We’ve been repairing Sam Gleeson’s 2008 Sastruga jacket since 2015. It’s been back to the workshop so many times now, we consider it an old friend. We offered Sam a new jacket so we could take his little red coat and frame it, as a benchmark of what we think Lived and Loved can be, but Sam wasn’t ready to let it go just yet…
It’s become a part of who he is, like a second skin, and we respect that. So, before we sent it back home to the west coast of Ireland, we got Sam to give us the full run-down of the jacket’s history and recount some of the adventures they’ve shared.
“The longer you have it, the more you love it.”
– Tom Kay, Finisterre Founder.
1. The original hole. I bought the jacket second hand online, so someone else gets to claim first hole, hopefully it was from something good.
2. Lots of the clothes I own have scuffs and holes in this spot. It’s from carrying skateboards; I love a cruise down a hill on a longboard and I've just got a 4ft long set up so my little boy and I can cruise the prom down at the beach. (He loves it!)
3. New cuffs! 6 years of serious wear and tear and the old cuffs finally gave out. I think it’s actually my favourite repair as it makes the feel of the jacket so cosy again.
4. Workshop wear and tear… Now the jacket is retired to the workshop it’s prone to spark catching when cutting steel or grinding blades. Probably not the best material to weld in either!
5. Festival fun times. I spent a good few years building art instillations at various festivals throughout Ireland. My little red coat became synonymous with my work and me. Needless to say, late nights and dawn time fun generally creates a few holes...
6. See Backwash Issue 3, pages 142/3 for an idea of what might have happened here.
7. White paint from renovating Niamh’s restaurant, Little Fox.
8. Snowboarding in my garden with 2 of my oldest friends, in the snowfall of 2017. They had planned a trip over to help me plant 600 trees around our little farm. We ended up snowed in for 2 days and drinking all the duty free whiskey they had brought with them (and my own supplies!) We baked bread, went for snowy hikes and tried to snowboard the hill in my garden – I may have found the blackberry brambles.
9. Barbed wire fence escapades in Scotland for my 40th birthday, chasing a glimmer of hope on a non-existent chart with a great group of friends and found some little reefy gems and river-mouth reelers. I also managed to entangle myself in a barbwire fence in the excitement of running to check a spot…
10. Climbing trees – when we first moved into our house nearly 4 years ago we noticed 1 particularly tall tree in the 100 acres that surround the house. After a good bit of hunting, huffing and puffing my friend and I scaled what we thought was the tallest tree. Bursting through the canopy we were greeted with a beautiful view of my home, but it turns out it wasn’t actually a particularly tall tree. It was just growing on a little hill.
11. Bramble scuffs. Exploring the coast for new surf spots deep in the winter storms, scrambling through briars and thorns to find a few quiet waves.
12. Getting knocked off my bike in Dublin… This was part of a run of events that really made me want to leave the city (which we eventually did). I was hit by a random car who crashed into my bike so hard it broke the frame. He then drove off leaving me in the ditch!
13. Mystery hole – To this day, I still don’t know where this one came from. It just seemed to arrive one day with no explanation…
14. Falling on my ass in the mud running down the stony path at the Cliffs of Moher. A combination of nervous excitement and fear – I don’t surf the place when it’s big at all, it still scares me when its ‘small’! A word of advice: never listen to the Finisterre lads when they say it’s gonna be ‘small’ – we have very different ideas on wave height measurements!
Get your jacket ready for the return of autumn by sending it back to the workshop for some TLC. For more information, visit our Lived & Loved page.
We don’t actually sell the Sastruga Jacket anymore. But we’ve kept the innovations that made it so popular and fed them into our updated Nimbus design - our classic signature jacket.
Words by Sam Gleeson