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Collin Wright Interview
Interview by Pat McCarthy
Photos: Glass and Powder

1. You're known for traveling from coast to coast throughout the year to take advantage of the various snow and water riding seasons in each area, where are you living at now?

Basically, once I graduated high school I became a snow/wake bum. I just love traveling the West Coast getting in all the killer spots, especially now that there is a ton of skateparks on the I-5 freeway which goes from B.C. to SoCal. It is so fun I'll leave Portland, hit the skatepark in Medford, then stop and ride in the Delta with the crew (Jon and Tina erickson, Josh Storrer, etc.), then go down and hit the Canyon Lake scene with Randy Harris or who ever else is chillin like Wahlman, Ryan Augustine, Tommy Marquadt. I love being where it is good for the season. I like California trips in May and October, then Florida to warm up in March and April, and then maybe head back out to Florida in November or December just to finish up a few things before the season is over. The best though is being home in July and August and to hit the snow in the winter at Hood. So I figured out to live in Portland full time and just travel from there. I recently moved out of a condo I had in Florida and I'm now just chillin in Oregon except when I go shred elsewhere for a little bit.
Tail Grab
2. That sounds like you keep pretty busy. Did you get in much snowboarding over the winter? How'd that go?

I didn't get to snowboard a ton this winter, the snow just didn't seem all that good. But the days I did have were really fun, pow pow with your friends is the shit. The rest of my winter was spent hitting all the new Oregon skateparks, they're off the hook. There is so many within 45 minutes of my house, it is just so sweet to work cement trannys, and rip a park with your bros.

3. One of the good things about Oregon, is the ability to snowboard in the winter and wakeboard in the summer. The Oregon snowboarding scene is pretty well known and big, however not much is ever said about the Oregon wakeboarding scene. What do you think of it?
Backside Spin
The Oregon wakeboard scene is bigger and more dedicated then many people realize, although many riders are not pros or even sponsored, they still kick ass. Our season is so short that it is hard to get the kind of time in that southern people get. But with guys like Pete Ward coming up people will start recognizing Oregon more and more. Don't forget Oregon is the birthplace of
Charley Patterson.

4. Yep, like Charley I'm a University of Oregon graduate. Anyway, we've heard some people say that snowboarding really helps out for wakeboarding, and others say it doesn't really crossover that well. Do you find that snowboarding helps you're wakeboarding at all, or just provides a break and change of pace?

I think that any sideways sport has some crossover values, but for wakeboarding snowboarding is the best crossover. The rope is a major factor in landing most of your wakeboard moves though, you need to pull yourself around instead of hucking yourself at the proper momentum. It is all about where you turn your head, that is where your going to go. A side note for those who care, I think that skating only helps for wakeskating, wakeboarding is totally different.

5. What are your favorite tricks on the snow?

My favorite snowboard tricks to do are Indy Backside 540s, Switch Frontside 720s and 900s. I really like seeing sick Switch Backside 720s and 900s though, maybe a sick Backside Rodeo too. I think Peter Line, Jamie Lynn, and J.P Walker have the best styles for sure.
6. What are you favorite tricks on the water?

My favorite tricks on the water are Backside Melon 720s, Switch Backside Melon 540s and Frontside 720s or 900s I actually land. I really like watching Randy Harris stomp his Toeside Wrapped Melon Backside 540 though, that is the shit!

7. That sounds sick. Do you still get people who think it's odd that you spin a majority of the time? Or has that fascination died down a bit at this point?

People still totally trip that I don't do more inverts at demos and events, the judges at contests, etc. It is so shitty that people can't just respect moves for being hard, you have to do an invert a mobe a raley a spin, etc. I lookup to people in any sport who bust sick shit, regardless of being well rounded or not. That isn't what sports are about, at least the ones we do. It is about individual style and creativity when people tell you to do stuff just to fit in their mold that is wack. I do what I want. The funny thing is if I really want I can pretty much do all the mobe stuff. I land them once and awhile.

Handle Pass

8. What are you hoping to accomplish on the water this year? Any new tricks?

I'm just trying to go out and get new shit on video. My goal is to put together the sickest video part for myself ever. I want to get down Backside 900s, Switch Backside 7's, and just some other crazy shit. I just got to get my groove on. One day it will go down, it's just a matter of time.

