January 2007

AZWB/AWA Rider Of The Month

Shipka Noted For Most Stoke For Sport

By Chris Cameron

Joseph Shipka has been riding with the Arizona Wakeboard Association from its inception. He has worked his way up through all of the divisions and is now an outlaw rider. In the 2004 season, Shipka won the Hernandez Award, which is given to the rider with the most stoke for the sport. He is a dedicated and valued member of the AWA.

1. What is your name, age and where do you live?  My name is Joe Shipka, I'm 17 and I live in Fountain Hills, Ariz.

2. How long have you been wakeboarding? I've been wakeboarding for about five years.

3. How did you get into wakeboarding? My dad  wanted to get me into something that he enjoyed too and got me hooked.

4. What was the first trick that you learned? Please explain how to do it.  The first hard trick that I learned was a backroll. To do it, you just need to put all your commitment into the trick and wait until you ride up the whole wake before you throw the flip.

5. What trick took the longest or was the hardest to learn and why?  My 360s took the longest to learn out of my tricks, but tantrum to blind was by far the hardest because you need to land just in the right spot to ride away from it.

6. What is your favorite trick to see being done and why? I love to see HUGE floaty grabs to late backside 180s. I think it is a lot more fun to watch somebody who has style than someone with a ton of technical tricks.

7. What is your favorite aspect of wakeboarding? My favorite aspect has to be that you can express your own style on the water and there are endless possibilities of where the sport can go.

8. What do you like most about the AWA? The AWA is like another family, and it is a lot of fun hanging out with people who share the same passion for the sport as you do.

10. You teach lessons, right? What is the most common error that you see beginners making? A lot of people try to learn tricks that are beyond their ability. You have to make sure you have the right fundamentals to do the trick. I have had too many people wish to learn a 360 before they can do a 180 because they can't ride switch.

11. What is your most memorable experience in wakeboarding? An early morning Lake Powell run that led to my landing my first backroll.

12. Do you have a crew of people that you usually ride with? I ride with wakeskater C.K. Rogers all the time, along with Larry Taylor, Poodle, Joey White, Jimmy Wolf, P.A. Molumby, and Lance Wright.

13. Describe your perfect day. My perfect day would be a summer day at Saguaro lake with smooth water, two homies, a slider, and a boat full of girls who don't ride.

14. What do you like to do when you are not wakeboarding? I like trying to snowboard, skate, and offroad in my truck.

15. Is there anybody that you would like to thank? I'd like to thank God, my dad for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to do this, C.K. Rogers for teaching me how to wakeboard and always being right there with me, Strat Nellos with Liquid Force and Reef, the whole Century Marine crew, all of my friends I've met through wakeboarding for staying so true to the sport, and the AWA for making this all possible.