We caught up with Pro Wakesurfer Chad Hudson while he was at his winter home in Arizona.

You’ve got Bryce and I’m with Chad Hudson on the Wake Surfing podcast.

Hello Bryce, I’m doing excellent Thank you.

As you can see, by my nice flowers I’m going for the between two ferns thing vibe. More of a Fresh cut flower Friday sort of idea.

It looks great Bryce.

Thanks man, I’m trying to be prettier if you know what I mean.

Yeah well you typically want to put that [the flower] behind your ear, I think.

Okay, I’ll work on that. Let’s do this again tomorrow and I’ll try it again. So… I know where you are but tell the people where in the world you are man?

I’m in Phoenix Arizona, just outside of Lake Pleasant… About 20 minutes away from Lake Pleasant.

Oh Nice… I’m looking at the back yard [Chad is in his backyard on video]. You have the nicest setup. You want to explain your setup a little bit, like what you got going on there?

Sure Well, this is Camp Hudson South, and you can see…well we got an Ri 245 sitting there. Can you see that?

It’s beautiful… yeah, so basically. [Scans around back yard]

This is the official Canadian embassy here in Phoenix. Surf embassy.

So… We live in Canada but come down here for as much time in the winter, as we possibly can to wake surf. We have lots of guests, we just most recently had some Russians here and we kind of look forward to having visitors throughout the winter and take them out surfing. 

It’s a great setup here Connor Burns is our neighbor, he lives… well soon to be building house across the street, but he lives about 50 yards away from us.


It’s a great place. The Swanson bros are here, Cameron and Taylor… We have Angie and Mike Viland, It’s got a really good surf scene here. Its great. This is the coldest time of year, so the water right now it’s like as cold, as it gets. It is probably 60 degrees right now but tomorrow’s 80 degrees outside, so I expect the water to start warming up and we’re sort of over the hump right now.

[Chad scans video over to boat parking area.] 

I know that area fairly well. It’s changed a little bit since I have been there. I can’t get down there but…

Yeah, you used to park there.

Yes, exactly. So hopefully when this is all over we’re sharing a few cocktails.  Right now we are sharing them digitally. 

We certainly miss you Bryce. All of Arizona misses you.

I miss you too and I miss a lot of Arizona.

In fact, I see fewer trump flags and actually these people… There’s a whole movement that it just says Bryce. Like I mean instead of Trump on the back of pickup trucks and things like that it’s Bryce.

Well, I hope I can be back. I’m stuck today in a rainy ass Vancouver and it’s living up to its name.  I saw Lily Anderson the other day, which was super RAD and she was going on about how everything is everything so green here. I told her it was Green for a reason. There’s better places to be at this time of year but there’s probably worse places to be like what used to typically be your winter home Calgary.

Yeah, yeah. Due to Covid I’m not in Calgary. It’s been you know tragic about Covid  but it’s been the greatest winter ever for Chad Hudson. 

AHH… Dude I’m stoked for you. Speaking about Chad Hudson you’re a pro wakesurfer.

An old one… yup.

But, but that’s got to be an amazing accomplishment. What year did you turn pro. You actually didn’t turn pro, they kicked you into pro. Let’s be honest about this. They said no more messing around in outlaw.  You’re going pro.

I was like a late bloomer. I didn’t start wake surfing untill I was 35, so I think it was 2017 or 2018. No, no, no 2017. I think I’ve been pro for about three years now.

That’s awesome.

Yeah, I’m currently the age of masters as of this year.  You know, I remember back when I was in amateur, outlaw or something like that.  When you turn 40 you could become a Masters but they saw me coming, and so they raised the limit incrementally.  Every year from 40 all the way up to 45 every year, so like I never got to go to masters, but now that I’m officially of age to be masters… I don’t know that I’ll go there, so I think I got a year or two left in me before before I go to masters.

You don’t want to scare any of them, like threaten it? I think, I feel you should threaten it.

