Who is Randy Gibbs?..... A kneeboarder from North Carolina with a heavy southern accent and a big heart for the sport.
What is Randy Gibbs?..... A true competitor. On May 15th and 16th, a Kneeboard AAA clinic and fun tournament was held in North Carolina. Randy swept the competition in slalom and tricks. He will also be representing the U.S.A. in England at the Kneeboard World Cup this July.
For those in the know, Randy is a veteran of the sport as well as one of the most talented kneeboarders to date. Kneeboard World went dockside to talk with this kneeboard extremist.
Are you competing much this year?
Yes, I had taken a two year absence from the competitive scene because I was on the verge of burning out. I got lucky and met a great group of people known as the www.endofropegang.com here in NC and it brought a new desire to ride again. The group is mainly made up of wakebaorders and even though I am a kneeboarder they have always respected my passion for riding low. End Of Rope Gang taught me how to go back to the lake, have a good time, relax and have fun with what you are doing. I had gotten into a rut where it was nothing but total focus on training for several years. Although it was good for a while, it was leading me to a path of burnout. There are so many great riders within EORG that it has only pushed me to go bigger and try more things as well as go back and enter some tournaments. This year I plan on hitting the tournaments here in NC, maybe catch at least one tournament in FL and attend nationals as well. I also will be heading to England to compete in the international tournament.
What board are you riding on?
I just started riding the HO Joker about three weeks ago. I had rode the Neptune/Xplosion for years but finally broke my last board. The Joker is a good ride but it will take a little time to get the feel for the backwards pop and spins on the board.
Do you have any sponsors?
Sponsored by www.switchstancesports-promarine.com and www.endofropegang.com
I’ve seen a number of kneeboarders do a layout, but I’ve never seen them get as much air as you do. What’s your secret?
I am not sure if my layout is bigger than any one elses but I do try to kick it back as far as I can. I try to come into the wake with a nice progressive edge and ride it all the way up the wake. Then hesitate for just a split second. Then extend my arms and push my knees away hard in the opposite direction.
What do you think is your most impressive trick?
Layout to air layout, although I have only hit it once. Luckily we got it on tape.
I understand that you’re also a member of the Team Carolina Kneeboard Team. Can you tell us more about the team?
Team Carolina has been around for a long time. There have been so many national champions that have been associated with Team Carolina that I probably couldn't name them all. The Carolinas have always been a stronghold in kneeboarding. I know the Florida folks always dreaded seeing some Carolina boys show up at one of their tournaments but it has always made for some good rivalries.
How can someone get involved with Team Carolina?
Check out the web page and www.teamcarolina.us Dave Brunt is the pres. and his contact info should be on there.
Do you have a pet?
Was this a loaded question? Yea, I have a few pets. More like a petting zoo. We have 6 horses, 1 pony, 4 dogs, a pig, a retired bucking bull, some guineas and who knows what else around the farm.
What was the cause of the greatest pain you endured while kneeboarding so far?
I have taken a lot of hard falls and broke numerous boards but I took a fairly simple fall last year that jarred my back real bad. I missed about 6 weeks of kneeboarding and spent a lot of time at the chiropractor.
What’s the best recommendation you can give someone whom wants to take their kneeboarding to the next level?
Try to find someone to ride with that is better than you. If you cant find anyone then check out at least one tournament where there will be some top riders. That way you can see the potential. You will get motivated to step up your riding.
I know you’re friends with kneeboard legend Ted Bevelacqua. Can you shed a little light on the new kneeboard he’s working on?
I wish I had some info but Ted has been pretty quiet with details on his project. I keep trying to get a release date from him but I think he is still working out the details.
Married? Kneeboard Extreme little ones?
Yep, been married about eight years to a wonderful lady that I met at the lake. Where else would you find one? I also have a three year old little boy that is probably wilder and crazier than me.
Are you into any other sports?
I do a lot of other things. Wakeboard, barefoot, snowboard and I must admit I have a passion for rodeo/horses as well.
What would you like to see coming from kneeboard manufacturers?
Just a decent board. I would like to see a board with interchangable pads. Pads that are made for diff size riders with different ankle support options. Maybe even some type of gelpad.
Where can we expect to see Randy Gibbs riding this season?
I should be at my normal lakes here in NC., Kerr and Falls. Then I will be competing locally at tournaments and nationals. I think the highlight of the year will be the trip to England. I met so many great riders from over there last year that I can't wait to go over and ride against them again.
Can you give us your overall outlook on the sport of kneeboarding?
I have been kneeboarding for a long time now. I have been thru the ups and downs of kneeboarding. The ups being competing at pro tour stops, world championships, and going to a nationals that had over 70 qualified competitors. The downs being seeing so many great riders get burnt out due to lack of exposure and going to a nationals that would only have about 25 qualified riders. I honestly think there is still a place for kneeboarding but we have to take it to the next level. As much as I enjoy to slalom on a kneeboard it is not what a crowd wants to see nor will it keep them occupied to stay and watch a tournament. Freestyle kneeboarding boasts big tricks, grabs and a lot of style in a non-timed format. I dont know of anyone out there that wouldn't stop and stare at a kneeboarder going big and throwing huge tricks. I feel that there can be kneeboard tournaments held in conjunction with wakeboard tournaments that would allow us to really showcase what freestyle kneeboarding is all about. In my own opinion it is the only way that kneeboarding will finally get the respect it desereves.
If you would like to ask Randy a question or get some kneeboarding tips from him, he is a regular on the forum under the name 'kneeboardextreme'.