Chad Sharpe’s another one of those guys who doesn’t really say much, but likes to let his riding talk for him. I first met Chad last spring, when he was spending a few days at the Wakeboard Camp riding with Labal teammate Robb Reid. My first and lasting impression of the kid from Vancouver was that he had a lot of energy – he was always ready to ride. That, and he was pretty fearless when it came time to hit the slider or try new moves. (The following answers should be read with a heavy Canadian accent.)
Give me the basics – name, rank and serial number. I’m 17, from Vancouver, and have been riding for about four years.
You did pretty well on the West Coast leg of the tour, huh?
Yeah, I got, like, 17th in Vancouver and 15th in Sacramento. I would have done better, maybe, but I fell both times.
So are you a pro snowboarder or what?
Well, not a pro, kind of like a semi-pro. I’m sponsored by Rossignol Canada, and I compete in some half-pipe events.
Then why wakeboarding?
My dad had a boat down on Lake Sammish, about 45 minutes from home, so I just started riding.
What do you like better now, snow or wake?
Probably wakeboarding – it’s a lot warmer! Plus, I just like the feeling better when I ride a wakeboard.
Was it hard to cross over, or did your snowboard background help?
Actually, my wakeboarding has helped my snowboarding. I guess it’s just because of the balance factor and more time riding a board sideways. Wakeboarding has taken a little of my snow time away, though. I spent last summer in West Palm at Jeff Heer’s house.
Canadians sticking together, eh? Who else do you like?
Shaun Murray is incredible. That guy’s so gifted.
He’s a punk, but pretty good snowboarder, too. Which sport do you think is easier?
Snowboarding is, to me. As long as you commit on a snowboard, you’re going to make it around. Wakeboarding has the whole rope factor
to deal with.
What’s next for you?
I’m learning some new moves – a dum-dum, trying to get some consistency. I land a Moby Dick about half the time right now, and I landed my first 720 a few weeks ago.