“One of Us!” Wave pool surfer launches board review channel
Unsalted, Sasha Becejac is unique in the digital world of surfboard reviews, he’s wave pool-centric for most of his testing. To further his separation from the pack he’s also “un-YouTubed” (yes, we just invented that term) as his content can only be found on Instagram.
The surfboard review space is populated by either surf shops slinging the latest model from one of their suppliers, pros, or low-level pros who surf better than 95% of us. The problem is finding a reviewer who relates to surf craft in the same skill zone that most of us do, yet someone skilled enough about design without being in the elite-surfer zone.
You’ll never confuse his surfing with Kelly’s. It’s just his board design knowledge that’s next-level. Here’s the background story along with some tips and board choices from someone who surfs like the rest of us.
How long have you been surfing and why did you start Zero Ego Board Reviews?
I started surfing when I was 19, I’m now 46. I was traveling around South East Asia with a mate and we heard about a cool island to go to, it ended up being Nias in June 1993. All the surfers were super annoyed as the season was unusually small, but for us, it was perfect to learn – exactly like a wave pool!
What will I gain from Zero Ego Board Reviews, what will it help me to do?
You will leave behind your ego, your beloved personality, which will be returned to you after your journey and you will gain all knowledge of all things. Although I can’t guarantee that. Probably you’ll just see a bloke who can surf but is average at it and is trying to learn through preaching to himself with some tips and board choices. If this is somewhat of where you are at, then check it out.
You embrace testing in wave pools more than fellow board reviewers, Benny’s Boardroom and Noel Salas. Why is that?
Noel Salas lives at Trestles. I live in Bracknell UK, 3.5 hours from the ocean. Basically, I’m Rick from the movie North Shore. Seriously though, I think that wave pools are just perfect for understanding what does and does not work for you. It’s even better I think for average-level surfers as otherwise we can take equipment to the ocean and have a great session or a bad session and think it has something to do with our equipment, but in reality, it’s much more likely to do with the ocean conditions on that day.
You’ve spent a lot of time in the water at Snowdonia and now Bristol, what’s the ratio of wave pool time to ocean time for you?
I’d like it to be 50:50 but I think it is 75:25 wave pool to ocean. I live 3.5 hours away from the ocean, but only 1.5 hours from Bristol.
You surf heaps at The Wave now. Do some boards work better on your front-hand at the left than on your backhand on the right?
To an extent yes, but I think a good board is a good board and will work well in both directions. What I have noticed is that different boards work better or worse on the different types of surf sessions at The Wave: Advanced, vs Advanced Plus vs Expert.
What happens if all this hard work pays off and you become a great surfer instead of an average one?
Hahaha! What a lovely problem that would be! I have definitely improved at least 40% since riding wave pools about three years ago. I think I’m at a point now that if I keep having the health and opportunity to keep going regularly I could improve another 25% in the next year or two. Wave pools coupled with seeing photos and videos of yourself and talking to lifeguards who see you surfing, all this will exponentially improve your surfing. No question.
What advice would you give to an intermediate surfer looking for a new surfboard?
I would say that overall, volume is your friend. A higher volumed board is indeed harder to turn well than a lower volumed board, but if you are not easily catching waves then you won’t get very many chances to complete maneuvers anyway. A bit of extra volume also assists speed and regains speed if you bog a rail halfway along the wave. Once you have completely mastered bottom turns and top turns (they don’t have to be epic of course), then you can SLOWLY decrease the size and volume of your board.
In terms of the type of board to go for, either a mid-length like the FORM FLOWSTIK or CI Mid are great boards in such an enormous variety of conditions. If you do want a shortboard, go for one that can surf small waves as well as more powerful waves eg. a slightly up-sized EVO or LOST Puddle Jumper, Hydra, or Dan Mann Baked Potato.
Where can our readers find all of your reviews?
I do everything on Instagram: @zero_ego_board_reviews