It’s pretty good to be Tom Fooshee these days. The Texas native has won the World Wakeboard Association’s Wake Park World Series the past two seasons, and he’s widely regarded as one of the best cable riders in the world. He’s also rocking a new pro model wakeboard, the Liquid Force Witness Grind, which is specifically designed to keep up with his wake park shredding. We recently caught up with Fooshee as he prepared to defend his 2009 Wake Park World Series crown.
How have you spent your winter? I went to Australia for a portion of it and the other part I spent in my full suit.
Have you hit up any new parks recently? We went to Australia’s new park while we were there. It’s called Australia’s Wake Park Penrith. It’s right outside of Sydney. It’s a really fun park, really fun time. They have a full-size cable as well as two two-tower cables, and they had a full set of rails and kickers. It’s such a good scenic setup — nice green grass everywhere, lots of people, just a really good setup.
The Wake Park World Series is moving into its third year in 2010. Have you noticed any changes between the 2008 and 2009 series in terms of turnout, rider participation or just general excitement. Each year it gets better and better. This last year was even better than the year before. More people, format changes, the judging changed just a little bit, too. Each stop gets bigger and more fun for everybody.
What are you looking forward to in the 2010 Wake Park series? They’ve got a lot of travel this year, which I am really excited for. We’re going all the way across the globe. There are a couple stops in Europe, we’ve got one here and we’ve got events in the Philippines and Turkey.
Any specific stops that you’re really pumped about? I’m actually really excited to go to the one in the Netherlands. I’ve never been there before. I’m pretty eager to check it out and see what the place is all about.
Which riders do you see as your main competition for the 2010 series title? All of the usual suspects: Nick Davies, Sam Collins, Donald Shelbrick and a bunch of the German guys. The same guys that have been in it, and a lot of the new up-and-comers I’m sure I’m going to find out about this year.
We know of at least two new full-size cable parks that will be opening soon in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Combine that with Texas Ski Ranch and the Sesitec System 2.0 park at Texas MasterCraft and your home state is second only to Florida in terms of cable parks. What’s the excitement level around cable in Texas right now? It’s really exciting having a bunch of new ones come up. It’s more options. I see a lot of road trips coming up in the near future. It’s going to be really good for our sport — a lot more people riding and more wakeboards being sold. It’s exciting from all angles.
What can you tell us about those two new parks? One of them is already up and running in Cresson, Texas. I went and checked the place out last May when they were digging it, and it looks like it’s going to be an awesome place. It’s on a racetrack, which is pretty cool. The track surrounds the cable. They have really clear water with limestone going around the lake, so the water is neon green. It’s just a really awesome spot.
You’re signed on to ride at the Corpus Christi Pro at the Texas International Boat Show again this year. What was that event like last year? What are you looking forward to in this year’s event? It was really cool. It was actually a really interesting event, because you’ve got the crowd at wake level right next to you. You’re able to get right next to the crowd, and there’s thousands of people cheering. It’s really cool. You’re right next to the hotels and in between huge yachts — really unique.
How does being so close to the crowd impact the event? When it came down to the finals last year, people definitely put it on. You start seeing things pulled out that you hadn’t seen all weekend. I’m sure it will be the same this year. The louder everybody gets the more the riders want to throw down. It was so much fun last year. I’m excited to go down there.
Any new tricks that you’ve been working on? Yeah, but since it’s been winter, I’ve been trying to keep up with the things I already know how to do. It’s starting to pick back up and get warmer, so I’m going start working on some really new stuff here in a little bit.
What’s your 2010 season looking like? What are your goals? This is my first year out of school. I’m really trying to commit everything to wakeboarding and to my sponsors. You know, make them happy and travel as much as I can, because I wasn’t able to before. I’m really trying to put all of my time into it and take it as far as I can. Now that school is done, I am going to take it to it’s fullest and do as much possible.
Interview: Nikki Stephens Photo: Bill Doster