When the 2011 Nautique Wake Games kick off on April 28 at the Orlando Watersports Complex, JD Webb will get his first taste of King of Wake action in nearly a year. After finishing third at last year’s Wake Games, Webb was sidelined for much of the 2010 competitive season when he injured his knee at the Masters. But Webb rebounded strong, winning the Oakley Riot and finishing third at Red Bull’s Wake of Fame to close out the year. Now, Webb is looking to get back into the thick of the King of Wake season standings. With the Wake Games looming, we talked to Webb about his renewed focus and why the Nautique-sponsored event is the perfect place to launch his King of Wake reboot.
You were MIA for most of the 2010 season; what happened? I tore my meniscus at Masters last year. It’s a pretty simple knee injury, but I had to miss a few contests because of it. It sucks being injured.
Are you ready to ride again? I am. Red Bull hooked me up with a lot of good doctors and trainers to get me heeled and ready to ride. I’ve spent a lot of time practicing and training on and off the water to get ready for next season. I feel more prepared than I’ve ever been.
How pumped are you to start the 2011 season? I’m definitely pumped to start the season. It sucked being at home last year; not traveling with the boys. But I’m feeling good now and ready ride.
Where’s your first stop of the season? At Wake Games. It’s a great way to start the season because it’s right here in Orlando, which means no traveling, and it’s also sponsored by Nautique so that’s plus for me as well.
Is there a benefit to being a Nautique Boats team rider when you’re competing at a Nautique event like Wake Games? For sure. Wake Games uses the Super Air Nautique 230, which is the same boat that I ride behind at home. I practice behind it every day, so when I compete with that boat, I’m already dialed in. I know what to expect from the wake and the boat, so I’m good to go.
What are you looking forward to the most at Wake Games? Winning! No, seriously, Wake Games is a lot of fun because it’s just so different from every other contest out there. We get to pick teams and compete with all the different pro and amateur divisions on our team. It’s a lot of fun interacting with the other riders and going through the draft process.
Are you a team captain at this year’s Wake Games draft? I am. It’s a lot of fun picking people at the draft. We chill at Orlando Watersports Complex, and get to choose riders from every division to be on our team. It’s cool to see how excited some of the younger riders get. I remember being in their shoes, looking up to the people that I admired.
You finished in third place at last year’s Wake Games. Can we expect a repeat or better in 2011? I’m a pretty competitive person. I like to win, even though I haven’t done that in a while. But like I said, I’m feeling prepared this season. I’ve been working on some new things and I would love to start the season with a win.
What are some of the new tricks you’ve been working on? A lot of guys are working on their Mobe 5s, so I’m working on that, too. I’ve also been practicing to become more consistent with my Pete 5s, whirly 5s and a couple other things.
What are some of your goals for 2011? I want to finish within the top five for King of Wake, win a contest, and make a cover.
Anyone you would like to thank? All my sponsors: Nautique Boats, Hyperlite, Red Bull, Reef, Dragon and Performance Ski & Surf.
Witness JD Webb’s Return:
Orlando Watersports Complex | Orlando, Florida | April 28-May 1