Jason Bannatyne - InterviewIf you’re not familiar with the name Jason Bannatyne, you soon will be. Prior to 2007 Jason had some great results, but 07 has been a breakout year. Earlier this summer Jason won Jr. Men’s at Wakestock. He followed that up by winning Jr. Men’s at Nationals and narrowly missed the Open Mens Finals. Read up on Jason B...
SC: Can you give us a little info about your wakeboarding background?
JB: I started wakeboarding at my cabin in Lac Du Bonnet about 9 years ago. There was a small wakeboard club in the town. I never had a boat growing up and was eager to get out every chance I could. At this time there were people like Duncan Jessiman, Neil Brown, and Trevor Pajak who influenced my passion for the sport of wakeboarding.
SC: What are your goals for next year? Any plans on going to Florida to train this winter?
JB: I definitely am planning on going back to Florida to train in the spring. I just have to keep on working hard and training as much as I can. I’m hoping to compete at international events next year and traveling to different contests and see where it takes me.
SC: Tell us a bit about the wakeboard scene in Manitoba.
JB: The Manitoba scene is definitely growing. We ride on the Red River which is right in the middle of Winnipeg. This year I have noticed a major increase in the number of wakeboarders on the lakes and rivers. Manitoba’s contest scene is very good as well. Over the past few years there have always been a couple of large contests with good cash prizes.
SC: Do you have a coach? Or do you push your riding by going out with your buddies?
JB: Glen Fletcher at O-town Watersports has coached me for the last 3 years. He has pushed my riding and has certainly contributed to my achievements the past couple of years. The thing that I found was that he always kept me motivated and has pointed me in the right direction. Often this summer before work I also would take a 7 AM session with Duncan Jessiman and Tressa Main.
SC: How would you describe your riding style? What other sports have influenced you and your riding? I hear you’re a pretty sick snowboarder…
JB: Snowboarding I believe definitely helps when it comes to sliding. Lots of people think that it doesn’t but I believe the two are very alike in the sliding/rail aspect of the sport. I’d like to say that I have a Snowboardish style. The thing that I like to add to wakeboarding is grabbing lots. In snowboarding with most spins grabbing is essential and makes the trick look more stylish.
SC: What is your favorite trick and what trick do you want to learn next?
JB: I’m definitely a big fan of spins. They just look SICK, and feel super cool too. I also like different glides like stale and half cab glides. I’ve been working on heel sevens a lot and cab 7s. They are kind of tricky but super dope looking.
SC: Where’s your favorite place to ride and what’s your favorite contest?
JB: WAKESTOCK - It was CRAZZZY there. This year was my first year there and I was pretty astonished at how many people are there. The rails are pretty savage too. I really liked riding in Orlando too because the water was warm and the days were hot. Sometimes in Manitoba you ride when the temperature is 15 degrees and the water is colder.
SC: Which riders do you enjoy watching & who has influenced you the most?
JB: When I was down south I got to watch a lot of different riders. I really like watching Rusty and Chad especially when they freeride. It’s pretty cool to see the tricks that they link together. Braden from Saskatchewan is really good to watch and has got some serious tricks that’s for sure.
SC: Who are your current sponsors & what board/binding setup do you use?
JB: I ride for Billabong, Ronix wakeboards, Spy sunglasses, Winnipeg Watersports, Energy Systems and Malibu Boats. Right now I’m riding the 1 137 with the 1 boots. The boots are ridiculously comfortable and the pearly white setup sure looks good! The stuff is so light and the pop is just incredible.
SC: If you could spend a day wakeboarding with anyone, who would it be?
JB: I would really like to ride with Rusty, Chad and Danny. Right now they are pushing the sport in the right direction and their riding is just A class. The runs that they put together are super tech and they are really fun to watch AND it would be pretty good if it was in Lake Powell, It looks pretty sick there!
SC: Who would you like to thank?
JB: I would first off like to thank my parents. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think any of this would have happened. Risto Scott from Billabong and Duncan Jessiman from Winnipeg Watersports for all the confidence they have shown in me. Neal Van Beers at HO Canada for the interest he has taken in me. Mark Gibbs from Malibu boats for giving me the opportunity to ride for Malibu. Drew McQuat at Spy. I would like to give a big thank you to the Petrynko Family for allowing me to ride the summer behind there Sick Malibu Wakesetter. My Coach Glen Fletcher and my number one fan my aunt Vicky Allard – Energy Systems for her financial support, and Stoke City for this interview.
The photos that I have enclosed are taken by a photographer in Winnipeg Paul Colvin.