I am not really sure what year women came on the US Pro Tour. What I do know is for the past 11 years that I have been competing on tour women have always been at 2-5 stops of the US Pro Tour. To wake up Friday morning to an email stating that the US Pro Tour this year will only consist of Pro Men was quite the shock. Not one female rider that I know of had any idea this was going to happen.
Personally, I am very worried about the professional side of women's wakeboarding. Not only are less girls getting paid, the current women at the top of the sport are being paid less and now we have no Pro Tour. The future of professional women's wakeboarding is looking grim.
This summer in Australia I have seen more girls than ever buying wakeboards and riding out on the river. It has been amazing. Parents calling me up asking what their girls need to do to follow in my footsteps and become professional in their sport. Right now I really don’t know what to tell them apart from stay in school and get an education. I don’t know what the future holds for women's wakeboarding and that's a scary thought.
As I have always done throughout my career, I am going to continue to push the limits of my riding personally, travel around keeping girls amped on wakeboarding and teaching new ladies to ride. Hopefully I'll work out a way, looking outside the box, to create a women's pro wakeboard event with Melissa Marquardt, as that has been her dream for many years.
We will continue to fight for the sport we love.