Rider Link: Andrew Kohl
WW: Let’s get some standard info from you first; name, age, and residence.
AK: Andrew Kohl, 19 years old, San Diego.
WW: How did you get into wakeboarding?
AK: I have known how to wakeboard since I was 12, but I never really did anything or pursued it. When I went to Lake Powell the summer before my freshman year of high-school, I fell in love with it and haven’t stopped since!
WW: How’s your summer going so far?
AK: I just finished my last final like two days ago, so it’s still very young. I work as a State Lifeguard at the Silver Strand so that’ll start tomorrow and then wakeboarding whenever I can!
WW: Where and with whom do you usually ride? Behind what boat?
AK: My buddies Cameron Hutton, Mitch Stockton and I usually ride at Mission Bay through fall, winter and spring. Then over summer we move to San Diego Bay to stay away from all the crazies and still manage to get some decent water. We ride behind my family’s Maxum 1800. It throws off a pretty
insane wake…it’s like ankle high. We fill up some ballast bags though and make the most out of it.
WW: That's crazy! Do you think that riding a smaller wake has helped your progression?
AK: Yes and No. It has helped me develop a lot of good habits that carry over to big wake, but it also makes it harder to learn more advanced tricks because you have so little time in the air. Trip flips are pretty much impossible too.
WW: If you saw Randall Harris cruising up to the dock, how would you convince him to ride behind your boat?
AK: I would convince him that the good habits he would build riding behind a smaller wake would help him get bigger air in the long run…cuz we all know he doesn’t get very big air! If that doesn’t work, I’d offer him lots of food.
WW: What's a typical day for your crew to go ride?
AK: I usually have my friends meet at my house at 5:00 AM. From there we fill the boat up with gas, drive down to the bay and are usually launched and ready to go by 6:00-6:15. We ride till the water becomes horrific or the boat runs out of gas! Unfortunately, the former is usually the cause of our
departure at about 10 or 11.
WW: How often do you get to ride?
AK: During the school year we pretty much ride once on the weekend and then if I have a day with late classes I might get to go out before school once during the week. All the people in my suite look at me like I have four eyes. “You mean you’re not going to study?!?! What a waste of time!!!” During summer I try to ride whenever I have off work.
WW: Do you compete?
AK: Nope. I don’t have anything against it. I just haven’t really gotten around to it. Either way I know that freeriding is where my passion will always lie.
WW: You're currently pursuing a college degree in psycho-astro-chemistry, correct? How's that going?
AK: Yeah, that sounded about right, haha. Chemical Engineering. It’s definitely a tough major and a lot of work but hopefully it will be worth it in the long run. And then I can buy myself a nice boat!
WW: Do you think your knowledge of molecular-symbiosis -blahblah has helped your shred-ability?
AK: Well, the surface tension in salt water is a little higher I think, so, therefore, harder falls. And increased buoyancy, which means even smaller wake, haha. I don’t really know if it makes any noticeable difference though. I took linear algebra last quarter, so I can tell you how to find the eigenvectors of a matrix using its determinant! No? Okay fine.
WW: What’s the wake scene like at UCSD?
AK: There are so many people super stoked to…sit in their rooms and study all day. There’s a water ski team. I guess that’s almost something.
WW: What are you riding right now (board, boots, ponies, etc.)? How's your stoke meter on it?
AK: I am riding a 2012 Watson pro with 2012 Watson bindings! I love it and it is awesome! Super fun, poppy board!
WW: What are your goals for riding this year? Where do you see your riding in the future?
AK: I would really like to learn a couple of new inverts and 360’s this year. Also, just work on style and grabbing more tricks. Overall, just becoming a more balanced rider! In the long run I just want to push myself as far as I can and keep having fun with it. I don’t need to become professional or win any big comps to love the sport.
WW: What other hobbies do you have?
AK: Who has time for hobbies at UCSD? Well, I guess I find a good amount of time. Snowboarding, guitar, swimming, bowling, golfing, and spending time with my girlfriend (she’s pretty awesome).
WW: Describe wakeboarding in three words.
AK: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (it’s three ideas, close enough).
WW: What pushes you to ride?
AK: Just having fun and wanting to progress. I always want to get better and I know everyone’s heard it a thousand times, but nothing compares with that feeling of landing a new trick! I also love showing other people how awesome wakeboarding is and watching them fall in love with it. That’s an awesome feeling.
WW: Are you inspired by any particular rider or group of riders?
AK: My friends Mitch and Cameron always inspire me to get better just by loving the sport and being stoked to wakeboard. Riding with Conor Bayuk also inspires me. He sets a pretty high bar and is always super encouraging! Not to mention he has freaking amazing style.
WW: If you could take a wake trip to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
AK: If I could take a trip anywhere I would want it to be somewhere with warm glassy water, lots of wakeboarding behind awesome boats and outstanding upbeat coaches. Oh, and I’m going there this summer for the first time…West Coast Camps!
WW: Anyone you want to thank or give shutouts too while you have the chance?
AK: The first person without question would be my dad. He makes wakeboarding possible by taking my friends and I out once or twice per week. He tolerates getting up at 0500, does a good chunk of the driving and also pays for the gas. Next would be my mom and my girlfriend for tolerating my obsession and supporting me. Also, all of my friends who share my obsession and love for the sport. Finally, Big thanks to Conor for giving me some awesome opportunities and helping me progress! And big thanks to Dave Williams for an awesome trip down to Mexico!