WAKESTOCK Slap on your shades and slather on the sunscreen for the annual boards-and-rockers event that features pro and amateur competitions and performances by Saint Alvia Cartel, Lights and Ten Second Epic, among others. $10 to $54.50. Today (Thursday, July 26) through Sunday (July 29). Toronto Islands. www.wakestock.com. Rating: NNNNN
WHAT EVENTS ARE YOU COMPETING IN? There's the main event, the Expression Session, which is judged on intensity (how gnarly the ride) as well as execution, or how clean the ride is, and composition, which is how your tricks flow from one to the next. There's also free riding behind the boat and the rail contest, which is like rail contests in skateboarding.
HOW DID YOU BECOME A PRO WAKEBOARDER? I'm from Milton, but I live in Muskoka now and used to be a barefooter in ski shows. I started wakeboarding at 13. The top 20 guys are making a fortune in the sport, and the rest of us are earning a living, which we supplement by teaching or putting on clinics. I'm the owner, president, founder and janitor of Deep Distribution, which imports Gator boards.
ARE WAKEBOARDERS DIFFERENT FROM SKATEBOARDERS AND SNOWBOARDERS? We all have specific traits, but boarding culture is standard issue, whether you're in a half-pipe or being pulled behind a boat. It's about the great ride, the gnarly trick, the partying afterward. And don't forget the girls.
WHAT ARE THE BIG TRICKS IN WAKEBOARDING? The really big spins, the big hammers, are 720s and 900s. The 1080, which is three spins, is the most sought-after trick. Only three guys have landed it.
EVER BEEN INJURED? I've been knocked unconscious face down in the water and had to be pulled out. I've had surgery on my knees three times because the cartilage is gone. Last week I fell on a rail right on my ass. It felt like I got fucked by an elephant. My ass is all purple. People don't realize that when we hit the water we can be going 60 miles per hour.
IS THE SPORT GETTING MORE POPULAR? It's on the verge of going from that thing you do at your buddy's cottage on the weekend to being a mainstream action sport like the other X-games sports. And tying it into concerts, as they do at Wakestock, brings it to the larger boarding culture.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? Smoke a fat joint. At contests, when they announce a safety meeting in one of the tents, that's code for a doob meeting. We chill hard. We take the boats and roll right up to the bars, and there's always lots of girls.