How was the after party? We celebrated! I kept it humble at the hotel bar, where I spent 10 percent of my winnings — a mild penalty for my first win. Jimmy ruled the voice of reason as he gave every toast. None beat his first, though: “Bob won, Bob did it, we’re doing it.” On paper it sounds pretty awful, but at the time it would have made Chuck Liddell look like a wussy. We got past our heartfelt moments and, like any night with our group, shit escalated fast. Adam Errington found some fruit slices and started whipping them across the room at my dad, Wayne. (Side note: My dad doesn’t drink, but this night he got a little rowdy.) Wayne had one drink to celebrate, and like King Leonidas without his armor and sword, Wayne’s vision was a little tapered and his weight a little uneven. So, when he went to retaliate, his fruit slice soared directly into a female security guard’s chest. She called the police, and the main security guy had just gotten there to tell everyone to calm down. Then Adam whipped a whole orange at him! Before the guard could even react, Rusty had Adam’s back and took the security guard outside to diffuse the situation, Saskatchewan-style. That’s the moment Rusty became a part of our crew.
During the filming for Slick City, you and Rusty were going at it. So that’s changed? It was really the first time we got to hang out for more than just a weekend, and we both realized how similar we are. We both are extremely weird. Between skin tag surgeries, having fake professional snorkeler alter egos, pooping in random spots and anything a normal person wouldn’t find amusing at all, we adore. So really, Rusty is now one of my best friends.
Is it true you considered giving up wakeboarding prior to your skateboarding head injury in 2006? Well, I hadn’t learned a new trick in three years. I was still winning every Boy’s contest, and it was cool, but wakeboarding wasn’t really my passion. I just did it. My first year of Junior Men’s came around, and I struggled. I remember the Pro Tour stop in Acworth, Georgia, that year as clear as day. I fell on my second to last trick and ended up not qualifying for the Tour. I was over it and pretty sure I was ready to quit wakeboarding. That night, Adam and I went skateboarding. We started at the top of a hill and the next thing I remember was waking up in a hotel room. We’re still not sure how I fell — speed wobbles or a rock, maybe? The next morning I went to the hospital and they ran a CT scan, which showed a dangerous amount of internal bleeding. They had to do immediate brain surgery to reduce the cranial pressure caused by the extra fluid and blood. They went in and cut my head open, flapped up the skin, drained out all the blood and screwed in a metal rod to close up the plates. I woke up three days later from a chemically induced coma. Then I spent a week in the hospital. When I finally got home, I couldn’t wakeboard for six months. That took a toll on me.