Editor’s Note: Twenty-five-year-old Reed Hansen of Clermont, Florida, is the current reigning and seven-time World Champion Wakeskater and is one of the newest members of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff. The sport of wakeskating was born about 15-20 years ago, and Hansen was one of the pioneers of this new water sport. Like you, many at Mossy Oak didn’t know what a wakeskater was until Hansen gave us his information. Reed Hansen probably has one of the most-interesting jobs of anyone on the Mossy Oak Pro Staff.
When I was 14-years old, I had been wakeboarding for 11 years. My older brother was a wakeboard champion, and my mom and dad owned a wakeboard school in Groveland, Fla. But then I discovered wakeskating and really got into it, which really went against the grain of my family because my entire family was wakeboarders. At that time, 10-11 years ago, some wakeskating contests were being held, and several magazines covered the sport. I’d always loved the water, since I grew up in central Florida where there were plenty of lakes. I knew that any time I was out on the water I was the happiest that I could be. Wakeskating was a whole new concept, and that sport opened the door for me to create new tricks that people never had seen done on the water previously. In wakeskating, we do many tricks like jumping up off the water and flipping our boards, holding onto the board like a skateboarder, or flipping a board underneath us while we’re still in the air. We do tricks like the 360+ trick you see in skateboard competitions. The difference is we’re doing skateboard tricks on wakeskate boards out on the water like skateboarders do in a half pipe. I’ve never done very well at skateboarding, and I’ve never been a competitive skateboard athlete.
Before trying wakeskating, I’d done trampoline work, so to learn how to do wakeskate tricks, I’d lay my board on the trampoline, stand on my wakeskate board on the trampoline and watch what happened to me and the board as we came up off the trampoline. Next I had to learn how to kick the wakeskate board, while the board and I were both in the air to make the board flip. Then I had to be able to land down top of the board before we both got back down to the trampoline. I started out with a skateboard and removed the trucks and the wheels and started learning how to throw tricks on the trampoline. I got into the sport of wakeskating when the sport was very new. Many people were trying to develop tricks for the sport. When I felt I was good enough to compete, I started competing in wakeskating tournaments. I am now the current and seven time World Wakeskate Champion, and I have 4 national championships. I won the World Championship in 2009 all the way through 2015, except for 2007 when I was injured and couldn’t compete.
Wakeskating is not just a national sport, it’s an international sport. I just returned from the Philippines where a company there has developed probably the best training facility for wakeboarding and wakeskating in the world, and many go there in the winter months to train. At the Philippine facility are 16-foot towers all the way around the lake with a pulley system. You can go to the main tower, clip on to the pulley system and allow that pulley system to pull you around the lake like a boat does. The pulley system and tower pulls you at 22 mph, so you can practice all your tricks at the speed you need. I compete in the Pro Division because I’m a professional wakeskater. This sport doesn’t require much equipment - just a wakeskate board, a pair of tennis shoes and some way to be pulled around a lake like a johnboat, a jet ski or a pulley system.