An interview with Kara Monaco

Playboy magazine's Kara Monaco was busy working during most of the Surf Expo 2005 weekend, but she shared a half-hour with us at We had some fairly standard questions for her, but thankfully she had more important things to discuss. You all know Kara as Playboy's Miss June 2005 (and from the cover of the June 2004 special edition). But what you may not know is that she's an active wakeboarder. Kara has been an athlete all her life and is now breaking into the wakeboarding scene. "I'm hooked," Kara said, having just started wakeboarding in August. "I want to learn all the tricks." She said it helps to have Ricky Gonzales teaching her. "I keep calling him," she said. Kara met Ricky at a trade show in Las Vegas in 2004. They were both signing posters on the show floor and have been friends ever since. When it comes to wakeboarding, "you have to practice -- a lot," Kara said. "That's what I need to do." She said it also helps to have a good board. Kara rides a Gonzales wakeboard that she says was a gift from her instructor.

Kara's career has sent her popularity through the roof. She had a humble introduction to Playboy and doesn't mind talking about it. "My friend submitted my photos to Playboy and they called me the very next day," she said. "I wasn't sure what to do, but my Mom and sister said go for it, so I did." That support was all the Florida native needed. She immediately flew out to California for her first shoot. "I was so nervous," Kara said about her first time with Playboy. "My mom actually came with me to my shoot." Kara quickly became comfortable with the photographers and the entire Playboy scene. She said "Hef" is very nice, gracious and a gentleman. When asked for the truth about the Playboy Mansion Grotto, she took the fifth: "I know nothing. I don't go in there. Crazy stuff happens at the parties." She wants to introduce Ricky to her friends at Playboy. "I want to take him to the Halloween party." We're sure Ricky won't mind.

Kara's involvement with wakeboarding isn't just limited to her friendship with Ricky. We told you she's been an athlete all her life, but what you don't know is that she was into gymnastics as a kid and shared an instructor with Dallas Friday. "Gymnastics is tough too," she said. "You have tricks -- it's the same kind of thing." Kara said having been an athlete (especially a gymnast) is instrumental in becoming a solid wakeboarder. In some ways, it seems Kara was destined to break into wakeboarding. She hopes to become as good as Dallas and plans to debut on the PWT in 2007. We can't wait.