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.
If you’re familiar with wakeboarding, someone rides behind a boat like a skier does, except he or she is on a board much like a snow board. A wakeboard rider stands on the board with his feet strapped to the board and jumps the wake the boat puts out behind the boat. Wakeboarders do all types of waterskiing tricks and aerial tricks. The sport is definitely for individuals less than 50 years old and requires great athleticism. Skateboarding is done on a board with wheels on its bottom. You push the board and skate down the street like you do on roller skates, except you’re standing on the skateboard. There are skateboard competitions where the skateboarder rolls off one side of a half pipe, gains tremendous speed if he goes up the other side of the half pipe, springs into the air and does aerobatic tricks before coming back down and hopefully landing upright on the down side of the half pipe.
Wakeskating is a combination of both sports. You’re basically wakeboarding, but you’re not attached by your feet to the wakeboard with foot bindings. Instead, the wakeskate board has coarse tape on the top of it, and you jump on the board wearing tennis shoes but aren’t attached to the board. To get up on a wakeskate board, you place the board out in front of you and put your feet in your tennis shoes on the board. The pressure the board feels when the boat takes off pushes the wakeboard onto your feet, and then you come up and stand up on the wakeboard. We keep the boat fairly weighted down, so the boat pulls us up to the wakeskating position fairly quickly. The boat runs at 22 mph, while we do tricks behind the boat. There’s a lot of trial and error that takes place when you first start learning to wakeskate, and while you’re becoming accustomed to standing up on the board from just the water pressure from the boat pulling you and the wakeskate board up.
I grew up at a wakeboard camp here in Clermont, Fla. I’ve been wakeboarding since I was 3-years old. My parents, Andy and Joni Hansen, were both professional water skiers and skied at SeaWorld and Cypress Gardens. Then they bought a ski school that evolved into a wakeboard school in Groveland, Flo. To really understand my love for and my success in the world of wakeskating, you have to understand my family’s background.