Jetsurfingnation – Interview Mike Z

Jetsurfingnation and its founder Mike Z are the leader in video reviews for petrol powered and electric jetboards.

As part of the Allstar Jetboard Team with Jetboard Limited, Motosurfnation and E-Surfer many of their great videos are integrated in our articles.

Reason enough for us to interview Mike.

Jetsurfingnation founder Mike Z
Jetsurfingnation founder Mike Z

When you were a teenager, which were your most favourite sports you did yourself?

Mike Zed:

I grew up far from the ocean which means I never had a chance to
become a surfer in the first place 🙂

In 2009 I was walking the streets of Laguna Beach, CA and saw the sign “Surf lessons”. I think I was already 26 or so.

First I thought it was silly to try surfing when I am so “old”. (You
see.. In US the surf culture starts in early school days and most
week-day surfers are kids under 15)

But then I decided to give it a try and got hooked right away. I
remember waking up at 6AM in a cold morning running barefoot to my surf instructor for a private lesson.

I was very passionate about it and progressed pretty quick but also
hit my limit very fast as well, as I am not athletic type of person so
my roof was pretty close and low from the start.

I was okay at best, catching 1-2 waves per session on my 5.6
shortboard and getting tired just from paddling out.

I knew there must be a better way to enjoy this sport without all this hassle with paddling out.

Jet boarding was the obvious answer, however nothing even close
existed during that day, so I had to wait at least 8 years before I
was able to buy my first jet board in 2017.

Mike Zed
Mike Zed

During those 8 years I also enjoyed learning Flowrider in Germany and SurfSnowdonia wavepark in UK with artificial wave.

When did you have the idea of producing jetboard videos?

Mike Z:

When I bought my first jet board onean carver, I realized how hard it is to get started with it, sync it and get it going.

The problem was – there was no information available at all during that time.

No videos, no reviews, no tutorials or tips. I was left alone and had to figure out everything from scratch with the help of great people like John and Jordan and later of course Wayne Brooks.

So I decided why not be the first to do it?

I was doing videos already since childhood so it was nothing new to me – I just combined two passions in one.

How did your first jetboard look like?

Mike Zed:

Actually it was not a Carver. Before that I had Wavejet but calling it
“jet board” would be a stretch.

Electric-SUP-Wavejet
Electric-SUP-Wavejet

Wavejet was just a weak propulsion system for a regular surfboard. Unfortunately it was a big disappointment to me, I explained it in detail in my video review, but the bottom line, it was never a jet board in the first place, rather “assisted surfing”.

This was not a good idea, as I was constantly feeling like a cheater in the lineup sitting on this heavy propulsion system which barely made any difference in the wave.

I knew there must be a better way to do it, and that is how I found Carver commercial in 2015 and decided to order and wait for it. When it came, I was super excited about it, as it was finally a REAL jet board!

Is your intention to build a business with the video channel or is this just for fun?

Mike Z:

Unfortunately the industry is too small at this stage to build a
business around the videos and reviews.

There will be no million views to monetize because our community so far is just few thousands of passionate jet boarders around the word.

Jetsurfingnation stop at waterwolf
Jetsurfingnation stop at waterwolf

So at this time I just want to help the industry grow and we will see it from there!

How many different boards did you ride so far? And how many videos
did you publish?

Mike Zed:

My goal is to test and ride every single existing jet board!

So far I kept up well with the pace with a big help of Wayne Brooks from Jet Board Limited, who introduced me to all the boards that I never dreamed of!

There is a big jet boarding world up there with so many factories and passionate teams working for YEARS to bring up the new boards and I believe next years it’s finally going to BOOM and grow fast!

Which were / are the biggest challenges?

Mike Z:

Keeping up with the industry is a big challenge.

The new boards are produced in so many different areas (Spain, UK, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Canada, USA and China just to name a few) and it’s a big challenge to travel and organize the testing events, bring the manufacturers for the testing, as they are all extremely busy people.

There is a huge cost for me to produce a Jetsurfingnation video, especially with traveling, drone work and editing as in many videos I have to hire additional drone operators and video editors.

Which was your biggest success so far?

Mike Z:

My biggest success so far was finding Wayne Brooks from Jet Board Limited and later other industry experts Geraldine from Motosurfnation and Andreas from E-surfer.

Despite formally being “competitors” from different companies we could somehow form a great alliance to unite all our efforts and help this industry grow.

It’s really beneficial for everyone if the industry becomes a big success.

We started our endless Jet Board Testing Tour which became a big success, as more and more manufacturers are willing to join it and showcase their boards to the followers.

All StarJetboard Tour YouTube play

Video above: Allstar Jetboard Tour trailer

We want to keep going, keep testing the new boards and bringing the reviews and videos to the community!

Another big success was meeting Jeff Scott from SussexInstallations in UK.

He is a passionate jetsurfer and together we could record amazing big wave jet surfing video in Nazare and even a mini course for waveriders! This was super fun experience.

Mike Z, how often are you riding your own boards?

Netsurfingnation Mike:

I ride my own board as often as I can, however the area where I live in Portugal is very challenging with rough cold atlantic ocean, strong storms and winds.

Should I mention that big wave Nazare place is just 40 km from my house?

So you can guess what kind of big mess we get here on a daily basis.

It’s very rare to find a good calm day, because choppy water is terrible for jet boarding. Most days I get “thousand year old storms” with whitewash and big choppy waves, impossible to surf or jetsurf.

What do you plan or the future with Jetsurfingnation?

Mike:

My plan is to keep going and help the industry grow with the Jetsurfingnation videos. If you are making a jet board – we are coming to test it!!! Get ready!

Anything else your would like to share with your fans?

Support the new sport guys, get involved, help to spread the good
word! I know the jet boards are very expensive toys, but they will get
cheaper only if the industry grows big enough to become mainstream, so
it’s a win+win for everyone!

Jet boarding is amazing new sport.

Like my friend Jeff said, in 29 minutes on jet board you learn more than 29 years of regular surfing.

It’s unbelievable feeling of being in control of the whole ocean
instead of being on a mercy of the wave that must move you. In regular
surfing you sit for hours and get lucky to get 2-3 good waves per
session.

In jetboarding it’s endless fun that goes non-stop. It’s much faster and much more challenging as there is not a single moment to stop, take a breath and it reminds wind-surfing more than regular surfing in most cases.

Lets face it, unless you are REALLY good at regular surfing, in most cases you never get any good waves, as the pros will be there on top of the peak and you are just left to paddle in the whitewash.

All-Star-Jet-Board Tour 2017
All-Star-Jet-Board Tour 2017

And of course what about all those people who live in Germany and dream to surf too 🙂 Now they can and it’s really fun!

I am not surprised how fast industry grows especially in Germany lately! I see so many tourists DRIVING (yes driving on car) from Germany to Portugal (that is over 3000 km each way) just to enjoy some surf!

Now imagine all of them could finally enjoy it locally without the pain of driving 3000 km!

So lets grow the industry and win together,

Take care!

Mike @ Jetsurfingnation

Check out Mikes videos at his website.