‘Union Wakeboarder’ Interview with Daniel Watkins
Tige Boats and Daniel Watkins have had a strong relationship with each other for more than a decade. We took the time to sit down with the guys that, while not so much behind the ‘boat’ these days but well and truly behind the ‘boats’. These are the guys that push, promote, live, eat & breathe their respective companies. Having helped Tige as a rider with designed and testing since 1999, it’s not just about boats to Daniel, it a part of his history and his passion.
What is the range looking like for the upcoming year?
Some really cool things coming down the line from Tige for the next few years. The economy is picking back up in the U.S which means production is picking up. Therefore there’s starting to be a bit more money around for R and D and fun events. I have just come back from a trip to the Tige factory in Texas and there is definitely a lot of excitement and exciting things coming.
The Boat industry seems to be growing in diversity. New models, new shapes, new innovations. What can we expect in new technology and design in the coming year from Tige?
The new ASR has the biggest wake I have ever ridden and the styling lines make it look like the coolest Tige ever. I am pissing my pants with excitement the thing is insane!!!!!
You’ve been riding with Tige for how long?
I started with Tige in ‘99 and since then it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to be working with Charlie Pigeon and his crew when I was done with the Pro Tour. Now that the boats are so insane, I am stoked and really feel like we make a good move.
Have you hand your hand in any hull shape/design innovation during that time?
Absolutely. That is the one thing with Tige, the guys at the factory really listen to what the team says and really go over and above to make the boats the most thought-out of any boat out there. The proof is in the pudding, Tige is only 20 years old and totally crushing it, I mean the surf wave is second to none. That’s proven by the surf team, these guys are undoubtably the best group of surfers pushing that side. You guys just wait till you see the wake on the new boat!!! It’s insane…. Mind blowing.
You’ve personally seen a lot of changes in the industry over the years. What has been the most amazing boat related innovation you’ve seen developed and how did i change things?
This is a hard one because things have come so far. The tower was monumental at the time in the sport. Then when we started using the V-Drive boats. That really changed things. Lately though all the integrated ballast systems, touch screens, swivel board racks the boats are just so tech, it’s crazy.