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Danny Hampson: The InterviewBy: Dave Barousse, 1-20-2004
Danny Hampson has some serious skills on a wakeskate. Some serious skills. Hampson is the youngest Cassette team rider, but is taking the entire sport to new levels. Until now, his riding has done the talking for him, but we have learned that there is a side to Danny Hampson that makes his riding even more spectacular. His attitude is not the one of a normal teenager. His level head helps him stay focused. His riding will blow your mind. With a tour stop win already under his belt and his own section in Sfumato, this guy is just getting started. Read on to see how Danny Hampson feels about his success with wakesakting and road he has taken to get where he is today.
Wakeskating.com (WS): So how old are you now?
Danny Hampson (DH): I am sixteen years old.
WS: How old were you when you got into wakeskating? How long have you been riding for?
DH: I was in the sixth grade when I first started wakeskating so I was about 12 so I have been riding for around four years.
WS: Did you skateboard or wakeboard before you started wakeskating? Was it something else that sparked your interest? Do you still skateboard or wakeboard?
DH: I have been skating since I was 11 and still skate all the time. I began wakeboarding at the same time I began wakeskating. I was doing wakeboarding and wakeskating 50-50 until about a year and a half ago when I quit wakeboarding altogether.
I just feel really lucky to be hanging out with all the people I looked up to for so long......
WS: Your riding has been very inspiring to the wakeskating public. How often do you get out on the water (how often do you ride)?
DH: Well, I don't know how inspiring my riding is but I try to ride a lot. During the summer I go out almost every day but during the winter I hardly ever ride.
WS: Who do you ride with the most? Do you have a regular crew?
DH: Yeah, I usually just ride with all my friends that live around me. Kyle, Toph, Lee, Thomas W. and Matt. we have all been going out together since we first started. When I go to Orlando I always ride with Reed and Thomas and sometimes Jim and Drew.
WS: From talking with others you ride with, we have learned that your kickflips (and most other tricks) are solid. What is your recipe for getting so consistent?
DH: I don't know I just keep doing a trick and it becomes consistent.
WS: Thomas (Horrell) always has great things to say about you as a person, a rider and a member of the Cassette family. How did you guys hook up?
DH: Yeah, Thomas is the man I have a lot of respect for him not just because of his wakeskating but mainly because of how smart and creative of a person he is. I hooked up with Touchdown Tommy through Reed. I went to The Wakeboard Camp and met Aaron and then sent him a tape that he gave to Thomas.
WS: I've had the pleasure of riding with Aaron Reed a few times and his riding is truly amazing. Do you guys push each other harder when you ride together? Who pushes your riding the most?
DH: We push each other a lot I guess.When we ride together we always both learn new stuff . I really like riding and being around Reed. He has helped me out since day one and is one of the nicest people I have ever met.
They really just let me do my own thing and support me in whatever way they can. I am very lucky to have parents like them.......
WS: In a recent interview we did with Justin Stephens of Album Films, he said that your riding stood out during the making of Asterisk. That is a huge complement considering the amount of talent around you at the time. How have you been dealing with your success? Has your "rock star" status in the wakeskating world changed anything?
DH: That was really nice of Justin to say but I don't really think I stood out. Everyone on that trip rode so good. That video is going to be really good. About my "success" I don't think I am a rock star at all. Where I live no one even really knows I ride and no one makes a big deal out of it. I just feel really lucky to be hanging out with all the people I looked up to for so long.
WS: Because you are still a young guy, what do your parents think about this wakeskating business? Photo shoots, videos, sponsorships...that is a lot to deal with for a guy your age.
DH: My parents are seriously the best and are really cool about everything. They really just let me do my own thing and support me in whatever way they can. I am very lucky to have parents like them.
WS: We didn't see much of you on the pro tour in 2003, although you won the Detroit stop. Any plans for doing more stops next season?
DH: I think me and Reed are going to go to them all together this year.
WS: With the way things are right now in the sport of wakeskating, you are right up at the top of the "A" list. Did you ever think you would get this far?
DH: No, honestly I really can't believe it. Sometimes it sinks in and I just can't believe I am doing what I'm doing. I am blessed.
WS: We like to ask guys like you, in the front of the industry, what they think about the sport of wakeskaing, the direction it is heading and what the future holds. Is this just the beginning?
DH: I hope it's just the beginning. If the right people continue to get in it and we push it as far away from wakeboarding as we can and really take it in the skate direction their is no limit to what we can do.
WS: Everyone has a supporting cast that helped them out along the way. Who would you like to recognize as yours and give thanks to?
DH: God, Parents, Brother, Grandparents, Reed, Thomas, Matty Swanson and Oakley, all my friends here in the Keys, Josh, Jim, Juston, Myles, Everyone at the Wakeboard Camp,Cassette, Oakley Eyewear and Apparel,DVS and Buywake.com.
WS: We had to ask, do you visit Wakeskating.com?
DH: I go on every once in a while. It is a cool site.
Wakeskating.com would like to thank Danny Hamspon for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him luck in the future and hope we continue to see big things from this young man.
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