Trevor and Reed and their lives on the water.
The names Trevor and Reed Hansen have been well known in the watersports world for nearly two decades. Born and raised on the water, the brothers share much more than most siblings. Their lives and careers have been interconnected because of their watersports upbringing, and even when they went different paths (Reed pursued professional wakeskating while Trevor continued wakeboarding), the two still remained as close as ever. Much of that revolved around their common boat sponsor, Supra, and their ties to the Pro Wakeboard Tour.
Those on-water ties are hard to avoid when your parents were professional show skiers. Now 32, Trevor first got up on skis at the tender age of 6 months. Reed, five years younger, wasn't "thrown to the wolves" like Trevor, as the elder brother puts it. He was practically old when he learned at 3. Needless to say, the two have probably spent as much time on the water as they have off.
Trevor started riding a wakeboard when he was 10 and began taking it seriously a year or two later. By 12, he was competing in events, and at 16 he was riding on the PWT. Reed started wakeboarding at 4 and landed his first tantrum at 6, which to this day still bums him out because he wasn't the youngest ever to land an invert (that award goes to Phil Soven, age 5 years, 11 months). By 1998 Reed was riding in local grassroots contests, and when the Junior Boys category was added to the WWA events in 1999, Reed was riding with the likes of Bob Soven. Trevor went on to compete on the PWT for 14 years, while Reed pushed his wakeskating career to unimaginable heights.
These days much of their watersports lives are coming full circle — and the lifestyle they've lived personally and professionally is as important to them as ever. Trevor started driving for the PWT when Supra became the title sponsor in 2015. Reed has rejoined the PWT the past couple of years as a competitive wakesurfer and wakeboarding judge. More importantly for both of them, though, is that they're enjoying time on the water in their boats with their families, regularly heading out together and passing their passion on to the next generation of Hansens and friends. We spent some time with the brothers to learn a bit more about their stories and what the future holds.
You guys have not only grown up on the water together but have been able to turn the watersports lifestyle into careers. What does that mean to you, personally and professionally?
TH: It's pretty much everything. I look back at some of the decisions my parents made early on that helped lead me into being able to do watersports as a living, and it makes me look at the decisions I'm making for my kids now. Being out on the boat every day really means everything to me.
While my wife and I didn't do exactly what my parents did with me — we let the girls choose when they want to try and stuff like that — we're still instilling in them the lifestyle of being on the water. If Taylin says, "I want to go wakeboard today," then we go do it. There's no better joy than that. She's started bringing her friends so she can teach them now too. It's awesome to see them have that love and passion. Just getting our family out together on the boat does so much for the family dynamic. We love being on the boat together and enjoying the lifestyle, whether we're wakeboarding, wakesurfing, tubing or just going for a cruise.
RH: My history and how I was raised are really special for me too. It's like I'm part of the family business. I joke all the time that I didn't have a choice, but that isn't the case. It's just really cool that my parents chose that lifestyle. My dad was working for Regal at the time, and we weren't living on a lake. One day he just made a decision that he wanted his family to grow up on a lake and live that lifestyle. I couldn't imagine my life had my parents not moved onto the lake and started operating their camp. I've grown up surrounded not only by the lifestyle, but the professional sport and industry as well, and I love it all. I'm really blessed that I've been able to combine it all into a way to make a living.
Supra is the longest-running sponsor for each of you. What has it been like to have that kind of relationship with a boat company?
TH: I first signed with Supra in 2003, so this is my 15th year with them. The sport has changed so much in 15 years, so to be with one brand and see all that together has been really cool. To be able to give input and help with R&D and design have been incredible. That's why the relationship is so strong — they trust us and we trust them. When I first signed with them, they didn't have a huge team, but they were pulling the Gravity Games and had a ton of potential. I just don't think many people saw it at the time. Now they're a market leader and innovating in cool, unique ways, and they're leading the way with the PWT. Supra has a true passion for the sport — they always have — and it's really cool to align yourself with a company like that for so many years.
RH: Supra was actually my first real wakeskating sponsor. It was 2005. I came on a couple of years after Trevor. My dad had Supra boats at the camp, and we were able to make it happen with me being an unknown in terms of wakeskating. They sponsored me even before Cassette wakeskates. So I feel like I'm part of the Supra family, and there is this trust there, like we've done a lot together and been there for each other. It's really cool. It's not like with other sponsors where it can feel quick or fleeting. Supra is very much a family business, and they treat us like family. I'm forever grateful for that.
Do you have a favorite Supra memory together?
