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Old     (dbdb)      Join Date: Oct 2005       01-16-2012, 11:13 AM Reply   
I met Erik at the Chicago Boat Show this last weekend, and I just wanted to share my experience. He took lots of time to talk to me, and was really down to earth. We probably talked for 20 minutes and he never made me feel as though he would rather be doing something else (although I'm sure he would have). He seemed like a pretty decent guy. One of the great things about our sport is how approachable some of our pros are, and Erik definitely one of those guys.
Old     (mnwakerider)      Join Date: Jun 2004       01-16-2012, 2:38 PM Reply   
Couldn't agree more. I worked with Ruck a couple of times and he is super chill and great with everybody from parents to bros. Great to hear others think this way also.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-16-2012, 3:52 PM Reply   
I spoke with Rusty a few years ago at the Vancouver show and he was really great to talk to as well. I think it helps in away not being high priced athlete's so the fame doesn't go to their head.
Old     (paulharenberg)      Join Date: Jul 2007       01-16-2012, 5:38 PM Reply   
Our sport is one of the only ones where you can go to a cable park ( better chances at OWC) and see a pro riding the cable and be waiting in line right behind you. I am from Jersey and have made 7 trips to OWC in the past 3 years and everytime you see a pro. I've talked to some and they are always cool about everything. Don't even really talk about riding because they talk about that all the time, just chill dudes roughly the same age as me just have killer jobs.
Old     (hyperliterider90)      Join Date: May 2010       01-16-2012, 5:54 PM Reply   
Had a chance to ride with ruck one day last year. SUPER guy all around. Very chill and rips
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-16-2012, 7:25 PM Reply   
I've never had the pleasure of meeting Ruck, but I'm continually amazed at what fantastic people the pro wakeboarders I meet are. Sure, it's nice that they're polite enough to smile and say hi, but they go way beyond that. They're down to earth, casual, approachable, really funny, and just awesome fun to shoot the breeze with. They seem to genuinely love helping me and other amateurs out in any way they can.

They're also just really freakin' smart. Maybe wise is a better word. I've gotten advice from various pro wakeboarders about everything from how to grab a trick to how to approach comps and sponsors to how to live my life, and that's something I'll keep with me forever.

When I talk to these people, it's apparent that they got where they are for the right reasons. They take care of themselves, each other, and our sport. This might actually be my favorite thing about wakeboarding. Too often in sports it seems like the douchebags rise to the top, but not in wake. I just can't help but cheer for these real life superheroes
Old     (fizzz)      Join Date: Nov 2010       01-17-2012, 5:56 AM Reply   
The pros are definitely one of the best parts of this sport, there aren't many other sports where they will just hang out with you to hang out, usually it's a promotion or photo shoot or something.

Shane and Adam jumped on my boat in Knoxville for a beer both were super cool and down to earth guys
Old     (adamsilcio)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-17-2012, 6:52 AM Reply   
I always felt like Andrew Adkison and JD Webb were the nicest guys I've met in the industry.
Old     (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-17-2012, 7:43 AM Reply   
I met J. D. Webb at McCormicks cable park. He was very polite and friendly.Easy to talk to even though i'm probably older than his dad.He just got a kick out of seeing an old guy crash so many times and still keep on trying on the big kicker.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-17-2012, 7:53 AM Reply   

He goes HUGE. He often comes with Clayton Underwood, who also absolutely kills it. Clayton was doing wrapped KGB 5s off the kicker.
Old     (logan)      Join Date: Dec 2011       01-17-2012, 11:01 AM Reply   
I talked too Greg Nelson and Keith Lyman before and both guys are just awesome dudes who can talk about anything.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-17-2012, 1:42 PM Reply   
I'm pretty jealous that you got to talk to Lyman. He's one of my favorite riders and he seems to have a really unique attitude about the wake lifestyle. I wish I coulda met him before he shipped out.
Old     (yeahhh)      Join Date: Feb 2011       01-17-2012, 2:57 PM Reply   
awww man name drawp time!!!
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-17-2012, 3:00 PM Reply   
Haha yes please! I love hearing other people's impressions of pros they've met because I'd like to meet all of them!
Old     (scbrips)      Join Date: Mar 2006       01-18-2012, 8:33 AM Reply   
I was 13 when I got to meet Byerly back in '97 at the Austin Pro Tour stop. He was my favorite rider then and always will be. Coolest. Dude. Ever. I also got to meet Gator around '03 (I think) at the Dallas (or Fort Worth?) stop and he was super cool. Super nice. Signed my SE Flight 69 and was stoked to see I still had it. Very cool. At that stop, the year later I think, I talked to Jim Leatherman a bit. He was cool. Just genuinely nice. At that same stop I talked to Adam Fields at length. He was extremely nice, accommodating, down to earth, just one of those people you know is a genuinely good person after talking to them for just a little while. A true ambassador for the sport.

