Let’s start with some stats…name, age and where do you live?
Name: Ricky Lukassen
From: Arnhem, The Netherlands (Holland)
For how many years have you been wakeboarding?
I've been wakeboarding since the age of 14, so 12 years now.
Who introduced you to the sport of wakeboarding?
At the age of 12 my parents decided to buy a small boat. I started kneeboarding and waterskiing and found out that was a bit boring. A couple days later I saw a random dude wakeboarding on a Jobe Pilot 144cm and I was hooked.
Where is your local lake?
I ride on a river close to my house called "The Rijn" located in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Tell me about the wakeboard scene in that area?
Unfortunately, the boat scene is getting smaller pretty fast because of the high fuel prices. Yesterday I received the news that the Dutch Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (NWWB) is going to organize the 2015 European boat championships, so that's good news! We have around 20 cables in a very small country, so the cable scene is growing really fast. In 2011 and 2012 my clothing sponsor, Protest Boardwear, was the organizer of the Protest Cable Call, which was one of the five stops of the world cup.
Do you ride with the same people or do you venture out and ride with other wakeboarders?
I try to ride with as many people as I can. Of course, my friends and I ride together a lot. People hire me as their wakeboard coach so I always meet a lot of different people.
What kind of boat do you usually ride behind?
The beautiful MasterCraft X-25 2013.
What wakeboard setup are you riding?
The complete Liquid Force Watson setup.
What do you enjoy most about wakeboarding?
To feel free while flying above the water just doing whatever I want and to get people as excited as I am.
What do you like to do when you’re not wakeboarding?
I always like to try other sports, doesn't matter what sport it is! Also, playing Xbox and always hanging out with friends.
Do you have WakeWorld.com set as your home page?
Of course! No, sorry. I have www.xlwake.nl set as my home page (but I always have a tab open with WakeWorld).
Are there any tricks that you are working on or want to work on?
At the moment it's winter. All the cables are closed and the boats are out of the water. My season will start the first week of March! It still will be freezing though, so I have to take it easy and get back in shape. But this year I would like to get my toeside 7, Raley to blind and back 5 consistent behind the boat. With the cable you never know what comes up.
What would your ideal day be like?
Wake up early, roll out of bed, walk barefooted to the boat, hear the sound of the engine, drive by my friend’s house, pick up everyone and go out for some sessions, go back to the dock, drive to the cable for a mid-day session, get back to the boat ASAP, start a BBQ and have a nice sunset session!
Pro wakeboarders… who would be your top three and why?
3. Mike Dowdy - already a legend with all his doubles
2. Randall Harris / Ricky Gonzales - for going big
1. Shawn Watson - love his gear and style
Are there any spots that you are hoping to one day ride?
Oh so many!! Any clear, blue water lake with mirror water! There are so many sick spots all over the world! I can't choose!
Got any words of advice to those that are starting out?
Have fun and keep trying (ride, eat, sleep, repeat and keep trying)!
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
My sponsors, Liquid Force and Protest Boardwear. And, of course, all the people who helped me out. Thanks for the interview!