TH: I got a bunch of 'em! We did a trip to Ireland to film an episode of Pull TV in 2007, and it was pretty awesome for a variety of reasons. The weather wasn't great, the water was cold, and Reed almost killed me while driving a RIB boat as a chase boat, but we still had a blast the entire time.
RH: Why does that always get brought up?! What's funny is you guys still ask me to drive chase boats to this day! Ireland was pretty awesome. The people over there were so nice and excited to have us. For me, any trips I got to do with Ben Greenwood when he was riding for Supra were really cool. I always liked getting to hang out with him and watch him ride.
What has the PWT meant to each of you in your careers?
TH: The PWT has been a huge part of my career just based on the fact that I put a lot of focus on it. I'm very competitive, and I took riding on the PWT really seriously because I always wanted to go out and try my best to win. It meant a lot because it was a big deal to me. But I also got involved behind the scenes and tried to help however I could because the sport meant a lot to me too. It wasn't just about winning. I wanted the sport to grow and get better too. I'd meet with the organizers and other riders and try to come up with ways to improve the PWT, whether it was the riding format, judging criteria, event ideas or anything else.
What's funny is how much the PWT meant to me as a pro, but how poorly I did at the events over the years. I never did well, never won one. I did much better at other events like Nationals or Worlds. So when Supra signed on to pull the PWT, I got really excited because I thought I'd be able to ride really well, but then I had some injuries, which lead to me driving that first year in 2015. Come 2016, I thought about trying to qualify, but after talking with Supra about it more, I realized it was probably best if I stayed in the driver's seat. They were really happy having me there and I really enjoyed it.
RH: Well, I happen to have two awesome guitars, so the PWT has meant a lot to me too! I won both of them on the 2006 PWT when they were pulling wakeskating with a SeaDoo. The last stop was in Portland, where I landed five different flip tricks in my run, which is a rarity even today. But the PWT has meant a lot to me regardless of if I was riding on it or not. I'm a fan of wakeboarding, wakeskating and wakesurfing, and I keep up with it all. My brother and I being as close as we are, I always paid attention to how he and other riders were doing.
What has it been like watching the PWT from different vantage points the past couple of years as a driver and judge?
TH: Even though I'm not competing, it's still really fun to be a part of it and be there to witness it. I can see the emotion on the riders' faces and totally relate, whether they're pumped on landing something or frustrated that they didn't. I also have a front-row seat to some of the most epic riding in the world, which has been incredible to witness the past few years.
One moment that will always stick out in my mind is when Tony Iacconi won his first PWT event. I've known him since he was a little kid; I first met him and his family when I was in Australia. After that he started coming over to stay with me and ride and train, and we spent a lot of time together over the years. To see him take that first win, I was so proud. It was awesome.
RH: I love being part of the tour, both wakesurfing and as a judge. It's just fun to be around everybody and interact with new fans. To be able to judge wakeboarding now is especially cool, though. The riding is incredible. The final stop last year was just nuts. Mike Dowdy and Nic Rapa both put down flawless runs in the finals, each landing two doubles. Harley Clifford was last off the dock, and everybody knew he wouldn't only need a perfect run, but he'd need three doubles in that perfect run to secure the win and overall title. Watching him put that run together and landing that toeside double back roll on his last trick was unbelievable.
Trevor, you were the first rider ever to land a double flip wake-to-wake in 2010. What’s it like seeing where double flips have gone since then?
TH: Well, it confirms that I should definitely be in the driver's seat and not competing! It's just a testament to how good these guys are. They're training harder than ever and the wakes are bigger than ever. Put that together and you've got the best riding in the history of the sport. The level they're at is unbelievable.
What does the future hold for both of you as industry guys and family men?
TH: Boaters for life. I already got the sticker. As for the PWT, hopefully it continues to grow. The crowds have improved the past few years, and the riding is just next level. It wasn't that long ago when I was talking with other riders on tour about being able to do tricks like the guys are doing now. Hopefully we can expand on all of that and continue to improve the experience for fans and spectators. I'm a firm believer that a sport like wakeboarding needs a pro tour to showcase and validate it.
For my family, I don't ever foresee a scenario where we don't live on a lake. It means too much to us now. Guaranteed, we'll be boating and doing watersports for years to come.
RH: Same here. My wife and I love watersports and boating. We’ll be doing it with our family in the future. Even if my career is over and I don’t have any sponsors anymore, I’d find a way to have a boat and take my family out. I would love nothing more than to pass my love for watersports onto my future children like my family passed on to me. That’s what it’s all about.