That creative writing thing is paying off. I don’t plan to do anything with creative writing except change the world with a novel.
So aside from wakeskating, what do you want to do? I used to think I wanted to do a lot but now I just don’t know. I’m going to ride this pony for a while. I really just like being on the water, so something with fishing. I was serious about the book, though. I really want to write one.
What else are you into? Outside of wakeskating, I love to skateboard, fish and spearfish, get my crunch on, and I love music, reading and trying to play golf. I kind of just like interacting with people. I would say the most important part of my life is my family and friends.
How do you think your creative skills affect your wakeskating? I try to translate certain things. First off, I’m not as creative as I once thought I was. The creativity I do have I try to translate, but honestly, it’s more of a feeling thing. I used to try to really think of my riding a certain way but that didn’t work.
Sure, wakeskating is an artistic sport, but you can’t get away from the fact that it is a sport. It’s not like skateboarding. It’s so much more limited. I’ve really just been trying to do stuff that’s different for me. Even really dumb stuff, but it’s fun for me because it’s different. My big thing is I always want to be learning and evolving. I never want the same video part or the same sequence. That’s what keeps it fun. Honestly, I’m not the one to talk about this with because there are other people doing a lot more original stuff than I am.
Who is that? Ben Horan and Andy Pastura and guys like that. You want to know someone who has done more stuff than anyone? Aaron Reed. Besides Thomas, he has been the most creative person in wakeskating of all time. Think of everything that people do now and who started it and did it first. It has to be Aaron. All the new tricks he learned on rails, behind the PWC, wake-to-wake, everything. Aaron is insane. He’s been the most creative guy in wakeskating for a long time.
Yeah, his career has been so long. He’s incredible. Straight up, Thomas is the most influential and there’s no amount to put on how much Scott Byerly has done, but Aaron is the best. Look at his old video parts: Sfumato. Volume 4. He did more new stuff in Volume 2 than any other part ever. Then, go into all the locked-in stuff he did on that one Red Bull trip: back tail, front blunt. Every single thing kids do today, Aaron did it, has done it and can still do it. Who do you think brought you front blunts, back big spins, wake-to-wake kickflips and Hampson? Aaron is by far the best wakeskater there ever was.
What kind of effect did you want to have? I have never once thought of having an impact on wakeskating.
Yeah, but you have. I guess I have. I don’t think about it too much — only when I’m upset or I don’t think someone has been nice to me or something.
Where do you see it going? I couldn’t tell you anymore. I worry about wakeskating. The riding is better than ever — the things people are doing are what we dreamed people would do. My vision of wakeskating is exactly what these kids are doing. They’re doing stuff I’ve only imagined and probably will only imagine doing, and it’s awesome. At the same time, I don’t know as a sport if we’re really growing. We think it is based on the tricks, but we’re all in a bubble and don’t see the big picture. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
What do you think the change has been for you recently? Buying a boat.
Yeah, I guess that makes sense. You’re constantly riding now. I’ve been in Orlando for five years, but I’ve only been living on a lake for the past two. For the first year living on the lake, I didn’t have a boat. Then I bought a boat from my dad that broke all the time. So this spring I bought this boat — a ’96 Sport Nautique — and it changed everything. I ride all the time. This is something everyone can do too. It cost less than a new PWC and you have every aspect of riding. No one has ever given me a free boat, and that’s fine. I bought my own boat and I’m happy as I could be. If that doesn’t prove how much I love wakeskating, what does? I’m not going to sit around and wait for someone to sponsor me. I bought my own boat and go out and wakeskate every day no matter what. Everyone else can suck it (laughs).
Anything else to say? Yeah, I kind of feel like I messed this whole interview up. I wasn’t funny and you kept asking really hard questions. Those were good questions, though. I’m glad you didn’t just ask me how my wake is and shit. I want to thank God, my family and friends, Obscura, Oakley, DVS and the Liquid Force family.