10spot: Nicola Butler
1. Where are you living nowadays and who are you riding with?
I live on Lake Maitland just outside Orlando and I mostly ride with Dowdy, Daniel Powers, Melissa, and Amber & Harley when they are in town.
2. How do you see the sport and your riding changing in the next few years?
I definitely see the sport expanding and growing with all this Olympic talk. It hit a bit of a low when Wake Brothers aired but it seems to be back on the rise with all the full and 2 tower cable parks that are popping up all over the world. I was a cable-rat before I started riding boat but it’s just too difficult to try and balance both during the season. Now that more contests are incorporating rails and cable aspects it will be good to get back to my roots.
3. Who would you say is leading the sport in the best direction right now?
I don’t want to be cliche and say Raph Derome, but oh my gosh Raph Derome. He is bringing so many moves over from snowboarding that we never knew were possible on a wakeboard. Also, he’s incredibly humble and he let’s his riding speak for itself which is pretty rare for a professional athlete. Harley is also pretty ridiculous, but he’s been in his own league for a long time now.
4. We have heard rumors of the pro tour including a few cable events this next year. If it were to happen, how do you see that affecting the podiums of pro women’s divisions?
That would be awesome. Like I mentioned before, I started on the cable and have always wanted to be the best at both. The boat season has always been so stacked so it’s been nearly impossible to train and compete in both. I think it will mix up the podiums a bit as not all the other pro women have the advantage of having a sweet cable park like OWC 15 minutes down the road.
5. We heard there is an all girls wake video coming out soon. Are you involved in that?
Yeah! Amber came up with the idea at the beginning of last year to make an all girls video showcasing only the top female riders pushing the sport. It’s being produced by 1242, which is Oakley productions and it is going to be a series of webisodes with a short movie at the end. We are a little behind on the release as myself and Hayley were injured last year, but I’m looking forward to getting some more solid riding and filming in this year.
6. You made a few video edits of some travel this year, is that something you plan to do more of in the future?
For sure. I think my injury last year was kind of a blessing in disguise as I got to reevaluate my goals and during my recovery I discovered that I have a passion for editing. Traveling the world is my favorite thing, next to wakeboarding, so being able to combine the two makes me realize how lucky I am to call this my job. It also reminds me why I worked so hard to get here in the first place. Lots of good things are in the works right now with myself and Melissa Marquardt so stay tuned!
7. If wakeboarding made it into the Olympics would you try out for the team?
I’d like to but it’s supposed to be in 2020, right? That puts me around 28 so we will see what my knees have to say about that.
8. Harley Clifford or Adam Errington? Why?
How could I possibly choose? I’ve known them both for about 8 or 9 years and they’re both good friends. However, if this were a contest for crazy ex girlfriends, Harley would definitely win.
9. What’s the biggest trip you plan to take in 2013?
I wish I didn’t have to pay rent that’s how many trips I’m planning on taking this year. My next one is Australia for 6 weeks starting the first week of Feb and I’m pretty excited as I haven’t been there since 2010. I’m really looking forward to hanging out, riding and filming with Amber, Melissa, and Bec Gange who’s been killing it lately. It also looks like there is going to be another World Cup stop in Indonesia so I’ll hopefully be going back out there in May. Maybe I’ll just lose my passport and roam around there for a couple years. (I joke now but I’ve actually lost 2 passports and a greencard in my lifetime)
10. Is there anything that pisses you off about being a female in a sport that is for the most part flooded with male participants?
No, not really anymore. Sometimes being a girl has an advantage and you get pretty used to the sexist comments and double standards.