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WakeWorld Rider Link: Brandon Judd

Brandon Judd

WW: What's your name and where are you from?
BJ: Brandon Judd, but people call me Brandon. And to be totally honest, I'm not really sure where I'm from. I'd probably have to say Salt Lake City, Utah because that's where I have lived the longest.

WW: How old are you and how long have you been wakeboarding?
BJ: I am 22 years old and I have been wakeboarding off and on since 2001, about eight years. That's weird to hear myself say. I think there are guys on the Pro Tour who have been riding for less than that. So that would make me 14 when I first strapped in and back then, I really was "strapped in."

WW: Where are your favorite riding spots?
BJ: Wherever I am currently riding is my favorite spot to ride.

I am sort of at the mercy of whomever owns the boat, but if I could pick, I'd say that I've never had a bad time at Lake Powell.

WW: Who do you ride with?
BJ: Anyone who will give me a pull, which has been few and far between these days. Outside of that, I ride with Nick Heaney at his school (Wake Experience) in Long Beach as often as I can afford to. Lately, I've been riding with him once every week or two.

WW: How did you hook up with Jeff Weatherall?
BJ: Nick Heaney gave me his number. I was looking for a crew to ride with consistently that didn't cost as much as a school and Nick mentioned that Jeff was in town, so I jumped on it.

WW: How often do you get to ride?
BJ: Maybe once a week if I am lucky, but I'm trying to change that.

WW: Do you compete?
BJ: Yeah, mostly just local stuff. It helps me to mentally prepare to ride under more pressure. If I want to pick up any major sponsors, I've gotta be killing it and that attitude sometimes cramps my style, so I've got to get used to riding under pressure and making it look fun and steezy, not like I'm trying to impress somebody.

WW: You've talked about moving to Florida to work on your riding. Does that mean you want to go pro eventually?
BJ: Wakeboarding has been a part of my life ever since I saw a clip of Shaun Murray riding in the intro to Detention. Something just changed in my blood from that point on.

All my life I have been told, "You can't make it. You're too old. You gotta start in diapers like Parks or the Soven kids. You're too tall. It's too expensive. You've gotta have rich parents who pay for everything. Blah, blah, blah." And, frankly, I believed all that until about five or six months ago. I came to realize that I can make it and if I don't make it, I dont care. At least I tried. Most people never pursue their dreams. I have a small window of opportunity to make this happen and I'm going for it. If I don't go for it now, I'll wonder for the rest of my life, "What if?" I don't want to live with a regret like that. I'll be more satisfied by failing than I will by never trying.

WW: What does your wife think of your career choice?

BJ: She is amazing. She is super supportive in this decision. We actually made the decision together. We've talked a lot about it and she thinks it'd be an adventure and that I should pursue my dreams. She also doesn't want to live with me asking "What if?" forever either.

WW: What is it about wakeboarding that makes you spend so much time doing it?
BJ: I have no idea. Every aspect of wakeboarding makes me want to do it more.

WW: Do you ride throughout the winter?
BJ: Yeah, as often as I can.

WW: What are your favorite tricks to do?
BJ: In my mind or in real life? Haha. I really like taking my roll to revert into the flats as big and as far as I can. I also love it when I throw a grab into a trick and kick out a foot or shifty really nice. When I do it right, it makes me want to dance for sure.

WW: What are you working on that seems like you'll never pull off?
BJ: There's nothing that I'm working on right now that I'm stalling out on too much, but sometimes I get worked on Raley tricks. Right now they are either really on or really off...and it sucks when they are really off.

WW: What's your current setup - board, bindings, etc.?
BJ: People laugh when I tell them this. I'm riding an '07 Hyperlite Motive 144 with a pair of '07 Liquid Force Ultras. I can't get away from the consistency of the rocker and the ankle flex in the bindings.

WW: Don't you work for Liquid Force? What do you do there and what's that like?
BJ: Haha. Actually, I'm an intern there, which means that I work for free and do the stuff that nobody else wants to do. I package and mail a lot of stuff, organize things, you

know. I still love it though. It's a great networking opportunity for me and it's such a fun, super chill atmosphere there. I have never heard anybody say "get back to work" or anything like that. They all kill it at what they do and have a great time doing it. It's really fun to be a part of that and see what goes on behind the scenes.

WW: What other hobbies do you have?
BJ: Well, coming out of Utah, I definitely love to snowboard. Also, I do freelance photography and graphic design. I'm majoring in graphic design right now. That's been really fun for me and sort of my "back up" for wakeboarding. I've been doing photography and design since high school.

WW: What do you hate about wakeboarding?
BJ: How much it costs for sure. It's really not easy on the wallet.

WW: Who is your favorite pro to watch (and you can't say Jeff)?
BJ: Haha. Ok, in person, I'd have to say that Danny Harf was the most fun to watch. I saw Danny ride in '03 and it was the first time that I had seen anyone ride with real style. I remember what I had for lunch that day, and I'm not just saying that.

WW: Who would you like to thank?
BJ: God, for all that He has blessed me with; My wife, Mandy, for being so supportive and "sponsoring" me, haha; Nick Heaney, for his stellar instruction and for inspiring me to go "all in;" Jeff Weatherall because he's from New Zealand; Dave Williams and everyone at Wakeworld; All the guys at Liquid Force; All my former co-workers at Marine Products in Sandy, Utah; everyone who reads this and everyone that I've omitted mentioning.


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