WSM: Let’s start with our typical interview questions. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been wakesurfing?
Angie: My name is Angie Viland, I was born and raised in Northern MN and currently reside in Phoenix, AZ. I have been wakesurfing for 9 years, and I have been competing for 7.
WSM: Prior to wakesurfing, were you doing any other towed watersports?
Angie: I started out trying anything I could. I loved wakeboarding but didn’t care so much for the wipeouts. I found it too hard to get my nose plugged falling at 20 mph.
[Editor’s note: The noseplug struggle is real!]
WSM: Take us back to when you were starting out, can you recall the first time you experienced wakesurfing? What lake were you on and were you immediately hooked or did that come with time?
Angie: I remember the first time I let go of the rope. It was at Lake Pleasant and I was riding an original Inland Surfer Blue Lake behind our 2007 Mastercraft. My passion for wakesurfing happened over time. I knew I was hooked after earning a podium spot at the 2011 World Championships in the Master’s division.
WSM: Once you could drop the rope and surf, what was the first trick you learned and how long did it take you to get it?
Angie: The first hard trick I learned was a 360. We hired Sean Cummings to come out and teach us lessons on Lake Pleasant. All I wanted to do was land a 360. He coached me for 2 hours a day, 3 days straight, trying to help me with that trick. He finally told me that he had never seen anyone struggle so hard yet remain so determined, but he finally had to give up. Several months later, I finally landed a 360 and Sean was the first person I called to tell. He was so happy for me. Sean never lets me forget about that day. He brings it up at every event where he is announcing.
WSM: That’s an excellent lesson for the beginners out there, never give up! What’s your current favorite trick to do?
Angie: Right now I am working on several new tricks. One, in particular, is a surf style 540. It is a very challenging trick because you have to stop the board revert in a switch stance. It’s a technical trick yet very rewarding when you land it.
WSM: That is a very technical trick, especially with the large surf style fins! Take us through your warm up. When you get up for the first time on any given day, what tricks do you do first?
Angie: A snap, a 360, then I’m ready to go.
WSM: We’ve heard of another Viland dominating the Men’s Masters Divison, any relation?
Angie: I will definitely claim him, my husband of 16 years. Not only are we married, he is also my coach. We are so lucky that we both share the passion of wakesurfing, and spend our time on the water doing what we love together.
WSM: You’re predominantly a surf style rider but do you ever ride skim?
Angie: Only when I want to make people giggle.
WSM: In 2017 you competed in the World Wakesurf Championship from Kelowna, BC. Is an event of that magnitude more nerve-racking than a typical competition?
Angie: I used to get super nervous at every competition, not just worlds. But now, after competing at over 50 events, I don’t feel as nervous anymore. I always try to remember that we do this for fun, and I want to set an example for those riders coming into the sport.
WSM: Seeing as how Mike was the Head Judge for Worlds, did that add any extra pressure?
Angie: No added pressure, but he did give me a lot of extra duties over the weekend, scribing and dock starter.
WSM: Tell us about Wake Surf AZ. When did it start and what all do you offer?
Angie: We started our wakesurf school in 2012. Our goal was to grow the sport in Arizona and to help people learn how to do it properly and safely. In 2012 we were the only competitors from here and now there are too many to count. We are so proud and excited about the growth of wakesurfing in Arizona.
WSM: Can you tell us a little about your sponsors? What’s your current equipment setup?
Angie: I’m sponsored by Soulcraft. Jeff Wahlers has been sponsoring now for 6 years and we have been tweaking my pro model for the last 4 years. The Super AV pro model is a perfect board for me and many other riders. I ride a 4-4 Soulcraft Super AV with Viskus Grip and Futures John John grom fins. I ride behind a 2018 Nautique G23 and I am very fortunate to be a part of the Action Watersports Arizona Team. I am also honored to be sponsored by Boat Bling who makes the best boat cleaning products on the market. As much time as my boat spends on the water, these products keep my G23 looking brand new all year long.
WSM: If you could take one celebrity wakesurfing with you who would it be and why?
Angie: Everyone knows it would be Blake Shelton. He is my favorite singer and I think he would be fun to hang out with. Plus I would talk him into wearing his cowboy boots surfing,
WSM: If you had your choice of music when riding, what would it be?
Angie: I only surf to 80’s rock. My favorite group is AC/DC.
WSM: Where would you like to see wakesurfing go in the future?
Angie: More unique venues; for instance, different countries. Also, the inclusion of women in pro only events.
WSM: What advice would you give a newcomer to the sport that’s looking to progress and learn new tricks?
Angie: When you are learning a new trick, to keep from getting frustrated – do 3 tricks you are consistent at before you try the new trick.
WSM: What other tricks are you personally working on? Anything you feel like lettings us know about?
Angie: I am working on a variety of switch tricks and combos.
WSM: Do you have anyone you’d like to thank?
Angie: My amazing husband who pulls me around for hours on end. Robbie Brown with Action Watersports. Jeff Wahlers with Soulcraft. Patrick Jones, Boat Bling. Joe Hawkins from Viskus. And all of my amazing wakesurf friends!
WSM: Would you like to plug any social media?
We want to thank Angie for giving WSM her time and we look forward to seeing more of her as she continues to progress in her career and push wakesurfing into the future!