More about Graham Sheppard
I am a surfer and skier that has really done everything back to front from the beginning.
After teaching and working the winter in Glenshee in 1974, I went to Cornwall to work as a Surf Instructor Life guard at Skewjack Surf Village, at Lands End. I actually found out about the place as a free weeks stay was first prize in a competition run by She magazine. Somehow a skinny 21 year old got the job. Much to my amazement and my families initial horror, my summer job extended into a 14 year stay that saw me involved in many things, including mackerel fishing out of Newlyn through to being Head Lifeguard on Sennen Beach for many years.
During this time, I skied in the winter when I had the time, learnt how to build a house, drive boats and generally surf at every available opportunity. I got married, had a son and got divorced all during this time. I then decided to go and work abroad, so I got a job with Hourmont Total Ski as a Ski Instructor in France and ended up working and living out there for a few years.
Surf and lifeguard in the summer, ski and instruct in the winter. Fantastic. Then just as it was getting really interesting, the French said “No More British Ski Instructors,”or “Non aux moniteurs etrangeres!” ILG went belly up and I decided that perhaps it was really a chance to change direction and do something a little more positive with life, so I went to work in a factory and made hydraulic roof supports for coal mines!
I owe a huge, huge thank you to the girl I was seeing at the time, who quite literally changed my life by motivating me to go to Brighton University as a mature student which saw me graduate with a 2:1 honours in International Tourism Management.
I am now, (and it is something I find quite amazing) a Senior Lecturer at the University, having returned after spending sometime working in the Travel Industry for First Choice SkiBound. Poacher turned Gamekeeper or is it the other way around?
I still find myself gazing out of the window thinking about those ‘good old days’ when my arms did not turn to spaghetti after ten minutes of paddling. Surfing everywhere from Newlyn Pier, Porthleven (badly) all the the way round to big spooky days out at Gwynver. I still surf as much as possible, yes we even get waves in Eastbourne, but have become a bit of a fan of the Canaries and the SW Coast of France and Spain, I am getting soft in my old age. However, I have never yet encountered a sport that comes close to surfing.
The desire to create this site is personal but also driven by the fear that what was Skewjack will disappear into the mists of time. Maybe that is a good thing, but when I saw the site at Easter 2002 I thought why not try to recall what it was all about.
I was even more motivated when a quick search revealed the URL to be available. So the aim is to keep it simple, quick loading and informative. No oversophistication, rather like Skewjack itself.
My main interests in life are: my son David, my long suffering partner Sara who puts up with my surf tales and me.’ Surfing, skiing, motorcycling, classic cars, keeping fit and being outside and of course now; Charlie, who arrived on the 9th August 2007… Such fun to watch as he becomes a surfer and a skier too.