Do you want to take your music anywhere, or is it just for fun?
Yeah, I do, actually. I’ve been thinking about working toward getting a certain sound from all my influences, trying to put it into something I want to listen to. There’s a certain sound I think is kick ass, and I haven’t heard it yet. If I can get the right band together, man, it would be awesome.
You have a different take on the sport than anyone else. Who or what influenced you to ride like you do? And who or what is influencing your riding right now?
I remember right out of the gate, it was Scott Byerly and Parks Bonifay. Those guys were the shit. Then I watched Randy Harris ride, and he makes it look so cool. Any of those big style factor guys. Parks was just so off the wall, doing the craziest stuff. Any time you watch that guy ride, everybody just knows he’s the shit. Seeing Byerly hit those docks was inspiring. I remember thinking how sick it was, just to fly by a dock and hit it. And Shane Bonifay, of course, was a big influence. He had a lot of rail influence on me with how he started pressing things. I always wanted to get the nose press like Shane did. I picked up a lot of different influences from a lot of people along the way. I can see some kid, just a random cable kid, throwing something down I haven’t seen — individual flair on rails, whatever it is. I’ve noticed the most influence has been on rails, from being at the cable and then working at The Projects for a while. You just get influenced and you take it from them. I steal. I’m stealing all your tricks, kids! I mean, hey, I like it when people take from me, man. I get pumped. If I do a trick and see someone else do it, that’s cool. That means they respect you! Yeah!
Do you have a specific way you want to be portrayed?
Approachable. I want to be out there hanging out with all the people, riding with everybody. I don’t mean I have to care about performing well at contests. For me, it’s more about interacting with other riders, regardless of skill level or anything else. I spent a week out in Reno, Nevada, this past year and had one of the best weeks of my life with a couple rails to hit. It was just me and a couple of kids I didn’t know.
What about in photos and video parts?
Well, obviously, I want my stuff to look cool. I’m not saying I want to be the cool guy or whatever; it’s hard to talk about yourself in that way.
I think diverse is the best way I could describe you. You adapt well to different things.
Yeah, it seems like I’m taking a different approach when I look at it from the outside, I guess. I think it’s a necessary approach right now too. It’s really accessible to hit rails, to build kickers to things and gaps and stuff. I’ve never really thought about it too much, but yeah, you have to be diverse.
What do you want to work on? Is there something you really want to improve as a rider?
Yeah, always, in everything. I never want to stop improving. I’m my biggest critic. When people think photos of me are sick, I always think of how it could be better. I’m pretty hard on myself in that sense, especially shooting video. I mean nothing too crazy, I don’t freak out or anything, but I always think it could be better.
If you had to pick one thing that you want to improve on that you haven’t spent enough time on, what would it be?
Other than barefooting, the one thing I would want to improve on is getting creative with rails.
Aren’t you doing that already?
Yeah, but I want it to get more creative. I want to build stuff that has technical pieces to it; mandatory technical pieces to it, you know? Tapping on rails is sick, but to have something where you have to tap it to get over it is cool. The rail we just built with the keg is a good example. It’s a rail with a gap, and it has a little technical piece to it. I think any transitional points like that in rails is cool.
You still didn’t really answer my question.
Yeah, I know. I guess I can’t really just say, “I want to get better at rail riding” or whatever. Double-ups! I want to get better at double-ups. Me and the fellas here at the house are definitely trying to get our bodies in better shape to handle stuff like that. But getting that boot man — there’s nothing like that, just getting busted into the air.
What’s up for you for 2011? What are you working on?
It’s funny, I remember right before I went to bed on New Year’s Eve (apparently I was more sober than I thought), I was staring at the ceiling. I said to myself, “I’m going to make 2011 awesome.” I just remember thinking that 2011 could totally be an awesome year, but it was fully up to me to do it. I also want to buy a motorcycle and jump over eight school buses.
In your eyes, who can do no wrong in the industry? Is there someone you look up to for ideas?
As a rider or an industry guy and master craftsman?
As a wakeboarder, man. He is the definition. I’ve just seen firsthand how much he lives it. It’s the most selfless thing ever too. He builds all this stuff and works so hard and always wants other people to have fun on it. He just puts his head down and works to build a better scene for all of us, for wakeboarding.
Outside of the wakeboarding community, where else do you look for inspiration?
I come from a BMX background, but I have a huge amount of respect for surfing and skateboarding. I mean, skateboarding now — those guys, where does it stop?
Do some of your ideas come from those guys?
I wouldn’t say ideas, but it’s more of a motivational thing. A lot of the rails I see in snowboarding just get the wheels turning.