When you ride on Chase’s boat several times a week, you have to be one of two things: a writer/photographer covering the New Crew or a really good wakeboarder. Andrew Cairns is a really good wakeboarder. Just 17(in the summer of 1998), Cairns is young even by New Crew standards. But he’s become a daily fixture at the Heavener household and is starting to gain a bunch of respect out on Lake Maitland. At first glance, the Orlando native doesn’t look the part of an up-and-coming young ripper: thick glasses, lanky build, leisurely manner. And he certainly doesn’t talk a big game. But get him behind the boat and his riding says plenty.
When I was walking out to the dock, I heard you out on the water shouting for joy … what’s up?
I landed a switch fruit loop for the first time.
That’s rad. How long did it take you to go from a
regular one to switch?
I don’t do one regular. I was just happy ’cause that’s the first handle-pass flip I’ve ever landed.
Yeah. Switch tricks, I guess, are easier sometimes because you don’t form a lot of bad habits riding that way. You really think about what you’re doing, and it works better. Like when I was taking martial arts when I was a kid, I could always punch better with my weaker hand because I really thought about how to do it. I’m working on switch crow mobes and tantrum to blinds right now.
Speaking of going blind, you don’t wear your glasses or any contacts when you ride. Can you see?
Without my glasses, I can only see good to about here;holds his hand about a foot in front of his face;. But I just learned to get a feel for where the wake is and when to take off. Double-ups were harder to get down at first, and riding at dusk is still pretty tough for me.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever smelled in your life?
The Chase and Chris Heavener bathroom. They never use the fan, and then they close the door when they’re done, so when you go in there it hits you right in the face. It’s ridiculous.
If you could be any television star, who would it be?
David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight in Knight Rider. That show’s so bad. We used to get reruns like four times a day here, but now they don’t show it anymore. I like South Park, too.
Being a member of the now-infamous New Crew, what’s your view on the sport and where it’s going?
I like everything everyone’s doing, the tricks and stuff. But it’s not about the tricks. I’ve never trick skied. I’ve only gotten up on two slalom skis once in my life. What we really wish is that wakeboarding could be our own thing. Not have any connection to anything in the ski industry.
So how would you kill Kenny?
Lock him in the Heavener bathroom and choke him out.
NBN, Spat at Body Glove, Bill Porter at Performance, Bisch, Mike and Cobe, Chase and Matt, Colin Wright at Smoked Monkeys.