Dear Korduroy, From Matt Unwin

From time to time, we get really awesome emails from our readers about the cool things they’re doing as a result of some of the things we publish on this site. We get stoked on these, not only because it means people are enjoying what we’re doing here, but because that’s what we’re all about, providing inspiration for people to go out and make things or try things or learn things. So we’re going to start publishing these little notes, kind of like a “Letter to the Editor” that you’d see in the front of a magazine. Here’s our first one, an inspiring story from Matt Unwin in the UK: 

Hey,

I’m writing to you just to say hi, so hi. Also, I’d like to say that this website is bloody amazing and very inspirational. I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you happy, even if everyone else is telling you otherwise. 

So, my name is Matt and I’m a carpenter from the UK and have been for the past 13 years. I’ve mainly worked summers to save up enough money to spend the winter in ski resorts, but unfortunately this is an expensive hobby, even if it is the best thing I’ve ever done.  

Three years ago, I injured my back and spent six months sofa-bound and pretty much hating life, thinking I would never be able to snowboard or do anything like that again. I sort of just gave up, after a year of just getting by, not really working as the pain was just too great (along with the fear of injuring my back again), eating junk food and not doing any exercise. I was a little depressed to say the least. 

Then I started surfing and found a whole new love. I was doing simple yoga and Pilates exercises, trying to get flexible again, swimming loads and even started meditating after being inspired by a book called “Into the Wind.” 

I built a bed in the back of my van (which doubles up as tool storage so I can still use it for work), and now my weekends consist of driving to the coast (the nearest beach in three hours from my inland town), surfing all weekend and coming back Sunday night. Or, if the swell is banging, I stay for an extra few nights (being self-employed allows me to have a bit more freedom). 

Now I’m feeling fitter than I have in a long time, loving life and appreciating every second in the day. Life is amazing in itself and my injury has taught me a lot of lessons about life,  the number one rule being: never give up again, it’s a dark place down there.

I’ve recently started making solid wood cruiser skateboards out of reclaimed timbers I’ve got from work, I’ve only made 10 boards so far, but l love doing it and I’m in the process of getting enough reclaimed materials together to make my first wooden surfboard. This website has giving me the drive to do this and I will be letting you know when I have completed it.

Thanks for reading if you read this.

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