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Interview With Justin Stephens

By: Dave Barousse caught up with Justin Stephens, the man behind Album Film's new wakeskate video. The new video entitled, Asterisk, will be released February 15, 2004 and will feature some of the hottest riding by the best wakeskaters on the water today. While being caught in the middle of some sick riding, we wanted to ask Justin a few questions about how things went down. (WS): What is the concept of the new video, Asterisk?

Justin Stephens (JS): Wakeskating....straight up...

WS: Any special meaning behind the name?

JS: No, not really. My buddy Matt actually came up with it and it just sorta stuck. I just thought it was a cool word and I like titles that have nothing to do with the actual sport. It leaves things pretty open for interpretation.

WS: This film will feature some very talented wakeskaters, how did you guys choose who you wanted to be in the video?

JS: Daniel Lovett actually put the bug in my ear about getting this all going. After that it sorta snowballed. The riders sorta just suggested other riders until this tight little crew formed itself.

WS: With such a great group of riders, was their one sick trick landed that just stood out from the rest?

JS: Byerly's shuv over the land gap. First trick of the trip, right out of the gate. It just really set the pace for the whole trip I think. After that it was on like Donkey Kong. It was so far to ollie and was seriously so high. No cheating it. He had to have a perfect ollie to get it and he got it. There was a ton of other stuff that went down for sure, this trick just had a lot of meaning behind it I guess because of when and how it went down.

WS: What tricks or style of riding were the riders mostly interested in showcasing to the viewers? What kind of riding can the viewers expect to see in the film?

JS: I really don't think that the riders stress to hard over which tricks. They just do what they are doing and usually that is something that the viewer wants to see. They just ride and I shoot it. Sometimes the riders will suggest camera angles and stuff but more often then not I just let them work on their bag of tricks as they see fit, and I just role with it. I would say more than anything there was a lot of sliding and a lot of people trying to lock in runs, linking tricks together. So you can expect to see a lot of that kind of stuff.

WS: Did you notice any one rider leading the pack, setting the bar for the others?

JS: Hmmmm....Everyone sorta had their moments to be honest. I think that was the thing that was so cool is that everyone supported everyone. Everyone seemed to understand that each person had their own things that they were trying to accomplish, and everyone would get behind them when they were trying it. I don't think that anybody was really leading the pack so to speak, but I do think that more than anybody else Danny Hampson seemed to have a way to get you to stop what you were doing every time he got out on the water. He was dropping one hammer after another.

Byerly's shuv over the land gap. First trick of the trip, right out of the gate. It just really set the pace for the whole trip I think.....

WS: Including a wakeskating instructional video, this will be the 4th film that focuses solely on wakeskating. Do you see more to come in the future or will wakeskating and wakeboarding continue to share time in future films as they have in the past?

JS: Hard to say. I wish that I knew. I know what I want to do though and it involves completely separating the two. I have some ideas.

WS: Because wakeskating is so technical with flip tricks and such, was it harder for the riders to perform for the camera or was it just another day on the water for them?

JS: Just another day on the water. I don't know,they seem to ride like the cameras aren't even there. I don't like there to be added pressure because of cameras. I try to be a fly on the wall. The riders dont need any beef from me while they are riding, it just makes things weird. As long as they are aware of where I am at then I am good to go. I'm easy.

WS: Any major differences in shooting a wakeskating film compared to a wakeboarding film?

JS: Yes, for sure. I haven't shot wakeskating that much to be honest, and this trip was a real eye opener for me. I learned a lot from it and am busting at the seems to try some new things because of it.

WS: The community is excited to see Asterisk and are stoked about another "all wakeskate" video. After your experience with shooting Asterisk and working with some of the best wakeskaters riding today, what are your thoughts about the sport of wakeskating and the future of the sport?

JS: Huge....Its blowing up and progressing soooo fast. I seriously anticipate the future. This is just the beginning, who knows what the future holds. Imagine how far skateboarding has come since the "kickflip". That is how wide open it is.

WS: Shout outs?

JS: I would just really like to thank the people behind the scenes. Not only did Hyperlite, Cassette, Kampus, DVS, WakeWorld and WakeBoarding Magazine get behind the project, but we had some major help from family and friends that really made everything run smoothly. My Wife Melanie and our little ones, my parents, Josh Letchworth, Deven Stephens, Tim Irwin, Ivan Tippetts and family(s), Danny Semick and family, Guillaume Paré, Evan Ahern, the Album posse and so many more. These people and the riders were the true backbone of the project.

Thanks for the support everyone!!!

WS: We would also like to thank Justin for taking the time to speak with us.

Asterisk will be released February 15, 2004. You can order your copy today from You can als visit the Album Films webist at

Order Now:
  • Order Asterisk Now!

  • Asterisk Video Trailer

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  • Album Films Announces Asterisk
  • Another Possible "All Wakeskate" Video
  • Asterisk Wakeskate Video

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