We catch up with UK based pro-Wakeboarder Jules Haley who’s had a super busy summer so far since being picked up by her shiny new sponsor O’Neill, riding at Wakestock, the world championships and the UK Nationals.
Interview by Sophie Everard
Hey Jules! Looks like you’ve been killing it this summer! hat’s been going down?!
Thanks, I’ve had a great summer so far! I’ve been super busy coaching at Quayside full time, cramming in some contests and events, as well as getting out on the water every day myself. July was pretty busy for me as I had Wakestock and the World Champs back to back, plus Nationals last weekend and the Pro Tour coming up. The summer months have been flying by pretty quick, I can’t believe its already August!
Sounds like a jam-packed summer!! What was riding at the World Championships like?
Riding at the Worlds was amazing! I literally came home from Wakestock, did my washing and got straight on the plane to go to Italy, it was crazy! This year was my first Worlds and it was such an honour to be part of the GB team at such a big event. The standard was super high so I was stoked that I made it through to semi-finals and finished in the top 10. There is always a great atmosphere at those kinds of events too. I love hanging out with the Irish, South Africans and Swedish teams as they know how to party and we always have a great time.
Have these been your best results so far?
I’ve had a few good results so far, and I’d say that the Worlds was a definite highlight. I went into the contest without knowing what to expect, so I was chuffed with making the final 10. I also had a pretty good result at Nationals as well plus there is the UK Pro Tour coming up, so the summer isn’t over yet!
What’s been your favourite event this year?
My favourite event has got to be Wakestock! This year was amazing; the weather was HOT all weekend and we had great conditions for the contest. Each year the festival grows bigger and better as well as the standard of riding across the board. Wakestock is way more than just a wakeboarding contest though, and what I love about it the most is that it brings the whole UK Wakeboard scene together to celebrate the sport we all love so much.
Coming first in the UK nationals must have been a pretty sweet feeling!
Ahh yes, I’m so happy with the Nationals result! I’ve been competing for a good few years now, and after winning in the juniors back in 2007, I’ve had my eye on the Open Ladies title as a personal goal for some time now.
Stomped any new tricks this season?
I have been working on a few new things this year, stepping it up and getting some new stuff in the bag. I’ve been really lucky to have such a great coach (Phil Mitchell) who I can completely trust and depend on. As well as the technical side to my riding, I’ve been working on the mental aspect, believing in myself and having a strong mental attitude.
You’re now coaching. How’s that going?
It’s been going really well thanks. Wakeboarding is something I’ve been passionate about for a long time, so it’s awesome to be able to spread the love and get more people out there ripping it up. It’s such a rewarding job and there is nothing better than seeing someone’s happy face when they stomp a new trick for the first time. I guess it makes me think of when I was first learning, and reminds me what its all about; getting out on the water and having fun.
It was cool hanging out at the Relentless UK Pro tour last year together, will we be seeing you there again in September?
Of course, I can’t wait! The UK Pro Tour was such a big deal last year and has been a great step in the right direction for Wakeboarding in the UK. I’m sure it will be the same again this year, and I know that everyone has really been stepping it up.
You’ve been hooked up by O’Neill wetsuits and clothing. How is it being part of the O’Neill crew?
O’Neill has such a strong wake team this year and I feel so honoured to be part of it. I’ve always used O’Neill products even before I was riding for them, so it’s awesome to be promoting a product I love so much. Everyone there has helped me out so much and I already feel like a part of the family, so I couldn’t be happier right now.
Where will this coming autumn/winter be taking you?
This winter I’ll be heading back out to Florida to get some pre-season training in. My boss Stewart Mackie has just opened up a Wakeboard school in Winterhaven, so I’ll be heading out there for sure. We also have the European and Africa Championships in South Africa in February, so fingers crossed ill be getting over there too.
Cheers Jules rad to catch up with you! Any final words?
Thanks Sophie, awesome catching up with you too! Just gotta say a huge thanks to my sponsors Hyperlite Wakeboards and O’Neill Wetsuits & Clothing. Also my fab coaches Phil and Stew at Quayside Wakeboard & Waterski without whom I would be a complete scaredey cat!
You can see Jules in action on the Relentless UK Pro Tour through September, and check out this recent edit of Jules killing it :