WSM: Let’s start with our typical interview questions. What’s your name, where are you from, and how long have you been wakesurfing?
Stacia: Stacia Bank. Pronounced stay-sha. However, I’ve enjoyed the creative variety: stee-sha, stah-kee-ah, stacy-ah ? I’m originally from Wisco (Wisconsin) but live in MN now – Lake Minnetonka. I first tried wakesurfing 100 years ago on a 9’ ocean board following a boat driving in a slow circle around the lake with all the friends piled on one side. Thank goodness boards and boats have advanced. I picked up wakesurfing more seriously in 2010 after accidentally winning am worlds in Minnesota.
WSM: Prior to wakesurfing, were you doing any other towed watersports?
Stacia: Oh yes. I had to waterski around the lake in order to get my ears pierced so lake life started early. The lake has always been my favorite place. I’ve done it all except the air chair. I just couldn’t get excited about the strap.
WSM: Do you remember the first time you experienced wakesurfing? Was it love at first sight or did it take a while for you to catch on?
Stacia: The 9′ ocean board coupled with the small wave didn’t lend itself to the most exciting experience. It was cool to try but I didn’t do it again for many years.
WSM: What as the first trick you learned and how long did it take you to get it?
Stacia: Well, I really didn’t know there were official tricks for wakesurfing when I started. It was all about just playing when the lake was too bumpy to ski or wakeboard. The first trick I really actually worked on was a 360. The elusive 3.
WSM: Is the competition scene something you’ll be hitting in 2018? Or do you enjoy freeriding more?
Stacia: Freeriding with friends is always the most fun but I’ll do a combination.
Photo: Ryan Taylor
WSM: Wakesurfing has probably taken you many exciting places. If you could pick just one as your favorite, where would it be and why?
Stacia: I really enjoyed the Malibu Vienna Pro. I like going places I’ve never been. We had a chance to explore the city on hotel rental bikes which was really fun. The comp was interesting because the Danube was rising so fast. The current was insane. The Malibu M235 plowed through and we still saw great riding.
WSM: Do you have any hobbies off the water?
Stacia: Definitely. I’m a firm believer in variety to keep it fresh. I embrace the seasons and love fat biking, skiing, snowmobiling, cc skiing, snowshoeing, hockey, etc. Our garage is pretty gear heavy.
WSM: Your sponsors, Phase 5 and Malibu Boats, are some of the biggest names in the game. What has life been like as a professional athlete?
Stacia: I’m very grateful to have the support of Malibu and Phase 5. They’re so much more than sponsors, though. Both companies are comprised of genuine, solid people who have a passion for water. The team managers, Bryant from Malibu and Drew from Phase 5, created teams of amazing people, who enjoy spending time together. This makes photo shoots, comp travel, etc fun. I get to spend time with great people, we play on boats with killer waves and ride super fast, agile boards.
WSM: What type of boat are you riding and can you clue us in on your ballast setup?
Stacia: This season I’ll have the Malibu 24 MXZ. The ballast set up couldn’t be easier, I just hit “fill all” and turn surfgate on. Big cheers to the engineers at Malibu for creating a perfect wave with the touch of a button.
WSM: Do you enjoy riding skim or surf style more? Or, do you like them both for different reasons?
Stacia: I definitely gravitate toward Surf but I really enjoy doing both. Again, the variety is so fun.
WSM: If you could take one celebrity wakesurfing with you who would it be and why?
Stacia: Pink. Her music can always be heard during our girls day surf sets and she just seems fun. I’m also a little curious to see if she could do some of her trapeze stunts off the boat tower.
WSM: If you had your choice of music when riding, what would it be?
Stacia: For some reason, I like to skim to country and surf to Keesha radio
Photo: Ryan Taylor
WSM: Where would you like to see wakesurfing go in the future?
Stacia: I would say events to keep it fun. More rider-driven fun formats. The LF Pro in MN is unique because it’s a free ride format judged by the riders. It creates a sense of comrade and is drama free. I think you can keep wakesurfing casual/chill and still get the big tricks. Don’t turn it into figure skating. 😉
WSM: What advice would you give a newcomer to the sport that’s looking to progress and learn new tricks?
Stacia: Take a lesson. There are some tricks that took me way too long to learn and if I had just known one tip, I could have saved a lot of gas.
WSM: What tricks are you working on? Anything you feel like lettings us know about?
Stacia: I like to play on both sides of the wave. The Malibu surf band has really allowed me to incorporate transfers into my run without pause for communicating with the driver. I like trying new tricks on the goofy side of the wave because it’s fun.
WSM: Do you have anyone you’d like to thank for supporting you along the way?
Stacia: For sure. I’d like to thank the crew at Malibu and MN Inboard, the Smetts family from Phase 5 and Drew Danielo for giving me the opportunity, North Shore Marina for making fuel stops more fun, Crosspoint Marine for a fast/reliable lift, Glidesoul for a punch of color in a world of black neoprene, Oakley for keeping the eyes covered year round (shades and goggles), Jolyn clothing for suits with drawstrings, Union protein for making a nutritious snack, and Agenda for great traction.
I also have to thank my cute husband for loving surf date mornings as much as I do and tolerating my music. And to my parents for instilling the love of water, adventure and always encouraging me to try something new. And our kiddos for being excited to surf with me. A giggling surf buddy is my favorite.
WSM: Would you like to plug any social media?
Stacia: You can find me on Insta, Twitter or Facebook @StaciaBank. I would also recommend checking out Malibu boats, Phase 5 Wakesurfers, MN Inboard, Glidesoul, Agenda, NS Marina Minnetonka, Crosspoint Marine Co, Union Protein, Northcoast USA, Vuzamedia, Jolyn Clothing, Oakley and Wakepictures on insta.