Text by: Patrick Wieland
All Photos By: Riley Bangerter
A man with a mustache is always someone you want to be friends with, but Bret Little is more than that. Bret is a very talented wakeskater, an ambassador of the sport and an overall cool dude. Making a name for himself in Texas has not been easy. Bret has stayed true to his roots though and helped grow the entire wake scene in the state. Pushing wakeskating on cable has always been his top motivation, but these days winching is just as an important to him. After hanging out with him for an entire week, I got to to see his dedication and love for the sport of wakeskating, and it was a real treat.
PW:What have you been up to these days Bret?
BL: Well the past few weeks I’ve just been on the grind trying to make the most of my shortened summer. I had just moved in with Gabe Lucas and Stefan Schriewer on the river here and had a very busy season planned when I tore my right pectoral muscle off of my shoulder. Luckily we’ve had a good run of nice weather here lately so I’ve been able to make up for lost time a little, still got to ride in the Byerly Toe Jam, and hopefully I’ll make it to some warm places this winter too.
PW:With cable growing faster then ever these days do you find yourself seeing more and more wakeskaters at cable parks you travel too?
BL: Without a doubt. It’s crazy how popular it has become over the past few years. These days you can go to almost any cable in the world and there will be days when it’s only wakeskaters at the park. It’s really cool to see. I also meet more and more people every year that wakeskate that have never even wakeboarded in their life, it kind of trips me out.
PW: I saw that picture of you doing a big ole poke w2w with a sweet mustache. Is Aaron Reed your hero?
BL: For sure. That photo is my little tribute to him cause he recently had to move away from our river. But honestly he kind of is my hero in a way. Sfumato is one of the main reasons I got into wakeskating. Danny, Thomas, and especially Aaron’s part in that video made me want to get a board and never put it down. Style for days.
PW: It would be a lot easier to get coverage and be in the scene if you moved to Orlando. Why stay in Texas?
BL: I just love it here. I’ve been to a few places around the world that I could see myself living, but honestly Orlando isn’t one of them. I have lots of friends in Orlando that I would like to see more, and maybe it could get me some more coverage, but I still wouldn’t be able to afford a spot like what I have here. I’m surrounded by good winch spots and people that I love to be around. Plus the coverage is getting better out here these days.
PW: What’s it like riding and living with Stefan S.?
BL: It’s cool haha, not really a lot different than before other than that we ride together a little more often. I’ve known Stefan pretty much since I started wakeskating. I met him at the Texas Ski Ranch, and then we both started working there right around the same time. He was one of the main reasons I focused on wakeskating rather than wakeboarding. He made wakeskating look like so much fun, and he did everything proper with so much style. Stefan is a free spirit, but it’s definitely nice to get to ride with him more again.
PW: Who or what do you get inspiration from that translates into your riding? Do you skateboard?
BL: A lot of people and things inspire me. Too many wakeskaters to name, and skate, snow, and surf. There are aspects of all of them that really inspire me. All of the true ass people here in Texas that I ride with inspire me. My brother Jeff is a big inspiration to me as well, he has been skating since I was born pretty much and over the past couple years I have started skating with him a lot. It’s still a learning process for me, but it’s a lot of fun, and gives me good ideas for the water
PW: Compared to riding at cable how often are you going out winching? Texas just has too many winch spots to choose from.
BL: I try to split my time between the two pretty evenly, with some ski and boat in there too, but it doesn’t always work out that way. The winch spots closest to us aren’t always hittable too depending on rain. I’d say realistically I ride the cable 3 or 4 times a week and winch 1 to 3 times.
PW: A lot wakeskaters are anti-wakeboard winching. What do you think about combining wakeboards with winching?
BL: I’m not really anti-wakeboard anything. It’s our roots, and it’s what I started out doing first. But as far as winching goes I think there are definitely some guys out there on wakeboards going about it the right way.
PW: You’ve traveled around the world wakeskating, what’s it like experiencing wakeskate scenes in other countries, compared to here at home?
BL: It’s amazing, traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and I’ve had the privilege of being able to see some awesome places and meet some really cool people. It seems like there are scenes and crews now in places that I used to think would never even know what wake sports were. The coolest part is that not only do they have their own scene, they’re usually just as or even more stoked on wake than the people I meet here in the states.
PW: What are some ideas, things that you think could help grow wakeskating into the future?
BL: I could probably write a page of things, but one thing I’d like to see is companies and people using the two-tower cables to do wakeskate demos around the world. And I don’t mean contests, cause we don’t just need a bunch of random contests with poor prize money and sketchy set-ups. I’m talking about legit demos where there’s no pressure and people can get a true introduction to what we are doing or come out and see their favorite riders throw down in a free-ride atmosphere. I think that if done right, this could be really good for spectators and industry, and really cool for riders.
PW: What’s next for Bret Little? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
BL: Next up for me is to keep working out my arm till I have all of my strength back. And to keep trying to get some shots while the weather is good for a new TAR video that might be in the works. I’m also hoping to do a little winter traveling since I didn’t really have much of a summer this year. I have no idea where I’ll be in 10 years, but if I had to guess I’d probably say settled down in central Texas somewhere with a family or lost in Colorado or Costa Rica with my brother.