Ann’s Cottage partner with Reef’s global surf rider, Mike Lay, in an exclusive interview

We teamed up with Ann’s Cottage Surf Shops and Reef ‘s very own global surf rider, Mike Lay, for an exclusive interview around his new short film Cynevin, produced by Seth Hughes.

Cynevin – Demonstrating an intimate relationship with the place of your birth, the environment in which you are naturally acclimatised. A truly fitting title for a film that so effortlessly captures Mike Lay on home territory, in Cornwall. The ruggedness of the Cornish backdrop only sets to further the prominent heritage of Cornish surfing. Captured by the wildly talented Seth Hughes, this film is a true testament to his affinity with his surroundings and ability to capture something so pure.

Click here to watch the video in Vimeo

While this project was mainly shot pre COVID-19, its message is pertinent to the post-pandemic future of surfing. Travel is unlikely going to be as plentiful and accessible as it once was for a while. Maybe we all need to love our homes a little more. 

We had a chance to catch up with Mike to chat about this film, see what he has to say:

1. What inspired the making of this film?

I have spent most of the last 5/6 years travelling around the world to surf so most of the videos and photos have come from abroad. With this film, we wanted to celebrate surfing at home. 

2. Cynevin is a real showcase of your Cornish roots, was this always the plan?

Surfing at home is really special to me. I love to travel but nothing beats home. We also both saw a bit of a gap in the scene for a contemporary, longer form surf film based in Cornwall. 

3. How did the partnership of Seth and yourself come about?

Seth and I first met in Scotland two years ago. We filmed a little there on a trip with Wavelength and really enjoyed working together. After that trip we decided to work on a bigger project. 

4. You’ve managed to capture Cornwall at its finest, how long did it take you to shoot this film?

It took about 18 months of shooting whenever we were both in the country. We had planned to shoot a bit more but Covid changed that plan a little. 

5. Out of all the locations you surf, where does your affinity lie?

Most of the locations are really close. So I guess the whole area occupies the same space in my mind. West Cornwall is definitely where my heart is.


There’s something about a person who seems to move along effortlessly. That’s is how Mike Lay lives his whole life. Cornwall, on the British Coast, isn’t exactly known for it’s heavy surf. Hence, Lay opted to ride a longboard early in his surfing life. Turns out he was pretty good at it – in fact, one of the best. As a teen, he competed and won accolades all over Europe.

And his dedication to more traditional logs landed him a spot at the very exclusive Duct Tape Classic in Huntington Beach. Today, Lay is setting the bar for style on his side of the pond. He was especially key in Reef’s 2015 trip to Portugal. Lay spends much of the year Just Passing Through every corner of the world, but especially enjoys exploring his own region of the Atlantic Ocean.