By Maria Nilsson


The week between Christmas and the new year always flies, just when people are saying ‘Merry Christmas’, it feels as though there are only minutes until the next person says, ‘see you next year!’ Today, we have surf lifestyle photographer, Sasha Golyanova, offering us a brief respite from the repetitive supermarket Christmas carols constantly hijacking our earholes with her inspired salty sounds. Sasha lives in Bali and is constantly hunting and gathering the balmiest of moments to capture. Let us surrender to the musical motivations of Sasha and learn more about her life as a Russian living as a surf photographer in Bali.

Considering humans are approximately 70% water, and the moon affects the tides so drastically, do you believe it affects our state of minds?
I do. The frequency emanated by the moon affects the frequency of the mind that exerts control over our feelings, emotions and desires. I read few articles about scientific experiments on that matter, even if a lot of them controversial. Full moon days are intense ones, that is why it’s better to choose chilled activities during that time in order to not let the moon vibrancy take over you.

What do you want to say to people just learning to surf?
Don’t give up, making surfing a part of your life, is a great idea. Recently I went to surf school to start everything from the beginning, I didn’t surf during the last 3 years and when I started I learned occasionally and by myself. Learning with friends is more fun than alone. 

What is one thing you want to do to make the world a better place?
Someone said “First, start with yourself.” I think it important to estimate our real power on the world and society objectively. Good example can inspire those, who around you, to change for better. So I’m working on being a better person, more mindful and aware. 

What does your fantasy holiday look and sound like?
Adventure! Road trip with favourite tunes, analog camera, a few lovely friends and my best dog friend, Trevor. 

Tell us your favourite surf memory?
Fiji. I spent some nights on a roof of our boat. Laying on a mattress under a million stars, so close to me, like in the mountains, I realized how blessed I am to dare to live life as I do. And surfing was the reason. Even if I'm not a surfer, but surf admirer with a camera.

Is there anything you’re afraid of right now?
I’ve been on a beautiful Blessing way ceremony recently. Sitting in the circle of girls, I wrote down all my fears on a piece of paper and burnt it. So now I’m not:)

What are you making at the moment?
I’m working on an online photo-gallery project, making a visual story about a wooden board shaper, also starting a new Instagram, devoted to surfer girls, which I was lucky to shoot, called “Modern mermaids”. 

What is something you really care about but might not have enough time or information to do anything about it?
Psychosomatic health issues, it seems in my case, emotions are the main or even the only cause of illnesses. But there is not much studies about it, so I have to develop my own way of treatment, what sometimes can be exhausting and complicated. If the world was ending tomorrow, what would you do today? 
Call my parents. Hug loved ones. Go to watch the sunset by the ocean.

How do you care for our oceans?
I can’t call myself an activist. But I share ideas of sustainability, second-hand, reusable dishes and other stuff. I’m trying to be aware and do not allow myself to litter. I rather shop plastic free or recycled goods. Sometimes I join beach cleans. If the ocean waters around me are full of garbage, I try to take out as much trash as I can carry or stuff into my swimsuit.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
I am lucky enough to hear lots of supporting, inspiring words from close friends and random people. Sometimes not a nice comment on the first sight can turn out as motivational one. Anyway, once I spoke with a military retired 40 something male neighbour. We spoke about my soul sister, who, to my mind, very brave, optimistic and an empowered girl. And he said, that he found me way stronger and brave, because I’m not afraid to move on my own. I didn’t expect that, because I was full of doubts and fears that time. His words really made me believe in myself.

atmosea atmosea atmosea

Driving to the ocean is a very special activity, that nervous flutter in your stomach is tiny pockets of suspense, popping, with every inch nearer to the ocean you get. Mary told you it was on fire, Suzie said it was small but peeling like a ripe ol’ Cavendish, and Bobby just said “hurry! there’s only five hours left of daylight.” So, you choose a song, to accompany your highly-strung surf exhilaration, biting your nails and tapping those fingers feels like you’re hanging on a cliff waiting to choose the right time to let go. A song to the sea is very important, it will ease your lead foot and remind you of the voyage, and if it’s a surf that you’ll never forget, the music you played before and after will be the stimulant for those memories forever. Incredible, no?

Each Friday we will be introducing our galaxy field of surf stars and their top ten track choices to warrant an excitable journey to the surf, while learning a little bit more about their joyous lives and what makes them tick.

Written by Daini Stephenson