What’s it like to be the face of your sport as it makes its jumped into the mainstream? We decided to ask pro wakeskater Nick Taylor, whose episode of the new action-sports program The Alli Show debuts on MTV2 at 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 31. As the only wake athlete on the seven-show series, Taylor felt a responsibility to portray wakeskating in the right light as the sport is seen for the first time by thousands of viewers. We talked to Nick about the pressure to rep wakeskating as well as what we can expect to see when we tune into MTV2 on Halloween night. — Megan Anderson
How did you get involved with The Alli Show? Basically, they decided they wanted to do a profile feature of all the major action sports, and they decided that wakeskating was finally cool enough that they wanted to cover it. So I guess they did a little research and found out about me and approached me wanting to do this show as a major introduction to wakeskating and myself for their viewing audience.
Why did Alli decide to include wakeskating in the show? They’re covering snowboarders, BMXers, skateboarders and they’re basically trying to get a wide spectrum of action sports, and wakeskating is finally getting to the point that it’s on the level of all the other major action sports. So that’s pretty cool.
We saw that your Nike 6.0 teammate Adam Errington makes an appearance. Any other riders we should look out for? Yeah, we had Adam Errington and Eddie Valdez come out and hang out for a couple of days just to have a little more personality, so it wasn’t just me out there. I get to roll with those guys on the Nike team any time we do events, so it was cool to have them out there and be a part of the show.
Can you give us a backstage look at filming for the show? How did it work? How long did the crew follow you around for? Well the crew flew out there, where I was living in Carlsbad, and came out for like four or five days. Basically, they had to get a feel for what we were doing with wakeskating before they really knew how to film it and approach it and even the final production of the show they had to see how we live and see how we ride. Everyone from the show was super cool — the filmers, the producers, everyone. It was just cool to bring them out to where we were. And then we also went to Texas and did a winch trip, which was where part of the filming for the Aqua Frolics Nike 6.0 wakeskate movie overlapped with the filming of The Alli Show. It was cool to not only show them how we live it when we’re just doing it home-style and just hanging out and riding, but also to bring them along on the trip and give them a taste of how all that works too.
How did you decide what you were going to film? Did you have a lot of say? Yeah they basically approached me and were like, ‘What do we need to film?’ They left it completely open to me, and I just thought about how I would want to portray wakeskating. It mostly came out to one PWC session, we went surfing and skateboarding while we were in California, and the winch trip to Texas was sort of the main feature just because of how substantial winching has become and what a big part of wakeskating it is now.
Who did the on-camera interviews with you? Everyone who got interviewed — me, Eddie, Adam and everyone else — we all sort of did individual interviews. It was basically the producers of The Alli Show and the filmers who were following us around. It was their way of not only getting clips for the show, but to also help them understand what we were about and be able to portray wakeskating better when making the show.
What should viewers expect to see in the show? Any specific spots or tricks we should look out for? Definitely some of the Texas winch spots from Aqua Frolics that Aaron Reed graciously shared with us. There are some spots in the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego and Carlsbad Lagoon. There’s tons of good stuff in there. And winching off the Tamarack Beach jetties into the surf was also a highlight. That’s something that I don’t get to do that often and most people don’t get to see that often, so it was cool to get to do that and get to document that. I thinks most of the viewers of the show — since its on a network as big as MTV2 — aren’t going to have any clue about wakeskating before they see it, so they are basically starting with a clean slate and this will be the first exposure. But for people who are already well-versed in the world of wake should definitely expect to see some good wakeskating and sick wakeboarding from Adam Errington, tons of winching and a little bit of lifestyle footage.
This show is going out to a pretty broad audience. What was it like to represent wakeskating to a more general audience, a good percentage of whom probably haven’t seen the sport before? It can mess with your head if you think about it too much. I think being so deeply involved in wakeskating sometimes makes you focus on the smaller things, whereas people who have never been exposed to wakeskating are more looking at everything. They’re taking it all in as something new, whereas I’ve been in the game for so long that I’m sort of jaded to it. So I try not to think about it too much, and I just try to let everything roll naturally. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to represent wakeskating on such a grand scale. I’m stoked. I’m honored. It’s just really cool to be able to do it.
Check out the trailer for Nick Taylor’s episode of The Alli Show here, and be sure to catch the full episode on MTV2 on Saturday, October 31, at 11 p.m.