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Wake Up! Was opened by Jamie Sarsam back in 2005. He had been backpacking around Asia a few years before and fell in love with Koh Phangan. After moving back to London following his travelling trip he quickly decided that Phangan was the place he wanted to be.
“Wakeboarding was my hobby and passion so it made sense to set up a Wakeboarding school when I arrived”.
On an island full of parties Jamie felt activities were lacking and wakeboarding particularly was not being done on any professional level here when he arrived.
“When we have such incredible bays and beaches, wakeboarding seems like a good choice of activity for people to do during the day”.
Why did you start to accept crypto?
I got into Crypto early after losing some on the MtGox exchange during the hack. So initially I was reluctant to get back into it, but as the technology and security improved it seemed like a worthwhile gamble and I'm glad that I bought back in before the big boom. Crypto proved to be particularly popular here on Koh Phangan so I didn't hesitate to accept it in exchange for my wakeboarding services.
Why do you think crypto is good for Koh Phangan?
Crypto is good for Phangan as it is an international currency that can bring more people to the island and make it easier for people to enjoy Phangan without having bank issues or expensive ATM charges.
How do you feel covid has affected your business?
Covid initially killed my business but over the last year, I have seen many benefits. I have more regular customers as I have adapted to the ex-pat and local market, domestic travel has increased and we have far more Thai tourists coming to the island. Phangan’s party reputation is slowly diminishing and we have a new reputation of natural beauty and healthy living, which of course benefits my business. I feel it has brought the local community closer together as we have all had to support each other more to get through the difficult times.
Where do you see yourself and the business 5 years from now?
Hopefully, in 5 years my business will be doing more of the same. I would like to see more locals coming regularly so I can see the customers develop and improve as a rider.
What do you enjoy about Koh Phangan?
I love everything about Phangan, the people, the beautiful mountains, the crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches, and of course the food.