Cobe Mikacich Interview

Cobe Mikacich Interview

COBE MIKACICH! THE LEGEND SPEAKS!

(WHOF) COBE WE WERE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU WHEN WE WATCHED YOU TAKE THE STAGE FOR THE LEGEND AWARD! TAKE US ALL THE WAY BACK TO 1992 WHEN THE TALL SLENDER KID FROM THE WEST COAST CAME TO COLORADO TO SEE IF HE COULD MAKE A MARK IN A BRAND NEW SPORT.

(CM) I DEFINITELY FELT LIKE AN OUTSIDER COMING TO A POSSIBLE NEW SPORT. EVERYONE ELSE WAS RIDING A SHORT LINE, AND I WAS RIDING A FULL LENGTH SLALOM ROPE AT 75’. EVERYONE ELSE WAS GOING ABOUT 18 MPH AND I TOLD THE BOAT DRIVER TO TAKE ME AT 23 MPH. MY TRIP TO DENVER, CO, FROM SACRAMENTO, CA, WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE A CAREER MOVE. THE TOMMY SLALOM CLASSIC WAS THE ONLY EVENT. AND I THINK MY MOM FELT LIKE SHE’D BEEN TRAVELLING ALL OVER FOR MY SISTER’S TENNIS MATCHES, SO SHE OFFERED TO TAKE ME TO COLORADO FOR WAKEBOARDING. LIKE I SAID, IT WAS THE ONLY EVENT.
AT FIRST, I WAS JUST A FAN FROM CALIFORNIA THAT CAME TO LEARN A BIT MORE ABOUT THE SPORT. BUT I WON THE OPEN DIVISION! THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY RUN CONSISTED OF TWO WRAPPED 360’S (BECAUSE I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO HANDLE PASS YET). IT TURNED OUT THAT THE WINNER OF OPEN GOT TO RIDE AGAINST THE PROS THE NEXT DAY. I FINISHED VERY WELL AND I CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF THE O’BRIEN TEAM MANAGER WHO WAS THERE THAT WEEKEND. I WASN’T EVEN OUT OF THE WATER YET AND HE RAN OUT TO MEET ME WITH A CONTRACT IN HAND.

(WHOF) WHEN DID YOUR CAREER REALLY TAKE HOLD?

(CM) A FEW YEARS AFTER THAT FIRST EVENT, I MOVED TO FLORIDA. THAT’S WHEN THINGS REALLY STARTED CHANGING. THE SPORT STILL DIDN’T EXIST THAT MUCH AND I CAME TO ORLANDO EXPECTING A LOT MORE. I ALMOST LEFT, BUT I MET CC AND SCOTTY ROBERTS, AND THEIR FAMILY LET ME LIVE WITH THEM. THAT’S WHEN I WAS ABLE TO START TRAINING AND LEARNING A LOT OF TRICKS.

(WHOF) WHO WAS YOUR FIRST INFLUENTIAL COACH AND HOW DID THAT EFFECT YOUR RIDING?

(CM) ERIC PEREZ WAS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL. I NEVER REALLY HAD A COACH. BUT I COULD RELATE TO ERIC’S SURFING STYLE AND THE SOUL TO HIS RIDING.

(WHOF) THE JOURNEY CONTINUED FOR YOU AND YOU TOOK ON MANY NEW ROLES IN WAKEBOARDING. TELL US ABOUT THE FORKS IN THE ROAD AND THE DECISIONS YOU MADE AND HOW IT GOT YOU TO TODAY.

(CM) I THINK, AT THE BEGINNING, THE IMPORTANT DECISIONS I MADE WERE GOING WITH COMPANIES WHERE I FELT I COULD MAKE AN IMPACT. I WAS THE FIRST WAKEBOARDER FOR TIGE BOATS, FOR ARNETTE SUNGLASSES, AND FOR REEF BRAZIL SANDALS. WE HAD TO SHOW COMPANIES A REASON TO GET INVOLVED WITH A BRAND NEW SPORT. THAT’S PART OF THE REASON WHY I STARTED MY ROAD TOUR. WHEN CHRIS BISCHOFF & I STARTED THE FANTASTIC VOYAGE, WE MADE A HUGE IMPACT IN THE SPORT, BRINGING IT TO PEOPLE IN EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY. I ENDED UP BEING ON THE ROAD FOR 3 MONTHS STRAIGHT, TRAVELLING THROUGH THE NIGHT TO GET MY NEXT CLINIC AND TO PRO TOUR STOPS, BUT IT HELPED GROW THE SPORT INTO SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE COULD BE PART OF.