Back in '03 Schmaltz was starting up Mutiny again and needed some reps. I was completely down to do it and was super pumped that he actually allowed me to do it. I was very young, ignorant, had no idea what I was doing, but had a great time doing it. I've been watching Erich ride since I first started riding back in the mid nineties. His style was always so distinct, intense, and looked completely different than anyone else's. He was the only one really doing wrapped spins back then and I still think his look the gnarliest. Grabbed, poked, off the double up, whatever. Just completely sick and unique. If I've modeled my riding after anyone it's him. I've always had a wrap handle, first braided, now the double handle. If it wasn't for seeing Erich ride the way he did when he did, my style and tricks, not to mention my outlook on the sport, would be quite different. Anyway, it was incredibly fun and cool to be able to talk to and work with Erich when I did. It was a great experience and I'll never forget it.

Oh, and I met Matt Hickman one time and he was a total douche (just playin' )

Last edited by scbrips; 01-18-2012 at 8:37 AM.
Old     (JoLo_Si)      Join Date: Oct 2011       01-18-2012, 9:04 AM Reply   
I've met most of the pros through a friend of mine, Keith Allan who was the original color anouncer on tour. They are all cool, I can't think of one who didn't say "what's up" or "hey, how ya doin" to me first before I could even get a word out. Even Harley is super cool when he's not mackin' on his girl.

I "chilled" with Ruck and Shane in his van after quarters of nationals a couple years back and then hung out in the athlete tent for the rest of the comp which was really cool to hear them chear each other on.

One last story, I was with my freind Keith, who MC'd the Parks Documentary, after the movie and I couldn't get in the after party because there wasn't a wrist band for me. Parks came over and was talking with keith/us and wanted to go up to his party. My friend says that we are just going to hand down stairs cuz I can't get in, even though he can. Parks looks at me, says "F#@K That" wrips off his own arm band, hands it to me, and says "lets get a drink!". Now I know Parks and Shane may not have the best rep as far as being cool to everybody but that certainly hasn't my experience.

I have some other funny stories about these guys but I'm not trying to jack this thread... unless you all want to hear them.
Old     (joshugan)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-18-2012, 9:43 PM Reply   
^^^^^please? I love good wakeboarder stories.
Old     (JoLo_Si)      Join Date: Oct 2011       01-19-2012, 6:08 AM Reply   
Ok, one more...

It was Hallowee weekend and we were headed back from the beach and got invited to a last minute costume party. Being in a baithing suit and half lit already I decided to throw on a vest, grab a handle and go as a "wakeboarder". So we're getting ready to go and I'm think that this is lame and I need to kick it up a notch. On the way out we stop by the party store and I see one of those pairs of Groucho Marks glasses, the kind with the black glasses, big nose and mustache all together, and it hits me. So I grab them, take the nose off and throw the rest away. I grab a pair of my wifes White sunglasses, the kind with a single wrap around lense, and attach the nose, throw a cap on sideways and buy a 20oz. Rockstar from the convinience store. Put it all together and who do you have... well Shane "Danger" Bonifay of course. (not so cool I know, but I was a fresh nube)

That's not the funny part...
So we go to this party and a friend sees this girl walk in who he knows has hung out with Shane. He's chatting with her and says "you've got to check out my friend dressed as Shane Bonifay". So I see this girl I don't know running toward me and she comes right up to my face (it's a little dark out) and yells out, "hey how ya doin, remember me". I'm like uh, no, should I? She's starts going on about remeber over at so n so's house and then afterward we went here together... About then my freind has finally walked over and butts in and tells her "that's not Shane, I said it was a costume". She looks back at me and immediately says, "I knew something was weird, he is WAY to tall"... I'm only 5' 10" and was wearing Reef's, Plus a fake nose, womens sunglasses at night and holding a handle in my non-beer hand.

The next day I tell the story to my neighbor Keith, the guy from my other story, and he is rolling. So he runs into Shane a week or two later at Rusty's wedding reception and tells him the story and Shane is rolling. Shane says to him, "I guess I can finally retire like Parks... I must be famous if there's a halloween costume of me out there."

This story makes me laugh everytime I think about it and is 100% true.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-19-2012, 9:00 AM Reply   
Haha awesome! Do you have pics of this badass costume?
Old     (JoLo_Si)      Join Date: Oct 2011       01-19-2012, 10:44 AM Reply   
I think one of my neighbors grabbed a picture. I'll ask if they can find it anywhere.
Old     (hockeysk8er222)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-19-2012, 1:15 PM Reply   
Alright I'll play. I ran into Bob Soven at McCormick's a couple weeks ago. He came off as a great guy, he even gave me some pointers to stick my first tantrum off a kicker. The only other pros I've met were coaches at The Wakeboard Camp. Clayton Underwood and Hayley Smith, both awesome people who throw down tricks like nothing.
Old     (benjaminp)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-20-2012, 9:10 AM Reply   
+1 000 000 for Byerly being a super rad guy. At the Wasaga Toe Jam stop in 2008, the first wakeboard/wakeskate competition I ever went to I finally worked up the courage to go talk to him and get him to sign my shirt and he was super cool about it. Engaged in conversation like he was actually interested and even flagged down a bunch of other riders to sign my shirt as well. Then at Wakestock '09 and '10 I got to chat with Jimmy LaRiche, Daniel Watkins, Shawn Watson, Andrew Adkison, and Phil Soven. All super awesome dudes, and ambassadors for the sport. I'm the first person to point out that professional athletes are not role models, but if my kids idolize these guys and aspire to be like them, I wouldnt mind one bit.


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