WSM: Let’s start with our typical interview questions. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been wakesurfing?
Julie: My name is Julie Vasselin and I am from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. I have been wakesurfing for 5 years.
WSM: For the folks at home, how do you pronounce your name? Is it Vas-uh-lynne? Or Vas-eh-lynne?
Julie: Haha, I don’t care either way. As long as you don’t pronounce it “Vaseline” I am happy.
WSM: Prior to wakesurfing, were you doing any other towed watersports?
Julie: As kids, we went out to the lake quite a bit. Mostly we would wakeboard, kneeboard, and fool around on the SeaDoo. I think I may have tried skiing once on a pair of kids snoopy skis… but I think after one try I was done with it.
[Editor’s note: Who else still remembers their snoopy skis!?]
WSM: Do you remember the first time you experienced wakesurfing? Were you immediately drawn to it, or did that come with time?
Julie: I was hooked immediately! I think it was partially because it was finally a sport I was better at than my brothers. Plus, it’s a sport where you’re out enjoying the warm sun and hanging out with friends.
WSM: How long did it take you to begin competing?
Julie: I starting competing the summer after I tried it the first time and have never looked back.
WSM: Are you naturally competitive? Or did you begin competing just to have fun and enjoy a new experience?
Julie: I am 100% naturally competitive, so that’s what pushed me a lot in the beginning. I had to get tricks before my brothers!
WSM: You recently competed in the World Wakesurf Championships from Kelowna, B.C. where you placed 4th in the finals. What were the biggest differences this year competing in the pro division compared to the outlaw division in the previous year?
Julie: Being pro this year was different. Truthfully, I felt a lot more pressure to do well in Outlaw last year. Being my first year in Pro I tried to just have fun and take it all in. It’s amazing to be able to ride with the top girls in the entire world.
WSM: Going into the WWSC this year, did you prepare any differently than the year before?
Julie: I think I prepared less this year. I tried to look at the week before Worlds as a vacation and relax with friends on a boat compared to in the past when I really tried to get as many hours behind the boat as I possibly could.
WSM: There was a little friendly banter going on during the event about the air and water temperatures. Being from Canada, are you used to riding in conditions that are on the chilly side?
Julie: Heck yes, being Canadian I’m definitely used to cold weather. I believe I’m actually one of the most Northern competitors. For me, a typical season starts with the ice coming off in May (April if we are lucky) and jumping in that day with a dry suit. Then, we typically ride until October or whenever the snow falls, whichever comes first.
[Editor’s note: Julie is much tougher than we will ever be.]
WSM: To compete in the worlds you have to have already competed in another event in the same season, which event(s) did you compete in and how did you do?
Julie: I did quite a few World Series events this year. Some went alright, others didn’t go so great, but they were all still a lot of fun.
- Arizona – 4th Place
- Alberta Wake Tour Provincials – 4th Place
- Koocanusa – 3rd Place
- USA Nationals – 3rd Place
- Canadian Wakesurf Nationals – Well that one didn’t go as I had hoped and I got 6th
WSM: During competition do you have a set run you aim for? Or do you wing it when you hit the water?
Julie: At the beginning of my run I usually have a routine I aim for. However, that typically it gets all changed as soon as I have my first fall.
WSM: What’s your current equipment setup?
Julie: I currently ride a Phase 5 board with a small Tallon fin. In 2017, I rode behind a Nautique G23 and am excited for the 2018!
WSM: How long have you been a rider for Phase 5 and how did your relationship with them begin?
Julie: I have been riding for Phase 5 boards for 3 years now. They are such an amazing company and I felt so honored when Drew Danelio asked me to join the team after I won the World Championship title for Amateur Women in 2014.
WSM: Does anyone call you“Champ”? If not… they should!
Julie: People at my work call me a World Champion. They actually tell our clients too and it is really weird…
WSM: When you’re practicing during the season, who’s usually driving and on the boat with you? Is it a packed crew or just a few friends?
Julie: It is usually just a few friends or my boyfriend and our dogs. A lot of the time my parents are with us too.
WSM: What was the first CD or MP3 you ever bought… tell the truth!?
Julie: Haha, I can’t remember probably Shania Twain.
WSM: If you had your choice of music when riding, what would it be?
Julie: Country! I love my country music if the Shania Twain CD didn’t give that away!
[Editor’s note: Next time you’re in Texas we’re taking you to Gruene Hall for a concert!]
WSM: Where would you like to see wakesurfing go in the future?
Julie: I would love to see more girls get competitive into it. It is awesome to see women like Jodi Grassman and Caro push the sport on the women’s side and we need more of that! It seems like women are worried to get into the competitive scene when they shouldn’t be at all!
WSM: What advice would you give a newcomer to the sport that’s looking to progress and learn new tricks?
Julie: Watch videos, visualize, and go out and have fun. Most importantly smile because you always surf better when you are having fun. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the Pros for tips. We were all a beginner at one point!
WSM: What tricks are you working on? Anything you feel like lettings us know about?
Julie: Um… Seeing as it is Winter in Canada I am working on my snow shoveling skills and snowman building!
WSM: Do you have anyone you’d like to thank?
Julie: I know I couldn’t be anywhere without my family who supports me by driving our boat around in circles, my friends who help coach me and let me bum rides off of them behind their boats when mine isn’t available, and of course my sponsors: Wizard Lake Marine, who lets me train behind the number one boats in the industry and Phase 5 Boards who lets me ride on the best boards made in North America.
WSM: Would you like to plug any social media?
We want to thank Julie for visiting with us at WSM and we look forward to seeing more of her in the future as she continues to progress in her career and push wakesurfing into the future!