hats. He’s composed short stories, poetry collections (he’s the guy who penned Beyond the Scars), and small exhibitions of film and photography that often feature creators and surfers who would otherwise be overlooked by commercial publications. One of his most recent publication series, KooK, is a newspaper that covers written and photographic reflections of the current state of surfing. Submitted by surfers from around the world, it’s a malleable everyman’s approach to surfing philosophy.

Crockett’s diverse interests are an obvious result of his eclectic list of influencers – writers, filmmakers, progressive thinkers, musicians, and elusive surfers – which he shares with us below.

Leonora Carrington – Her work in the 1950’s/60s I regard as a high point for surrealism. There’s something in her characters that are as close as it gets to manifested dreams. Her childhood, love affairs, the length of her career, and her transition to and adoption by Mexico all massively inspire me.

Heathcote Williams – Every surfer should have a copy of Whale Nation. He coined the phrase, “Fame is the first disgrace.” The ultimate anti-hero who made massive social comments that are becoming more important on a daily basis. If poetry is the language of ecology, he’s the laureate. 

Hundertwasser – If you could realise his dreams, cities would be feasible solutions to house our human spread. Naked manifestos, destroying the straight line, compost loos, and a mean sailboat. 

Werner Herzog – No other work in any medium fills me with such tragedy and conversely, in being explored, so much hope. 

Reading fiction – Borges, Pynchon, Philip K Dick, Ballard, Thoreau—this list could go on relentlessly, but go discover, a good book can change your life. Reading non-fiction – Right now I’m reading lots of consciousness stuff: Jung, Grof, mindfulness, Buddhist texts.

Mark Dickinson – Ollie Banks (a northeast underground musical hero, reader and solitary albatross) linked me up with Mark. Lately his transition to a waterman has been complete. He’s surfing radical new boards of his own invention in massive waves on an incredibly remote, cold island. Mark defines hardcore, and his poetry is revolutionary.  

Robbie Basho and Steffen Basho-Jungens – Check “Elk Dreamer’s Lament.” I love the heritage and the power. It’s the flow state manifested beautifully. 

Photo illustrations by Mashell Ewing.