Trever Maur: Pro Spotlight

Dog Dayz
Trever MaurRodrigo Donoso

In the days of media ruling our worlds and creeping into our lives in every way ­imaginable, it would seem that being a rider-­filmmaker should give you the perfect skill set to be successful in the ­wakeboarding ­industry. On the heels of his second full-length film, Dog Dayz, Trever Maur will tell you that while having the skills and creative vision to produce movies is something he’s forever grateful for, it’s also a trait that drives him to the brink of ­insanity. If shooting, ­editing, producing and marketing your own major movie doesn’t sound like enough, try the added pressure of riding in it and pushing yourself to have a part you can hang your hat on. Let me tell you that ­Trever’s personal drive doesn’t end there, either. His passion has led him down the road to ­becoming the lead spokesman of the West Coast riding movement, and in the last five years, he’s been pretty insistent on making a mark on wakeboarding, with him and his ­Northern California friends as the subjects. While his camera never seems to shut off, neither does his brain. Trever’s work ethic and drive ­toward perfection are something to marvel at, and they also make for a pretty ­interesting ­interview.

Dog Dayz
Trever MaurRodrigo Donoso

Hey, bud!
Yo, I just lost my voice last night, so I might be struggling a little bit. Bear with me.

We'll make it work. So what's up?
Just driving through the Grapevine, man. I'm finally getting a little downtime to ride for ­myself, which is cool. In a week it all picks back up again.

Weather been good?
Windy. Temperatures are nice, but it's been windy, so we have to get out in the morning, early, or else the winds come in and you might as well hang it up.

You're finally done with Dog Dayz. How does it feel?
Like a big weight is off my shoulders, 100 percent. [Laughs.] No, it feels really good, man. In reality, all I wanted was to make something that was really well received, and I think I did that. I had put this pressure on myself because I just really didn't know how it was going to be received, you know? It's a West Coast video. There hasn't been one in a while. Not the gnarliest tricks, but heavy enough in the style ­department. I think it had enough heavy tricks to carry it. I haven't really heard anything negative about it, and I'm really ­excited about how it came out. It's a massive weight off my shoulders.

What was your overall goal for the film?
The goal of the film was really to be a time capsule for what West Coast riding is right now. There have always been generations that come and go on the West Coast, while other places have an ongoing scene and don't have those ups and downs of people riding. Here it, like, skips generations, or the scene on the Delta takes a break and seems like it's gone for a little bit and comes back. So really, I wanted to take the generation that is there now and encapsulate it, give people that history of where we're from and showcase our riding in the best way possible. Maybe in the next five or 10 years there will be ­another one, but I just wanted to make a video where later down the road, people can watch it and know where our generation of riding came from. And it just felt like it was time. Who knows where all of us are going to be in the future? So I really wanted to do it.

Were you happy with your part?
My personal part? It was by far the best section I've ever done. I feel very satisfied. I was hurt for about four months total in the middle of filming for it, and I definitely think if I wasn't, I could have got a couple of things that I didn't get. There were a few spots I wanted to go back to. At the end of the day, though, the way I see it is that I now have something I can ­improve on. Since I got hurt and was out, I can look forward to the next film knowing I can do better. I'm excited about that.

Yeah, if you were completely satisfied, you wouldn't know where to go next, right?
Exactly, and there are some spots that I for sure wanted to hit winching, and they're gnarly, so I still have those to do. But for me and my part in Dog Dayz, it was gnarly enough because I've never really showcased that side of my riding.

Did you edit your own section?

Was that hard to do?
I switched my song four times. [Laughs.] I spent tons of time on all the parts, but yeah, I re-edited mine four times. I wasn't trying to be greedy. I'm just way too much of a perfectionist and critical of my riding. It's a double-edged sword doing your own stuff. It's good because you get to make it look ­exactly how you want, but it sucks because of how overcritical you can be.

Dog Dayz
Trever MaurRodrigo Donoso

What was your favorite part of making the movie?
Probably just the idea of creating something that I hope will have influence on younger kids. [The idea] that they will have something to look up to just like I did with the Pointless crew, or all the other videos that influenced me, and now the idea of my movie having a hand in history is kind of cool.

What was the worst part?
Making the video. [Laughs.] It was so much work, man. At the beginning I was so excited about doing the proposal and finding sponsors, but as soon as the first sponsor said yes, it was just crazy. Finding sponsors after that was continually stressful, and dealing with everyone's schedules is so hard. The social-media aspect of it I definitely need to hire someone for. It's so hard to stay on top of it after long days of shooting and editing. Finding filmers, budgets, emails — it's so much more than holding a camera. With Al Sur, I never dealt with any of the back end of it, so doing the whole production was so stressful, to the point where I would go hang out with friends and I could not stop thinking about it. I thought I was losing my mind. I could tell ­everyone wanted to stop talking about it, but I literally couldn't turn it off. If I can make half the impression that the guys before me did, though, it would be the coolest thing in the world. I looked up to them so much that it sculpted my life.

I can't even imagine, man. I only produced Quiet, Please, and all I did was the back-end stuff and I went insane — never mind shooting and editing.
And riding! Everything really felt like it was on my shoulders. I didn't want to miss shots, and my camera is heavy, man. I'd hold that to film everyone, and by the time it was my turn to ride, my arms would be so tired.

