Gettin' jiggy with that skinny stance dance  //  photo: Soderlind

Gettin’ jiggy with that skinny stance dance // photo: Soderlind

AW: What’s up with the skinny stance and why do you think people bag on it so much?
WJ: I ride a tight stance because in my mind that’s what works best for the tricks that I enjoy doing most. It allows you to rotate the board much faster with less movement from the upper body, hence all of the 270’s. In regards to my online haters… let ‘em hate; more tacklin’ fuel in the tank.

AW: What made you stick around VWC and setup shop there?
WJ: Trophy Lakes was a farfetched dream, Jibtopia was amazing (RIP), Terminus is too corporate for my liking (great park), and CWC is too far from home. VWC just seemed to get it all right; they have the most innovative and progressive wakeboard setup in the world, a DIY skatepark ten steps from the start dock, a pond filled with largemouth bass, dogs galore, weekends filled with vacationing friends, and enough local shredders to start an online series (The Coalition). Combine that with the two most amazing shredder bosses an employee could ask for and you got yourself a pretty damn good spot to call home for awhile.

AW: Do you think riders still need to move to Orlando if they want to become bigger in the sport (i.e. get bigger sponsorships or media exposure)?

WJ: I think Orlando is overrated as the wakeboard “mecca”, especially with all the full parks popping up these days. Pick the park that best suits your riding style and send it. With everyone so connected online these days, as long as you’re producing good content, it shouldn’t matter where you are.

AW: What is your vision of the future of wakeboarding?
WJ: My vision of the future of wakeboarding… Firstly, for everyone to keep building cable parks. These parks will continue to expose our sport to a much larger demographic than traditional wakeboarding has in the past. We need these new interests to bring new money to the industry because it seems that the bigger sponsors are dropping like flies. At first that may seem bad, but it also opens the door to new companies without ties in the boat industry to get involved. Next, keep filming and keep winching. Everyone should film at their home park with their friends, it will make you think about doing specific tricks and making them look better. Even if you don’t want to make an edit and share it on 100 different outlets, reviewing footage of yourself will help you grow as a rider. Sometimes you may think you did something that looked good, but upon reviewing the footage later you may think otherwise. Ultimately, I think winching is the future of wakeboarding, it’s an exact replica of what skateboarding and snowboarding have already evolved into. In both sports you see tons of park edits but whenever there is a production budget involved, everything is filmed in the streets. I think it’s only right we follow suit.

"...let 'em hate; more tacklin' fuel in the tank."  //  photo: Soderlind

“…let ’em hate; more tacklin’ fuel in the tank.” // photo: Soderlind

AW: What can VWC and other parks do to help wakeboarding continue to grow?
WJ: All parks alike should strive to offer unique features to their customers, just like skate and snow parks. If all the parks had the same setup, there would be no reason to travel to different ones. Fill your park with features that will attract travelers, they love telling stories of their travels, and that will promote your park.

AW: Your art has become more and more respected the last few years, and for 2017 you’ll have a handful of graphics for Slingshot. How is your art a reflection of your riding and vise versa?
WJ: I don’t like to think of my art as a reflection of my riding, it sounds so corny. I like to do tricks on my wakeboard that I think look good, I guess I try to do the same with my pencil. In the future I want to create and sell more personal artwork alongside continuing graphics for skate and wake.

AW: Best thing happening in wake…
WJ: Everyone starting to understand proper trick nomenclature and the ability to distinguish which foot is being used with terms like “blunt” and “tail” (derived from skateboarding). Even though we technically don’t have trucks or nubs on our wakeboards, I think it’s important to be able to describe every trick accurately, down to the foot. Using the same terms as skate and snow just makes sense. Shoutout to @wakezeach for speeding up the process.

AW: Worst thing happening in wake…
WJ: In my opinion, wide stances. Keep in tight, playa!

Nothin' wrong with a little bump 'n grind... right?  // photo: Rutledge

Nothin’ wrong with a little bump ‘n grind… right? // photo: Rutledge