Well, the thing is is like… The way I think about it is it’s hard when you live in North America to think about whether you’re an amateur or an outlaw… you’re typically… well up to this point, and I think that its about to change. Like you don’t benchmark yourself against the top five guys in the world, we should benchmark yourself against the global situation, and right now there’s just that… [my dogs are freaking out I don’t know if you’re hearing that.] 

Yeah, that’s okay.

Okay, I hope you can still hear me but. Yeah, the dogs they’re there…  They’re currently trying to kill bunnies over there…

But anyway, the way I think about it…  I’m still a competitive pro, I feel like I finished pretty good in the Covid world.  I had a top 10 finish last year, but… uh the way I look at it is I’m still competitive in Afghanistan and well, I shouldn’t sell myself short. I’m still competitive. I’m not going to be the best or anything like that, but it keeps pushing me, so I think it’s the right division for me to be in and I don’t want to hang it up yet because… You know… My whole goal is not to humiliate myself.  And, I get a kick out of… I like going out to the staging boat with Tyler Stewart and Sean Silveira, Keenan… It’s just sort of like… The novelty of that doesn’t wear off so I’m gonna hang in there for another year or two.

I hundred percent think you deserve to be there, and I’m stoked that you’re there dude. I think it’s awesome.

Thanks man!!

Speaking of global stuff, you used to be a part of the CWSA. I know that probably some circumstances… It was a lot, and you got a lot going on… you’re like a man of the people, but do you want to speak to the CWSA… about some of that stuff… I know you can’t speak for them officially but what was your time like with them?

Yeah, well first… first of all, I think I… Probably around 2015… I joined and became a board member of the CWSA. Maybe, i’m just cuffing it… But it was a rewarding experience for me to do it. I learned a ton and I’m passionate about the sport and the way I viewed it is our family, you know Evan, Nicole, and I participate in all these events and someone’s making these events happen, and it’s really the CWSA so I figured it was my time to volunteer some of my time and leverage some of my contacts to try and help keep competitive wake surfing moving. So, it was a great experience.  I met so many amazing people and what impressed me most was the talent of the board at the CWSA.  So many people since I quit… because you know… I think I did a three year term or so, but it was a lot of work and I also am involved in Kanuk Board Co… and I have a real job and I’m a family man and a husband… so all those things… you know.  You, (Chad) Have a lot going on and an ambitious travel schedule, so I had to let one of them go… and then you know I felt I did my turn with the CWSA, but it really impressed me the caliber people on the CWSA. It was a great experience for me. I think you know… it’s pretty easy to point to things to do the CWSA could do better, but for those people who say that I would tell them that they should really then, take their time to make it. Get involved, but by volunteering. So it’s all volunteer… it’s often very thankless but rewarding in the sense that you are making a difference and without those volunteers the CWSA doesn’t exist, and I think, without a doubt, any CWSA sanctioned event in my mind has the highest caliber of wake surfing you’ll see anywhere, and there are other platforms that are certainly competing for the CWSA but I don’t think they serve the interests of wake surfing as well as the CWSA does because it’s run by wake surfers. They’re not former wake borders they’re not… there’s no corporate interest in there and it’s a great organization and I think as you know, everybody deserves… well everybody really should give John Shields a shout out. For those of you who know him or he does an extraordinary amount of work. He’s made a commitment over the five or six years that he’s been involved with CWSA. Really it wouldn’t be there, without him, and it won’t be if he leaves so you know people have to recognize that if they enjoy the sport, they should put their hand up and if they think they have something to offer or expertise, or whatever so.

Absolutely John is probably one of the… I think the biggest silent hero in the sport of wake surfing like the things that he does and accomplishes behind the scenes, nobody has a clue. I’m texting him at midnight Pacific time with issues when it comes to a bunch of the online contests which we had to go to this year he’s answering. It’s like three o’clock in the morning.


