Headed back over to the Sunshine State to track down Barrett Perlman and find out exactly what she is all about. Barrett has been riding for quite some time now and has been riding extremely well. Whether it's in a contest or in a video, Barrett continues to show the world that girls like to go big and ride hard.
I got a chance to catch up with Barrett to find out what she's been doing and what her future plans are both on and off the water. So, ladies and gentlemen, it is without a doubt my honor to present to you a female with style, amplitude and a solid attitude for the sport of wakeboarding...Barrett Perlman.
WW: Barrett, so where you at these days?
BP: Currently splitting my time between Orlando and Los Angeles.
WW: How long have you been wakeboarding?
BP: I've been riding for just over nine years
WW: What first got you into the sport?
BP: I first got into the sport after I went snowboarding for the first time. I fell in love with snowboarding and wanted to pursue it as an athlete... and my mom gave me a reality check that we lived in South Florida, so I had to think of something else. So I learned how to wakeboard and fell in love with it too.
WW: Loving snowboarding so much that it made you get into wakeboarding? You ever get any chances to get back to your roots and snowboard during the winter months? Please tell me you have been shredding up at Bear when you’re down in LA??
BP: Yeah, a little backwards for a South Floridian, I know. I do try my best to snowboard a lot in the winters! A year ago I bought my own snow setup to force me to go and went for about two months that year. Didn’t get to go at all this past year, but I’m bound and determined to spend a few weeks in the snow this winter! Haven’t ridden Bear yet, but I’ll have to put that on my hit list! I hear it’s the closest mountain to LA.
WW: Did you look up to anyone when you were first getting into wakeboarding?
BP: I looked up to Emily Copeland a ton. The vibe I got from her in magazines was that she was just an all around nice person and great rider, so I figured she would be the best female for me to aspire to be. Her pro model, The Diva (Liquid Force), was the first wakeboard I ever bought. I first met her when I was 16 and was totally that starry-eyed girl meeting her idol. She was everything I hoped she'd be!
WW: Looking up to Emily was a good choice! When you started making it in the women’s wakeboarding scene, did you ever get to ride with Emily at all?
BP: I’ve only gotten to ride with Emily once, when we were filming for The Chick Flick a couple years ago. Definitely an awesome experience because she charges it. Haha, maybe you could even say it was a dream come true... or is that too dorky of me?
WW: So can you walk us threw a normal day in your life right now?
BP: I wish I had normal days right now! On any given day, I'll wake up around 9:00 and go wakeboarding with my coach, Glen Fletcher, at O'Town Watersports. Go home, answer emails, get distracted by my dog, Apollo, and make phone calls. Then chances are I have an acting/modeling shoot some time during the day. Then in the evenings I either relax and chill with Apollo, paint (I'm experimenting with a lot of different artistic mediums right now... aerosols being my new favorite) or work on some post-production editing (my latest adventure!). I'm a late night owl, so I try to hit the hay with enough hours of sleep to wake up and do it all over again.
WW: Ok, so you’re bouncing back and forth from Las Angeles and Orlando, acting and modeling shoots? What’s going on with that?
BP: Just trying to live out my childhood dream I guess! I feel fortunate enough to be able to travel out to Cali for work in the entertainment industry and have definitely been pumped on my agents and connections that keep getting me auditions and work out there.
WW: Do you have a crew of friends you normally ride with?
BP: To an extent. I usually ride at O'Town Watersports, so Glen would be my most typical and favorite riding buddy. Danny Burnstein, Julian Cohen and Anna Hajak would follow pretty close to him ‘cause they ride at O'Town too. Otherwise, I ride with a wide variety of people around town. Love to ride with Adam Fields, Josh Palma, Jeff Weatherall, Danny Thollander, Nick Jones and Austin Hair.
WW: How is it riding out at O’Town with Glen Fletcher?
BP: Absolutely awesome. Glen has been coaching me for about six years now. He's taught me almost every trick I can do above a 180. The cool thing about riding there is that it's not just about learning the hardest tricks, but also about adding your own style to them and having fun while working hard. He knows how to get in my head better than anybody and I trust him with my life all the time. When he tells me I can do something, I know I can too. Glen and his wife Melissa are family to me more than anything. They've always been my biggest supporters and encouragement through my wakeboarding career.
WW: What board and binding are you riding? What do you like about your set up?
