I met Sam Langley a few years ago while filming his brother, Jeff Langley, on Clear Lake. Sam is easy going and an amazing wakeskater, so I knew I wanted to film him as well. Check out some of his huge kicker sends and tech flat water tricks in this edit!
SL: Rome, Georgia
WW: Home lake?
SL: Lake Weir
WW: Home lake now?
SL: Clear Lake
WW: How did you get into wakeskating?
SL: I was kind of into water skiing (trick, slalom, jump) and skateboarding. Then I saw George, BT, and Grubb’s part in a Hyperlite movie, Counterfeit This, and was immediately hooked and got my first wakeskate shortly after.
WW: How old were you?
SL: I was probably 13 or 14 years old.
WW: Did you ever wakeboard too?
SL: I tried wakeboarding and it was fun. There just wasn’t an initial click for immediate passion like the way wakeskating happened for me. It just blew my mind that you could do skate tricks on the water and incorporate different styles doing it.
WW: How was it growing up with Jeff as your bro? Has having him as a bro helped you both in riding and getting better?
SL: Growing up with Jefferson was always a good time. He definitely plays a role in introducing me to the sport, meeting people within it and growing to where I’m at now. If I wasn’t begging my dad to trailer the boat to the lake after he got off work for the last 45 minutes of sunlight or my friends picking me up who already lived out there, Jeff and I were taking out the old school pro star whether the plug was in or out (yeah, I learned that one the hard way).
WW: How was your 2018 season?
SL: The 2018 season was pretty good to me. Got third in Cable Nationals in Chicago and also Worlds in Mexico. Maybe I wanted a little more or to perform better, but I really can’t neglect the fact of getting to travel and see new places, meet new people and grow in perspective all because of a sliver of wood and some grip tape.
WW: Plans for the rest of the off season?
SL: Plans for the off season are kept pretty simple. Throw on a wetsuit every now and then, hit a boat show here or there, try to make it to the mountains for the pow and just trying to maintain my health, friendships and gratitude for each day; the good and the not so good.
WW: Plans for next season?
SL: Next season I would like to progress from whatever I’ve accomplished last year. Maybe winning a WWA pro contest would be nice. Also, looking to grow Freedom's cable side, maybe changing out some features, couple more games of skate, maybe its own competition there. The Sky's the limit and I’d like to pursue what’s achievable.
WW: What new tricks do you want to learn next?
SL: Hmmmm, new tricks. I’d have to say instead of maybe a single trick, I'm looking more towards progressing the tricks I have with style, cleanliness and consistency. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t mind learning a new one here or there, maybe grow and solidify my switch riding, but there’s something about doing a trick with perfection and making it look effortless. I could watch a popped, poked and caught kickflip over a hucked big flip that’s low and followed by a whole body drag any day. I feel like I tend to fall in between doing some stuff well and other things that really shouldn’t be seen by the public eye. I just think there’s so much expression and creativity that can go into each individual trick, it can really turn someone on to or off of the sport. I’d like to look back after my days of riding are numbered and know that I influenced someone to put in the extra time and effort knowing that landing a perfect and effortless whatever trick it is is worth the reward in its end result.
WW: What's your favorite thing about wakeskating?
SL: Man, there’s so many things to like about wakeskating! It’s combined with so many of the sports I love like skating and surfing. Even just butter sliding across a mirror of glassy water can leave someone in awe. The people it’s brought together, the friends I have today, the opportunities I seek tomorrow, it’s all embedded in the simple act of wood pressing through water.
WW: Who are your favorite people to ride with?
SL: It’s hard to narrow down a specific friend or group of friends to ride with. I have people I ride with often, but as far as favorites go, I really enjoy riding with whoever wants to get out there. Good or bad, young or old, doesn’t matter. If wakeskating’s bringing the joy and there’s time to spare, I’m in no matter who it is!
WW: What's your favorite park you've been to so far?
SL: West Rock has definitely been one of the more creative parks I’ve been to. There’s so many features and they're mostly all wakeskate friendly. I really enjoy Next Level out in Texas. Wakeskate Wednesdays are for the boys! (Thank you Kyle Brown)
WW: What's your favorite dish at the moment?
SL: Always down for some bacon, eggs and avocado. Literally just had it minutes ago while writing this.
WW: Where do you see wakeskating in 10 years?
SL: Man, I would love to see wakeskating catch a second wind in the next ten years. I feel like when I was growing up in the sport I couldn’t wait to get home and pull up the video on the Byerly Toe Jam to watch the latest and greatest go head to head. There were so many competitors and always someone new sweeping the podiums. Today, if you go to a contest there’s not always that many riders and it’s usually the same three getting crowned. I’m not against it. I just want to know what it would take to get people out of their chairs on the sideline and into a contest bib and trying their best and just seeing what happens. Some contests I’ve done great and others I wish I couldn’t remember, but you’d be surprised when the pressure is on how things can change for the unexpected. In my opinion, regretting what might of happened is worse than getting last place.
WW: Who are some of the riders you look up to and why?
SL: Some of the main people I’ve looked up to and influenced my riding most I would say is Andrew Pastura, George Daniels, Nick Taylor and Chris Kallas. These were the guys I was constantly looking up online repetitively to gain insight on how to make things my own.
WW: Special thanks to anyone? Sponsors?
SL: I’d like to thank anyone who has been a part of my journey in life and wakeskating along the way. The man upstairs, countless friends, my girlfriend, my whole family. I felt like if I named one, I would have to name them all. The company that’s backed me since day one to provide the lifestyle I have today, Tommy's (thank you Matt) and thank you Chris from Grain Wakeskates for providing me with beautiful carpentry work that’s one of a kind.