WSM: Let’s start with our typical interview questions. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been wakesurfing?

Emma: My name is Emma Galusha, I’m from Rochester, NY and I learned to wakesurf when I was 11 years old. I’ve been wakesurfing for 12 years now!


WSM: Prior to wakesurfing, did you do any other towed-watersports?

Emma: Before wakesurfing, I grew up water skiing. We’ve always been a big watersports family. I remember being in the boat watching my mom slalom ski and my cousins barefoot and throw flips wakeboarding. I learned to water ski when I was 5 years old. The next summer when I was 6, I went from two skis, to one ski, to barefooting all in one day. Ever since then I’ve loved the water. In the springtime in NY, we’d visit the lake to get our cottage ready for the summer and no matter the water temp I always wanted to jump in (even if the temp was in the low 40s). I’ve had a passion for watersports ever since a very young age. Every year I couldn’t wait for summertime to get back to the lake so I could ski again.



WSM: Do you remember the first time you experienced wakesurfing?

Emma: Yes! In 2011, my family got a 210 Super Air Nautique. When we got the boat, we were told you can do this thing called “wakesurfing”. We had no idea what wakesurfing was or how to start. At the time, there weren’t a lot of people wakesurfing on our lake, we knew of only one other wake boat that was wakesurfing. So, one day my Dad waved them down and asked if they could teach us to wakesurf. In exchange, my Dad would teach them how to airchair. The next morning they showed up to our dock and took my Dad, my two sisters and I out on their boat to learn how to wakesurf. I will always remember that day. All four of us got up including my 8 year old sister. We watched the guys who taught us surf without the rope. They were doing big airs, 360s, and shuvs. Needless to say, I was pretty amazed and was hooked ever since. All I wanted to do was wakesurf. It took us the whole summer to throw in the rope and learn how to stay in the wave. Looking back now, the board we were riding was probably a little too big and we could have used a couple bags of lead in the boat. Lol. Each summer after that we learned if you put more weight in the boat the wave would get bigger. We then got a couple more wakesurf boards and that changed the game. I remember every winter I would countdown the months until I got to wakesurf again. I started seeing videos of professional wakesurfers like Ashley Kidd, Jodi Grassman, and Jake Caster. My teachers in school would ask “what do you want to be when you grow up?”… I would answer “I want to be a professional wakesurfer!”


WSM: What was the first trick you rode away from and how long did it take you to pull it off? 

Emma: My first trick I rode away was the 360. I had been trying 360s for about 4 years before I landed my first one in 2016 riding my friend’s Phase Five Scamp. Safe to say I was pretty stoked & and all I wanted for my birthday was that same board so I could do more 360s! The next summer I got a blue Phase Five Scamp and named it “Birthday Blue.” Every time our family got a new board, we would give it a name. Lol. I’ve loved skim style ever since!


WSM: What equipment are you riding this season? 

Emma: This season I am riding my new Emma Galusha Pro Model board with Exile Skimboards. I absolutely love this board! The edges on it are super sharp making it fast and easy to stay on edge, the round nose makes riding switch easy and gives it a little more surface area in the middle of the board for easy landings on shuv-based tricks. The shape of the tail has grooves on both sides allowing the board to get extra pop and speed. We also redesigned the artwork on the back for my signature board! Here is the link to check it out!

This season, I have also started riding surf style more, and am riding for Pure Wakesurf on the PureMoney. I absolutely love my surf style board from Pure Wakesurf! Anytime I ride my PureMoney I’m always having fun. My relationship with Pure Wakesurf has been nothing short of amazing. This company puts so much care and attention to detail into each of their boards. If you are looking for a surf style wakesurf board, definity check out Pure Wakesurf!

Currently, I am surfing behind a Centurion Ri230. Last season, I rode behind the Centurion Ri245. The wave is pretty incredible on both. I absolutely love the Centurion Ri230. It’s so easy to drive, the fit and finish is beautiful, the gas consumption is a game changer, and I’d say the wave speaks for itself.  Huge thank you to my sponsor Keuka Watersports located on Keuka Lake, NY for bringing the best wave as well as exceptional customer service in the industry to our area.

WSM: You’ve been hitting the competition scene pretty frequently and have had some great results! How did you get into the competitive side of surfing? Are you naturally competitive?

Emma: Thanks so much! I started competing 3 years ago. Ryan Deese introduced me to competitions. He has been a huge part in how far I’ve come. I think surfing with riders who are better than you is the best way to progress your riding. I competed in amateur skim in 2021, then progressed to outlaw skim in 2022, and this year is my first season competing professionally! Competing has been an awesome experience! I’ve traveled to so many new places and met so many amazing people who share my passion of wakesurfing. I feel like competing has given me that extra push to continue to progress my riding. Competing in the Pro division this year has been pretty surreal. I’m so grateful to compete alongside the women I’ve looked up to for years now. It definitely feels like a dream come true! I’d say I’m pretty competitive by nature. I want to ride the best I can at each competition. I try to focus on what I can do more than what the other riders are doing.


WSM: Where would you like to see wakesurfing go in the future?

Emma: Every year I feel like wakesurfing is becoming more and more popular. Something I love about wakesurfing is that anyone can learn. In the future, I’d love to see more opportunities for people to learn how to wakesurf. It’s all about sharing the stoke and there’s nothing better than seeing someone’s reaction the first time they get up or the first time they throw the rope. That is a huge reason why I love coaching! As far as the competition side, I think that there is a lot of room to grow. In the future, I hope the sport of wakesurfing is recognized on bigger platforms and the athletes have the opportunity for higher winnings at competitions. That way the younger generation of surfers can see that if they work hard and chase their dreams, they can be a professional wakesurfer one day too!

WSM: Do you have any sponsors, friends, or family you’d like to thank?

Emma: I’d like to thank my parents first off for being so supportive throughout my wakesurfing journey. My love for watersports came from them and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them! I’d like to also thank Ryan Deese. He has helped me more than anyone become a better wakesurfer through convincing me to ride finless, connecting me with Exile Skimboards, and taking me out surfing more times than I can count.

Huge thank you to all of my sponsors:
Wake Outfitters
Exile Skimboards
Pure Wakesurf
Keuka Watersports
Kultivate Wellness

Your continued support means everything to me!

I’d also like to shoutout my new wakesurfing charter company with Ryan Deese ‘WakeSurf Florida’ @wakesurfflorida_ Learn to wakesurf with us this summer in the Finger Lakes, NY or come down to Florida in the Fall/Winter/Spring! We are a year round business with USCG Captains, state licenses and insurances operating in Florida & New York! We offer private lessons, kids camps, & group charters. Whether it’s your first time wakesurfing, or you’re looking to land a new trick, we offer coaching for all levels. There is nothing we love more than sharing our passion with others! Our mission is to get more people out on the water, share the stoke of wakesurfing with as many people as possible, help you learn new skills, all while having the most fun possible!