You reside in Northern California, where exactly do you call home? NorCal is a wonderful place to live, especially where I am in the valley in a little suburb called Rocklin, which is just north of Sacramento. Rocklin is only 75 minutes away from Tahoe and about two hours from where I surf. How old were you when you started wakesurfing and where did you learn? I think I was about 13 or 14 when I learned to surf on the Delta behind an old American Skier with my Dad using stepping stones and ice chests as ballast. I grew up as a water baby, never being able to get me back out of the water so I naturally gravitated toward anything water related, which led me to three event water skiing. After I was introduced to wakesurfing I wasn’t so sure I would like it, but once I got up and dropped the rope I was instantly hooked. When did you know you wanted to pursue wakesurfing as a professional?  I never really thought I would get into the competition side of wakesurfing, but when I did in 2012 it was like a breath of fresh air. It was so different from what I was accustomed to in the water ski community. As I started to progress I knew that I was doing tricks that set me apart from the others, so I think that is when I really had the drive and the focus to become a professional.

It gets cold in Northern California in the winter time, do you ride all year? It definitely gets chilly out there but I do still try to get out and ride. I use Body Glove booties and a 4/3 wetsuit. When I’m not out there surfing, you can find me on the mountain skiing or snowboarding. Where is your home lake or body of water? What’s your favorite time to ride there? My home body of water is the Delta near Discovery Bay. My Favorite time to ride would have to be the early morning rides or evening. That’s when the water is most glassy and the skies put on a light show for you. I’ll take any body of water though; Northern California, to me, has some of the best lakes to ride, like Shasta and Lake Tahoe! What vessel do you surf behind and what’s the set-up? I will surf anything and everything, but my first choice is my Centurion FS33. With a couple quick clicks of a button, I’m ready to surf. I’m a goofy style rider that rides backside on the port side of the boat.


You surf a skim-style board, what motivated you towards skim versus surf style? Coming from a water ski background skim-style was the most relatable to trick skiing for me. The easy spinning motion just came naturally so that’s what I stuck with. I also noticed some of the people I looked up to in wakesurfing were all on skim-style boards. As of the end of this year I have started to really work on my surf style riding and am beginning to get the hang of it, though I never thought the fins would be a problem for me until I tried a 360 and didn’t seem to get anywhere (laughs). I am always looking to progress and challenge myself. Victoria launched your pro model ‘The Impulse’ how does it feel to have a pro model? Words cannot describe how stoked I am to have my very own pro model board. I never thought in a million years that I would have one! I am very honored that they gave me the opportunity to work with them and a few others to create my board, I love it.

Do you look up to anyone in wakesurfing and how have they inspired you to be where you are at today? I look up to the people who have paved the way for us newcomers. Everyone is truly treated like family, whether you are just starting out or have been in the game for years. The people who really inspire me are the ones out there having the most fun, like the juniors. They make me take a step back and think about why I really do love this sport. If I’ve learned anything from them it’s that you cannot take anything too seriously or you lose the motivation and drive to keep moving forward.


What are your goals for the 2017 season and beyond? My number one goal for the 2017 season is to have the most fun I can possibly have of course! The rest of my goals consist of learning new tricks and to continue to better myself, along with traveling the world and meeting new people I can introduce to my beloved wakesurf family!


Photos: Mahallia Budds