Next up from the Grom Squad is Afton Bank. Afton was out on a boat before he could walk. His Mom—Stacia Bank and Dad—Chris Bank are both avid Wakesurfers and Water Enthusiasts. In the last 2 years Afton's riding ability has exploded. The culmination of all the work he has put in was taking the top podium spot at the 2020 World Wakesurf Championship. Afton's skill level Wakesurfing is awesome but his attitude and positivity that he pours out on to anyone around is even greater. You will not see Afton without a big smile on his face and always enjoying what he is doing. With that being said, lets check in with Afton to see what he has been up to!
P5: Afton, Happy New Year. How are you doing?
AB: Life is awesome as usual, I'm down in Florida with the fam right now having fun in the waves!
P5: As a young rider eager to compete, What were your thoughts on the 2020 season with the Covid 19 situation?
AB: It was different but kinda cool, I liked being able to redo it as many times as I wanted till I liked my run but I missed seeing everyone in real life. I was hyped to have a couple normal ones at the end of the season! Thank you to all the organizers for making it happen, you guys rock!
P5: Nice, What are your thoughts on competition riding vs free riding?
AB: I love them both but personally, I would have to go with free riding because I love just screwing around behind the boat!
P5: What does a day in the life of you look like right now?
AB: Wake up, have some breakfast, do online school all day. Then I try to get outside and snowboard or something like that.
P5: How long have you been riding for Phase 5? What does it mean to you to ride for P5?
AB: This is my third year riding for phase 5 and I cant explain how lucky I am and how much I love it! Riding for Phase 5 is SO much fun! But it's more of a family than a company for sure.
P5: What board and size are you riding? What was it about this board that helped you decide it was the one?
AB: I'm rockin a 48" Key. For awhile I was riding a 48' Matrix and then Ashley Inloes came down for the week to ride and I rode her board and fell in love with it (she had a 46" key)! So I asked P5 if they would make me a 48". Shout out to Drew for making it happen!
P5: What are the big plans for the winter?
AB: Well... not surfing haha, we have over a foot of snow right now and a frozen lake. But I love snowboarding, snowmobiling, snow ball fights, maybe try to get down to Florida one more time for a surf sesh. So we stay pretty busy haha.
P5: So we have slowly built this Grom Squad of rippers with Phase 5. What do you think of your teammates in the Grom Squad (Dagan, Ryder, Reed etc)? How do you like being on a team with some of the best pro riders? Should they start getting nervous that Grom Squad is coming for them?
AB: Love all them! It’s so cool to have friends all over the world that enjoy this sport as much as me. It’s sick to be on a team with some of the best surfers in the world! And watch your backs boys, we are coming for ya!
P5: What or who influences your riding and style?
AB: The top riders the influence me the most would probably be Drew D, John A, Parker P, Sean S, Tyler S, Chris F, Cam J, and of course my mommy.
P5: Favorite professional Athlete?
AB: I love them all but John A is for-sure my favorite! He’s the most kind, loving, helpful person I've ever met. And he's a true waterman. I stayed with him for a couple days earlier this year and it was a so sick! The amount of things we did was crazy. We wakesurfed, skimmed, ocean surfed, foiled, whipped, jet-skied, barefooted, went to the skate park. But overall it's not because what we did it's because who he is as a person. So thank you Uncle John!
P5: If you are not wakesurfing, what are you doing?
AB: Skateboarding, playing hockey, playing lacrosse, snowboarding, biking, jetskiing, whipping, riding dirt-bikes, eating, sleeping.
P5: Thank You for your time Afton. Last but not least Rapid Fire round:
AB: Favorite Ice Cream- definitely vanilla ice-cream with Oreos and Carmel.
Goofy or Regular -I'm a goofy person but i ride regular haha.
Boat Wake or Ocean Wave? Probably boat.
Your least favorite Chore? picking up dog poop
Favorite restaurant? any sushi place.
Favorite Travel partner? it would probably be my best friend Tate or Carson. Tate would be so funny to travel with cause he would have absolutely no clue where to go or what to do. And Carson would be fun cause he’s literally the funniest person in the world and my favorite human to be around.
Shout out to my sponsors: Phase Five, MN Inboard, Rain Clothing, North Coast USA, Slunks Family. Love you all sm.