Hear from Tristan, our co-founder

During the 80s, children’s wetsuits were individually crafted with customisable colour panels, and boy did I go bright! That same kind of 80’s pop permeated the outdoors scene, and thankfully still does. This kind of visual heritage, (to embrace the colour of life!) is embedded in our Heart & Lava brand. I had a dynamic upbringing, alternating between surfing at Burleigh Heads, hiking at Binna Burra and skating through city streets. Cross Country was my passion during school, and as an adult, I rediscovered my love for trail running. Marrying a climber named Bec, who is also a co-founder of Heart & Lava, and becoming parents to our prodigious climber, Elke, inspired me to pursue more challenging climbs more frequently. Growing up on the Gold Coast, my heart remains devoted to surfing, and I feel equally at home riding waves during cyclone swells as I do navigating technical trails and approaching crags. With a PhD in design, strategy, and futures, as well as decades of professional experience (see Relative Creative), including designing technical action sports products, I have gained extensive knowledge about the gear we all utilise in outdoor activities too.

Img 0204
Img 0025

Despite growing up in Burleigh, which is part of the Yugambeh language region and the ancestral lands of the Koombumerri peoples, my heritage consists of Gamilaroi Aboriginal ancestry as well as English, Scottish, Irish, and German settler descent. Throughout my life, I have contemplated the nature of modern Western society and the detrimental impact colonisation has had on cultures worldwide. These perspectives have significantly influenced my professional endeavours over the years and continue to shape my approach to adventures. They are also deeply ingrained in the ethos of Heart & Lava.

For me, adventures are not about exerting dominance over the natural world but rather engaging in a collaborative relationship with it. I strive to activate all my senses and utilise our evolutionary nifty tricks to comprehend and navigate our surroundings. Instead of focusing solely on a linear progression from one point to another, I try to embrace a more holistic approach to my interconnectedness with places. While I am an autonomous being, traversing the world on my two slender legs (one of which has been further slenderized due to a previous injury—a snapped Achilles tendon—and the subsequent lengthy recovery process throughout 2023), I acknowledge that I am but a small part of natural and social systems that surround me.

A main ‘why’ Heart & Lava for me, is to provide ways for people to explore the connections between their minds, bodies and the places they’re adventuring in, all in enjoyable, yet transformative ways.

Heartandlava Trailshoes Final Lt Grey