Nick Jones is one of those guys who you just can’t forget after you see him for the first time. Not only does he have those curly “goldy” locks of hair, but he has a way of poking out any spin with any grab he wants, along with doing some of the sport’s most technical moves. I’ve never really seen Nick without a smile on his face feeding good vibes, and I don't think you will either. Nick is a hard working college student that gets the opportunity to still live the good life on the water. Could you call that double dipping? Please feel free to double dip with this interview and get to know the real Nick Jones.
WW: Yo, Nick, how was your winter?
NJ: Winter’s been good man. Traveling a bunch and relaxing. Spent a couple weeks in the Caribbean, went to Philippines for the World Series stop and was able to get some pow runs in Colorado with the iWake.com guys!
WW: Ah, yes, the Philippines! I was with you on that trip. What was the best part about that trip?
NJ: Man, every part about that trip was awesome! Best part had to be the cable rails. They were probably the most fun rails I’ve hit. Also, having pretty much everyone from Orlando hanging out across the world was pretty cool.
WW: I know you’re a northwest boy, but where are you posted up these days?
NJ: I had to make the move to Orlando, Florida about five years ago when I just couldn’t handle waking up at 6:00 AM every morning to ride on Lake Washington or Lake Sammamish. Miss it, but now I get glass all day, every day.
WW: Can you walk us through a normal day in your life right now?
NJ: Life right now is pretty crazy for me. I usually wake up around 7:30 to go to Realty Capital, a real estate firm in downtown Orlando, or to my backyard to wakeboard. Around noon, if I went to work, I get off and head home to ride behind my Malibu VLX. If I rode in the morning, I usually do homework and then try to squeeze in an early afternoon set. After riding I grab some grub and spend a couple hours doing emails or other random things online. At 5:00 I take off to UCF where I take night classes. My classes usually end around 8:30ish, which is when I hit the gym. After the workout, I’m home to chill with the roomies and relax.
WW: Are you majoring in anything specific at UCF?
NJ: Yeah, I finished a Real Estate degree and am working on my Finance degree now. Seriously can't wait to be done with school. It's my 7th year now. Shooting for the decade mark!
WW: You working on anything new you want to leak out?
NJ: I’ve been definitely thinking about a couple new tricks lately, haha. Not to the point where I’m working on them. It’s still too early in the season for me, but definitely want to push some of the new tricks I landed last year a little further. Will be filming all of May for the new DVD Momentum, so will hopefully get some in there!
WW: Can you tell everyone about this wakeboard video coming out called Momentum?
NJ: Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about Momentum. Joey Arcisz has been filming it since last summer and it will definitely have some insane riding from some of the top guys like Harley, J.D. and Rusty. I've been working hard on my section to get some unique tricks in there and just keep up with the crazy progression in the sport lately. Also, we've been able to go on some trips all over the U.S. and the Philippines. It’s supposed to release mid-summer, so be looking for some premiere announcements soon!
WW: So how did you get into wakeboarding?
NJ: I grew up snowboarding and it was pretty much my life. I started spending a couple weeks each summer up at Mt. Hood and going to the local ski resorts in Seattle almost every day after school in the winter. My junior year of high school my head got rocked pretty bad at the local terrain park and the doctors told me I should probably give up competing in snowboarding. I’d been wakeboarding the last couple summers and figured it was the closest thing to the mountain, so committed to it. I got stoked on it and haven’t looked back since.
WW: Who was "the man" on the water to you when you were comin’ up?
NJ: It would definitely have to be any of the guys from the NW crew back when they all blew up on the wake scene. Guys like Mike and Nick Ennen, Brett V, Brent Starr, Travis Stewart. I would see all of them at local NorthWest Sessions competitions and then see them on the cover of the mags and I thought it was the craziest thing. Plus, Sean Kilgus was still filming in the NW back then, so they were in all the Kilgus videos also.
WW: What’s the best part of this sport to you?
NJ: Definitely being on the boat. We get to ‘work’ on these $100k+ luxury boats on sunny days when it’s warm out with our friends, chicks in bikinis and when the lake is butter. What’s not to like about the sport?
WW: I know you have been to some amazing places for wakeboarding, but what place is your favorite?
NJ: Man, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I’m a fan of Brazil for all the obvious reasons and was lucky enough to make it down there three times last summer. The tour stop down there in Belo Horizonte had one of the craziest parties we’ve ever had, and the water conditions were perfect. Also, being in the Philippines at CWC was sick because we had a winch park, cable park and boat lake. Also, Abu Dhabi was insane riding on the Persian Gulf. Can’t really pick because each place has its own cool features.
WW: I know you ride around at cable parks as well. What’s your take on the cable side of the sport?
NJ: Man, cable is awesome. I go through phases sometimes where all I wanted to do is ride cable! It's cool it’s growing so fast and exposing our sport to so many different people. I'm not a fan of the flat landings off kickers since I'm not a teenager anymore, but try to make it out to the local cable once a week for the rails. Plus, I know some opinionated people say air tricks are lame, but I think it's only because they can't do them because they are so much fun.
WW: If you had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
NJ: Sushi…or Taco Bell! Depending on if I have to pay for it or not!
WW: What’s the stupidest app you have ever seen for a phone?
NJ: FatBurner 2K! It's $.99 and you turn it on and put it on your stomach. Its vibrations help you lose weight. I lost 10 pounds with it this winter!
WW: Top five on your "most played" list from your iTunes?
NJ: Man, I think my iTunes is broken or something. I looked at my top five and there is no way they’re really my top five. Let’s just say it’s a lot of Jack Johnson with a hint of Miley Cyrus. I guess that’s what I get for letting my roommates borrow my laptop.
WW: Do you have a favorite trick right now?
NJ: My favorite trick right now is a roll to blind. There’s just no other trick that has the same feeling. It’s fun to poke out the grab and hold it all the way around to blind.
WW: Favorite and least favorite tour stop?
NJ: Favorite would have to be Texas…big crowds, calm and hot chicks. Worst would have to be Phoenix, Arizona, which they don't have any more. It was mid July, over 100 degrees and we were on a lake that had about six times more salt than the Pacific Ocean. Rusty did land the first 10 in a comp there, but other than that it was no good.
WW: Contest season is coming up. Are you feeling confident for this upcoming tour season?
NJ: Yeah. I’ve had some pretty good results so far this year, getting fourth in Philippines and fifth in Mexico. I’m pushing to do well, but not putting much stress into it. It’s always fun to travel around, especially because it’s all with friends.
WW: Where would you like to see this sport 10 years from now?
NJ: I think the sport will be in a really good place in 10 years. Cables are going to be everywhere and that will allow the whole sport to grow. I don't think cables are going to take away from the boat side of the sport, but contribute to it and the overall growth. The way I see it, cables will be what gets people interested in the sport, and if only half of those people go on to get a boat or start boat riding, it'll still grow as fast as it has been.
WW: Any words of encouragement for the up and comers out there in the wake world?
NJ: Naw, not really. The up and comers need to just enjoy wakeboarding. If you’re pushing to be pro and not progressing because you enjoy it, it won't be fun and eventually you'll burn out. Just have fun and enjoy every minute of it. But, if I had to give advice…ride cable.
WW: Thank yous?
NJ: First and foremost, my mom for letting me move across the country to Orlando to wakeboard, and then for following me a couple years later. Also, to CWB for being there from the beginning with me. Adrenaline Watersports, Zinka Sunscreen, iWake.com, Raw Rev Organic Bars, Alpinestars and Time-OnTheWater.com.