Team Nautique Rider Mike Dowdy took the wakeboarding world by storm in a way that few have ever done. He set himself apart by not only posing a threat to the top of the podium at any contest, but by his seemingly insatiable appetite for pushing the sport that is found in only a very few number of athletes in the world regardless of which discipline they choose. His willingness to put his vision of what wakeboarding can be in front of his own physical conservation had everyone continuously wondering what would come next out of the Michigan native who just kept proving time and time again, that we aren’t done yet.
With a momentum generating year in 2013 Dowdy didn’t disappoint, constantly working on new double flip variations and finding ways around the rope that seemed to detach him from the physics we thought we knew. All of this comes with a price, and in early 2014 Dowdy suffered a knee injury that would take him off the water for the entire season, leaving everything he had built up to lying in wait. With the pressure of big sponsorship obligations and his career hanging in the balance, Mike’s approach to his recovery and his professionalism is what gives him and those around him the confidence that this is only the beginning. Few walk the path that separates them from being good and being great, and while we can’t quite put our finger on it, something about Mike Dowdy seems to make those close to him believe that he has the difference.
Bring us up to speed on where you were with your riding before the injury and what you’ve been through in the past year.
Before I tore my ACL last march, I was in a really good spot in my career. With the help of the G23 I was innovating new tricks that before hadn’t been thought possible. I had a lot of good online video pieces, as well as filming for my first full-length section in PRIME. I went back to Michigan at the end of last season, and when I came back I was trying a double backroll to blind and tore my ACL in my left knee. This past year has been a tough one watching other people compete and learn new tricks, but I was able to focus hard on my rehabilitation and am now back strong as ever. The injury also gave me time to buy my first house and to go back to the basics of riding again, so its been a blessing in disguise. It also allowed me to go on some cool trips.
What was your favorite trip?
Our mission trip to El Salvador with Nautique Cares. It was an amazing experience to see how other people in the world live and I can’t wait to go back and help again.
What has kept you focused during your recovery and how are things going now that you are back on the water?
During my recovery the only thing on my mind was to buckle down and focus on going to the gym and rehab as much as possible and make sure I was treating my body right. Now that I’m on the water again, I feel really good and am just taking it slow. My Doctors want me to take it slow until January and then I can start to get back into doubles and everything. As of now I’m just happy to be riding again and just playing around with the basics, as well as doing some photo shoots and things like that.
What is your vision for wakeboarding?
My big vision for wakeboarding as a sport is to see it on the main stage alongside sports like skating, surfing, and snowboarding. As a sport we have been striving for this recognition and respect for a long time. I think it’s one of the things that drive me to continue to push for that next step.
What other sports are you into outside of wakeboarding?
Outside of wakeboarding I’m really into hockey. Hockey is modern warfare and it’s a battle every time you get on the ice. It’s my favorite sport to watch and play.
What are your goals for the 2015 season?
Starting in 2015, Ill pick back up where I left off before my injury, trying to learn new tricks and do well in contests and have some photo shoots. I’m also working on a new online video with Alliance Wake right now that is show casing me getting back from my injury and that should come out around February. The sport has progressed a lot since I have been injured and I am stoked to get back out there and push it to the best of my abilities. Stay tuned for an awesome 2015!!