Good god. I don't understand how you did it. The fact that you didn't lose your mind or get completely burned out is pretty amazing.
I'm pretty burnt out at the moment. But there will be a next time, and when there is, I'll do it right. I learned a lot from this. I know which jobs to delegate that were too much for me to handle and all that. That has to happen.

Tell us what it means for you to be a rider from the West Coast.
I would say it's different, for sure. Not to say you can't be from the West Coast and have the same ­mentality as a guy from somewhere else, whether you're into the competitive scene or whatever, but for me, it's ­allowed me to approach things a little differently. The guy who I would say I always aspired to be like was [Mike] Schwenne. I looked up to him the most, and he was my idol. He never did contests. He was just focused on grabbing his board every which way. It didn't matter the trick; he could figure out how to grab it to make it look good, and I took that and tried to run with it. For me, I've never been into contests, and I've seen more value in going out and being creative and putting my own spin on a trick. I think that's mostly how the West Coast mentality has been over the years. We're able to focus first on the way you do a trick and let the spins add on after that. I'm not trying to knock anyone. I think a guy like Dowdy fits in and is very important in the ­industry because you've got to have progression. I just think there's a value to what we do.

It's different now too, though. I feel like the West Coast is less segmented since now you can look at your phone and see what everyone is doing. No longer are you waiting for a magazine or a video to drop to know what the West Coast riders are up to.
True. The whole Internet thing is really cool, but it makes it hard to keep your stuff locked down until you get to release it the way you want to. Danny Harf made such good decisions on where and how his stuff was released. You never saw it until his full video parts [were ready] or when somewhere it had a big impact.

Like Wake Awards or something.
Yep. Maybe last year I saw the first Web video of him? He was always locked into a big project like Defy, where he'd come out with however many double flips and you had no idea he was doing it! Nowadays people have a very hard time keeping anything under lock and key.

They can't help it. They feel like they have to post something about it.
Great example is that kid who landed the double KGB or whatever double cork. If he would have put that in a legit ­video part right before Surf Expo, with other lines or new tricks from him, he could have made a much larger impact. Instead, now everyone knows that a double KGB is possible, and I guarantee by the end of the year two more people might have that trick and it will be kind of lost. That's why full-length videos to me are so crucial.

Dog Dayz
Trever MaurRodrigo Donoso

What kind of things did you learn making this film?
How to be a businessman. I really feel like I learned so much about the inner workings of the industry. How money works, where it comes from and why, thought processes as far as what the valuable assets are for brands and team managers and stuff. I've learned a lot about that, and I feel like it's a tool that will always help me a little bit. I've gained so much respect for people in the industry who create full-lengths, and I also understand why some of them have stopped doing them as well. I don't really want to stop, but I see why they do. As a rider, I learned a lot too. As far as my previous experience in full-length movies, it was very different. For Prime, I shot for like 10 days, and for Quiet, Please, it was mostly in the winter, so it was really hard. For this I had a full-year, season-­to-season edit. I had to figure out when to do certain things, when to try something I could get hurt on and when not to. Just time management ­generally. It's my most diverse section, so I've learned a lot.

What have been some of the more unforgettable moments of your career so far?
So I keep on setting these goals for myself. I've ­always done that. The first one was to get a ­photo in the magazine. When I hit that, I was tripping. Then I hit a few smaller goals, and then I started setting them super high — for instance, a cover. When I got that, I was losing it. Then it was a pro-­model wakeboard, and I never thought I would achieve that, so when I did, my jaw was on the floor. It's ­really helped me. Setting those goals made it so I could actually develop a plan on how to get there instead of going around all nonchalant, wondering what I'm going to do next. It might be five years away, but when I hit it: instant career highlight. I try not to take anything for granted, and I'm very thankful for everything and enjoy sitting back for a second to take it in.

So what's the next goal?
I want a training facility. A compound. I've been talking with Josh [Twelker] about it, and I know that's a long way away, but it's on the long-term list. We'll see.

What rider or crew would you want to shoot with that you haven't yet?
Good question! That Swagtown Canadian crew. Keaton Roper, Dusty O'Ferrall and Nick ­Dorsey. Those guys seem like they'd be super fun to film and chill with. They have a similar vibe to our crew.

What's the biggest misconception people have about being a pro wakeboarder?
That it's easy and all you're ­doing out there is drinking beers. I mean, everyone thinks it's so sick, and it is, but I think a lot of people imagine we're out just having fun nonstop. I'm holding the camera every set I'm in the boat, so there's the pressure of not wanting to miss a shot, and then when it comes to my riding, I always want to grow. If I ever feel like I'm not growing, that's when sponsors can drop you or what­ever. It's like going to work every day not knowing if what you're doing is enough to get fired at the end of the year. There's a lot of stress that comes with that. A pro wakeboarder can ­either worry about that stuff or not, but I do. It's not exactly a clock-out job, either. From the minute I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I'm on. At least that's me. I'm not sure how every­one else is. I think that's healthy in some sense. It drives me crazy, but I know Josh is like that too. It's always a "what's next" type of thinking, and that's what keeps us constantly going and always pushing. That's what it's all about.

Dog Dayz
Trever MaurRodrigo Donoso