You got sixth at the Brostock double-up contest last year. Is that a place you’re looking to grow your riding?
It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do. I started to get really into double-ups about three or four years ago. It’s definitely one aspect of my riding I want to continue to work on.
What other directions are you taking your riding?
I’m just really trying to open up and learn new things. One of the things I’ve always had a lot of respect for and I want to continue to get more into is winching. It doesn’t get more raw than that, and I have all the elements within five to 10 miles of my house. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be taking advantage of it.
In terms of tricks, what are you working on?
I’ve been working on some new mobes, some new corked 7 variations. I think a 1260 is going to happen pretty soon on the cable. I’ve been trying those and I almost stuck one at Cablestock. That’s something I would definitely like to get this year.
You won Best Wake Park Rider at the 2010 Wake Awards. What was it like to be the first rider to win that award?
Ever since I got into wakeboarding, I’ve been a fan of the Wake Awards. It’s one of the most fun things to be a part of and to watch. To be honored by the wake community in that aspect is just an unreal feeling.
Which other cable guys are you pumped on right now?
Daniel Grant, hands down. He is a kid everybody needs to know about. He’s 14 years old and he’s already starting to do things that are completely unheard of. It’s unreal what that kid can do and what his potential is. The wild thing about it is he’s just as good wakeskating as he is wakeboarding. I would pretty much describe him as the Harley Clifford of cable. He’s pushing the limits right now — doing things that we always thought were impossible. He’s laying them down and making them look easy.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a scene with more momentum than Texas. There are, what, three new parks opening in Texas this summer?
Yeah, Wake Nation just opened up in Houston, Cowtown in Dallas is opening up soon and Hydrous is opening in Dallas this summer as well, so the scene is popping off real hard right now. And it’s popping on every single level too — not just these cable parks. The boat scene is just going off and the winch scene is unreal, especially since Aaron Reed got here. A big reason I stayed in Texas instead of moving to Orlando after I graduated college was the realization that we really have it all here.
How do you think growing up in Texas defined your riding?
It’s definitely affected my style. We were one of the first parks other than Orlando Watersports Complex to really have a rail-savvy park and that really influenced my riding, showing it’s not just about doing air tricks. As far as things are going now, I definitely want to keep that up and just do a lot more grabs. I think that’s one of the only aspects a lot of guys are missing out on right now because it’s getting so technical. One thing I definitely want to push is the legitimacy of cable riding. We’re the ones who have to be responsible for setting the scene and guiding the next generation to do things right.
Do you feel a sense of responsibility for the Texas scene?
I definitely do. It was obviously those guys back in the day like Jimmy Redmon and Pat McElhinney who kicked it off. But we have really been a part of turning Texas up, and having the cable there has helped us get more and more people into the sport.
How involved are you at TSR these days?
I’m extremely involved at TSR. I have to give those guys credit for getting me kick-started, and that place has helped me grow both with myself and my riding. I help them run every single event they have, whether it be judging, organizing or just everything in general. I know every single one of the local kids who come out and ride, and I’m always trying to push them. I’m one of the locals, just like everyone else.
Is that something you’re as proud of as, say, winning the Wake Park World Series?
Definitely, and that’s something I always want to continue to do. It’s part of helping to build the sport. I was just another college kid who rode out there and worked out there, and that’s what I’m going to continue to be. That’s why I welcome anyone and everyone to approach me and ask me for suggestions, trick tips, whatever, and I’ll be the first one to help you out with a smile on my face.
What do you want to do when your pro riding career is over?
I went to school to be a teacher, and that’s always been a backup plan, but I 100 percent want to stay involved in wakeboarding. More than anything, I want to work up at the Texas Ski Ranch and one day take over and run that park. I’ve been there for a long time and I have a pretty good vision for what it takes to run a park like that. I’m definitely going to try and ride out my knees as long as I can, though.
What do you want to accomplish before you’re done riding?
I basically want to stay on the same track I am now. I want to continue submitting tricks for Move of the Year at the Wake Awards. Obviously, I also want to stay very present in the contest scene. Overall, I want to keep pushing the envelope of the sport. It’s still really young compared to a lot of other sports, so there’s still a lot that can be done. I just want to continue to be a part of it and obviously help it grow.