I don’t think the man has slept in five years. And all he’s done is kind of worked, which is…

I don’t think he does. I mean we all benefit from what he does. I had the pleasure of surfing with him(John), and now I don’t even think he has time to surf because he’s too busy administering all these events. You know I got to spend a few summers with him in Wisconsin for a week here and there and it was always great fireside chats with him. He’s a very interesting guy and he’s passionate about wake surfing, and he is hyper intelligent.

We are going to get him on this podcast at some point, because John’s amazing. 


Why don’t you tell us about some of your involvement in Kanuk Board Co. I know if we’re going to go through a list of sponsors that they would be number on the top of the list there.

Yeah, sure. Cody Inman called me in like 2016 and said hey we’re starting a board company in Canada and we would like your family to help us design the boards and maybe try them out to see if they are any good this type of thing. So we got involved in the early design process of the skim boards and with Matt Ball and Paul Laviolette and it was just an awesome experience. Helping out. You know they would send me boards like a red one, green one, yellow one and Cody and I would go back and forth and provide feedback and each of them would have different rockers different rails and we would provide feedback. You know it’s an iterative process and then at the end of the day, like they were doing this with like several different boards, with different athletes and I think it was awesome. Like I view Kanuk as a really grassroots rider driven company and I thought it was really cool. I told him i’m not looking for anything and they said no, no, no we’re gonna make you a board that you love so. Anyway, I ended up getting a board that I love and that’s the current board I ride today and it’s also the current board that many world champions have ridden. Cameron Swanson and Tyler Stewart, you have Taylor Swanson riding that board, not one of them asked for a single change so to me that’s like Hats off to Cody Inman and just a couple Canadians sitting in a basement sort of thing whittling boards and Paul Laviolette of course one of the founders of the company. Yeah, I mean later it evolved into where it started growing pretty rapidly and they asked (Chad) they needed some more partners, and so I and  Eric Anderson added a financial interest in the company. It was sort of one of those things like such a great idea, and maybe  without a little capital injection it may not have… You never realized its full potential that it… you know every day it grows, you know our riders around the world… It’s just mind blowing to see it. What’s happened with a little Canadian bord company

Bryce Wagner: So I don’t.

So, I don’t know what your numbers are like but like it seems every year it’s doubling and doubling and doubling and doubling.

Like it’s crazy. 

Yeah, I mean it started out as a pet project for all of us, I think, but now it’s become something much larger and you know it’s just like a matter of pride for me, you know what… I like to see, it’s like it’s just like a company that my wife, she cares about what riders say and we have riders influence on the direction of the company and what the designs look like and things like that and we’re definitely supporters of competitive wake surfing and we’re actually like you know, the people who are involved with Kanuk are actually wake surfers they’re not wakeboarders they’re not anything else, like we’re Canadian wakesurfers so that’s what we do.

Yeah and I think you guys are more than Canadian Wakesurfers now. Everybody’s pretty international that’s involved. It’s crazy where your brand reaches to. Your reach is far and wide. I was in Japan. There’s Kanuk boards everywhere there. I know Russia has got boards everywhere… all the stuff i’m seeing out of Dubai, there’s Kanuk boards… It’s pretty incredible to watch.

I like it.

It’s cool man.

Yeah, it’s remarkable and I think that people recognize that, like we’re at the events were competing were talking to the athletes, we’re taking them out for pulls, I can’t tell you how many people introduced to the boards on our boat. It’s great.  When I get to meet all these people in person it’s like a family, you know someone who has a Kanuk board, that’s your only connection and then they come and stay with you for weeks and you have the time your life.


You know we just had Georgie and Christina and Alex from Russia here, and it was remarkable and the only relationship I had with them before that was just through our boards.

That’s pretty awesome. Back to some of the comp stuff.

Like if we were to review… like you’ve been active for a lot of years I’ve known you for a lot of years and seen you around everywhere, What is your favorite comp you’ve ever been to. Like there’s been some doozies but… I know you’re going to probably answer a lot of them, but if you can pinpoint just one.

