by Michelle Michalak September 04, 2017

JOSEPH APPERT AKA @THESURFINGEXPERT ON INSTAGRAM has a following of 25,000 fans. He's known for real product reviews on the latest surf gear to hit the market.

As a go to source for knowledge, inspiration, adventure, and a newly converted handboarder we were stoked to find out more about him.

Tell us a brief bio on you.

I grew up on the West Coast of France and have always been around the water. I was already bodysurfing and bodyboarding at the age of 5 and picked up surfing a little later when I was 10. Growing up, I spent my summers at the beach, but during the rest of the year I spent all my days playing basketball.

I played competitively, and even became a student-athlete for five years. I realized I wouldn’t make it professional, so I dropped basketball and focused my energy on surfing when I moved to New York City.

Who or what got you into blogging? What year did you start?

I’ve always been interested in the surf industry and looking at all the new products brands develop. At the end of 2016, I told myself I should share with other water sport enthusiasts the products that make my surfing experience better and allow everyone to benefit from it. I’ve learned a lot along the way and it has been a blast so far!

What's your preferred social media platform & why?

Instagram all the way. I feel like the format and the amazing pictures out there suit our sport so well. I also love how easy it is to connect with people. I get people all the time commenting about a post or sending a DM asking advice on what surf gear to get.

Who are your top 3 must follow Instagrammers? 

1. @tylerallenvo because his impressions of surfers and Donald Trump are hilarious.

2. @kellyslater because he’s never afraid to share his personal thoughts on major issues which always forces me to think.

3. @baptistehaugomatphotofor the amazing pictures of the French breach breaks. He’s a very talented photographer.

Where's your favorite place you've ever surfed?

That’s a tough one but I would say Morocco, it gets a ton of swell. I went about 4 years ago and the list of positives goes on and on: the food is delicious, spots aren’t too crowded, people are friendly, the cost of living is low, it’s safe, and waves are among the best ones in the world. It offers so many right-handers, which for me, a regular who has been surfing a majority of left-hand spots my whole life, is the dream.

If you could only pack 4 products for a 5day surf trip to Indo what would you pack & why?
  • Sunscreen/Zinc: Because you don’t want to give the sun a chance to ruin the trip. I always pick one that is waterproof and made exclusively with natural ingredients. It needs to be on your skin all day after all.
  • Backpack: The bigger and lighter, the better. I personally take the Vissla Surfer Elite Pack with me everywhere I go because it’s huge, made to hold wet clothes and super affordable. Perfect size for a five-day trip! 
  • Sandals: Sandals are a must. For a trip to Indo, you have to go with Indosole. I own a pair and they’re super comfortable and durable with a sole made out of old tires collected from the Indonesian landfills.
  • Book: If it gets flat and you’re in the middle of nowhere with no service you can always rely on a good book. For the flight alone, it’ll be worth bringing it. Highly recommend The Surf Trip Survival Guide by Melanie & Stephan Bernnard before you leave and A Surfing Life from William Finnegan during the trip.

There is always room for a little extra: an insulated water bottle and of course a Slyde Handboard. It’ll fit in your backpack and it’ll guarantee you to have fun regardless of any unfortunate circumstances like a lack of swell, stolen boards or boards that were broken by the airline, a heavy shorebreak… You’ll have a great thing to ride always with you.

What advice would you give to people starting to blog for the 1st time?

Go for it! I’m convinced that everyone has a story to tell and something worth sharing. A lot of the time people are hesitant but there is no risk in trying, in starting to create content and opening up conversations. You’d be surprised by the results . Also, no need to know exactly where it’ll take you, you’ll improve over time and build your audience and purpose as you go.

The Surfing Expert Slyde Gromboard

 

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Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.


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