David Mutton, alongside Owen Senior, founded Land & Wave in 2009 (although don’t call him a founder, it’s a term he describes as ‘grandiose’) and is one of the three directors who’s vision and drive are behind everything that is Land & Wave.
As a keen sportsman, after finishing University in 2002, David started his journey in the outdoors sector by filling a summer job as an outdoor instructor, not knowing that it was the start of a career that would ultimately lead to a life on the South Coast.
Having spent time in both Wales and Scotland, David and his wife were looking for a change of scene, new opportunities and maybe a little bit more consistent weather.
Pin on the map
After the pin pierced the map in the South West, David found work in the education sector in Poole, Dorset, delivering Personal Social Development programmes to at risk children and young adults. It wasn’t long before David was keen to combine his love for the outdoors and watersports with this kind of educational development and, with the help of Owen, Land & Wave started taking shape.
David’s daily role is primarily overseeing the compliance and financial functions for the business, concentrating on minimising risk, developing and maintaining relationships with partners and making certain Land & Wave fulfils its legal responsibilities.
David said: “We’re lucky at Land & Wave as we have a great team with a broad range of skills and abilities and not just in Outdoor Instruction. Developing ‘best practice’ for example, is a team effort and not just about one man, dictating how it should be done. It’s about being proactive and learning and developing as a business, ensuring we are able to deliver not only a quality time for our clients and partners, but also a safe one.”
When given the opportunity during the summer, as a multi skilled instructor, David can be found passing on his experiences and knowledge in a variety of our activities like paddle boarding, kayaking and hiking, further delivering Personal Social Development programmes to schools from across the region, making sure they get the absolute maximum from their time.
David continued: “It’s so important, especially in our industry, to make sure you keep your hand in. You have to stay in touch, not only with the activities, but also with our teams. They are the window to our business and it’s on their shoulders where the business will succeed or fail.”
When asked about his best piece of advice for people, new or experienced, looking to get outdoors and try new things, he said: “I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but really just get out there and do it. Try, learn and make an effort to develop yourself. If you’re unsure; head out with a group of experienced friends, join a club or pay for a lesson. There are always excuses why not to do something, always reasons that are holding you back, but if you never get out there, you’ll never know just how great it is. So, as a certain US sports brand may put say, just do it!”
Looking to the future, David feels passionately that, as a business, Land & Wave will be sticking with the same core values that have seen it grow a long way from a business plan and an Excel spreadsheet back in 2009 to what it is today. “Land & Wave is all about pushing, challenging ourselves and providing amazing real adventures, outside, in real uncontrolled environments. We don’t use climbing walls and we don’t use tranquil ponds, sheltered from the storm. We use the sea, we use the forests; we use everything that Dorset has to offer. We invest in staff training, we invest in the best kit as we know that success is a team effort. This is why we are different and this is ultimately what makes us Land & Wave.”
To see what life is like in Dorset, you can watch the Dorset Video Project