All of us at The Watercraft Journal are very excited to have a moment with 2014 multiple National Champion and IJSBA World Champion Bibi Carmouche, possibly one of the fastest young women on the water today. We also bring in one of her sponsors, IPD Graphics into the conversation to help shine some light on what’s expected from team riders and being a professional, both on and off the water.
The Watercraft Journal: Thanks for meeting with us, Bibi! To start, can you tell us how you first get into jet skiing and then into racing?
Bibi Carmouche: I got introduced to standup jet skis by some friends of mine in high school and ended up getting my own 750 in 2011. With Folsom Lake being only a couple minutes from my parents’ house, I knew quite a few people with skis and got to ride a ton. One weekend I heard there was a race out at Camp Far West Lake so I decided to stop by and check it out. Immediately, I fell in love and found myself an SX-R about two weeks later. With only a couple weekends of buoy practice under my belt I raced in my first race ever, which happen to be part of the IJSBA National Tour. I walked away with a second and third place finish that weekend and have been hooked ever since!
WCJ: You had a pretty whirlwind year of racing. How did 2014 go for you, Ms. National Champion?
BC: Yes, thank you! Last year was extremely fun because I was racing almost every weekend of the summer! I was lucky enough to be able to do the entire National Tour and a ton of the local and West Coast races; I was extremely busy but it was well worth it. I always try to race as many classes as I can so that I get a ton of track time and experience before World Finals.
This last year we decided to build a triple so that I could start racing a faster ski in the hopes that it would make my Limited [class] ski feel like nothing. There is still some work to be done on making my triple just right for me but so far it has helped a ton with my overall strength on my Limited. I was able to win a National Title in both Women’s Ski Limited and Amateur Ski Limited, with a second place in Amateur Ski Open. I also won three overall tour points championships in each of those classes. I didn’t really get the results that I was hoping for at this year’s World Finals but I had a ton of fun and finished with a 7th place overall in both the Pro-Am Women’s Limited class and the Classic Two-Stroke Limited class.
WCJ: Of course, just being able to compete at the World Finals is pretty awesome, but that wasn’t your first time. Can you tell us about your experience racing at your first IJSBA World Finals?
BC: I raced my first World Finals in 2012 after only racing a jet ski for two months before that. Going into it I really didn’t expect much because I had so little experience and was racing a stock SX-R in the Novice Women’s Limited class. I remember being extremely nervous when I saw how many fast girls were there from all over the world, but I tried to just focus on what little I did know and ride my race. I ended up taking a 5th and a 4th place finish in my motos, but a rookie mistake lead me to miss a buoy after getting caught up with a lapped rider and docked me a lap in my second moto. Overall, I finished with a 7th place and was pretty happy with it despite the big mistake I had made. After the racing was done, I was so ready to come back and redeem myself, which is what drove me to win the World Title the next year.
WCJ: We also chatted up Casey Mauldin of IPD Graphics, who is one of your sponsors. How did Bibi come to be a sponsored IPD Graphics racer?
Casey Mauldin: She came to us, but we are stoked that she did!
WCJ: Casey, how is Bibi at representing your brand – particularly as a sponsor?
CM: Bibi is very good at making frequent posts and tagging us. Instead of just recycling other peoples pics like most other riders do, she’s very good at stopping to take a minute to snap a pic at an event or award ceremony and tagging us.
WCJ: Casey, how does Bibi’s social media efforts compare to others out there?
CM: Honestly, the bar is set so low in this industry, that as long as she posts the results on her social media with a picture at the event so we [at IPD Graphics] can re-post, then we are happy, because it’s hard to get other riders to do this.
WCJ: Between racing seasons, you seem to be pretty active. What kind of training do you do when you’re not on the water?
BC: During the off-season I’m always trying new and exciting sports, it keeps me busy and in shape without having to go to the gym everyday. In the winter you will definitely find me snow skiing as often as possible, it is one of my biggest passions aside from jet skiing. This year I haven’t had a chance to do any of the small rail jams or competitions, but I’m hoping to get a chance do more of those soon. I recently got a new dirt bike, which I have fallen in love with! I’m still a little slow on the track but I’m getting there! Year ’round I am able to ride my mountain bike for training as well, and love to do Cross Fit workouts whenever I can squeeze it into my schedule.
WCJ: What are your plans for 2015? What races do you plan on attending?
BC: I’ll start the 2015 season with the Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 in February, where I will be teaming up with Kody Copenhaver in the Ski class. My plan for the rest of the season is to race the RPM West Coast tour, some of the Pro Watercross National Tour, the Northern California DJSA racing series, and the IJSBA World Finals. As far as classes go, I will definitely be doing the Pro-am Women’s Limited class, the Amateur Limited class and more than likely will be racing Amateur Ski Open.
WCJ: Casey, can you tell us how Bibi is staking up against the rest of your sponsored racers?
CM: Based on our ranking parameters, Bibi is currently ranked as the second best sponsored athlete relationship that we have ever had, and we’ve had a lot of contracted athletes and teams.
WCJ: What longterm goals do you have for your jet ski racing career? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
BC: My long-term goals would be to win a World Title in Pro-Am Women’s Limited and try to compete in the Pro Open Ski class with the men like Tera Laho. I also would love to get more girls interested in jet skiing and all the other extreme sports. In the next 5 years, I hope to be graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing, and be working towards becoming a Flight Nurse.
WCJ: Outstanding! OK, here’s your chance to make some gratuitous shout-outs; who would you like to thank for helping you get this far?
BC: I’d like to thank my dad for helping me out more then I could ever ask for and always being there for me to hold and cheer me on at every race. I’d also like to thank the rest of my family and all of these great sponsors, without their support I couldn’t continue to do what I love; Liquid Militia, Ultimate Watercraft Performance, Lucas Oil, Hot Products, IPD Graphics, Jet Pilot, Jettrim, Ryno Power, Skat-Track, TBM, Roseville Kawasaki, DASA and Bullett.