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That would help explain the King of Cable’s overall proficiency in the sport, allowing him to be “professional in all categories.” Fooshee further explained, “I still ride a ton behind the boat, and my reputation in the wakeboarding industry is I’m one of the few guys who rides both. I like them both. They both have their advantages. I’m just happy I’m able to do both.” Logging hour after hour on the wakeboard is perfectly and naturally suited to Fooshee maintaining and improving his wakeboarding prowess and keeping him sharp for competitions. And with all that time spent on the water, wakeboarding is Fooshee’s one and only consistent workout. But why would he need anything else? “Wakeboarding in general is just an amazing workout for your entire body,” Fooshee emphasized. “You’re using your arms, your shoulders, your legs, every part of your body, your core, every part of it.”

Professional Degree and Better for it But there are other factors to Fooshee’s longevity, ones that become perhaps increasingly significant as he continues to rack up wins alongside the years. In the midst of riding constantly, working at TSR, and attending Texas State, he refused to give up on the latter. When riders turn pro, sponsor salaries, contest prize money, and product royalties quickly can tempt young, talented wakeboarders to abandon college or even high school studies. “There’s a handful of riders in all of professional wakeboarding that have graduated from college,” Fooshee acknowledged. “Less than one hand. And there’s absolutely not one that does the cable aspect.” School no longer looks like a necessary part of the equation when you’re getting paid to travel the world doing what you love. But Fooshee wanted to stick with Texas State, and Texas State was willing to work with Tom Fooshee. “I got very lucky,” Fooshee confided. “I would go and submit my schedule of all the events I do to my Dean of Education. I told her what I did, the opportunity and all this stuff. And she was absolutely amazing. She excused me out of all my trips.” The agreement worked like a charm, and Fooshee acknowledged that his initiative was well worth it. “It took me a long time, but I’m very proud to have my bachelor’s degree,” he said. “To this day I am still very glad that I didn’t step out of school and do this completely. It taught me how to balance my life right.” But his time at Texas State taught him more than

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Spectators at last month's Cablestock event got an up-close view of Fooshee's aerial acrobatics. Photo by Courtney Slade

“Wakeboarding in general is just an amazing workout for your entire body.”

that. Fooshee’s hard-fought bachelor’s degree was in exercise sports science with an emphasis on education. “Basically, we’ll call it the kinesiology degree for coaching,” Fooshee explained. “I got my Texas teaching certificate and all that stuff through school.” Fooshee is insistent that wakeboarding really didn’t factor into going that particular degree route. But that route has indeed been beneficial for what he’s dedicated himself to. “Getting an exercise sports science degree makes you learn a lot to live a healthy lifestyle. At home, my fiancée and I, we cook the right meals at night,” Fooshee said. “And between that and all the exercise I get here, it’s really made life enjoyable and good.” “I feel amazing at 27 years old, compared to all my 17-year-old competitors.” Especially those of the bunch that live off a steady diet of fast food and candy. Fooshee quipped, “it’s funny to ask those guys, ‘how do you think you’re gonna be at 27 years old?’”

June 2012 - The Outside Issue  

The Outside Issue with #1 Cable Wakeboarder, Tom Fooshee, as the cover feature.