Words: Drew Danielo
I met Robby 3-4 years ago and have been blown away ever since for his passion in wakesurfing. He loves to surf himself, but he enjoys teaching new people to get out behind the boat and let go of the rope more than he likes to surf himself. Robby has taught hundreds of first time riders how to surf. He pushed the Pass the Handle movement from an awesome one day a year event to a full summer extravaganza. I had the chance to catch up and chat with Robby recently and here is what he has to say.
Drew (DD): Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
Robby (RM): Robby Maschhaupt. I am from Huntington Beach and I've been in Racing my whole life, primarily as a gas man. I worked in Off Road racing in California 1982-1994, Cart (Indy Car) 94-1999, Paris Dakar Rally 2007, Nascar 1999-2012, and Endurance racing with the North American Factory Porsche team 2013-2017. Presently a #PASStheHANDLE ambassador for MasterCraft and P5.
DD: Thats a long career going over the wall. How did you get into wakesurfing?
RM: I grew up surfing in California, we also had a house in Lake Havasu AZ. When it was flat we used to pull each other behind my buddies Boston Whaler and just carve. I've wakeboarded forever but as we get older, those falls hurt more and more. Paying my bills by “going over the wall” I absolutely couldn't afford to get injured.
DD: We know you enjoy teaching wake surfing. Tell us about Pass The Handle?
RM: Pass the Handle was started by two legends of WB Shaun Murray and Zane Schwenk and the WSIA. It started as a once a summer event to get NEW people involved in watersports. Because we have a different kinda schedule in racing, I thought we could PASS the HANDLE more then one day a year. I started in 2007 just pulling my friends, teammates, friends of teammates and so on. It has grown and grown for us.
DD: 2017 was a special year for you "Passing the Handle". You took home some hardware. Tell us about that.
RM: Last year I was nominated for the first ever PASS the HANDLE award by the WSIA and Wakeboard Magazine with Greg Hodgin of WAKE the WORLD, Danny Tolinteno of SouthTown Watersports, professional WB athlete and star of American Ninja Warrior, Emily Durham. Just to be nominated with these folks was a HUGE honor, to win it was absolutely amazing. It is something I take very seriously. We need more people on the water so this industry can grow, we help keep people working and help the economy via PTH.
In 33 years of racing we have won many prestigious races in my career, NOTHING compares to be honored for giving back.
DD: Congratulations and very well deserved. When we look through your Social Media we see Phase 5 (P5) everywhere. What is it about these boards that has you hooked?
RM: Through social media and P5 I had the pleasure to meet Danny B of Allatoona Adventures three years ago, he believed in me and passion to PTH. He sponsored me out of his own pocket. He gave me a P5 quiver that I was able to use to PTH. I could surf OK, but when he put my chubby behind on a P5 Trident my surfing came full circle. P5 fits my style. I absolutely couldn’t have won this PTH award without Danny B and P5 believing and trusting me with the brand.
DD: With summer right around the corner, What Does Robby and Pass The Handle have planned for 2018?
RM: With the help of great companies like MasterCraft, P5, SeaDek, Monster Energy and Bbtalkin we are doing 75 PTH events in North and South Carolina this season. We plan to teach over 750 people how to wake surf this season. One of the things we do differently is, we teach people how to teach people how to wakesurf. This hopefully snowballs into boat sales, board sales, board shorts, flip flops, sunscreen and so on. As we are absolutely loyal to the brands that support us, I feel this PTH (NC) program in my eyes is absolutely about watersports. Without more people getting involved in any kind of watersports, we wont have any brands. I’m extremely honored to be a small part of this great industry.
DD: Busy summer. Congrats on all your success Robby and we hope to help you have a lot more of it and a lot more happy surfers behind your boat. Send a Thank You to everyone who supports you.
RM: I would like to give a shout out to these amazing companies that believe in our PTH program.
Here is list of events Robby will be having over the summer. Be sure to find Robby on Instagram @wakesurfing_gasman