Rider Link: Quinn Silvernale
WW: Who are you?
QS: Hello! My name is Quinn Silvernale, a 23-year-old Minnesota native raised in the muddy waters of Georgia.
WW: How long have you been riding on one of them wakeboards?
QS: I don’t remember exactly how old I was. I just remember my older sister getting an O'Brien Shredder for her birthday one year. It was a directional board with sandal bindings and a bad ass cheese shredder graphic. I hadn’t really seen wakeboarding before then, so I pretty much took over the rights to her board after that and I've been water trash ever since!
WW: Using three words, describe how wakeboarding makes you feel?
QS: Hmmm... Amped into euphoria. It’s tough to sum it all up in three words…well that was a three-word sentence.
WW: Do you have any sponsors?
QS: I've been pretty fortunate to have met some great people and have accumulated some awesome sponsors through those connections. I ride for Slingshot, The Gravity Research Compound, Shred Ready, Cire Boardshorts, STZ-Canvassed Apparel, Rockwell Watches and Mountain Wake Park.
WW: How do your sponsors support your riding habit?
QS: My sponsors have fully supported my riding habit by giving me all things necessary for my riding, from wakeboards and boots to helmets and board shorts to the clothes on my back and watches on my wrist as well as providing me with top-of-the-line training facilities at my complete disposal. Having surrounded myself with all of these companies has been amazing and has allowed me to continue my pursuit to reach my full potential with this sport.
WW: What do you believe a sponsored rider needs to do to keep their sponsors happy?
QS: I think the best thing to do to make your sponsors happy is to just push yourself, have fun doing it and make sure to document it well enough to get your sponsors names out there. Your sponsors want you to do well, otherwise they wouldn't sponsor you. So if you can show them that you are constantly progressing while pushing their products, I believe that they will be happy. This summer I went to France to compete and face my first professional-level competition. I did pretty well for myself and I think that me taking that initiative and stepping out of my comfort zone on my own showed my sponsors how serious and dedicated I was.
WW: I like the topic of sponsors, so I do have another question. What about the riders that only focus on trying to be sponsored, but they can’t do a toeside wake to wake jump? What do you say to that?
QS: The thing I have learned about kids who focus so much on picking up sponsors is that they end up losing sight of why they started to ride in the first place and ultimately it hurts their riding. It also hurts the relationships they have with their sponsor connections because companies will get annoyed with someone nagging them about getting free stuff all the time. If you work hard and focus on progression then eventually companies will start to notice.
WW: What is your main source of getting pulled?
QS: I mainly ride cable these days. I spend most of my time at the Gravity Research Compound riding the System 2.0 and lately I've been doing a good bit of riding in North Georgia at Mountain Wake Park. I still winch when we have the right spot and ride boat if the opportunity presents itself, but mostly it’s just cable...and I have no problems with that, haha!
WW: Take us through a typical day in Quinn’s shoes, or boots shall I say?
QS: Well every day in these boots is its own adventure, so I don’t really have a typical day. I just kind of fly by the seat of my pants, so I'll just tell you where today's adventure has led me so far. It started off with me driving to AirGas in Dublin, Georgia to get some gas for the welder. After that we went back to GRC to work on building the features for the pool gap at the Atlanta Boat Show in January. We tacked some platforms together and ran out of MIG wire for the welder, so we had to go pick up some more from Chas Mar. On the way back we stopped at Mickey D's to use the wifi so I could do this interview with you and send some other emails. That's where my adventure has led me so far today. After this I imagine we will probably go ride and get back to welding. Pretty riveting stuff, huh?!
WW: Who would you say are the top three underrated riders?
QS: Brian Reeder, Felix Georgii and Jefferson Langley.
WW: If you could change something in the wakeboard industry, what would it be?
Politics. I don't like politics in the real world…why would I want them in my fantasy world?! I would also change the overuse of the word 'super.' I am guilty of this as much as the next, but come on guys, it’s unoriginal and makes everyone sound super unintelligent.
WW: If you were given an RV, boat and a credit card for all expenses, where would you go and who would you invite?
QS: I would round up an epic crew of shredders and filmers from all over and tour the U.S. hitting every cable park and body of water we could dip our toes into while documenting every second of it.
WW: What tunes are you bumping in your walkman tape player (yeah, I said tape player)?
QS: Jock Jams 95, always!
WW: Tell the wakeboard world something that they might not know about you?
QS: I can analyze most movies and/or TV shows while watching them and tell you everything that will take place pertaining to the plot before it happens. I have a 98% success rate.
WW: When I used to ride a lot I would train by playing drinking games. It never really worked out for me. Do you do any cross training or workouts to help improve your riding?
QS: I used to do a lot of working out to condition myself for riding, but lately I do pretty much anything I can to ride some kind of board every single day. Usually that board is a wakeboard, but in the winter it involves a lot more cruising around on a skateboard and going out west for snowboard trips.
WW: The ladies out there want to know if Quinn Silvernale is single?
QS: I hate to disappoint all those ladies out there, but I do have one special lady friend by the name of Liz. She is wonderful and has given me endless support in what I do, even when that means just having to put up with me.
WW: What are your plans for 2012? Any trips?
QS: I don't have any wake-related trips planned yet, but I am going to shred some pow this March in Utah. I would love to get back out to France to compete in all of the contests I got to ride in this summer, but I have to find a pot of gold first so I can afford to get out there.
WW: If someone walked up to you and said, “I want to ride like you one day,” what advice would you give him/her to get to that skill level?
QS: I would probably tell them just to stay focused on keeping their riding fun. When you take it too seriously, it’s easy to get burnt out.
WW: What do you want to do when you are too old to wakeboard?
QS: I would like to own and operate a few cable parks around the U.S. so that I can introduce wakeboarding to people who have never had the opportunity to try it and give them fun and unique places to ride.
WW: Quinn, it’s been fun man! Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
QS: Thanks for the opportunity. I wouldn't have even had the chance to do this interview if it wasn't for the support of my whole family, friends, my girlfriend, Liz, and all of my sponsors: Slingshot Wakeboards, The Gravity Research Compound, Shred Ready Helmets, Rockwell Watches, STZ-Canvassed Apparel, Cire Boardshorts and Mountain Wake Park.