Rider Link: Al Marchiniak
- Author: Arun Frances
- Cameron Brown and Rusty Skinner
- Categorized in: Articles, Interviews
WW: So, before I get into the good stuff, let’s let the beautiful people reading this know your stats (name, age, where you reside).
AM: Al Marchiniak, 32, 5' 10", 194 lbs of fury, right-handed, goofy-footed and from Sacramento, California.
WW: How is your summer going so far?
AM: Summer is going great so far! The crew and I have been riding a ton and we've gotten access to an awesome 15-foot deep private lake that we have been building a bunch of rails on.
WW: You must have a raw crew of riders because you are pretty raw! Who are your usual riding buddies?
AM: Baby, I like it raw. The crew usually consists of a good sample of Nor Cal Hyperlite team rider like Ryan Watkins, Brodie Chaboya, Steve McClain and Trey Wiles. Cameron Brown and Mather Kearney make it out often too. Lots of others too, but I can't name them until the lawsuit is settled.
WW: What’s a typical riding day like for you and your riding buddies?
AM: Since I work full time, we usually don't get to the water until 5:00 or so (weekdays), but this time of year lets us play until 8:00 or later. It's nice at "Some Beach" because the boat is ready to go and we can start riding immediately, or chill and play horseshoes to see who goes first. There is a lot less pressure and less distractions. I hate Jet Skis and Jet Ski drivers.
WW: I have a feeling that you won't give out the name of the private lake, so how about some names of other puddles/lakes that you ride at?
AM: I couldn't give you a name before because they hadn't given it one... until last Friday. "Some Beach" is the name for now. The owner spent a ton of time and money digging it himself. It's his own personal lake. No members, just family and friends. I am lucky to be his friend and thankful to be able to ride there. We also ride the Sacramento River and all the lakes in the area. Bullard’s Bar is my favorite place to ride and I wish I could get up there more than a few times a year.
WW: What kind of setup are you on when you’re out riding, ripping, shredding, jibbing and throwing shakas (board, bindings, etc…)?
AM: My current wake setup is the 144 B-Side with Systems and Marek boots. I love to jib on the Union and skate the Byerly legacy. I wear a large life jacket and my board shorts are size 34, preferably made with that stretchy stuff.
WW: What is Spanky Beaver?
AM: A better question is, "Who is Spanky Beaver?" Years ago I came up with the idea of having a winch/rail event in a public swimming pool. During the planning stage my buddy Jathan and I brainstormed for a name. We also agreed on needing a mascot. The beaver mascot was perfect because the rails were made out of wood and are in water, and the name Spanky just seemed appropriate. "Spanky Beaver's Wakeboarding Jib Jam" was born and we are in our sixth year now. I'm glad to see other events like Wake the Line take to public pools for wakeboarding.
WW: Did you get strange looks from the person in charge of the swimming pool when you pitched the idea?
AM: When I originally pitched the idea to the City, I didn't expect cooperation, but the head of the aquatics department had been at a boat show a few months before and I had organized the rail jam at that boat show. The head of aquatics thought it was very cool and was open to the idea. Most of the people in aquatics thought I was going to get shot down, and I did too. Once they saw that I had insurance and backing from some good sponsors, they gave the thumbs up. The name came into play after we had most other details worked out and I don't think the city knew the event name until the day of the event.
WW: What would you say has been one of your coolest experiences as a wakeboarder?
AM: That is a tough one. We got to ride between boat races for an event called "bridge to bridge" in Sacramento years ago. I ollied a police boat during my run. You don't get to ollie police boats very often. Also, my buddy Dr. Phil and I made it to cable worlds in the Philippines a few years ago too. That was an awesome experience in a very different place. Lake Powell is a super cool place too.
WW: If someone said Mr. Marchiniak, we want you to decide the future of wakeboarding! What would that look like?
AM: I would like to see the boat industry make diesel engines an option in all wake boats. We need more (at least one) full cables in California, and 10 would be great! Once more cables are installed, then more of the general public will get to experience and love the sport. Stem cell research needs to advance faster as the wakes get bigger. I'd love to clone my body and put my brain in it so I can have those 15-year-old parts to work with again.
WW: Seems like Hyperlite shows a bit of support in the Nor Cal area with the regional team. Is that something you helped out with?
AM: Hyperlite has such a positive presence in Nor Cal and it can all be attributed to one man: Joe Sassenrath. As the rep for HO/Hyperlite for centuries, he has so much respect and knowledge in the water sports market. Years ago, a meeting that Joe organized got the team to think about ways to help promote our sport, brand and team. Together we created the NorCalHyperlite.com webpage. With social media being so big, the website has slowed and the Facebook page took center stage.
I'd like to say that the events I created and helped out with have all contributed to the same thing; promote the sport.
WW: In the world of action sports, it seems like every kid wants to be sponsored. What would you say makes a person "sponsorable?"
AM: Traits I see in most sponsored riders include: Positive promotion of the company, having a technical and/or impressionable style of riding and having an outgoing personality.
WW: Are there any spots that you would like to take a trip to someday?
AM: I see pictures of some amazing places and would love to go to New Zealand and Australia to ride and be a tourist. Germany's reputation for cable parks intrigues me, and so do other places in Europe. I love the water, so it would be awesome to take a submarine with big windows to all these places!
WW: Using three words, describe how wakeboarding makes you feel?
AM: Electrified, passionate, fortunate.
WW: I know when I first started riding I sure wish I had some wisdom dropped on me by someone that knew what they were doing because I pissed off a lot of people with my insane power turns. I know that you are a wise man, so can you provide some wisdom to those just starting out?
AM: The best advice I can give for someone starting out is be modest and don’t fear asking questions. There are so many little things like holding a straight line while driving or making a progressive cut that you can learn easily from listening to an experienced source. Learn toeside and switch as early as possible. Be wary of yellow snow. If you don’t know if it’s loaded, assume it is.
WW: Is there anyone that you would like to thank while you are on the mic?
AM: Always gotta thank Mom and Dad, and a big thanks to my girlfriend, Ashley, for letting me wakeboard everyday! Huge thanks to the Hardesty’s, Joe Sassenrath, all my wake riding and boat driving buddies and to the lovely lakes and rivers that make this all possible. And thanks to you, Arun!