WSM: Let’s start with our typical interview questions. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been wakesurfing?
Hunter: My name is Hunter Clement, I’m from a small town in Northern California called Paradise, and I have been wakesurfing since I was roughly 10 years old. That makes this my 9th year of surfing.
WSM: Prior to wakesurfing, were you doing any other towed watersports?
Hunter: I started off on the good ol’ kneeboard and then worked my way up to a wakeboard. I cannot even guess how young I was when I first got behind a boat, I feel like I’ve spent my entire life behind one. My family has always owned boats and actually used them instead of letting them just sit in the backyard.
WSM: Can you recall the first time you experienced wakesurfing? Was it love at first sight? Or did it take you a while to catch on?
Hunter: I definitely remember. It was NOT love at first sight. My Aunt Holly is the one who taught me how to surf, she had to get into the lake to push me up onto the board. I never cared for surfing too much because I could never let go of the rope, and that frustrated me. Well… one day I was surfing behind our old Sanger and was done with my “set” so I threw in the rope in order to crash. I tossed in that dang rope and to my surprise, I kept going forward. Hmmm… Then, about 15 minutes after I threw in the rope, I finally crashed. I DID IT! I actually SURFED! Without a rope! I was hooked from then on!
WSM: What as the first trick you learned and how long did it take you to get it?
Hunter: I think the first trick that I learned besides carving or knee downs would have to be either a slash or an air. I don’t know how long it took for me to learn those, but I’m sure it took a little bit of time to figure out.
WSM: There’s got to be a way to determine this scientifically but we’re still working with NASA to figure it out… In your opinion, do you have the biggest airs in the game? If not who does?
Hunter: Haha! I am definitely known for my airs. I am not sure if they are the biggest or not, but they sure are up there!
WSM: Can you give any advice to riders that want to go as big as you do? For the love Hunter… tell us what we need to do!?
Hunter: A helium-infused board really helps! The trick to getting an air, or making your airs bigger, is to have the proper technique. When I’m doing an air I scoot to the back of the wave so that I have room to pump forward and generate enough speed to get airborne. I pump forward as hard as I can, and when I hit the portion of the wave that I want to jump from, I drive my entire body upwards. Throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care!!!! Drive your front leg up as high as you can with your back leg following. Try and open your body up to the boat as well by pushing your front foot away from the wave as you jump. This will help out when it comes to style and amplitude.
WSM: You competed throughout the 2017 season and did very well. Which events were your favorite? Can you tell us why?
Hunter: The Wake Shredder Throw Down is always a blast! That’s the event closest to me and the one that I really like to go to, it’s always a good time! Most people camp at the event site making it a much more social event. The venue is awesome, the water is plenty deep, and there is no issue when it comes to seeing the course. You can watch start to finish no problem. Plus, I love to camp. So, when I get to camp AND wake surf, I’m sold.
WSM: Do you have any hobbies off the water?
Hunter: Now that college has started I spend most of my free time studying. But, I love to hunt, camp, go wheeling, shoot, hike, explore, and adventure. I love to be outside and the town that I live in has a lot of awesome things to do if you’re an outdoorsman.
WSM: What type of boat are you riding and can you clue us in on your ballast setup?
Hunter: I switch back and forth between Supreme and Centurion. Mainly I surf on a Supreme S238. I just sold our 2017 Supreme S238 and am currently riding a 2018 RI237. I LOVE the Supremes! My ballast in that boat was not stock. I switched the standard ballast bags in the rear with 1,000-pound sacks and also plumbed in two 250 pound sacks under each side seat within the boat. I also had 300 pounds of Wake Ballast in it. My set up for surfing was having the boat completely level, with the rear sacks and the 250’s completely full along with both hard tanks full and 50% in the center tank. My quick surf for regular was at 95 and the goofy side was at 100 at the speed of 11.3 or more. For the 2018 RI237, I have the rear plug and play 100% full, surf side ramfill at 100% and the offside ramfill I have at 95%. Center tank around 50%. Speed 11.4, center tab can be wherever, depending on the riders preference. Quick surf at 95% regular and 100% goofy.
WSM: If you had your choice of music when riding, what would it be?
Hunter: Definitely country music! I love country music! Honestly though, I’ll listen to almost anything.
WSM: Where would you like to see wakesurfing go in the future?
Hunter: I would love to see more competitions and bigger competitions, I really wish there would be more spectators as well. It would be awesome if the local communities came out to watch us compete on their home turf. I would also like to see big companies that sponsor other sports like wakeboarding sponsor surfing. Getting big-name sponsors that everyone in the world knows about would be awesome.
WSM: What advice would you give a newcomer to the sport that’s looking to progress and learn new tricks?
Hunter: Don’t give up on yourself. Try hard, but also have fun with it. Wakesurfing is FUN! If you are not having fun while you are practicing or competing, you shouldn’t be in this sport. My biggest pet peeve when it comes to wake surfing is seeing angry riders. It is completely okay to be upset or mad for a very short amount of time, but there is no reason to freak out or throw your gear. So, as a beginner just have FUN and you will go far in the sport and in life! If you’re having fun you will want to keep riding which in turn will enhance your level of riding.
WSM: What tricks are you working on? Anything you feel like lettings us know about?
Hunter: I am determined to land a shuv based trick, I want one so bad!!!! That is my goal this winter, to land some sort of shuv based trick. I don’t want to be one of those guys that does skim style tricks on a surfboard though because it’s not my thing. I just want to keep my surf style and amplitude but also be able to throw some cool spinny tricks in there too!
WSM: Do you have any sponsors, friends, or family you’d like to thank?
Hunter: Of course! I owe everyone in this sport a huge thank you! So many people helped me in some way or another. A big thank you go to my amazing parents for allowing me to compete in this amazing sport and supporting me every step of the way. Another huge thank you goes to my family, and surf family. My family is very supportive and I love that they pay attention to my sport and continue to watch me live and ask how my riding is going! Also, my “surf family” who I consider to be my family as well. They’re an amazing group of people, we all help each other in so many ways!!! And last, but most definitely not least, I want to throw a HUGE shout out to my INCREDIBLE sponsors. Blusurf, Gator Step, Wake Ballast, Supreme Boats and Centurion Boats, – without you guys, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this! You all rock!
WSM: Would you like to plug any social media?
Hunter: Instagram: hunterclement98. Snapchat: huntsclement
We want to thank Hunter for giving WSM his time and we look forward to seeing more of him as he continues to progress in his career and push wakesurfing into the future!