We at Civil love shining a bright light on individuals that we find truly embody our message of what it means to Celebrate The Difference and display their dedication to wholeheartedly pursuing their passions.
Check out this week’s Celebrate The Difference (CTD) Interview below featuring one of our Civil Regime Team Members.
Cory “Todd” Watson, 24, Professional Wakeboarder, Orlando, FL.
How do you celebrate the difference?
To me wakeboarding is a form of art. I get to go out there everyday and express my difference to the world by riding my wakeboard. I’m very blessed.
How did you first get into wake boarding?
My family were all skiers & boaters. When I was 12 my uncle showed me this “wakeboard” that he got. I took it out to the lake with us the next time we went and gave it a spin.
What was going through your head the very first time you successfully stood up on a wakeboard?
I was automatically hooked. I actually got up first try. I remember making the driver drive for what felt like miles cause I wouldn’t let go.
Was it always a dream of yours to travel and compete in wakeboarding competitions?
I love to be able to travel and meeting new people. But to be completely honest I’ve only competed like 3 times in the past 4 years. I focus all my time on filming for videos, shooting for the magazines, and just wakeboarding. Keeping the freeriding aspect alive. Like I said, I see wakeboarding as an art. I’m never going to go out there and focus on learning a bunch of gymnastic looking tricks to give you a high score in contests. If I don’t like the way something looks, I’m not going to do it. I’m gonna go out there, and be me. If I have to take a big pay cut because of it, that’s fine with me.
What’s the craziest thing to happen to you while wake boarding?
Probably hitting the big air for the first time. It’s just like a big slope style snowboard jump, or the mega ramp on a skateboard. There’s a big kicker ramp and landing ramp, with about a 50ft land gap in between them. If you don’t make the gap you’re in trouble.
Where is your favorite place to wakeboard?
“Lake Ronix.” My board sponsor Ronix just bought a massive lake 2 years ago here in Orlando. Just about every rider on the team lives here in Orlando. We all meet up at the lake everyday, build new rails/features, test gear, film and ride our asses off. All my pictures you see are from “Lake Ronix.”
How has the sport changed since you first started doing to?
Everything was done behind the boat when I first started. There were hardly any rails or anything of that sort. The sport has evolved insanely since then. There are now cable parks popping up all over. You no longer need a expensive boat to be able to wakeboard. Lower/middle class kids actually have a chance to make it now too.
What has been one of your proudest wakeboarding moments thus far?
Probably my first magazine shot, and the story behind it. I was 20 I think. My board sponsor at the time “Gator” paid for me to go on a winch trip to Lincoln, Nebraska. First day there I split my head open falling in 3″ deep water, and was bleeding badly. I spent a day in the hospital and was bed rested for the rest of the trip. Right before we had to fly back, still hurt, I got my board out and wall rid this sketchy brick wall, right in the middle of Downtown Lincoln. I didn’t want to let my sponsor down and come back with nothing. I had one try before security came and grabbed us. I nailed it first try, got the photo, grabbed all our stuff and busted out of there. 2 months later I was flipping through a magazine and there I was right in the middle of the mag, double page spread from that day.
When you’re not wakeboarding, what do you do in your free time?
I grew up skateboarding. So I still skate when I can. I also do cinematography. I spend a lot of my downtime filming and editing. That’s my plan for my future when I get to old for wakeboarding.
What are three things people might not know about you?
1. I can’t surf
2. My dad’s been married 6 times
3. I was born in California, and raised in Missouri.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming competitions, trips or projects?
Starting in January we start filming for the Ronix team video. We will probably be filming for a couple years. It’s crazy I’ll be in the same video as all the dudes I grew up idolizing and watching in videos.
Todd’s Top 5 favorite Civil pieces: Click the items to shop the pro wakeboarder’s favorites now!