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.
My dad and my mom own and operate the World Wake Board Center in Groveland, Fla. But they had bought a ski school in 1993, and both my dad and mom, Andy and Joni Hansen, grew up water skiing as show skiers at Sea World and Cypress Gardens professionally. They met at Sea World. My dad was originally from just outside Chicago, and my mom was from Indianapolis. Chicago and Indianapolis didn’t have an abundance of warm water at any time of the year. Since my mom wanted to have a summer job, she filled out an application for Sea World and told Sea World she could ski, which was the truth, but she only had skied one time. However, my Mom was good looking, so Sea World hired her and taught her how to ski professionally. My mom was immediately put on the ski team at Sea World.
A big community of water skiers are in the Chicago area, and my dad grew up skiing for the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team. That ski team still puts on shows today. My dad decided he wanted to go to Sea World and make a living as a professional water skier. So, my dad and mom met at Sea world, fell in love and got married. Before long they had my older brother Trevor, who is 5 years older than me. My dad left Sea World and got a job with a boat company, but in his heart he was still a water skier. He wanted his children to grow up like he did, water skiing and having a love for everything to do with water. So, he started looking into buying a ski school and finally bought the Benzel Skiing Center, strictly a water skiing school. Our parents soon taught me and my brother Trevor how to ski. But they realized that more people were having fun wakeboarding rather than water skiing, especially the professional wakeboard skiers. They began teaching wakeboarding, and many competitive wakeboarders trained at their ski school. Early in the 1990s, they made the decision to become more heavily involved in wakeboarding and teaching competitive wakeboarding. So, they changed the name of their company from the Benzel Skiing Center to the World Wakeboard Center, and people come from all over the world to learn to wakeboard there.