The Winning Drive

By Ted Sensenbrenner

Hang on! We're getting behind the wheel with one of wakeboarding's top professional drivers, Travis Moye.

photo of Travis Moye and his dog in a boat

As a tow-boat operator at major wakeboarding events and co-owner of The Boarding School, Travis Moye's job description includes cool titles such as professional driver, research and design consultant, and wakeboarding coach and mentor. But that's not where it all began. Travis started water skiing at age nine, made the U.S. Water Ski Team at age 13, and captured several national championship titles along the way. In his middle years at the University of Alabama, he was Captain of the Collegiate All-American Water Ski Team. When wakeboarding became the de rigueur water sport in the early 90s he transitioned easily and has been holding down a job in the industry ever since.

There's not much behind the wheel of a performance-oriented ski craft, or behind the boat, that Travis Moye hasn't experienced. And that's what makes the 39-year-old Florida resident so good at what he does. What exactly does he do, you ask? Well, a lot of it is what he doesn't do; that's what matters. When asked about his driving philosophy he doesn't take boat and rider safety for granted and he never forgets, or let anyone else forget, that he's responsible and in charge when he's behind the wheel.

photo of wakeboarder Travis Moye

Moye's philosophy is that if he can concentrate on driving, the rider can focus on the important things like learning a new trick, or winning a competition. "No matter how good a driver you think you are, there's always room for improvement. Never get complacent behind the wheel. You're directly responsible for people's safety, fun, and ability to improve. One thing I pride myself on, is the rider never having to worry about anything other than their ride. If you can do that, you've won the battle."

To help drivers be the best they can be, Travis shared with us some of the small things that make a huge difference when it comes to getting the proper boat set-up for maximum fun and enjoyment.

Where do you work now? Tell us how it all started.

TM: I co-own a wakeboard camp with Shaun Murray called The Boarding School (www.theboardingschool.com) on the east side of Orlando, Florida. We've been in business for eight years now and it really just started from a couple of guys interested in working together to provide a unique learning experience for all levels of riders.

photo of Travis Moye teaching a child how to wakeboard

What type of boats does the school use and what makes them ideal?

TM: We use a 2011 MasterCraft X Star at the camp. I've been working with MasterCraft for years, along with our team of pro riders and engineers. I've been providing feedback on what I think would be the ultimate wakeboarding boat, and that is exactly what we have in the X Star. The boat drives amazingly well whether you're just cruising around or are fully-ballasted. And, the wake is unparalleled in its shape and consistency.

What's on your pre-departure boat checklist before hitting the water?

TM: I'm a little different than the average user. I use the boat eight hours a day, but most people should be checking the basics such as gas, oil, and transmission fluid levels, as well as your basic safety equipment. Other than that I always have a big hat, tons of water, sunscreen, and snacks.

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