Brian Arthur

Brian Arthur is a unique rider. This 24-year-old came on the scene this year and has already made his mark in wakeboarding. First, he was a top finalist in the Wake Boarding magazine star search. Then, before a star search winner had been selected, he signed on with Connelly to ride in the Team Challenge and won his heat. Later, he competed on the tour and captured three top-15 finishes, including one pro final. All while coaching full time at Champion Wakeboard School and occasionally performing for the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team. Brian is the "outsider" who's arrived.

How long have you been wakeboarding?
About three years. I've skied longer than that, a lot of barefooting.

What's the scene like in Tampa?
It's really cool. There are a lot of good riders here like Doug Homan, Gordy Bubolz, Jeff Thompson and Dave Jennings. Dave and I run the Champion Wakeboard School there.

Do you get a lot of people coming to your school to learn wakeboarding?
Oh yeah, nine out of 10 people come there to learn wakeboarding. Only once in a while we'll get someone who wants to do kneeboarding or slalom. It's crazy how busy we are.

You came out as a pro at the Team Challenge.
How did that happen?
Basically I was calling companies to see if they were looking for riders, and Brian Wheeler of Connelly called me back and asked me to do Team Challenge because Zane was injured. I did pretty well there, and things started rolling.

So from there you competed at the Orlando stop?
Yeah, that really got me established. I finished 15th. It was very competitive, there were, like, 100 people or so coming out, and I made it past the first round on Friday.

You've done fairly well on the pro tour this year. What's that like for you since you've followed it as a fan, and now you're in it?
I really like competing. I feel I do better when I'm in contests. It was a little odd at first because I used to see all the guys in magazines and videos, and now I ride against them. One minute they didn't know who I was, the next they did. Once you place in a final, people remember you.

So your still kind of the outsider, huh?
Yeah, but it's getting better.

Do you think at 24 you are a little old to start as a pro?
No, because when you look at guys like Dave Reinhart - he's 32 and still doing great. I don't really think it's an age thing. It's how well you treat your body. I don't like to take a lot of falls. Once I learn a trick I like too make it as smooth as possible. I'm more focused on that.

Are you going to all the remaining tour stops?
I'll go to Hartford and Indy but probably not the rest unless something comes up as far as money.
What new moves do you see coming in wakeboarding?
Doubles, definitely - double tantrum, double roll. That, and the big spin moves like 720s and S-bend 720s.

What's a typical day for you like?
Wake up, go to the gym. Coach students at Champion Wakeboard School and spend the last couple hours training.

What do you do for fun off thee water?
Hang out with my friends, go out at night to Ybor City and work on building the best year-round wakeboard school in the world.

Anything last-minute thanks?
Oh yeah, thanks to Connelly, my parents, my girlfriend Leslie, Bryon Sobtzak, and Monty Howard for driving for me and putting up with my crap.