The Supra Boats PWT Champ talks about winning his first overall title
Cory Teunissen has been steadily improving his contest results over the last few years, and going into this season on the Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour he was considered a favorite to be amongst the top. The question about Cory was always about getting over that proverbial hump. Could he string together enough consistently to compete with the likes of Harley Clifford, Mike Dowdy, Tony Iacconi, and recent PWT stalwart Nic Rapa? Just before the season kicked off, Cory injured his shoulder, putting his chances in doubt. But Cory didn't let that deter him, in fact he says it helped him relax more when it came time to compete.
In epic fashion, the overall PWT title came down to the final run of the season. Going into the Warsaw stop, Cory was 2nd overall behind Nic Rapa. In order to win he needed to finish at least two spots better than Nic Rapa. Sitting in 3rd for the event, and down to his last run, Cory knew he had to put it all on the line, not only to try to win that event, but to win his first overall title. Despite the mental bombs going off in his head, Cory powered through and pulled off the improbable, making for one of the most exciting finishes to any PWT season.
What were your goals going into this year? In the back of your head you always want to win the whole tour. I'm competitive, I want to do the best I can in whatever I'm doing. But this year I tried to take a way more relaxed approach and go with the whole "whatever happens, happens" attitude. I actually injured my shoulder a couple weeks before the first stop, so I was bummed, but that also helped me stay in that more relaxed attitude.
Is that why you were riding with the shoulder brace all year? Yeah, I damaged my labrum, so the brace helps stabilize everything. It made this whole year a lot different compared to other years. I've been doing physical therapy on my shoulder regularly to help keep it strong so I can ride at a high level.
You took 4th at the first stop in Chandler. Did you take that as a good result or a frustrating one? To be honest, I was pretty stoked! Given the injury I'd just sustained and getting that result, it made me think I had a good shot going into the rest of the year. Obviously I didn't know when my next hard fall would happen and what that could do to my shoulder, but I felt like if I could stay consistent I could be right there with everybody else. I was on a "day-by-day" approach with the injury, but feeling good about my riding after Chandler, for sure.
The final at the second stop in Acworth was pretty nuts. You went out in your last run scored a 99.0. It seemed like everybody thought you won, yourself included, but Nic still had one run left and he scored a 99.5. What was that like? Nuts. I gained so much respect for Nic after Acworth. The conditions there can be pretty crazy, and I was just stoked to land the run I did, but there was a slight opening. Nic was able to capitalize on that and absolutely threw down. He deserved that win, it was insane to be a part of that final.
Did leaving that little opening and then losing help motivate you going into the third stop? Well, if I'm being perfectly honest, my mindset going into a contest is that if I do all my tricks to the best of my ability I have a really good chance of winning. In Acworth I didn't do everything I was capable of to get the win, so I knew that I could ride a little better going forward and hopefully do better. The mental aspect of competing has been a tough for me for a while, but I tried to take that confidence into each event, while having a that more relaxed approach. It's almost like the confidence in knowing how well you can do because of the time and effort you put in can help you relax and calm down some, if that makes sense.
That seemed to help in Mooresville because you went out and won. That put you in 2nd overall behind Nic. What were you thinking at that point? After winning Moorseville I definitely thought about winning the overall title. I knew I had a shot, but I knew that if Nic got second he would win overall, even if I would have won the last stop. I also knew that if I got first and he got second, that we would be tied for points, but that I would win the tiebreaker (higher podium finishes over the season).
What was your mindset going into Warsaw? Coming into it I tried to keep the same mindset I had the whole season. I tried to relax and take everything as easy as possible, but the day of the event I definitely felt it. I couldn't get away from it. I don't know if they were nerves or anxiety, but it sucked. Everybody was bringing up the overall title and talking to me about it, and it made it really hard for me to concentrate and clear my head. Plus, the PWT stops are packed with activity, there really isn't any time to get away from anything, so I couldn't escape the craziness. Heading into finals I was just thinking "Don't crash, don't crash!" and that's the worst mindset to have.
You were the top qualifier heading into the finals, which meant you'd be last off the dock. Did you know going into your final run that you were in 3rd and Nic was in 5th? Yeah, I knew, (laughing) but of course Harley had to come up and say it to me just as I'm about to jump off the dock! I knew I needed to move up to at least 2nd to win the Tour. It started to feel really overwhelming, but I knew I just needed to let go and go for it. Tony and Harley's runs were really good, and I knew it would just screw me up if I thought about what I would need to do to just move past Harley or something. The pressure was killing me mentally, so I had to let my physical capabilities and all the practice I'd put in pull me through, and it did. That was really cool for me, especially because the mental battles have been tough for me in the past. Knowing I've put in the work to where physical skills can help overcome mental craziness feels good.
Do you even remember anything you were thinking during your run? Once you landed the 1080 were you feeling it? After I stuck the 10 I was pumped, and I was thinking, man if I fall on the double half cab I'm gonna be pissed! I just made sure I did everything perfectly so I could seal the deal.The second I finished my run I was ecstatic, but everything happened so fast that I didn't even have time to take anything in really. I was on the boat coming back to the dock when the score was announced and I got mobbed by some of the other riders and all the judges. It was a really special moment, something I'll never forget.
What does it mean to you to be the PWT Champ? I've always have three main goals with my riding career: 1) PWT Champ, 2) Wakeboarder of the Year at Wake Awards, and 3) Trick of the Year at Wake Awards. So this means a lot to me. It's honestly so hard to explain how it feels, I find it hard to believe. Even a few weeks out, I still find myself thinking about it and smiling. It's pure stoke, it's pretty damn cool. To be part of the list of Overall champs like Darin Shapiro, Parks Bonifay, Phil Soven, Harley, and all the others is insane. The cherry on the top of it all for me was that the overall podium was all Aussie, which hasn't happened since Josh, Ike, and Daniel did it back in 2005.
What's next? We actually had a nice little break from contests after the last PWT stop. I didn't ride for a while, lived it up with the boys for a bit, and am just now getting back on my board to get ready for the final few events of the year. Worlds is in Japan in a couple weeks, so I'm looking forward to getting out there and trying to put down my best. After that we'll have a few days to try to land something for trick of the year… we'll see how that goes.
Cory’s 2018 PWT Results Chandler, AZ: 4th Acworth, GA: 2nd Mooresville, NC: 1st Warsaw, IN: 1st