9. You're known as a leader in the sport, especially for spinning. Spinning is an area that a lot of riders struggle with. If you could just give some general quick advice to help people with spinning, what would it be?
Late Grab
When spinning just wait until your off the wake all the way! Then turn your head where you want to go. Make sure the handle is in at your waist the whole time. That basically it. You just need to release off the wake and turn your head, for real. Then put a grab on it.

10. How do you feel that your riding has evolved in recent years? Judging from video footage, it seems like you used to do quite a bit more shifty or "rewind" spins, and we haven't seen much of those in recent videos. Do you get tired of certain tricks and move on?

I am so glad you mentioned the whole rewind thing. I hadn't really thought about it for awhile but I guess I did sort of quit doing a lot of the rewinds. I just change up my styles here and there. I think it is just a rope trick, it's not as hard as people think, you just got to get jiggy with it. Maybe I'll bring it back again sometime. I have been just trying to learn more grabbed 720s and stuff.

11. You mentioned videos earlier, you recently put a video together and it's now out on the market. Tell us what that's all about.

My new video is "The Movement", it's off the hook. I made a movie about showcasing the rider's moves. I don't really care about flare, I want skate style videos with the riders moves being the showcased thing. I got Billy and Jeff Mckee in there, Greg Nelson, and some Leslie Kent. It's all about putting people out there that rip and don't get recognized for it. They'll be lots more to come. I am editing, videoing, producing the whole thing. It is all on me. But that is how I want it.

12. Are you planning on making your own videos more in the future?

I am working on a O.G.P. video called the O.G.A. It's all about Oregon grown alcoholics, it totally kicks ass. Snowboarding, skating, wakeskating and lots of drunk chicks. Then I will have a new wake video, then maybe some other crazy stuff.
Melon Roll To Revert
13. You've been with DoubleUP for a long time now, it seems like that's been a real winning relationship for everybody. How do you feel about DoubleUP and it's place in the sport?

DoubleUP is needed in this sport, people don't even understand that DoubleUP is putting the new shapes out there every year and then everyone steals our shit. I made a diamond tip shape then four companies come out with similar boards. The thing that sucks is that the other companies don't even know what the design does. People a lot of times think the big company must be best, but small is real. I design all my own shit and it shows in the riders stoke. If you notice most riders when they don't have a sponsor for a while will ride our boards just to ride the best, we don't pay them they just know our boards are the shit.

14. Recently in your column in Alliance Magazine, you showed some real maturity by talking about your experience in riding for a company who's product wasn't up to the standards that you'd like, and how it was a mistake for you. Has it given you a new perspective on the whole sponsorship game?

I always try to ride for companies that support our sport and are willing to contribute to it in a positive way. Sometimes things get screwed up on the way. But I try to work with people who work for us not for more profits, just for the cause. I want to see this sport grow with skate-style influence instead of waterskiing.

15. There's been a lot of discussion in the internet wakeboarding world lately about companies like Abercrombie and Fitch getting more involved in wakeboarding. What's your take on these outside companies coming into the sport?
Tail Grab
Big companies in the sport are good as long as their intentions are good. I want to see Nike in it, but only if they want to support real wakeboarders and events, advertising, etc.

16. Thanks for the insight, what are you plans for the summer, and what are your long term plans?

I will just travel and film all summer trying to hook it up. Hopefully I'll be riding pro for years to come and just keep trying to progress the sport in some way or another.

17. Thanks for the interview Collin, any thanks to give?

Mad props to Mom and Dad for hooking it up all these years, my Brother Gar and sister Allison, my girlfriend Jen she is the bomb bay baby, totally kick ass. Of course sponsors, Chris Willingham at Legend, Chris Heffner at Billabong, Jeremy and Randy at Marine Products, everyone at DoubleUP, Greg, P-town, Tim, you know. The O.G.P. you know Gar, Tim, Sutterlan, Redrum, BK, Photo homies Josh Letchworth and Robin Roberts, Ricky E, everyone really it is all so good.

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