Alex Wade is a writer, freelance journalist, media lawyer and lecturer. He is the author of Amazing Surfing Stories (John Wiley, 2012), Surf Nation: In Search of the Fast Rights and Hollow Lefts of Britain and Ireland (Simon & Schuster, 2007) and Wrecking Machine: A Tale of Real Fights and White Collars (Simon & Schuster 2005 hardback, 2006 paperback).
Alex lives in the far west of Cornwall and has edited and/or contributed columns and features for many national newspapers and magazines including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent titles, the FT, The Telegraph, Huck, Wavelength, The Surfer's Path, Flush, Coast and Cornwall Today. In 2009, Alex was short-listed as Sports Feature Writer of the Year in the Sports Journalists' Association's awards and he has sat on various occasions as a judge for Coast's annual awards. He was the first UK writer to cover surfing in serious depth for a national newspaper thanks to a daily blog at timesonline (which continues at surfnation.co.uk), has worked as Cornwall Today's editor, writes book reviews for the Times Literary Supplement and is a co-director of editorial services company Frugal Speech Ltd.
Alex is an associate lecturer at University College Falmouth, specialising in media law and professional writing, and is a trustee of environmental action group Surfers Against Sewage. He is represented by literary agents David Luxton and Jonathan Harris, is a member of the Joseph Conrad Society and advises various publishers and newspaper groups on pre-publication legal issues.
Praise for Surf Nation
Alex Wade's atmospheric trawl through the British and Irish surfing scene is... stylish... Tinged with melancholy and misery, Surf Nation celebrates the sea and those who ride it in a peculiarly British way... (A) clever counterpoint to the idea that surfing has to happen in the sun.The Observer.
Addictive... Blows out of the water any doubts about the thriving surf culture that's taken root on the northern fringes of Europe... A highly readable celebration of surfing, Surf Nation sheds light on a rich, textured and oft-ignored part of the world. Lending the region's top spots the mythical allure of the world's canonized breaks, and bringing to life its most colourful characters, Surf Nation gives much-needed literary credibility to British and Irish surfing. It was really about time.Huck.
Surfing is like music - notoriously difficult to translate into language. Yet Wade has produced a work in the vein of Tom Wolfe's The Pump House Gang that is passionate, informative and benign. Gripping.The Times.
An engrossing tale - part journey of discovery, part practical guide to the best breaks, part history of British surfing... Reveals a world far removed from the inarticulate, airhead image surfing has sometimes suffered from. An original concept, triumphantly realised.The Independent on Sunday
Alex Wade has succeeded in a first - the 'first Brit bit of surf lit.Slide
The book includes revealing and intelligent discussions of surfing issues such as the SAS campaign, the BSA, soul surfing versus the media circus, big wave surfing at the Cribbar, the Severn Bore... Totally engrossing.Carve
You probably won't read another book on surfing this year, but even if you do, Surf Nation would be the best.The Observer (June 2008)
Praise for Wrecking Machine
The Sunday Times Sports Book of the Week, 26 June 2005:Every now and then a sports book comes out of nowhere and grabs you by the collar. This is one such book. Its success is down to its honesty and irresistible storytelling.... Superb.
[A] brutally honest memoir... an articulate and intelligent man's attempt to understand why he was destroying his life.- The Daily Telegraph.
This gripping story reminds us how close the world of litigation and pugilism is.- The Times.