Sam Collins 20 // Cable Ski Cairns // Holloways Beach
Though his modesty hides it well, Sam Collins, or Bobo as he is more affectionately known, is one of the world’s leading professional athletes.
Named junior world cable wakeboarding champion at age 13 and now ranked among the best in the sport globally, Bobo is fast carving out a solid career in water-board sports.
Not only that but his impressive talents have translated into a host of other successes, which look set to keep his name hot on industry lips for many years to come. Just one of these sideline accomplishments has been Bobo’s appearance in several cable ski promotional films including one that went global.
“The first one was two years ago in the Philippines called Statement,” he says. “When the park opened up over there they got a heap of pro riders to do a promo and it ended up being a professional video that went all around the world.”
Another “perk” as he describes it has been the opportunity to play judge for a host of bikini model contests, including the highly publicised Hawaiian Tropic competition recently held in Cairns.
Despite all the attention and the international travel his position brings, Bobo insists he’s in it for the love of the sport more than anything.
“The money is good but you have to move to Europe to make a living out of it at the moment,” he explains. Not that he hasn’t partaken in his fair share of the rewards.
“Last year I probably competed in 10 or 12 comps and won about seven,” he says. “I don’t remember what I made last year but I know for five comps I competed in over five weeks I won just under $10,000.”
Though he admits that’s not bad for a man of only 20, Bobo says he still has a long way to go.
“The average prize money for first place is US$5000, you can get up to US$10,000-15,000 riding behind a boat in America but I’m still pushing to get there,” he says.
In the meantime, Bobo is happy to balance his training, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours a day, with his work as coach and machine operator at Cable Ski Cairns.
“I wouldn’t mind being able to stay with the sport,” he says. “Most go out at about 30, their bodies can’t take it anymore but if I can stay in the game doing other things like running a shop or a cable ski park it would be good.”