A Little Q & A With Big Man JD Webb

By: Marissa Foglia for DBOT5.com

Note* I tried really hard to avoiding using some spider web-related cliche in this intro, as JD’s last name triggered imagery of him casting out a huge web over every surface of water he and his board come in contact with…holding the wake captive, if you would. As you can see, I failed.

That being said, JD Webb’s reign over the world of wakeboarding has given this guy a reputation of exuding merciless attacks on rails, as well as boasting an unmatched and stylish approach to tricks. I was happy to catch up with JD as the waters begin to warm up for the upcoming season, to get the scoop about what he’s been up to, what’s next, and a few things in between.

photo: hyperlite.com

Q: What triggered your interest in wakeboarding and how did you get your start?

A: I started wakeboarding when I was 9 years old. I was on a show ski team and when I saw Zane Shwenk wakeboarding in the ski show, I thought it was the coolest thing ever! After that he started teaching me and it all kinda rolled on from there.

Q: Who do you typically hit the water with when you’re practicing?

A: I normally ride with Andrew Adkison, Kyle Alberts, Derek Grasman, Jeff House, Jimmy Trask and Zane Shwenk.

Q: Tell me about when you jumped the fountain at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. What was going through your head?

A: I don’t think I was really thinking too much. I don’t think I realized how hurt I could get. When I jumped in the water I couldn’t stop shaking. It wasn’t cold, I was just so nervous. I was looking on the shore thinking ‘I can’t back out, there are all these people here to watch’. So I told Murray let’s do it and I cut into the ramp…as soon as I left the top of the ramp I knew I had it and all that pressure was gone.

Q: Summer is around the corner…what’s your plan as far as competitions and events?

A: I’m going to do King of Wake, the World Series and the Pro Tour.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment so far in your career?

A: I have the record for the biggest gap on a wakeboard, it was 71 ft. I also got the key to the city of Orlando and September 30th is JD Webb Day.

Q: What’s your take on “extreme” athletes taking a liking to golf in their spare time?

A: I really enjoy golf. It really takes your mind off everything. It’s nice to go with some of your friends have a couple beers and play.

Q: Since wakeboarding tends to be such an adrenaline-driven sport…do you have the patience to spend a soothing, calm afternoon on the golf course?

A: It is kind of hard for me. I normally have a lot of energy, so for me to be calm for 18 holes without pissing my friends off is not easy.

Q: DBOT5 loves golf, so we must ask, any advice for Tiger?

A: I don’t think it is any of our business what goes on in his family life. He is the best golfer on the planet and I think he deserves everything that he has worked so hard for. Keep slaying it Tiger (golf that is).

And now, true investigative journalism at its finest…

Q: Big Macs or Whoppers? A: Neither. Double Quarter Pounder

Q: Best album ever made? A: Dr. Dre 2001

Q: Michael Jackson solo or with the Jackson Five? A: Solo

Q: Do you enjoy the nightlife? Any favorite spots?

A: Yeah, I do enjoy going out…sometimes a little too much. My place to go in Orlando is The Other Bar. The guys from Step Up Productions own it, so it’s kinda where the wakeboarders hang out.

Q: If you could change places with any other pro athlete on the planet, who would it be and why?

A: Rob Machado. He gets to surf everyday, no pressure on him to perform in contests, and seems like a good guy.

Q: At the end of the day, what would you hope to be known for?

A: A positive and friendly person that anyone can come up and talk to.

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