A little catch up that was originally meant to be 10 questions, turned into 13 because Mr Swindale lives an incredibly, humble life that you just can’t get enough of.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Dyl grew up in a family of ocean dwellers, however, it took him longer to warm up to the big blue, “I was always scared of the ocean yet so fascinated as from one perspective it displays complete clarity and on the other hand, absolute chaos.”
Dyl started surfing on a shortboard at a young age until an injury turned him to longboarding and he’s never looked back. Flash forward to now and he has immersed himself in every aspect, from spending hours in the ocean, to discovering the intricacies of shaping.
Dyl has spent the last few months in Mexico, surfing, drinking beers and relaxing.
Tune in below as a our founder, Matt, caught up with Cape Town local, and longboarder enthusiast, Dylan Swindale.
Matt: Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where do you live, how many brothers and sisters do you have, what are you doing right now?
Dyl: My full name is Dylan John Swindale however I have only ever really heard someone call me that when I was in trouble growing up. Most of the time people just call me Dyl or Swindy.
I move around Cape Town a fair amount, bouncing between my mates houses but at the moment I am staying in a rad little house with my brother Matt, his girlfriend Em and of course, Indy, the best dog in the entire world.
Sticking to that subject, I have two older siblings, my brother (Matt) and my sister Jacqui who stays in the Sates and pretty recently happened to give me the “uncle” title which is pretty flippin’ exciting!
What am I doing right now? Shit, that’s a good question..
I’ve been surfing my brains out on perfect lefts, eating tacos and drinking beers in Mexico for the last couple of months which has been a dream come true but other than that, not much to be honest.
I should probably get home and start making some loot again one of these days though.
Matt: That's awesome mate! I've actually just scored the 'Dad' title myself. Sounds like a pretty tough time over in Mexico.
You're quite good at getting your toes on the nose. Have you always dabbled in the sport of longboarding or did you start with a shorty first?
Dyl: I actually started surfing on a short board during school holidays to try pick up chicks but I ended up discovering logging after being involved in a pretty gnarly accident whilst I was paddling out one day and a dude landed on my spine.
I was out of the water for a decent amount of time and when I returned, I found it too painful to duck dive which lead to me borrowing a longboard so that I could just hold on and “turtle roll” and that was pretty much the start of me falling in love with logging.
I still short board here and there but yeah, pretty grateful for that dude landing on my back and helping me discover logging, I guess.
(Photography by Greg Hazzard)
Matt: Haha classic, I love the raw honesty. You seem to live and breathe the ocean, what do you love most about surfing and being in the water?
Dyl: I grew up in a family of commercial fisherman so I have always had the ocean play a huge role in my life. From a young age I was always scared of the ocean yet so fascinated as from one perspective it displays complete clarity and on the other hand, absolute chaos. To me it’s a place where you can feel on top of the world yet be so bloody tiny, a place where you can be sitting in a crowded line up and still feel completely alone, a place where all the bullshit that has gone on throughout the day can be put behind you but most importantly (and corny), the ocean is a place to reflect and better yourself.
Matt: What do you get up to when you're not chasing waves?
Dyl: I recently became really intrigued with trying to understand what’s happening beneath my feet when I surf therefore I spend heaps of time in the shaping bay. When I’m not doing that, I have a little joinery company that helps keep me busy from time to time.
Photography by Wesley Lewis.
Matt: Creating something that you use every day is pretty special. Who or what inspires you most?
Dyl: Ah man, this has to be my favourite question and the answer could go on forever because it changes so frequently but I will try keep it short and sweet.
Number one, my brother Matt. The dude has the biggest heart known to mankind and will go beyond all possible measures to give absolutely anyone a helping hand. He’s definitely my biggest inspiration when it comes to being a good human for sure.
In the shaping world I have been lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time working in the same factory as my two mates Hugh and Henry who I find super inspirational with regards to surfboard design as well as just being willing to teach those who are willing to learn.
When it comes to surfing, the list is endless but I’d have to say that none other than Mr Tudor is at the top of this one for sure followed by Tyler Warren, Ryan Burch, Alex Knost and so many more insanely talented aliens.
Photography by Wesley Lewis.
Matt: I love that—all great qualities to be inspired by. Is there any music or art that you are really digging at the moment? Do you have a favourite soundtrack of all time?
Dyl: I have been paying a fair amount of attention to the “Cape Creative Collective” recently as they’re always doing and promoting loads of cool shit. It’s local too which is what makes it even better.
Hahahah if my music taste didn’t vary as much as it does I would be able to answer that but unfortunately this literally changes on a daily basis.
Matt: Pre-COVID times where was your favourite spot to jet off to?
Dyl: I have a slight obsession with the east coast of South Africa as its home to endless logging perfection however we’re allowed to travel domestically again so Covid isn’t and issue with that anymore which is rad!
Matt: Things seem pretty gnarly in South Africa at the moment! Can you shed some light on what it's really like over there on ground zero?
Dyl: Unfortunately there are a lot of uneducated people who do things without thinking about tomorrow, next week, years to come or even minutes later which can be pretty dangerous for the people around them however I do believe that South Africa has what it takes to get out of the mess and move forward as a nation.
Matt: Well put. Jumping to a completely different topic, what's your favourite meal of all time?
Dyl: Before Mexico I would have said tacos without a doubt but it’s been two months of “tacos today?”
So now I’m just not even sure anymore.
Matt: Porque no los dos? Haha, no I'm sure a lot of people can get behind that. What does the perfect day look like to you?
Dyl: Hours of surfing, heaps of good food and plenty of beer.
(Photography by Greg Hazzard)
Matt: Couldn't have said it better myself. Do you have any hidden talents that we should know about?
Dyl: A true business man never reveals his secrets.
No, I’m just kidding, I’m good at everything.
Again, just kidding, I’m pretty decent when it comes to working with my hands and problem solving I guess.
Matt: Sounds like the surfboard shapers dream combo. Are there any brands that you think we should get around at the moment?
Dyl: There are so many that come to mind so I’ll give you my top 5 hahaha. Captain Fin, Praia Eyewear, Innocnts, York Surf, Vissla and of course, everyone loves a little bit of Vans here and there.
Okay, that was 6 but hey, whose counting?
Matt: Not us! The more the merrier—we love discovering new labels. What's your favourite piece of Merchant’s jewellery that you can't live without?
Dyl: Saving the best for last I see. Hahah um, this is a pretty tricky one as there isn’t a single piece I don’t like but I’d definitely have to say my favorite is The Godfather for sure. There’s just something about silver and onyx that looks so good.
Photography and Film by Brand Ambassador/Creator, Wesley Lewis.