Do you have any advice for kids who want to follow your career path? It’s difficult because my story is one of being lucky and being at the right place at the right time — and the fact that I’ve been such a hard worker and been so passionate about it. So there’s really no one thing to say to kids about how to become a professional wakeboarder. The best thing I can say is something I picked up from Shaun Murray. Just continue to have a passion for it. If you don’t love it with all your heart, then you’re going to stop riding eventually. Continue for as long as you can to have a love and passion for the sport because that’s really what it’s about.
Is there anything you feel you’re going to be leaving on the table when you walk away? It’s hard for me to say, “Yeah, I’ve done everything I wanted to do in wakeboarding.” To be realistic, I think it would take me a lifetime to do everything I want to do on a wakeboard. But to be honest, I’ve done a lot. I’ve jumped off the wake and landed on a 7-foot rail 60 feet away. I’ve been in multiple videos. I’ve met tons of fans. I hopefully have inspired some kids, and I think I’ve been a positive influence. Of course, there’s plenty I’d love to do still, but I only live one time, and I want to do as much as I possibly can with that one life. I’m happy. I’m very satisfied with what I’ve done with my career.
What will you miss most about being a pro wakeboarder? Being able to go ride whenever I want to with my best friends. I’m my own boss. I do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. I can be as active as I want or as lazy as I want. I’m probably one of the most regimented people out of all the pro riders out there, but I’m sure at some point in my military career I’m going to be like, “I don’t want to get up at 4 a.m. Seriously, can’t we sleep at least until 6?” Really, what I’m going to miss is being on the boat with good friends. Those good friends to me are Benny G, Shaun Murray, people I ride with on a daily basis. I’m going to miss it all. It’s a super-awesome sport, and I’m blessed to be a pro wakeboarder and to have lived the dream for the past 10 years. I’m definitely going to miss it, but I don’t think I’ll have any regrets.
How do you want to be remembered in wakeboarding? Hopefully I’ll be remembered as the kid who did what he wanted to do. Hopefully people feel I was a true wakeboarder. I had a lot of passion and a lot of soul for the sport. Hopefully there will be an era in wakeboarding where all the riders are just launching tricks out into the flats. Hopefully I’m remembered as one of the originators of that style.