There is something refreshing about the unbridled fire that burns in young riders. From the perspective of years inside wakeboarding it can seem naive or even brash, but the fuel that feeds it is pure passion – a love for the sport they’re still learning so much about. That is the case with Guenther Oka, perhaps the best all-around barely-legal rider on the planet. Six months ago Guenther was another 17-year-old kid hopeful of breaking through and legitimately making it. Not making it in terms of slapping stickers on his board and living off the bank of Mom and Dad, but making it by actually making some noise and getting contracts. Last year he dropped a couple videos that turned heads and the rumblings could be heard amongst riders and team managers alike. Guenther was a kid to look out for. Now he’s doing his best to prove those rumblings true and surpass expectations – and he’s doing a damn good job doing it. A wild card entry into this year’s Jamboree, Guenther left Texas with the respect and admiration of all the other riders there. And just before this issue went to print he snagged a victory at FISE in France. We sat down with Guenther just before and after Jamboree, hoping he’d have a good experience at the famed event and provide the unique inside of a kid just starting his career as a pro. What amazed us was not just how passionate Guenther is about wakeboarding, but how poised he is about what it’s going to take to be successful in the future and what might need to be done to keep the sport alive and growing.
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