When did you start wakesurfing? Fall 2007, my buddy Josh Sleigh hit me up and asked me if I wanted to try wake surfing out. He was headed up for the Boardstock competition at Clear Lake, CA. How could I resist? Surf behind a boat?? Sure!
What was the first board you surfed behind the boat? Placebo
Who was your first wake surf sponsor? Stretch Boards
Do you ever ride skim style? No, mostly because I grew up surfing; but I do respect their style. For example, got a chance to ride with Brad Domke last year- he is amazing. Also rode with Drew Danielo- he kills it.
Tell us about the Stretch Board you are riding now? Which one?..(haha) Stretch and I have teamed up to make a real surf style 5’6 board to really perform on. Thanks to his shaping ability I’m able to go back and forth from the ocean to the boat and it doesn’t negatively affect my performance, it makes it better.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest breakthrough in wake surfing? Overall, technological advances. All these new systems in all the new boat companies, Tige, Malibu, ect…are making it easier for people to get into wake surfing and have a great time. My personal favorite is the Switchblade Enhancement System on a Centurion boat. It has helped me build a wake that makes me feel solid on.
Do you have a normal crew of friends you ride with? Yeah, I have a tight crew---it’s like Nascar over here at Lake Sonoma (hahaha). I’m sure anyone can relate to finding the third person to meet law requirements…so I am very thankful to my friends and crew that offer so much for this sport.
How much weight do you normally ride with? HAHA- you know I can’t tell you that…
What motivates and influences you the most to learn new tricks? The old school and the new school style surfers help motivate my methods of pulling something new every day. Also, I grew up in the ocean surfing, so I like to take a break and hit a couple sessions of surf to get back in touch with my roots, refresh, and recharge.
What tricks do you think are the future of wake surfing? Airs? Spins? I think as wakes get bigger, we are eventually going to see some flips done behind a boat
Has wakesurfing taken you anywhere you thought you’d never get to go? Yeah, North Carolina, Arizona, and wake surfing in Maui on the ocean.
What tricks are you working on this year and what are your goals? Finally trying to ride out of landing the Superman. Also, Passion Pops, and Full 360 Air Reverses.
What are your hobbies other than wake surfing? Surfing, DJ, Dirtbikes, Photography
What words of advice would you give the young groms and riders just starting to wakesurf? Have fun, but push yourself. As for the groms, be stoked- you’re getting the biggest wave on the boat.
Would you like to thank anyone for helping you get where you are today?
Thanks to JL (RIP) we miss you buddy, along with Josh Sleigh who introduced me to this addiction. Then Of Course, to all my backers and sponsors; Body Glove, Fly High Fat Sacs, Switchblade Wake Enhancement System, Centurion Boats, Stretch Boards, We All Ride Clothing, Freak Traction, and always to all who make this madness happen; including you Frank! (the guy that hangs off the back of the boat for a photo...)
Photos: Frank Yates