Black Spell Collective

Keeping The Stoke Alive – Sam Kness – Ambassador Feature

The Black Spell Collective is our group of brand ambassadors who represent Black Spell online and a far. Our eclectic brand family include riders, artists, photographers, musicians, makers, influencers, content creators and the like. Over the next few weeks we’re going to be introducing each of our newest ambassadors and catching up with our longer serving members of the community.

In our line of introducing our new ambassadors, it’s the turn of surfer and kitesurfer, Sam Kness.

Black Spell Ambassador Introduction Feature

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name’s Sam Kness, I’m 33 and I live in Hampshire with my wife Tanya, cocker spaniel and soon to be little mini shredder (baby girl) who will be with us in about 4 weeks time.

I’m UX Designer (User Experience designer) by trade. How do I explain what I do at a party? The short version is that I say I humanise technology. As a UX designer, you’re there to make products and technology usable, enjoyable, and accessible for humans. Along-side that, I have a lot of experience in graphic design and video.

That aside, my main passion and love in life is surfing without a doubt. I also kite surf, wakeboard and skateboard, so no matter what the conditions, I can be in water which is what I love most.

Sam Kness at a very famous spot in Spain – can you name it?

How would you describe your style/attitude?

I’m a pretty laid back guy, some say horizontal. 

How do you start your day?

I’m a bit of an early bird and usually wake up 6:30/7am everyday even on the weekends. The day will always start with taking our dog Saga (not the holiday company haha) out. We live surrounded by countryside and forest, which is a great place to immerse yourself in nature and sets you up perfectly for the day.  

How do you end your day?

In the summer when the days are longer, we spend evenings at beach or one of the local rivers with my wife and our dog. Wakeboarding in the New Forest or sometimes paddleboarding. 

During the winter it’s usually finish work, dog walk again, cook dinner and hibernate in front of the fire.

Sam and his wife, Tanya

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?

Surfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding, hiking and pretty much anything that involves either being in the water or being outside. I also have a camper, which is great for road trips.

Who (or what) influences you?

I have a long list of people that influence me for various reasons. In terms of surfing, my biggest influences are John John Florence, with his insane ability to do anything he wants on a surfboard, Rob Machado for his laid back style and the Gudauskas brothers for same reasons.

Sam Kness – Wavegarden

What makes you tick/what drives you? 

It’s got to be surfing. I surf because I love hearing my heart beat after a nice long wave. I surf to feel free. I surf to find inspiration. I surf for those days where I wake up and the waves are just so unexpectedly perfect. I surf for those nights where I lie in bed feeling a mix of fear and excitement because I know that the next day the waves are going to be so fucking big. I surf to work out because, well, gym sucks.          

In the future, me and my wife have a grand plan, which is to up sticks and move to the west country. For my work, I’ve always been kind of tied to being in a commutable distance to London. But now work is switching to a more remote base, this could become a reality sooner rather than later. Watch this space. 

What is it that attracted you to Black Spell?

There are not too many brands I feel attracted to. It’s important for me to believe in a company. The brand is driven by board sports culture and everything that the culture encompasses, music, art and photography. Black Spell is all about investing and promoting back into board sports and the culture it supports and that’s important as it keeps the stoke alive!  

Sam Kness for Black Spell

What is your favourite Black Spell design or product?

I don’t think there is anything I don’t love. I especially love the darkness of the graphics. Desperate to get my hands on the Goat King tee but it’s always out of my size, haha.

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

Pop punk music.

Which one item can you not leave the house without?

I’m sad to say it, but my phone, tough it’s mainly for good reasons – Spotify, Magicseaweed, weather apps and Maps, for when I get lost. 

Name an irrational fear (if any!)

When I was a young kid, I used to be afraid of swedes, don’t ask me why. Apparently, I used to have a meltdown at the sight of them. All good now though.

What one thing are you trying to make a habit at the moment?  

Surfing my local breaks more, I often spend hours in the van driving to Cornwall or Devon but this autumn/winter I’ve had some really fun surf and it’s like 40 minutes away as apposed to 2 or 3 hours.

San Kness

What’s one thing you’re learning now? And why is it important? 

Speaking Russian. Tanya’s first language is Russian and she is keen for our daughter to speak it too. I’ve been learning for a couple of years now but its super hard, especially when they have a completely different alphabet. Definitely improving, but progress is slow! 

What was the last thing you saw which made you smile?

@lookatthisrussian Instagram account makes me laugh everyday without fail. Russians are crazy.

Anything else you would like to add?

Another random fact is that in addition to my day job, I also volunteer as a social entrepreneur mentor, mentoring social enterprise start-ups.

I get a real kick in helping people succeed and bring peoples fantastic ideas to life. I coach and put the entrepreneurs in the lead, empowering them to create sustainable solutions to the social or environmental challenges that they care most passionately about. So far, I have mentored seven startups all over the South and South West of the UK, all of which are still going strong today.

@samkness on Instagram

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