Guenther Oka is not only one of the nicest riders you'll ever meet, but he's also one of the very few crossover pros who can not only dominate cable events, but boat events as well. He's a true professional from top to bottom. He's got a go-getter mentality and whenever he's riding in a contest or doing a media shoot, he just turns on a switch inside his head and stomps everything super clean with an effortless style. We had the chance to get together with him recently to see what a day in his life is like and we want to take you along for the journey!
GO: Cincinnati, Ohio
WW: Years on the water?
WW: Years wakeboarding?
WW: Years pro?
GO: 7 or 8
WW: Years having your pro models?
WW: What other pro models (jackets, etc.) do you have?
GO: Really just the Rhythm (cable board), Rhyme (boat board), my boots, the Pulse, and the Pulse Handle.
WW: When did you get on the Red Bull team?
GO: I got on Red Bull at the end of 2017.
WW: How is it being on both the Red Bull and Liquid Force teams with your girlfriend, Meagan Ethell?
GO: It's pretty rad being on the same team together. With Red Bull we've been able to see some amazing places and participate in some rad camps together. With Liquid Force we really can work together to test product and help organize things behind the scenes. It's pretty fun!
WW: How is it to have her in your corner and to push each other on and off the water?
GO: It's an interesting dynamic. Most people don't date their coworkers (haha) but it's quite different than that. We both understand the challenges of training and competing, so it's nice to have someone around who really knows what you're going though. I couldn't ask for anything more. But really, aside from wakeboarding is where we have the most fun. Dating a chick who shreds and loves to travel is pretty awesome.
WW: How long have y'all been dating?
GO: Coming up on seven years.
WW: When did you move into that sweet shred pad on Clearlake?GO: Meag in 2018, myself in 2020.
WW: How long are you planning on staying there?
WW: How do you stay motivated to shred to your best capability over the years?
GO: It's just a ever-evolving process for me. There are always goals that need to be reached, as long as you keep pushing them higher and higher after you're accomplished some. I think watersports are also just in my blood and something that I'll never give up. I'm addicted.
WW: When did you start foiling and how do you think it helps with your wakeboarding?
GO: I think I started foiling at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020. I've helped LF develop some of their foils and do some R&D on them. I think it makes you look at all board sports differently. Changing foils also gives you a drastic change of feeling under your feet, so when it comes to riding a wakeboard, I'm more conscious of foot pressure and stance, as well as board design. Those are things I wouldn't of thought about in the past.
WW: Not a lot of people can do what you do as far as dominating boat and cable at the same time. How do you manage that and what are some of your favorite things about each one?
GO: Well, the whole dominating cable part has trickled off a little bit (haha), but that comes from the focus shift to boat. It's something I've always done and it feels pretty second nature to me. The changes back and forth don't feel as drastic to, say, someone who only rides cable or vice versa. Cable has the full rail and jib aspect, where boat is smooth transitions and flow.
WW: You're in Germany right now at a boat show while I'm writing this. How is that and what's next on your agenda?
GO: Heading back to the States for a week and then back to Europe for a little project. Then off to Australia for Moomba Masters. After that it's full on summer.
WW: How do you see the sport evolving over your career?
GO: So hard to tell really. Even over the past five years it's changed so much. I think cable will continue to grow and make wake more accessible for people. However, I don't think the boat market will be slowing down anytime soon. Both those things should just keep wake growing and bringing new people on the water.
WW: Where would you like to see yourself and the sport in 5-10 years from now?
GO: Still wakeboarding I hope (haha)! Who knows? Maybe I'll just be a foiler at that point.
WW: Special thanks to anyone?
GO: Meagan, parents, the hood crew, family, friends.
GO: Liquid Force, O'Neill, Red Bull, Axis Wake.