BP: I'm riding the Liquid Force S4 134 with CT Shanes. My setup kicks ass! Hahaha. I feel bad for people riding anything else. My board is awesome. Everything I've ever wanted from a board is in the S4. It holds an edge super well, has inner fins now that help it track better in the in-between edging stages, a nice inner hull in the spine that softens big landings and an aggressive three-stage rocker that pops you straight up. My style is cutting hard, but popping straight up and going big with hard landings. So out of the entire lineup, this is the perfect board for me. My Shane bindings are the best. They flex well for grabs, but give amazing ankle support! I never knew I needed that till I got these bindings and I'm loving it.
WW: Any boat that you prefer to ride behind more than others?
BP: I love riding behind Malibu Wakesetters because their wakes are just amazing…super poppy without being steep and lippy, but not too mellow of a ramp that complicates edging. And you can put tons of weight in them and get ridiculous sized wakes. My second fave would have to be fully weighted MasterCraft XStars. Nuff said!
WW: Do you like to shred rails?
BP: Love to shred rails! :) They were really my thing a couple years ago and I don’t ride them as much at the moment, but still love the chance to hop on them and shred and get back to the progression. I learned how to transfer the transfer box my first year on tour, and then fumbled around with it the last couple years, so I was really stoked to have my transfer dialed again and stick it clean at the first Pro Tour stop this year. Definitely motivates me to be at O’Town hitting the rails with Raimi and Anna a lot more.
WW: Where is the coolest place so far that wakeboarding has taken you to?
BP: That's a huge toss-up between Australia, New Zealand or Colombia. They were all super cool countries in totally different ways. I got to totally be immersed in the culture in Australia since I lived there for six months and the places I rode and people I met were all the best experiences of my life! New Zealand was probably the most amazing scenery I've ever ridden around, not to mention an all-rail comp in a bay of an island that we had to wait on the tides for to ride. Colombia had the sketchiest riding conditions, but was an amazing experience to help kids wakeboard who had relatively no exposure to the proper methods.
WW: Got any traveling plans this summer?
BP: Besides traveling around the country, I'll be going to Wakestock in Canada (my favorite comp of the year) and plan on spending some extra time up there. Also looking forward to the Eco Sports and Music festival in Brazil. I haven't been to Brazil yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing the Amazon in person and attempting to learn some Portuguese.
WW: What is your favorite and best feeling trick you do right now?
BP: My favorite and best feeling trick I do right now is my indy tantrum. I live to challenge myself and see how big I can get them (and they get pretty big). It's a trick I can cut into and just release on. Definitely not my most difficult trick, but the one I love to do the most.
WW: Any silly little tricks that for some reason took you a long time to learn?
BP: I’m still battling them as we speak. My 180’s suck. I’d rather do 3’s and 5’s and flips to revert any day over a 180. They humble me when I take a set to practice them.
WW: So what are all the hot beats that the girls are rockin’ out to on the boats these days?
BP: Hahaha! I don't know what everyone else is listening to, but I keep it pretty gangster on my playlist.
- "Airplanes" by B.O.B feat. Hayley Williams and Eminem
- "5 Star" by Yo Gotti
- "Break Your Heart" by Taio Cruz
WW: If you got to pick a game show to be on, past or present, what show would you pick?
BP: I have no idea. Maybe Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. I feel like even the ones I don't know the answer to, I can usually guess to be pretty right.
WW: Where would you like to see women's wakeboarding go in the next five years?
BP: In the next five years, I’d only love to see women’s wakeboarding continue to grow! I think our sport has done a fair job of following in the footsteps with the progression of other action sports like surfing and snowboarding and see no reason why women’s wakeboarding can’t be respected at the level the women are in those sports. Everyone is progressing a ton right now and the younger girls keep coming up through the ranks with the hardest tricks. Competition is really tough now and that’s not going to go away.
WW: So can we expect to see you at any contests coming up?
BP: Definitely! This year I’m in a better position to travel than last year, so I’m planning on going to every single big one: Nationals, Worlds, Pro Tour Stop #5, Wakestock (CAN) and any others I have the leftover travel budget for!
WW: What kind of advice would you give to all the girls out there that are just getting into the sport?
BP: Have fun! Don’t let the boys push you around, or else push them back. If you love wakeboarding, remember that your time on the water is just as important as anyone else’s. The falls suck sometimes, but if you can push through them you’ll definitely be rewarded!
WW: Thanks for giving me the time to interview you Barrett. Would you like to give any shout-outs or thank yous to anyone?
BP: Thank you! Would definitely love to thank Glen and Melissa at O’Town Watersports for absolutely everything, Liquid Force for all my awesome gear, Zinka Sunscreen for keeping my skin safe from the sun, Kurtis Surf Goggles for always being behind me and Tiger Sports Drink for supporting me and helping save tigers at the same time. And special thank you to my Dad who has been the biggest support to me in my life in general. Thanks for enabling me to follow my dreams!