Sam McCallum - Wakeboarder/Wakesurfer - Illinois, USA




 Your Age: 18

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): I wakesurf and wakeboard on either the Illinois River or Lake Clinton. I longboard and skateboard around my neighborhood and occasionally go to Fairview Park Cemetery.

Weapon(s) of choice: Hyperlight Jade wakeboard with Ronix 1 bindings, Cove wakesurfers prelude 52 in. board, Day 1 Payne Killer Wakesurf Board, custom globe longboard with hawgs wheels, skateboard, Hoyt Contender bow, Old Town kayak, Mastercraft X30 & a yoga mat.

What’s an average day for you like? I really don't have any average days. I like to mix things up. I'm pretty unpredictable.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? I would say the most challenging part about being a beginner is getting over the fear and just getting out and doing it!

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best thing about being a girl in action sports is proving all the people who doubt you wrong. Just because you're a girl doesn't mean you can't be a great! It doesn't mean you have to fall into the stereotypes! You can be whoever you want. Don't let the gender roles of society change your potential.

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I really would like to see more girls involved action sports. I also would like to see more opportunities for girls who are involved in action sports. It would be nice if there were more comps and events of female shredders.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? It really depends on what I'm doing, but I tend to look for comfort in whatever I'm wearing. In the summer I wear shorts and a tank top and in the winter I wear sweatpants, a tee shirt and a jacket. As far as shoes go, I either wear reef flip flops or low pro vans. That is pretty much the extent of my style.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? I really like Hurley, Vans, Volcom, Nike, Reebok, Prana, and She Shreds.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? I think that looking good is to feeling good and feeling good is to looking good, to a certain extent. I think some girls put to much emphasis to how they look and bring themselves down if they don't live up to the expectations in their mind. Personally, no matter how you look you should carry yourself in a respectable way and have self confidence and doing that will help to achieve your goals.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Watersports and the sports that I'm into are not as dangerous as being a passenger in a car. I have never been injured wake boarding, wake surfing, longboarding or skateboarding as bad as I was injured being a passenger in a car.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. I was riding one day at the cemetery and I was going down a hill. I guess I wasn't carving enough and I gained way to much speed. There was a turn at the bottom of the hill that I had to make and I was going so fast that I knew I wast going to make it, so I kept going forward and I decided to bail in the grass. I guess I didn't bail correctly. It hurt so bad. My ankle and knee was swollen and messed up for a week after that. I get hurt all the time on longboards and skateboards. The important thing is to get back up and keep riding. There is a slow motion video on my instagram if anyone wants to check it out. Ouch!

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? It is unlike any other sport. When you are out riding, you have so much freedom. You have freedom to ride how you want and just enjoy your run.

Do you own any other toys? I own a wakeboard, wakesurf board, longboard, skateboard, kayak, yoga mat, bow and a golfcart that I somehow managed to flip.

What gets you pumped up for the day? Good music and warm weather.

What are three things you could not live without? My puppies, music and summer.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? To do the best that I can do.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? I wouldn't be here without the people at Advocate Christ Hospital and the paramedics from Bristol Kendall Fire Department. There are so many people who have helped me get to the place I am now. Thank you!

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? I met Will Christien the day after I started wakeboarding and it really motivated me. She is not only a great wakeboarder, but she is also a very inspirational person to the female community.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? I'm currently going to Waubonsee Community College and working. If I'm not riding, doing school or working then I'm probably working out.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? I like to workout. I really don't like to run, but I do. I also lift and do things like deadlifts, cleans, front squats and back squats. I also mess around with the kettlebell a little bit, swim and do the Indoboard.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? To keep making improvements.

What competitions and other awards have you won? Include your non sports accomplishments also. I currently hold a high red belt in Taekwondo. I am a 200 hour registered yoga teacher and CPR/AED certified.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? I have ridden behind a cable before, but I mostly ride behind a boat.

Favorite conditions? Hot and glassy.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? I love Avril Lavigne, Green Day, Twenty One Pilots and metal remixes of pop songs.

What other extreme/action sports are you into? Despite the controversy, I really like CrossFit!

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? I love my Cove Wakesurf board! It is super smooth and I can carve really easily on it.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? I still have to figure that one out.

What would you say is your signature trick? I'm really good at wiping out! I do it all the time!

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? Just some water is good for me.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Instagram: sammccallum_