Off to one of his best starts ever in the King of Wake series, two-time wakeboard world champion, Andrew Adkison, chats with us about his career, life and thoughts on the upcoming event, the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour stop in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., June 19-21, at Prairie Springs Park.
Alli: How did you make the jump from wakeboarding fan to pro wakeboader?
Andrew Adkison: Honestly, a ton of help from a lot of good people. Growing up, my family didn't own a boat or anything, so a career in wakeboarding really didn't seem possible. I knew some guys around town, who owned a boat and were kind enough to let me ride with them every now and again. On the weekends, I began driving to Alabama, Georgia and pretty much allover the southeast to find other people, who would let me ride with them. I was learning tricks, but I was determined to get better, so I started going to wakeboarding clinics, where I eventually met Shaun Murray. After speaking with him a couple of times, Shaun convinced me to start riding in contests and before I knew it, I was competing in my first pro event.
You're off to an amazing start in the series, is this your year to win it all?
I hope so, but I know about 36 other guys, who hope it's their year too. I'm in a good position in the standings right now, my riding has really improved and I'm having a lot of fun, but it's a long season and anything can happen before it's over.
Who's putting the pressure on you this year?
Everyone! There used to be a couple of key guys that you would worry about, but now it seems like anyone can bump you out of your heat. The level of riding has increased so much this year that you can't count anyone out.
What are your expectations for the upcoming stop Wisconsin?
We're going to have a stoked crowd, great conditions and a pretty high level of riding. For some guys, it's their last chance to qualify into the rest of the Pro Tour stops and for other guys, it's a chance to establish their lead in the standings. MasterCraft always puts on a great event for us, so I'm just looking forward to getting out on the water, having fun and trying to make the Podium.
Is there an advantage to being a MasterCraft team rider and competing at an MC event, such as the PWT stop in Wisconsin?
I think so. The Pro Tour uses the MasterCraft X-Star, which is the same boat I have at home. I know how the boat handles and the type of wake it puts out, which are important elements in contest riding; so it gives me one less thing to worry about when I compete.
Any hotspots or attractions that you plan to check out, while in Wisconsin?
[Laughs!] The Jelly Belly Factory, for sure; it's about five minutes from the contest site. I really want to be more of a tourist this year, so I might go checkout the Miller Lite Brewery in Milwaukee if there's time.
Where are you off to after Wisconsin?
I head down to Kentucky with Bryan Hutton, Zane [Schwenk] and a couple other guys for a photo session behind the X-Star. We're staying on a houseboat for a week before we head down to Tennessee for the next contest.
The photo session sounds pretty cool, any other projects in the works?
I'm going to be working with iDrive Boats to support Florida boater safety education. I want to help people become better, safer boaters, especially within water-sports. If people want to register, they can use the promo code: AA9 to save some cash.
Sounds like you're keeping pretty busy, do you have any downtime?
It gets hectic sometimes with all the traveling, but yes there's downtime. It's no secret that I'm a pretty aggressive table tennis player, so I like to play whenever I can. I have also recently gotten into photography, which is quickly becoming a serious passion of mine. I generally stay pretty active; I'll play some foosball, practice juggling or work on my freestyle walking [Laughs!]. It's an inside joke. I like to surf the Web and see what's new in the world.
Have you gotten a chance to checkout the new online Fantasy Wake League?
No, I haven't seen it yet, but you're like the fifth person to mention it to me; [Aaron] Rathy was just telling me about it. I guess you pick riders from the Pro Tour to be on your fantasy team and you’re scored based on actual event results. It sounds pretty cool; I'll probably go sign up after this is over.
Shout out to any sponsors?
A huge thanks to all my sponsors, not just as companies, but the people there as well, they're like family to me. MasterCraft, CWB, Summit Marine.
Where can fans learn more about you?
Keep checking out Allisports.com or follow me on twitter: AndrewAdkinson.