That I definitely have to say 2014 or 2015 worlds in Las Vegas. That was probably the crescendo of any wakesurf competition that I’ve ever seen it was incredible. I was an amateur and it was really awesome… like I mean it was at lake Las Vegas and we had a riot and I don’t know if that was ever… but i’m not gonna make you listen to me mention some other ones, because I think that was a special time. You know Rick Lee. I mean, I think we all have to thank him, everybody who attended that event. That was insane he was the former owner of Centurion boats, it was amazing. Wheelbarrow full of $100,000 cash…

Private jet flying in. 

Blazing the river. It was awesome. I really enjoyed it.  I really enjoyed wakeshredder

I saw a photo of you posted the other day of you in first place, our friend Rob in second and some guy that’s not that bad at wakesurfing Jake Caster.

Yeah, Yeah.

You know he turned out to be not that bad of rider but there is these Canadians standing over him.

I know, and I will never let him forget about it… and I think he’s sick of it. Every year I post… like remember that time I beat you Jake Caster… but I like to rattle his cage. When we get to the stage with him…, I always remind him of that moment. I think it wears on him.  These young guys….

Absolutely yeah I don’t know if the if the younger as mentally tough as we originally thought.

Sorry my wife’s calling me.  Once I can ignore, like several times…

But anyway, other really cool contests like Koocanusa was great. The Arizona events are fabulous. Nicole’s hosted the Wild West Shoot Out surf event. They’re fabulous here it’s accessible like I don’t know it’s tough to just pick one.

What are your plans for the summer man.

Well, we are really excited we have a new ride, the 265 in Canada, in Chestermere. One thing I enjoyed about Covid last summer and the restrictions on travel was we got to go revisit our favorite Canadian lakes, so I hope to go to Chilliwack to see Kanuk and spend a lot more time in the Okanagan where you’re at. So we will be towing around a Centurion 265, so I’m super pumped about that. I’ve been on that boat handful of times, Ben from Wake Ballast, he has one right now we have the 245. It’s fun to ride. I love the 245, it’s amazing. It’s similar to our 257 but the as far as the wave goes, the 265 is like a whole level up.  It’s illegal. Its Yacht Certified. There’s not even a comparison to these two. These ones are truly game changers.  Centurions done a good job.

I know that the 265 is yacht certified. They kind of always want to do to the big boat yacht surfing challenge. You’re going to have one of those buddy. It’s gonna be pretty awesome.

Well yeah, they are awesome. That I know.

Awesome. Well things are looking good down there. I’m stoked man.  I miss you guys dearly.

Anything else we got to know about Chad Hudson like there’s some rumours or anything you got any good dirt on anyone, I know you got a roommate Toli.  Clearly something going on shady down there. 

Yeah the King of Lake Minnetonka has been staying here all winter and I certainly enjoy his company.  So glad he rides Kanuk boards now, so we don’t have to ride the Toli Twist anymore.  But yeah, it’s been a riot having him here. Nicole’s in Florida, right now, otherwise I would have her say hi. She says she’s having a remarkable time. She’s hanging out with Keenan and Sean, Christina and Alex and Wakesurf Orlando having a blast. 

I can’t wait until I can get traveling again because I can’t remember the last time I spent this long in one country.  Awesome man. Any last shout outs or anything you want to say to the people… like the hundreds of millions… We probably are up to like 7 million subscribers now. I don’t know.

Yeah, at least that. Well, all I gotta say is I can wait till Covid is over, so I can see… You know many of my friends that I met through wake surfing… Marcus in Vienna… you know I can’t wait to go back and hang out with the Hong Kong crew at Mass Star.  You know there’s so many places, I want to see. I want to go… yeah, I miss all my friends that I haven’t been able to see due to the travel restrictions. You included Bryce so…

Miss you to buddy. 

Just everybody hang in there. I look forward to the competitive wake surfing scene picking up again, so we can all get together and do our thing.

Awesome, I really appreciated this.

Yeah, no problem Bryce. We’ll chat soon.