Shaun Murray shouldn't need any introduction to anyone that knows anything about wakeboarding, but here it is anyway...
As a kid, I looked up to Shaun and many other OG legends of the sport. Playing Shaun's Xbox video game only made his iconic figure that much cooler. If you're lucky enough to meet Shaun in person, you'll instantly realize that he's one of the nicest, down-to-earth professional wakeboarders/humans you'll ever meet. He's always got a smile on his face and, even though he's one of the biggest names in the sport, you couldn't tell it sometimes by how humble and nice he is with anyone he meets.
Recently Shaun has been putting in some serious coaching hours at OWC and you may have even seen him compete on American Ninja Warrior a few times. Check out this feature video of what a day in his life is like. Also, have a read of his interview where we go for a deep dive into what makes Murray tick and what are some of his favorite memories.
WW: Where were you born?
SM: Mission Viejo, California
WW: How many years as a pro?
SM: Since '95. Yep, the 1900's.
WW: First memory on the water?
SM: Waterskiing on the San Diego Bay when I was 8, and then seeing Mike Suyderhoud in a ski show on Lake Shasta doing the clown act and thought it was amazing and I wanted to have that kind of control on the water.
WW: How has the sport/equipment (boards, boots and boats) changed since you first started riding?
SM: The biggest thing is that the wakes have gotten massive. Of course, the boards have gotten lighter and have more surface area. Fins have changed, but that was a while ago. Crazy thing is that they have stayed pretty much the same price for 25 years.
WW: How did you manage to get a video game named after you and make it the only wakeboarding game ever made?
SM: Not sure why they picked me over so many other riders they could've chosen, but one of the game developers happened to be at OWC one day, which I didn't know, and I was taking my dog for a ride on my wakeboard. He told me that got his attention for some reason and we began to chat.
WW: Could there be a new/remastered version maybe anytime in the future?
SM: Nothing in the works for now, but ya never know.
WW: How did you first get into being an American Ninja Warrior?
SM: I created an adult jungle gym in my backyard, which I enjoyed working out on. I saw that you could apply for the show, so I gave it a shot and have now competed on there four times.
WW: When did you first make it all the way through the course on ANW?
SM: It was when it was at Universal Studios in Orlando. Crazy thing that you don't know as a viewer is that they film the show all through the night, sometimes to when the sun comes up. When I did my best and made it all the way to the top of the warped wall was at 2:30 AM.
WW: How long did it take you to build your backyard ninja course?
SM: It evolved over a period of at least a year because we would just build what we felt should come next with the movements we were making. Bob Soven was the first person to help me begin build it.
WW: Are your kids going to follow in your footsteps of becoming a pro wakeboarder?
SM: While they enjoy riding, it's not something I see them doing or push them to do. It honestly helps keep the fun of being on the boat.
WW: What's a day in the life of Shaun Murray like?
SM: Thankfully, every day is different, which is one of the biggest benefits of my job. I generally wake up pretty early. 6:45 Is sleeping in. Most days I wake up at six and step into my office to begin answering emails, questions and comments on YouTube, DM's on Instagram and messages in Facebook messenger. At 6:30, I stop working and read a few pages from the Bible and spend a few minutes in prayer. At 7 I wake the kids up for school, cook breakfast, get them off to school. Workout in my backyard for about 45 minutes. Get on the water to shoot YouTube content. Lunch. Kids home from school, so my wife and I help with homework. Try to get outside with the kids. Usually involves water, pool or lake. Dinner, kids to bed and, hopefully, asleep by 10:30.
WW: What nutrition/diet/exercise regimen do you follow?
SM: I'm not super strict on my diet, but I definitely watch what I eat. I avoid processed foods when I can, try to eat fruits and vegetables, drink a lot of water, have been eating less bread/gluten products, but not super strict on that either.
WW: How has it been coaching so many people over the past few years?
SM: I really enjoy seeing people have light bulb moments when I help them understand how wakeboarding works. Showing them how the handle can feel like a friend rather than almost an enemy that is trying to pull you on your face.
WW: What are your plans for the next few years?
SM: I really started turning up the dial and realizing how much potential there is to create good fun content and YouTube is the major component for me these days. Going as far as creating Murrch, taking my personal website to the next level and starting my own media company.
WW: Any goals/ideas you want to make happen?
SM: Keep an eye out on my YouTube channel. :)
WW: Special thanks to anyone/shout-outs?
SM: My parents for always being available for me and my brothers growing up into this day. My wife for dealing with my antics and crazy schedule. My kids for letting me play with them like I'm their age. And for so many amazing participants out in the sport of wakeboarding for following my career over the years, messaging me with awesome memories and throwback pics, but, more importantly, for them staying on the water because of the fun they know they can create with friends and families.
SM: Hyperlite (since 95), Nautique (since 99), Jet Pilot (since 96), Performance Ski n Surf (since 96), Bb Talkin, OWC, MWC, ECP, Lead Wake and Maus Nissan.