The Slideshow Magazine


Interview by Emma-Jane Eeles

It’s never easy to juggle a full time career as well as manage to run an online hobby or business. But that is exactly what Gemma the editor from ‘The Slideshow’ is doing. The Slideshow is an online womens surfing magazine that was born in 2012 and aims to share the stoke of everyday sea ladies in over 100 countries. I recently caught up with Gemma online from her little hometown of Cornwall in the UK and here’s her inspiring story……

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with the sea. I am a graphic designer/artist and I live in Cornwall, England with my husband-to-be, Kit. Not originally hailing from the coast, my journey with the sea began on holidays to the south west coast as a kid, and my love of jumping the white water with my Dad for hours on end. Being creative from a young age, every art project I did was usually inspired by the ocean.

I met Kit in Cornwall one summer, where we were both working by the beach and living in caravans. His long-standing passion for surfing was inspiring and he would give me boards to try from the surf school where he worked. An autumn in the Algarve ensued, where Kit taught at a surf camp and I had lessons every day in return for making camp breakfasts, living and breathing surfing, from the moment we woke up each morning.

We then moved to Raglan New Zealand where Kit had work with a marine consultancy that just so happened to be next to some world class point breaks. New Zealand is a place where I spent an insane amount of time getting stoked in the water, and where I learnt the most about surfing. .Now here we are back in Cornwall, and the journey continues!

gemma the slideshow

What does the sea mean to you spiritually? I don’t tend to get tooooo ‘deep’ about these things, but I do recognise a sense of being immersed in, and always at the mercy of the great energy and power that is the ocean. Getting in the sea is usually the answer to a great many problems for me, whether it’s de-stressing, getting me out of a horrible mood and clearing the mind, boosting my energy levels, blitzing a hangover, and generally, just making me feel alive.

What is your view on women in the ocean and how does this relate to The Slideshow? Me and my female friends enjoy the sea and surfing for its sheer fun-factor and how it makes us I. There are some incredible water women out there, in and out of the public eye, and what is great, is we are seeing and hearing more of their stories and achievements than ever before.

Through surf journalism we do tend to see a lot of the glamour and the glitz of the women surfers and fairly unrealistic portrayals of what it means to be a surfing female. The Slideshow’s main aim is to show what women can do and what they have fun doing, whether they look like a model and surf perfect waves or not.

Onto ‘The Slideshow’ – tell me what it is all about and how it came about. The Slideshow magazine is online magazine for surfing females. It was born in November 2012, out of general disappointment in a lack of surfing magazines for women that carried the surfing attitude akin to me and the surfing women I know. Everything out there seemed to revolve around which bikini was the sexiest to go surfing in (and what nail varnish would match it). Too much about the fashion and the wannabe surfer girl lifestyle, and not enough about girls who charge, or who surf even though they live in places where the waves are inconsistent, or who just love messing about and having fun whilst catching some great waves.

The Slideshow has quickly gathered momentum and is now being read in over 100 countries.

the slideshow magazine

What kid of woman is ‘The Slideshow’ aimed at? Primarily women of all ages who like to slide, on any craft, in any conditions and when their busy lives permit. The Slideshow has a diverse following and lots of guys enjoy it too, I think because it’s about ‘Stoke’ in general, and whether you are male or female, anyone can appreciate that! It’s aimed at those who don’t get caught up in the commercial hype, and can relate to everyday surfing stories.

Who inspires you in and out of the water? There’s a lady here in Cornwall called Gwyn Haslock, she’s 70 and still surfs every day there is a wave. She was the first British surf champion She is definitely an inspiration to us all. Ellie Miller – the shaper that made my mini simmons board is an inspiration, and an example of ‘women doing it for themselves’ – she is the only female making a living out of shaping boards in the UK. Her boards are beautiful and she rips too.

I like seeing other females have the get-up and go; to do something they love doing. Out of the water, design greats such as David Carson and John Severson inspire my design flair and enthusiasm.

Where can we view The Slideshow? The Slideshow can be accessed each month directly through ISSUU, click through from the link from the usual social media pages (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) or you can subscribe through the blog site and receive it straight into your email inbox.

Any plans on making ‘The Slideshow’ into a printed magazine? It’s definitely a dream of mine to produce something beautiful in print. However with printing costs, in order for it to be feasible I would need to consider things like selling advertising space in order to cover costs etc and that is when there is a danger of the mag becoming just as commercial as all the other magazines out there. So for now it’s just digital, and packed full of pure surfing stoke but, I have a seed of an idea to produce perhaps an annual printed version of the magazine.

A kind of yearly ‘coffee table’ edition of the best photos and sliding stories – and some new ones. Something Sliders will want to keep and flick through. Maybe next year…let us know what you all think, and then keep your eyes peeled!

For ladies who wish to contribute their own personal stories to ‘The Slideshow’ how can they get in contact with you? You can send through Sliding Stoke of any kind directly to our email address: [email protected] And you can contact us through Facebook. We are excited to see and hear about anything you want to share with The Slideshow community – which in turn, helps it to grow!

gemma the slideshow



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