By: Justine Griffin
1. How did you become pro? I was wakeboarding with my friends up in Canada, Kevin Henshaw and Steve McKinley. We grew up riding together, and they’re sick. When you’re riding with them everyday you’re going to get good. I rode hard for a long time, and always loved the sport. I knew this is what I wanted to do.
2. What was your favorite trick when you first turned pro, and what’s your favorite now? I always really liked the feeling a tantrum to blind. It’s cool to see the water. It’s not really a flip and it’s not really a spin. It was my favorite trick starting out and it’s still probably in my top three. Now I like doing a backside seven since it’s a little bit harder and feels pretty cool at the same time. But my style hasn’t changed a whole lot. I’ll always like a tantrum to blind or anything backside.
3. Who is your favorite rider and why? When I was growing up I looked up to Parks Bonifay. Phillip Soven has definitely influenced me, too. He does everything so easily. Everything is so effortless for him. It’s pretty motivating to watch him ride. I also really like watching Adam Errington ride. He has such a different style. He just floats around. It’s interesting to see the other sides of things.
4. What is the hardest thing about being a professional wakeboarder? I think the hardest thing in my day is getting up to get gas for the boat. There’s nothing hard about it. I mean, there’s a lot of traveling, but as long as I’m riding, I’m having a good time.
5. What would you be doing if you weren’t a pro wakeboarder? I would be snowboarding back in Canada, or skating somewhere. I would always be riding something. But I’m 21, so I guess realistically that means I would be in school, which would really suck. But that’s what people do.
6. What is your biggest goal to accomplish this year? I just want to keep riding consistent in contests, and keep progressing myself and the sport. You see other riders working hard, like Danny Harf, and I want to follow in his footsteps. You want the sport to keep progressing to keep it alive. I’m just pushing for progression and trying to stay on the podium.
7. What are you most proud of in your career so far? I just signed with Byerly, and I’m going to be getting a pro model for the next season. People will be riding a board with my name on it that I designed. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, it’s going to be one of my proudest moments. I love what I do, and I get paid for it.
8. How’s it going with Team Byerly? It’s sick. Working for someone like Scott, who knows the industry so well is awesome. He’s done it all. It’s not like working for a suit, he’s someone you can relate to. It’s cool to say he’s my boss. I haven’t ridden for him too long yet and we’ve already made so much progress. I’ve done a lot of board testing, and I’m looking forward to the next few years.
9. What’s one thing you couldn’t live without on a daily basis? Easy, food. Seriously though, I’m a geek. I probably couldn’t live without my computer. I’m always on the Internet watching videos or listening to music.
10. Any pets? Not anymore. I had a pit bull, but I couldn’t keep her. It sucked.
11. Who are your sponsors? Oakley, Bylerly, Rockstar, Air Nautique, Huntington Tattoo.
12. What are we going to see on Tour from you this year? I’m looking to keep my round super tech, and have a flowy, explosive style. I’ve been riding hard all winter and had very little time off. Look for me on the podium.
13. At what point did you start focusing more on wakeboarding than
wakeskating? What made you do that? I wakeskated all of 2005. I had a couple of knee injuries that year, and wakeskating was easier on my knee. In 2006, I hung up my skate and started wakeboarding more. Wakeboarding was what I wanted to do, and I haven’t skated a whole lot since. Skating is sick, but I just love going big. There’s nothing like hitting those big double-ups, it’s more my style and I love the feeling of it. I really haven’t even looked back. Skating is fun, but wakeboarding is paying the bills.
14. Any new video sections coming up? Plans for those? I’ve been filming Global Warning [by Ronnie Romero and David Cervenka] for the last six months. We’ve been to a bunch of different countries. I’m stoked about my riding for it. It’s going to be all in HD, which is pretty awesome.
15. What are your plans for the Pro Tour this year? I plan on riding every stop and I’m stoked to have my seeding from last year. Having a good seeding makes it a lot easier when you’re the last off the dock. Hopefully I’ll win some events this year. I’m one of the contenders now, and I’m ready to go up against anyone they put me with like Phil and Rusty.
16. Where is the next place you’re traveling to? Next weekend is the Red Bull Wake Lab in Phoenix. It’s such a groundbreaking rail contest. It’s just super sick. And from there, I’ll go back to Atlanta before the Wake Games, and then the season starts.
17. What’s going to be new and exciting for your Tour run this year? I’ve got some new tricks, so we’ll see. It won’t be anything too crazy. I want to stay consistent until we get to the finals, then I’ll throw down.
18. Any new tricks we should know about? Can they sneak into your Tour run? I’ve been working on some toeside 10s, and hopefully by the time the season starts I’ll have those down. Everyone’s going to be pretty stoked if that goes down.
19. What’s going to be your moneymaker trick for double-ups on Tour this
year? I want to do a heelside 10 or toeside 10, toe back 7. I have a few definite hammers to choose from, but I haven’t gotten it all together yet. I’ve been trying to get a double indy tantrum to blind too.
20. What’s your favorite part of being on Tour? All the fans are pretty cool. It’s sick to see other people who are stoked about wakeboarding. As for the riders, we’re all friends. It’s not really super tense, and people aren’t getting mad. You want to ride good, and see everyone else ride good too. Everyone is just stoked to be there. The whole vibe of Tour is cool like that.