Name: Austin Keen
Hometown: Tybee Island, GA
Currently Living In: Dana Point, CA
Sponsors: Liquid Force, OneWake.com, Trace, Clarion, Capt. Marco Thompson -SD
# of years riding for Liquid Force: 2
Your background is in skimboarding? How has that translated to wakesurfing?
I've only been wakesurfing for two years but all of my wave knowledge from skimboarding has helped me transition right into riding the wake of a boat even though it’s different from an ocean wave. The tricks I was already doing on ocean waves like shuvits, big spins, airs, etc.. these tricks translated easy for me going from the ocean to wake.
Which boat are you typically riding behind? What is the ballast setup?
When I’m at home in Southern California I usually ride in Mission Bay, San Diego with Marco Thompson. His boat is an Axis T22 and it creates a beautifully shaped wake. He puts several ballast bags in the boat in addition to the stock ballast system. A lot of weight in the boat is needed since we’re riding in saltwater, which is much more buoyant.
You now have your own pro model board. How does it feel?I feel really fortunate to have been able to work with such a great team of people at Liquid Force. It was an honor to work with Jimmy Redmond in creating all kinds of prototypes and dialing down exactly what felt perfect under my feet. The talented artists at Liquid Force also helped me come up with artwork for the board. It is super clean and simple but has a rootsy, natural look to it.
It has been really awesome to hear all the positive feedback from happy customers who have bought ‘The Keen’ over the past couple months since it first released. I’ve had a couple people say it’s the best board they’ve ridden. It feels amazing to know I got to play a major part in the creation.
What size of the Keen board are you riding? Fin configuration?
52’’ - No fins... but I’ve been playing around with the fins a little bit for fun, mostly because they look so cool! haha
Which LF board were you previously riding?
52” TC Skim
When designing this board what characteristics were you looking for?
Something with a fair amount of surface area to carry lots of cruisy momentum, yet still keeping an aggressive shape for performance riding, snappy turns, and fast, poppy tricks.
Have you tried any of the other new 2017 LF boards? Which boards do you like?
All the 2017 boards are sick. I got to try the Dart in Minnesota for the first time and was having a blast. It was super easy to break the tail loose and pop some nice lofty airs. After a couple of club sodas I like to hop on the Guapo for a total cruise sesh and just hang 5 for like 4 miles or until the driver switches the wake on me hahaha.
The Keen is the board for you if…
You want a skim style board that is fast, easy to ride, and limitless in performance.
What exciting stuff do you got planned for the next year? Any more viral videos?
I’m actually working on a video right now that I can’t wait to share. I’ll definitely be including a “Don’t try this at home” disclaimer in the beginning. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to know when I release all of my latest videos. I usually post my videos on YouTube before I release them on Instagram or Facebook.
Anything else you want to add?
A big shoutout to Marco Thompson for playing a huge role in my success in wakesurfing. Also, thanks to Reed Morales and all my sponsors. A huge thank you to everyone who likes, comments, and shares all of my videos.