AFTER 20 years mixing with surfing's elite, Sasha Stocker has done a 180 to work with newcomers to the sport.
Sasha, who became a Sunshine Coast hero in 1994 when he was crowned the world amateur champion, runs his own surf school in northern New South Wales these days.
He and his wife, Andrea, own and operate the Tweed Coast Surf School from Pottsville, where they have lived for the last 10 years.
After roles as Surfing Australia's high performance centre head coach and Billabong team manager which involved a lot of time away from home, Sasha the chance to spend more time with Andrea and their sons, Jett, 11, and Hunter, 6.
"I decided I wanted to have a bit more involvement in things they were involved in, spend a bit more time with the kids," he said.
Sasha, 41, shares a home office with Andrea, who runs her own clothing label, Bohe Clothing and also helps out with the boys.
Besides running the surf school, Sasha coaches and manages some of Australia's best up and coming juniors, runs Aloha Surf Camps in the summer and Easter holidays and is sales and marketing manager for Lost Surfboards.
The Lost role means he is in touch with retail outlets along Australia's east coast from Mackay south to Ulladullah but brushes it off as "all in Australia".
Sasha said spending more time at home had meant some adjustments for the family but it had been worth it.
"It has some different challenges from being away but it's great to spend time with the boys. The last two years I've been at home and it's been fantastic."
"I miss a bit of the travel, the mateships you form with specific athletes," he said
"It's refreshing to do something different."
Sasha said the school was going well. He particularly proud about a trial program teaching surfing to people with disabilities but is finding a sense of satisfaction in simply sharing the joy of surfing.
"I've worked with professional surfers for nearly 20 years, competing against them and coaching and to take a step back and work with other people, teaching them to surf is pretty rewarding.
"Seeing the stoke in a young kid's eyes when they get a good wave for the first time and introducing the sport to the community is great."
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