Rider Link: Jamie McCauley
WW: How about a little introduction?
JM: Hi, my name is Jamie McCauley. I'm 16 years old. I'm from Lake Villa, Illinois. I've been wakeboarding for eight years now, but it was more of an every other weekend thing until about three years ago. I started taking it seriously and that's the year when I landed my first invert, a tantrum. This year I rode on the Jr. Pro Tour. I'm honored to be riding alongside these great riders.
WW: Do you remember the first day you stood on a wakeboard?
JM: Yeah, I remember it pretty clearly actually. I remember I saw one of my dad’s friends doing it behind their boat and I told him that I wanted to try it. The next day we went to a pro shop and picked up a wakeboard and I actually got up first try. That's all I remember from it.
WW: What is the name of the lake that you splash around in?
JM: For the most part I ride on a lake called Long Lake. It's about 10 minutes from our house. Other than that it doesn't really matter. I'll ride anywhere where there's water and a boat.
WW: Is wakeboarding a hobby for you or more of a lifestyle?
JM: Wakeboarding is definitely a lifestyle for me now. My whole life revolves around it. I'm actually hoping to move down to Florida this summer to help me improve my riding and take it to the next level.
WW: Do you ride with a set crew of people or do you mix it up a little?
JM: I mean, there are certain people I ride with more than others, but I'll ride with anyone. I'm not too picky. If you've got gas money, you're welcome to come ride with us.
WW: What kind of boat are you getting dragged behind?
JM: Right now we have a 2013 Supra SA450. It's pretty awesome, haha!
WW: What is your wakeboard setup looking like?
JM: Well, for this year I rode the Liquid Force B.O.B. with Shane boots, but for next year I'm going to be on the Harley again.
WW: What gets you excited most about wakeboarding?
JM: I can't really pick one thing that I like most about wakeboarding. It's between the feeling of being free and not having to worry about a thing and the adrenaline rush that it gives. There's nothing not to like about it...besides the falls.
WW: What do you like to do when you’re not shredding?
JM: When I'm not wakeboarding I'm usually at school or sleeping. Other than that I spend most of my time on the boat.
WW: Do you have Wakeworld.com set as your home page?
JM: About that...
WW: Are there any tricks that you are working on or want to work on?
JM: As of recently I just landed a couple toe 9’s and crow 5’s, but other than that I'm really about working on my consistency now.
WW: What would your ideal day be like?
JM: My ideal day would consist of:
• Waking up at around 11 or noon
• Head to the lake
• Take a couple sets with some friends
• Grab something to eat
• Win the lottery or something awesome like that
• Spend the rest of the day on the boat
• Go to bed
WW: What is your favorite wakeboard flick?
JM: Probably Defy. I've probably seen it close to 20 times. Just the way the video is put together and all of the riders in it. I think Kilgus did an awesome job.
WW: Do you have any riders that you look up to?
JM: I look up to a couple riders; Bob Soven, Harley and Raph. Bob has crazy style and he's just a funny guy, Harley can land almost every trick and Raph because he's an amazing all around rider.
WW: Are there any spots that you would like to ride at?
JM: I think it'd be awesome to ride Blue Lake from Defy. I think that lake is quite possibly the coolest lake I've ever seen and it would be an honor to ride on it.
WW: I am guessing that you are looking to turn pro one day?
JM: Going pro is definitely something I am shooting for. It's my ultimate goal and I am going to do everything in my power to make it happen.
WW: Do you do any training outside of your regular riding?
JM: During the winter (we don't have all-year riding here) I snowboard a bunch and I workout every now and then. That and school keep me pretty busy.
WW: Have you had any injuries?
JM: Aside from a couple concussions and a groin injury, I've been blessed by staying injury free (knock on wood).
WW: Do you think wakeboarding will ever be an Olympic sport?
JM: I really would like to see wakeboarding as an Olympic sport. If not the Olympics then back in the X-Games. I mean, if snowboarding and skateboarding are in, why not wakeboarding?
WW: If you were given the power to make a major change within the wakeboard industry, what would that change be?
JM: If I could make one change instantly to the sport of wakeboarding, it would be to have the sport have the popularity and participation of snowboarding. Honestly, wakeboarding is such an awesome sport and it deserves more recognition than it gets.
WW: Are you getting some sponsor support?
JM: I'm very grateful to have some great support from Supra Boats, Liquid Force and Boat House Chicago. Overton’s, of course, sponsors all the Jr. Pro riders and I'm grateful not only for the support but for all they do at the tour stops. This is a tough sport to participate in without sponsor support and they've really helped me get a start to my career.
WW: What do you do to keep your sponsors smiling?
JM: Pretty much I do everything I can. I try to always promote them whether it's wearing their clothes, talking up their brands, etc. I'm also big into social media and I try to promote them there as much as possible. I put out some videos each year. I work boat shows, etc. Basically, I do everything I can to make them happy, because without them I wouldn't be able to participate in this sport.
WW: Is there any advice that you were given when you started that may help someone that is just starting out?
JM: I think the most important thing for someone starting out is to take the time to learn the basics. The mistake I made was to jump into tricks before learning all the building blocks. Sure I could do them, but when I wanted to progress the trick to the next level I didn't have the skills I needed to do it. In the end I had to go back and learn those building blocks anyway. It also helps reduce the hard falls and keep the sport fun.
WW: You know what they say… gratitude is the best attitude. Who would you like to thank?
JM: Well there's been a lot of people this year that have helped me a ton. First, I'd like to thank God for the amazing opportunity to participate in this sport and the talent to be able to do it. Next, I'd like to thank my parents. Without them I wouldn't have a boat, wakeboard or anything of the sort. I'd also like to thank my sponsors; Liquid Force, Supra and Boat House Chicago. My coaches, Trevor Hansen and Tarah and Cobe Mikacich. There have been a lot of other people that have helped me out the last few years; Nick Cankar, Tom Pazerunas, Timmy Burnier, Ethan Rau, my brother Zach, Lisa Roller and Whitney Rupp (amazing photographers), Corbin Blanton, Spencer Liautaud and Ryan Murphy for sick videos and Tony Duffy of All Action Sports. I'm sure I'm forgetting some and I apologize to those I've missed.