Interview with Tarik Ghoniem (3rd place at Telekom Extreme Playgrounds)

Great thing having is to give you the chance to meet some riders from the other side, not just to have them as riding machine. One of them is Tarik Ghoniem who got 3rd place at Telekom Extreme Playgrounds riding sick… Last year he was 1st, but this year seems he had harder competitors or just error in his run. Check out more about him and his riding and impression about this wakeskating year…

How are you satisfied with your season?

I’m not really satisfied withmy 2011 wakeseason. I turned 18 this year and my focus was on other projects like finishing my school, make graduation very well, getting my driving license, or checking out how my future could look like.

Which competitions did you ride this year, what were the best results?
My decision was to ride just a few and just the biggest events this year. My plan was to compete in Wake The Line, German Nationals, Extreme Playgrounds and the European Championships.
I didn’t get invited to WTL, so I had to make the way trough the Relentless Stairset Session, which was the qualification for WTL. Unfortunately, I failed in the super final and ended up on 3rd place.

At the German Nationals I had a pretty good qualification runs, but in the first final run I crashed at my first trick. I chose to make a “all or nothing” 2nd run and fell unluckily in the middle of the run. I ended up on 4th place.

The Extreme Playgrounds was pretty tough and I didn’t do, what I wanted in my final run, which the 3rd place as the result.

I couldn’t compete at the European Championships, because of some really important meetings for me at the same time.

What you do except wakeskating, winter time?

I’m going to join the German military for a few months starting in January. It’s not clear for me in which way I will use the time before. Maybe going to Australia with a friend, not sure yet.
I expect the time at the German military will be very interesting experience for me and by the way I will have a perfect physical training.

What was the funniest event this year and because of what?

I had a really good time at Wake The Line this year. The guys from UNIT and the team manager Hardy Tunissen gave their best for the riders, that we will have a great time in Cologne. I was the wakeskate back up rider, in case somebody falls out. That gave me the possibility to enjoy every party and to see the event through other eyes. Overviewing the contest is totally different than competing and setting the focus just on myself.

How did you like Telekom Extreme Playgrounds? Party thing… and competition thing…

It is the definitely the best contest of the year and is pushing the sport so hard.
Action sports and live rock music harmonize brilliant together. The sport achieves an amazing publicity, though all media, like television, print, or internet.
Lars-Oliver Vogt and Bernie Hinterberger are doing a great job promoting the sport and pushing it forward.

Like every year, there is a pretty good side program at the Playgrounds. On Friday the riders can go to the Pearl’s Stripclub and on Saturday is the preparty at the Gruenspann at the hamburger Kiez, which is one of the biggest red light and party area in Germany.

Who do you think it was the hardest competitor to beat and maybe fall out before finals?

In general is to say, because everybody were pretty strong at the competition. The level was amazing. I never saw before such a high riding level at the cable.
One of the favorites for the title was definitely Daniel Grant. I had to ride against him in the head to head and it was pretty hard to take him out, but I made it. Finals could have been even harder, when he would have take part in it.

Was it hardest in a finals? Who do you think was the hardest competitor to get?

It was a tough final, where everybody could made it. It was clear for me, that Reed Hansen was the man to beat and in the end, I was right. He had a pretty good first run, which took him on top.
I had a big program error, because I didn’t do, what I wanted and that happened two times. That made me a little bit unhappy, but nevertheless it was an amazing competition and 3rd place is acceptable.

What are your plans for the rest of the season?

It depends on my plans for the rest of the year, if I go abroad for riding.
I’m going to plan my next season, where I got some banger projects, which my Treeknowledge Wakeskates crew. Stay tuned for more!

Getting into Olympic games, what do you think about it? Is it possible to get also wakeskate in?

I think the Olympic games will need new energy and new input. How cares about all the old sports?
The young people want to see action sports, feel the adrenaline and getting inspired. The old Olympic games are done. It will push the sport and bring it for new people. After getting wakeboarding in, it will be just a matter of time, that wakeskating will follow. Wakeskating is progressing so hard – look at the tricks, look at the growing mass, that wakeskate.

Is there anything that you would like to change in wakeboard world to be perfect?

Wakeboarding/ Wakeskating is a pretty expensive sport. The stuff, the lift, or boat tickets – everything is so expensive. That frightens a lot of people to try it. The sport would grow faster, when more people can be able to join it.

Rider who is inspiring you to go more and more?
There is no special rider, who inspires me, it is the whole sport. Everybody can inspire me, with a trick, or with a certain style. Even wakeboarders inspire me. impressions?
It is really important for the sport to be presented in the media, no matter if it’s in television, print, or internet.
I think and you, Nelly, do a great job to push the sport and help him growing. It is worthwhile having more sites like!

Thanks to?
I would really like to thank first of all to my sponsors Relentless Energy Drink, Nike 6.0, Bern Helmets, Scullcandy and especially Treeknowledge Wakeskates, who are supporting me since day one and are the best company ever.
I also would like to thank my family, who are always supporting me and my brother Amir, who is the best.

Thanks Nelly for the interview! Rock on with!

For the end?
No half measures!

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