LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — This weekend, BROstock will bring 26 of the world’s best wakeboarders to the Lake.
LakeExpo.com sat down with some of this weekend’s riders to chat about the world of wakeboarding and what they expect from this year’s BROstock.
Kevin Henshaw, “Mr.BROstock” himself, brings a serious arsenal of tricks. This Canadian-born wakeboarder is always a force to be reckoned with.
Tracie/LakeExpo: First, the basics: name, age and where you’re from?
Henshaw: Kevin Henshaw, 27, from British Columbia, Canada
Tracie/LakeExpo: Canadians have really been killing it lately. How on earth did so many talented riders come out of Canada? Where would you rather ride – back home or Orlando?
Henshaw: Yeah. It’s really crazy. I can’t believe how many of us have been able to make it in wakeboarding. I think not having the endless summer like in Florida really drives you to be the best when you’ve got the warmth. I would say Florida for the accessibility, but BC for how beautiful it is. Everything’s better when you’re at home and I think that goes for everyone no matter where you’re from.
Tracie/LakeExpo: At what age did you take your first pull?
Henshaw: I think I was like twelve, but I’m not totally 100 percent on that. Wish I could have done it earlier and have the boards and boats that the kids these days have. Hahaha.
Tracie/LakeExpo: When did you realize that you wanted to take wakeboarding to the next level?
Henshaw: I think when I won Canadian nationals and really realized I had a shot. I think I was like 16 or 17. Also, the first time I went to a tour stop and saw all the pros like Shawn Watson riding. I was like, “That’s what I want to do for a living”.
Tracie/LakeExpo: What are benefits to being a professional athlete? Any disadvantages?
Henshaw: There are lots of advantages. Hahaha. Free clothing, traveling and just not having to go to a 9 to 5 job is great. I couldn’t be happier with how my life has turned out so for. I can’t really think of any disadvantages besides the stress of wanting to be the best and not doing well at a contest or something. When you do well there is no better feeling.
Tracie/LakeExpo: I know that you’ve been getting some awesome jib shots lately. Are you nervous about hitting big features after coming off of that nasty knee injury?
Henshaw: Not really. I have been training really hard and my knee feels amazing. I have had the odd tweak, which scares me a lot, but then I remember the real pain I was in and get back in the gym. You can’t let things like that get to you or you won’t get any better. I just look at it like a speed bump in life.
Tracie/LakeExpo: Any hints about what tricks you might be throwing this weekend? Working on anything new?
Henshaw: Not too sure, but I always seem to throw a backside seven, so you can count on that. I have been trying some new stuff, but we will see on the conditions.
Tracie/LakeExpo: What is it like riding for such a legendary Liquid Force team? Are there any internal rivalries between any of the team members?
Henshaw: It’s been awesome. They do so much for us and just knowing you ride for the best is a real confidence booster. It lets you know you’re doing something right. We are all friends on the team so there are no rivalries, but we do get in arguments sometimes. We are all like family and that’s what families do.
Tracie/LakeExpo: What is hardest about being away from home on the Pro Wake Tour?
Henshaw: You don’t really notice because you’re so focused on the contest and having fun with all your buddies. But if I had to say something, it would be family and my girlfriend. Sometimes, two week trips with all your buddies are awesome, but when you get home there is no better feeling.
Tracie/LakeExpo: You just took a podium spot at Wake the Line in Germany. What’s it like getting to ride all over the world?
Henshaw: That was a good feeling. Getting second two years in a row at the biggest rail contest of the year is a great confidence booster. The money is a bonus too, haha. Traveling the world is awesome. I have been very fortunate to get to see a lot of countries that I probably wouldn’t if it wasn’t for wakeboarding.
Tracie/LakeExpo: What are your goals for the rest of the season — both inside and outside of contests?
Henshaw: To try and do well at a few more contests. I am working on a yearend video edit. Keep your eyes peeled, because that is definitely my main goal for the year.
Tracie/LakeExpo: Who are your sponsors and do you have any advice to a young rider looking to get noticed?
Henshaw: Liquid force, Nike, Monster Energy, boardco.com, MyPakage, Unit Rails, Strait Line, Sesitec, and www.permaction.com. My advice would be to just have fun and if you really want it, it will happen. Just don’t stop trying.
Tracie/LakeExpo: Last but not least. Do you have any hints for someone aspiring to be “Mr. Brostock 2013”?
Henshaw: Hahahahahaha! Yeah, no advice ‘cause it’s a challenge. Really fun one though! Just be careful and surround yourself with good people ‘cause this event is the best! I can’t wait to see the outcome!