Catching Up With Wakeskater Danny Hampson: 'Graceland,' 2013 and More


It’s been a busy year for Danny Hampson. Heaps of traveling, tons of riding and filming, and a huge personal achievement: buying his first home. (Due to all the travel, he hasn’t been home to work on the place since he bought it in April.) All the long hours and hard work has paid off. The Floridian has had some big wins (Wake Games and Nationals) and he’s put together a new edit that has the entire industry talking (“Graceland”).

Since he was passing through California, we took the opportunity to sit down and get some insight on everything that’s been going on in Hampson’s life.

Bring us up to speed on your season. You’ve had a couple solid results between Wake Games and Nationals.

Yeah, everything has been going great this year, been lucky enough to win a couple contests and ride good in the ones I didn’t win. Been lucky I guess. Been riding a lot and things are feeling good, so just been a very fortunate year and just happy to have been able to do what I’ve done.

Anything new you’ve brought to the game this year?

Just been riding a ton, just riding every day and just focusing on putting things together, trying to push the sport and also just do well professionally. Just motivated to try to take my riding seriously. Staying out of the bar.

Tell us about the ‘Graceland’ edit.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to film that part or not, I filmed a couple things in April for it, then got really busy, was traveling doing clinics and stuff constantly between competing, summer started getting away from me, and then in June I just decided I was going to go for it full throttle for two months and get it finished before an upcoming project I have with Oakley and Alliance. Just rode every day, me, Collin Harrington, Bob Soven, rode every day we were in town, like three or four times a day, just cranked it out and people liked it way more than I thought. We did a lot of the filming in Orlando, there’s some stuff from Texas, there’s a couple shots from Australia from earlier in the year that we used and then some stuff from the Keys. It was a lot of work. We were taking beatings every day and taking ice baths every night.

You mentioned the project you’re working on next regarding your 10 years with Oakley, how’s that relationship treated you?

It’s been incredible. Alliance came to me with the vision. Matty [Swanson] and Jack [Blodgett] wanted to do something within Wake marketing-wise with Alliance, and they came to me with this idea, and it just so happened that it was my tenth year riding for the brand, it kind of tells a really neat story about kind of like how I’ve grown up within the company and all the lessons I’ve learned actually from the Oakley mindset, and how much they’ve helped me and brought me up as a person as well as an athlete.

Ten years is a long time. How has the state of wakeboarding and wakeskating changed in that time?

It’s just crazy. Wakeskating and wakeboarding are in such a different place. There’s so many contests that you need to pick which ones to go to, there’s cable contests all over the world, there are people who are just wakeskating on the cable now, there are people just focusing on the Wakeskate Tour, which is just all crazy set-ups with rails and there’s still the boat contests, whereas before it was four contests a year behind a jet ski or something. Now it’s a full industry now, everything’s continuing to grow, and it’s just awesome to be a part of it. I just feel fortunate that I’ve been able to stick around.

What’s the rest of the year look like for you?

I’m heading out to Battle Falls to compete for the final stop of the Wakeskate Tour, then I’m going down to the Keys for a couple days to wrap up this project, then coming back to Surf Expo, filming for a few more days, fly to Russia for two weeks, come back and go to Atlanta to teach some magazine editors how to wakeskate, fly back to California and wrap up the project hopefully.


Chasen Marshall


August 30, 2013