Rider Profile: John Akerman

John Akerman has been a part of the family for a while. Starting as professional skim boarder for our sister company Zap Skimboards and now as one of the top male professional riders in wakesurfing. If you watch John ride one time you will see the strong influence from his years of skim boarding at the beach. We reached out John to see how life was and what he was up to these days. 

P5: You are living full time down south and getting tons of water time. How has that been?

JA: Living in South Florida has been epic! My time on the water has increased a ton because the weather is warm, the Lake I live on is perfect for wakesurfing, my community is super supportive and is filled with riders.

P5: With Covid-19 a hot topic topic, 2020 competition season looked a lot different. Tell us how it was navigating this season with virtual events and some live events? 

JA: The 2020 competition season was definitely challenging with travel restrictions and in the beginning I thought the whole season was going to be called off. The first sign of light was the online contests and I was stoked to post some clips.  Then in August two live events were announced as a go, Nationals in Waco TX and Masters at Callaway Gardens in GA. Getting to compete live behind a Paragon at nationals and surf the BSR wave pool in the same weekend is always a highlight of my year and I'm so glad it happened! Not as many live events as usual but the ones that ran were awesome.

P5: What do you think about the virtual events?  It kind of lets you try and try to get your perfect run down. 

JA: Virtual events provided the opportunity for riders to practice banger tricks and post them in contest run format. I think online events are innovative for the sport and why not keep them going in the future! I would actually like to see online contests turn into "best trick" events alongside live events. 

Photo by: Jeff Mathis - IG @jeffshotthat

P5: What does a day in the life of John look like right now?

JA: A day in my life revolves around riding. First thought, how can I maximize my riding today and do my best at adulting? Everyday you can count on it that I will either be Wakesurfing, Skimboarding, Surfing, or Foiling at some point of my day! If I'm not at the lake you can find me at the beach. Lately I have been taking some time off of my own riding to train riders that travel to bring their Wakesurfing to the next level. I've also been having alot of fun barefooting too!

Photo by: Jeff Mathis - IG @jeffshotthat

P5: Lets talk foil fever. Everyone is into the foils, tell us a little about the learning curve, tips for beginners and what you enjoy about the foil?

JA: Oh man the foil fever is real! I fell in love with foiling because It allows me to ride in places I never thought were possible and the feeling is incredible! I've been foiling for a few years now and I am still learning everyday. With new wings coming out all the time that are all used for different purposes the possibilities are endless. The learning curve is different for everyone, but at first it seems impossible so you have to be patient. Make sure to give it a chance because the Foil could change your riding experiences on the water forever! Overall the biggest tip for foiling is to lean forward over your front foot and keep the lift low until you are comfortable with lifting higher. If it is your first time foiling and you are scared of the foil just ride with foot straps and you will be safe!

Photo by: Jeff Mathis - IG @jeffshotthat

P5: What are the big plans for the winter?

JA: Some of my plans for winter 2021 include filming with my good buddy Kyle Tidey. We want to get back on schedule and provide some different and fun wakesurf content for everyone to vibe on!  Also I am planning on a trip to do some coaching in Valle De Bravo Mexico with Alahua Board Shop.

Winter is my favorite time of year in SE FL because the north swells start coming in with the cold fronts and the ocean waves get really good.. I will be capitalizing on that and planning to work on my airs with the jetski.
I'm planning to Wakesurf all winter and work on new tricks of my own and I encourage any riders looking to bring they're riding to the next level to come down and train with me.
P5: What are your thoughts on the young talent in wakesurfing?  How are you preparing for the 2021 season?
JA: I am completely blown away by the high level of talent in young Wakesurfers! For example a few years back if you could land a 540 of any kind you could ride in pro. Now you're going to need a few 540's and ALOT of technical combinations to be on top. I'm now considered one of the older pro's at age 26! That should tell you how young the up and coming riders are. However I think that some riders right now are all hung up on the same style of riding. Kind of like what mumble rap did to hip hop. I'm preparing for next season by pushing my limits and continuing to let my riding style stand out from others.

P5: We know you have the MVP as your pro model Skim Style board. You also helped with the redesign of the Phase 5 Ahi. Whats the scoop on the Ahi? 

JA: I was really hyped to redesign the Ahi because I wanted to ride a shape that is aggressive and reminds me of my ocean board. I found that the pointed nose is very fast approaching airs and the wide tail is super floaty for bottom turns and very stable. 

P5:  What are your thoughts on competition riding vs free riding?  What are you contest plans for 2021

JA: I'm super competitive so I love the feeling of laying down my best comp run at an event, or landing a trick I've been trying for a while in a contest. I'm also such a people person and my favorite thing about contests are bringing everyone together and getting stoked on the riding. But there is nothing like free riding with your home crew because when the cameras are off, and nobody is around to witness, that's when the magic happens!

P5: What board and size are you riding?

JA: I'm riding my pro model, the MVP! Size 53"

P5: You ride both styles a lot- What is the attraction to both styles that drives you to ride them both?

JA: I ride both styles alot because I like Surfing and Skimboarding separately. I usually show up to the boat holding the MVP & AHI and whatever style of wave my crew is surfing is the deciding factor. If its a tall steep wave I cant resist an air reverse on the surf! When its longer wave, I'm flexin on the MVP.

P5: Someone ask for 3 of your favorite details about your board, what is your answer?

JA: The feel. 2021 is my best graphic yet and this board just hits different! There is nothing like picking up a board and it feeling like it was designed to conquer any challenges on the wave. 

The full deck pad! It's a great feeling knowing that anywhere your feet land on the board during a trick you will have traction! Another unique feature is the arch on the nose and tail so whichever way you're board lands you can keep the combos flowing with ease!
The Grab rails! My board has a 3/4" raised rail designed for added performance. This thicker rail around the edge allows you to land tricks more consistently and also gives you some extra float while far back on the wave. I have also noticed the extra weight around the rails helps the board spin faster in the air. 

Photo by: Jeff Mathis - IG @jeffshotthat



Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Commonly searched