(WHOF) THE NEW FACILITY JUST SEEMS TO BE VIBRATING OFF THE HOOK. YOUR SPONSORS HAVE TO BE SO PLEASED. I KNOW MALIBU AND TOMMY’S ARE JUST DOING BACK FLIPS FOR YOU NOW AND SEE A WHOLE NEW SHIFT IN HOW A YOUNG RIDER CAN ACTUALLY GET A PATH TO BEING LEGIT IN OUR INDUSTRY. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOU FACILITY AND TAKE ME 5 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE AND TELL ME WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

(CM) MY VISION FOR FREEDOM WAKE PARK IS TWO-FOLD. I WANT TO PROVIDE A HOME BASE FOR PEOPLE TRYING TO ADVANCE THEIR RIDING. WE PROVIDE A SAFE AND ENCOURAGING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, WHERE WE TEACH TECHNIQUE, BUT ALSO INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE. IF SOMEONE TRAINS WITH US, THEY’LL KNOW HOW TO DO THE TRICKS, HOW TO WEIGHT THEIR BOAT, HOW TO TALK TO A SPONSOR, AND HOW TO REPRESENT AT AN EVENT. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT, I NEVER ASSUME THAT OUR SPONSORS ARE SATISFIED. I WANT TO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE AND GIVE FEEDBACK TO HELP THE BRANDS IMPROVE EACH AND EVERY YEAR.

(WHOF) YOU MARRIED INTO A LEGENDARY FAMILY WITH THE HIGHEST VALUES AND WORK ETHIC EVER. HOW LUCKY CAN A GUY BE!!!! TELL US ABOUT HOW THE TWO OF YOU SPEND YOUR DAYS AND HOW A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE FROM TARAH HELPS YOU FORMULATE THE VISION FOR FREEDOM WAKE PARK.

WE OPERATE LIKE A FINELY TUNED RACING PORSCHE… I’M ALL GAS AND ACCELERATION; TARAH HANDLES THE BRAKES AND STEERING.
SERIOUSLY, WE HAVE A GREAT WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH DIFFERENT STRENGTHS. OUR THEORIES ON COACHING ARE THE SAME, AND OUR TECHNIQUES COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER. OFF THE BOAT, WE HANDLE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF GROWING THE BUSINESS.

THE QUALIFIERS ARE CRAZY COOL. BRIEFLY WALK US THROUGH A YOUNG MAN OR YOUNG LADIES JOURNEY WHEN THEY DECIDE TO COMPETE. HOW DO THEY START AND TRAIN AND WHAT SHOULD THEY EXPECT WHEN THEY DECIDE TO CONTACT YOU TO SEE IF THEY CAN MEASURE UP?

I THINK ANYONE CAN COMPETE IF THEY WANT TO, BUT I DON’T THINK THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO. COMPETITIONS ARE A GREAT WAY TO BE INVOLVED IT THE SPORT, BUT THEY’RE NOT THE ONLY WAY TO FIND YOUR NICHE. EITHER WAY, WE FOCUS ON FUNDEMENTALS FIRST, THEN FINE-TUNING YOUR TRICKS SO THEY HAVE SOUL AND STYLE. WAKEBOARDING IS A PASSION, NOT A CHECKLIST.

(WHOF) YOU SHARE A COMMON VISION WITH TOMMY’S AND MALIBU THAT YOUNG PEOPLE NEED A TRUE PATH IN OUR INDUSTRY AND BY EDUCATING THEM, TRAINING THEM AND PREPARING THEM THEY CAN HAVE A LEGITIMATE CHANCE OF ENJOYING THE BLESSED LIFE THAT MANY OF US HAVE IN OUR INDUSTRY. ELABORATE ON HOW THIS CAME ABOUT AND WHERE IT IS GOING PLEASE.

(CM) I THINK IT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN IN THE SPORT. WE ARE “LIFERS” IN WAKEBOARDING, AND YOUNG RIDERS CAN LEARN A LOT FROM THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT BEFORE. WE ENJOY THIS SPORT SO MUCH, AND IT’S REALLY GRATIFYING TO SEE OTHERS FIND ENJOYMENT AND PURPOSE OUT ON THE WATER.

(WHOF) COBE THANK YOU VERY MUCH FROM EVERYONE AT THE WAKEBOARDING HALL OF FAME AND THE INDUSTRY THAT YOU HAVE HELP SHAPE OVER SO MANY YEARS. GOD BLESS. TOMMY PHILLIPS

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Chris Hawkins
chris@hawkwebdesign.net

Chris has been an avid wakeboarder for more than 15 years and has over 12 years of experience in web development and graphic design. He currently helps with social media and web development for the WHOF. Be on the lookout for a fresh new WHF website in 2017! You can view more of his work at: http://www.facebook.com/hawkwebdesign