Aaron Rathy is Canada’s top answer to wakeboarding.
Having earned the MasterCraft Junior X Series Reno/Sparks (USA) and Forth Worth (USA) titles earlier this year, this 17-year-old Nanaimo, B.C., native and Jono Boysen, Faze’s super intern and champion wakeboarder, would ride together in Florida, preparing for the Orlando pro stop (in which Aaron placed second and best junior overall in the series):
Jono: Why wakeboarding of all sports?
Aaron: I don’t know, really. I guess it’s just the feeling of gliding across the water. There’s really nothing like it, and on a wakeboard, there’s just such a variety of tricks that the handle allows you to do. I just really love to wakeboard. For me, it just feels like it was meant to be.
J: You’re a natural at both snowboarding and skateboarding— so why wakeboarding?
A: It’s just the feeling of being on the water; I’ve always been a water baby. I was raised on the water, I feel pure when I’m like gliding across the water, and I like that feeling.
J: What do you do to prepare for a major competition?
A: I free ride a lot. But when a competition’s coming up, I do a lot of technical tricks in a line to keep everything consistent, because in a competition, you might have to be throwing your hardest tricks three to four rounds in a row just to make podium, so it’s tough.
J: What sort of pressures do you face before a competition?
A: Well, I’m actually not the type to get nervous because I’ve been doing competitive sports my whole life. But I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself to ride my best because I put so much of my heart and soul into my riding. I guess I just expect as much as I put into it, I expect something back whether it’s riding well in a competition or having a sick video part. As far as pressure from sponsors, it’s not all about competition riding. It’s more about being a well-rounded rider, which means riding good in competitions, having a sick video part and just promoting for the people who help you out.
(Jono’s observations from living with Aaron)
J: What’s with eating a whole box of cereal every day? Are you trying to prove your manhood?
A: Heck no, man. It’s just my thing; I eat cereal. You got a problem with that?
J: No. I like cereal too…You are most commonly known amongst your peers as outgoing, fun and a loving snap-case. Why is that?
A: I love what I do; I do what I love. (Pauses and laughs) What’s the question again? Is that even a question?
J: Well, yeah it is. Why are you a snap-case?
A: Because when you’re into something so much, you’re going to get mad. You’re going to get frustrated because it happens. And if you’re falling on something you know you can do, that’s frustrating. It’s all about giving it your all. And when you’re giving it your all, you’re expecting big things. And when you’re not getting them, it’s disappointing. I mean, I become a freak sometimes. It’s just the way I am. I think it helps me; it helps me come down to earth.
J: So, how many girls do you check out in a day?
A: How many girls do I check out? It depends on how many
J: Between these three girls, who would you rather hook up with, Ashlee Simpson, Angelina Jolie, or a random girl you met in a hot tub?
A: I would have to say Angelina Jolie.
A: Man, c’mon…have you seen her lips?
J: That’s true…
Written by Jono Boysen, our in-house extreme sport dude (and top Canadian wakeboarder) Photos By Jono Boysen (man, that guy’s talented)
LIFE ON TOUR: Jono’s Boysen Journal…
Wednesday, April 13th 2005
When I am first told the Faze summer issue will feature a champion wakeboarder, I realize I’m sitting at a computer in Orlando, which is the biggest hot spot for pro wakeboarders in the world. Then I hear my roommate, Aaron Rathy, who’s just stepped in.
“Damn those *&%#@s at Wal-Mart. They wouldn’t let me in the store because I wasn’t wearing a T-shirt. So I cut a hole in a towel and threw it over my head, then ran in to get my keys cut.” (He dropped his keys in the lake earlier today.)
“What did they do?” I hear my other roommate Jordy Stubbs, ask Aaron.
“They were all looking at me like I am a criminal, but I mean, c’mon, what really constitutes a T-shirt? I am sure someone out there wears towels, so why can’t I?” Chuckling over Aaron’s Wal-Mart experience, I nominate him for this article. He wakeboards every day, is rated #1 in Canada, for both the open wakeboard and pro rail side division, and is single.
When I first got down to Orlando, Florida, I didn’t know Aaron, Chris Canuel or Jordy Stubbs, but I had heard of them since they’re well known riders in B.C. The only person I knew was Matt Sacchitiello, my best friend from back in Toronto. After spending a month with these guys, two more B.C. boys moved in (seven guys in a three room apartment = tight living quarters). And Aaron is probably the messiest of all of us. He rarely puts dishes away and never puts up his mattress that lies right in the middle of the living room. But when it all comes down to it, he drives me around in a big ol’ ‘86 Grand Marquis, introduces me to pros, and kills it on his wakeboard and wakeskate, which is both entertaining and inspiring to watch. Aaron is a natural at everything he does. Every time he steps sideways, he turns heads.
Wednesday, April 27th – Day before pro tour
I sit outside with Aaron, a day before the pro tour begins. This is the biggest tournament for pros because if you don’t make it, your sponsors frown upon you . He tells me he is nervous, that he might fall or not make the cut. I reassure him that he’ll do fine, but he’s still nervous because tomorrow will make or break him.
End of April — Day 1 of driving home during the semifinals of the pro tour
As I’m driving back to Canada to make it to school, Aaron has already qualified for the tour since he came first in his heat, which is good — that’ll take some pressure off. As I scan the radio, I hear Aaron came first in the semifinals and is heading to the finals. This is huge. I’m already nervous for the guy since I know that if he throws down a solid run he can easily win the first pro tour stop.
End of April — Day 2 of driving home. Finals of pro tour
My phone rings. It’s Aaron.
“Yo, what’s going on? How was it?”
“It was alright, I guess. I came second. Jeff House beat me,” says Aaron .
“That’s sick, dude. Don’t get down on yourself.”
“Still, I should’ve won.” (He’s being too hard on himself.)
“Whatever, man. This is your first pro tour stop and it’s, what, his twentieth or something. You’ve probably given him the headsup. Now he’ll be too scared to compete against you.”
“Maybe, but yeah, hey, how’s your drive home?”
“It’s alright, lots of traffic and rain. I miss Florida. It’s not going to be the same living back home.”
“True…alright. Well, I’ll talk to you later. Give me a call soon .”
“Alright. Later, man.”
Two months of living with Aaron Rathy, I watched him learn new tricks, party hard, and ride. It’s over, and now I’m back home dreaming of the Orlando sun, already planning on hooking up with him at Wakestock in Toronto in August this year. I look forward to seeing him, but for now I’ll just have to scan websites to check out how he’s making out at the rest of the pro tour stops.