I’m sitting in the very last row of Northwood Church waiting for Sarah Cline. It’s a full house of the neatly dressed weekly faithful. I strain my neck looking for the recently dyed red-headed girl. It’s 7:07 p.m. and I’m starting to feel like the butt of a vicious joke – that now that I think of it – I wouldn’t put past Cline. The playful and mischievous eyes, surging and cunning smile…
I should’ve known the first night we met. We were at a tavern playing cut-throat pool and I – thinking I knew the object of the game – unknowingly sank all of my own balls while she quietly and damn-well knowingly looked on victoriously. Unbearably sweet with a how-can-you-not-trust-me face? one minute, and mischievous and menacing the next. You want to love her, you want to ring her neck. “Sorry I’m late.” It’s Sarah. She’s dressed conservatively in white slacks and a rainbowed long-sleeve top.
“We usually sit up near, like, the second row,” she whispers as she leads me down the aisle. Church was one thing … but the second row? This was getting serious.
Gemini Girl: The Good Twin
My opinion of you has changed. Are you pretty religious?
Yeah. You wouldn’t think that. I try to go to church every Sunday. At Northwood we have this excellent minister, he’s really easy to relate to. It’s a pretty non-traditional church.
Yeah, but do they speak in tongues?
Have you ever spoken in tongues?
No, I haven’t experienced that!
Yeah, then you’d really be a spectacle on the lake – Ladies and Gentleman, the speaking-in-tongues, tribal tattoo, G-string girl up next!
Yeah, right! (Laughs.)
Your image has toned down some – a little more to the conservative side – what’s up with that?
(Laughs.) Yeah, I guess. I started wearing the G-string and things like that, but that’s all kind of … old. I lay out in it and I still wear it, but after some bruises on my butt you want to start wearing shorts! Anyway, I’d rather be in a magazine because I ride good.
Hanging out with the likes of Scott Byerly and Rich Goforth, it seems inevitable that your aggro spirit would have you shredding in no time. You’re story smacks of overnight sensation-itis. How’d it all start?
It was crazy the first two weeks I started riding. Scott and them would ride and I was, like, “I could do that!” So I got out there and crossed the wake, then jumped the wake. And they’re yelling, “Try a frontside 180!” and I’m, like, “No, I want to try a flip!” I felt obligated, I was out there with all these good people. So Jerry and Arty from FLF came down to shoot Scott, and he was, like, “You guys should get Sarah!” So they filmed me and people recognized me. I was put into the spotlight kind of early. I guess it helped being friends with everybody – some of the best riders, they pushed me hard.
Why did you switch sponsors from Liquid Force to Wake Tech?
I rode with Wake Tech since I first started riding. And then Liquid Force came to me right before Worlds and they kind of offered me next year to go on tour. But then there didn’t even end up being a women’s tour. They were cool, but things weren’t working out. So I talked to Wake Tech – they made me a good offer and I like their boards.
So will there soon be the Sarah Cline model board?I already came up with one, but I think Hyperlite’s stealing it. I was almost going to sign with them. I told them about making a board and they’re, like, “Yeah, we’ll make you a board!” And they asked me if I had any ideas. And I came up with this cat because I used to always put a cat sticker on my board. It’s like a wicked, sexy-looking girl cat with really cool-looking blue eyes. I was gonna call it “Feline by Cline,” but I guess they stole it. Now I’ll have to come up with a better one.
Gemini Girl: The Evil Twin
I make Sarah show me her bedroom – a place where most of you boys can only dream about. I know exactly what I’m looking for – next to the piled-up gymnastics and diving medals, under the colorful Pez dispenser collection – ahh, there it is … the Lyman High School yearbook. I flip to the front and back pages where everyone signs, and read aloud.
Check out how many times this guy asks you to call him: “You need to call me more … If you ever want to do something just call … Give me a call sometime.” What persistence! Did you ever call him?
Yeah, he was after me for a while. He was later my boyfriend. That was Drew McGuckin.
Ooh yeah, how about this one: “Sarah, my love, it was cool getting to know you, every inch of you …”
(Laughs.) Oh, he was, like, this joker friend. But, um, he also went on to become my boyfriend.
All right, what’s this: “It’s so funny how everyone thought we were lezbos, although I know how much you love to see my cute little petite butt.”
That’s Allison, she was my best friend.
Which women wakeboarders do you admire?
I admire Andrea a lot. She’s really helped the sport come along. Dana’s pulling big tricks too. And Tara (Hamilton) – I haven’t seen her personally but I’ve seen pictures and heard about her. She’s only, like, 14 or 15.
The guys better start to worry. Everyone knows that you are not afraid to take a hard fall out there. Where does all this toughness come from?
(Laughs.) I used to play soccer, and one time I shied away from this girl kicking the ball right in my face. My dad sent me out there and made my brother shoot soccer balls at me!
Where do you see the future of women’s wakeboarding?
It could be really big. I think the whole scene could be really big, bigger than it is now. I think there should be a tour where it isn’t just pro, kind of like the Hyperlite Challenge, but bigger and expand it to more people. And then have a pro tour also. They definitely need to have a bigger pro tour with maybe just the wakeboarders, then have the skiers, and then women skiers back with the men’s skiers. I don’t think it should be separated, women and men.
What about the future for
(Gazing intently over Worlds site, Crane’s Roost Park.) To go out and make the water mine.