Cory Teunissen is just 17 years old, but he is already making serious waves in the global wakeboarding scene. He has made his way onto podiums around the world and is the first person ever to land a 1080 in a contest. He was just named the Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour Rookie of the Year and ranked second overall to fellow Australian Harley Clifford when the series concluded in August. And it’s only his first year participating in the Tour. To top it all off, he just placed third in the Wakeboard World Championships, held just weeks ago in Portugal.
And he’s from the Gold Coast.
Cory has seen big changes to the wakeboard industry in just the last two years alone.
“We are seeing the sport get pushed back into the main spot light again with just being added back into the X-Games and ESPN is really getting behind it,” he told Blank. “The contest side of things have sky rocketed as well! This has been the busiest schedule wakeboarding has seen probably ever, with over 18 contests all around the world over the space of seven months.”
If you check out Cory’s Instagram feed you’ll see that his mum and dad feature heavily in his posts. Or maybe it’s luck that those pop up in my feed. Whatever the case, Cory says his family has had a massive impact on his career.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” he said. “Dad used to push me super hard at such a young age and I used to absolutely hate it. But I never realised what he was trying to push me towards when I was so young.”
Now his dad helps him with the business-side of wakeboarding, as well as being a travel companion as Cory criss-crosses the globe. That’s not an exaggeration. In just a few weeks the young man has been in Australia, Portugal, the USA, Russia and China. But his Queensland roots run deep.
“If I had the choice to move the heart of wakeboarding to any city in the world, I would love it to be on the Gold Coast,” he said. “I guess I just love home too much.”
Cory spends his off-season here in Australia and admits that wakeboarding is tough on the body. “When I am back home, I will train in the gym three times a week, as well as stretch and foam roll daily. I also have regular ice and heat baths to help my body recover quicker and more efficiently,” he said when I asked how he counter-balances such an extreme sport. And he spends some time getting inspiration from other sports.
“Lately I have been super into watching snowboard movies,” he said. “I can just see so many different opportunities for new tricks which I think is really cool. Also I watch every wakeboard athlete and identify what makes them unique.”
“I really get a lot of inspiration from watching someone make something their own and that pushes me to make my riding different to everyone else’s.”
It’s only a quick interaction we have with Cory – I have a hundred more questions I want to ask. But we might have to save that for when he’s back in town. If they let him back in the country loaded down with so many trophies.
Watch Cory in action:
Feature image courtesy Brett Hemmings.