Bob Soven is the heart and soul of wakeboarding — at least according to his own definition of the word. Regardless of how you define wakeboarding, it’s hard to disagree. A cutthroat competitive nature on the water and untamed antics after hours make Bob the perfect wakeboarding storm. Anyone who’s spent time with this double-flipping ginger knows his unique yet technical actions on the water speak just as loudly as his entertaining vernacular on dry land. With an explosive personality on and off the water, Bob has quickly become wakeboarding’s new rock star.
It’s hard to imagine our world without the presence of this quick-witted, fire-haired entertainer, but it wasn’t long ago that Bob’s wake career was all but over and rising to the top was highly improbable. Luckily for us, the man previously known as Robert emerged with a renewed passion for the sport, leading him onto a path headed straight to the top of the scene. When it came time to choose a rider for the Pro Spotlight in the first issue of TransWorld WAKEBOARDING, it wasn’t a tough decision.
Give us your definition of “wakeboarding.” Wakeboarding is the culmination of water skiing, surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding into its own unique water sport. Our sport is built upon legends and strives for progression. Whether it’s learning your first invert or being the first to land a 1260 (Danny Harf, aka “D-12”), there is a relative sense of fulfillment after each trick added to your bag of skills. That feeling is why we have the undying passion to go out and put our body through self-deterioration day in and day out. Then there is the lifestyle of wakeboarding, where you compete against your best friends and practice with your rivals and partying is part of your job. In my own words, wakeboarding is “da’ Bob!”
What was it like to win your first Pro Tour stop in Colorado? It was badass! Preceding the finals was the hardest heat in wakeboarding history. Jimmy LaRiche, Harley Clifford, Danny Harf, Phillip Soven and myself duked it out in a battle of epic proportions! It came down to D-12 and me for the third and final spot. In all honesty, I thought he beat me, but I was given the go-ahead to the finals. Thanks again, Dan. We move to the gauntlet. I was second off the dock and had to use my ginger super powers to keep fighting. At a mile high, wakeboarding becomes a serious physical discipline. I fought for two and a half passes, standing up my run. The last two riders did themselves in. Phil got knocked unconscious on a flippy, twisty thing, and Harley got knocked back to middle school when all the other riders started a slow clap after his second fall. I thought it was a little rude, but enjoyed every second of it! The whole day, Rusty Malinoski was telling me I had it in the bag, and he has mind-control powers.