Win or lose, stand up or fall, Team Nautique rider Bob Soven takes an effective freeriding approach to his contest runs that is no doubt pushing the sport in the right direction. His deliberate focus on unique style while blending big technical tricks with a go for broke approach is risky but rewarding. While some may criticize sacrificing the clear ability to get on the podium every weekend in order to make a statement on the water, someone needs to do it. Bob Soven is that guy. Win or lose, he is respected, and walks away from each run with the shores lined in fans, and up and comers inspired. We asked Bob to explain his approach to get a better understanding of how he looks at each run.
“I filmed a little web video three years ago called the “perfect run”. I had a long ramble, threw in some mathematical terms, and claimed that I was the best run designer of all time. Now three years later, I have zero King of Wake titles, zero Pro tour titles, zero Triple Crown titles, and squeaked out two Pro contest wins; not the most impressive resume in the competitive wakeboard scene. However, I have managed to gain the respect of many riders and industry figureheads for my riding (Not just my professional mannerisms); Alliance even did an article on my Wake Games run explaining the impact of my vision to the future of wakeboarding.
For me, riding in a contest is no different than riding at home or for a video. I don’t try to rush anything, I try and grab all of my tricks, and I don’t mind falling. I’ve been a bit of a loose cannon on the water my entire life, so its bust or podium for me. Also, no trick is a wash or filler, no “straight air” it’s just a “straight air”, every rail hit matters, no front-lips, and no back-boards. Some riders say, “judges don’t reward rail hits, so I’m not going to risk falling.” Honestly, I’m not too concerned with what the judges’ reward. I have fallen on “trivial” rail hits numerous times and gone down on routine Tantrum-blinds because I tried taking it to the flats, and that’s fine to me. There are riders out there that are technically impressive, and riders that are influential-impressive; the sport needs both of them. I’m blown away by some of the tricks Mike Dowdy can do and I still love watching Watson throw a timeless method, the sport wouldn’t progress without the two perspectives. Being injured this year was tough for me since the G23 was making it’s contest debut this season but I’m charged up going into next year at the thought of what I will now be able to bring to the table behind the boat that has made such a huge impact on the sport already”. – Bob Soven