The Watercraft Journal: Thanks for meeting with us today, Kole. Obviously, you’re riding high after your amazing Pro Ski GP win at this year’s IJSBA World Finals. But before we get there, can you tell us about how long you’ve been racing, and what got you into the sport?
Kole Cramer: I’ve been racing for 5 years now. My dad used to race back in the day and got me into it.
WCJ: At 17-years-old, how do you balance your schoolwork, while also finding time to head to Body Beach for testing and practice?
KC: I work really hard during the week to get my schoolwork done so I have time to head to the beach. I really have to stay on top of everything or else my schoolwork and practice time suffer. Not many people realize the commitment this sport takes, but once you find a good balance and stay on top of things, it really isn’t that hard (and it keeps the parents happy!).
WCJ: You and your dad, Lance have one of the most greatest father-son relationships we’ve ever witnessed. Tell us what it’s like to have your dad as both your mechanic and father?
KC: My dad and I do everything together in our garage. Once we get in the zone, there’s no stopping us. It’s also super helpful that we don’t have to rely on other people and we can just bust out whatever we need to do at home to get me to a race. I’ll always be thankful for all the time I get to spend with him. He works extremely hard day in and day out to get me where I’m at in my racing career, and I owe it all to him!
WCJ: So far, what has been one of your most troubling times in your race career, and your greatest?
KC: 2015 Amateur Open class. I started dead last in both motos. Most would be close to calling it quits, but I pushed the thought out of my head and hammered down. I picked off my competitors one by one, and ended up passing everyone and taking 1st in both motos for the overall championship. As far as greatest, I’ve enjoyed almost every single race, every single moto I’ve lined up to. Never a bad day!
WCJ: You were this year’s 2019 Mark Hahn champion, where you “iron manned” 300 grueling miles by yourself on your SX-R 1500. How did you prepare yourself for the race, and what was the initial feeling crossing that finish line?
KC: Honestly, the Mark Hahn was a last minute race for us. When we decided to race it, we had 1 month to plan for it, train for it, and build up my very tired and worn out SX-R 1500 for it. There’s no feeling to describe crossing that finish line. Seeing the beach lined with my family and sponsors all on their feet and cheering for me is a very humbling experience, and to have accomplished it all by myself, with only the help of my sponsors and my dad, makes you feel like you can conquer the world!
WCJ: You were also this year’s 2019 Thai World Finals Pro Ski GP Champion. Piloting a brand new Kommander GP1, you rocketed off that start line in all three motos, held off fellow racers, and claimed the Championship title. Give us a recap of that day, and how you feel on your new ski.
KC: The week leading up to race day was rough. We spent every waking moment at Body Beach, had a new motor flown in from Texas a few days prior, and finally had the ski back together at 1:30am Saturday morning (one day before the race). Race day came and it was as smooth as butter. The ski ran killer, I felt good, and my starts were consistent every time. I had good, clean racing all day. It was perfect!
WCJ: You’ve got quite a lengthy list of sponsors! Who would you like to thank?
KC: I gotta thank my dad for working hard every day with me in the garage. Ricky Trevizo for the sponsorship and helping us with literally anything we need. My mom for everything she does (and also feeding me pizza on the start line at the Mark Hahn). My stepdad Brian at KSH Fuel Products for helping us make all of our custom parts.
Kommander Industries for the amazing hull and all the support. Everyone at IPD Graphics for the killer graphic setup (that chrome blue though!). Competition CNC for the fastest motors. Josh Paddock at Boosted Performance for helping us make my ski rip, Dion at Kal Koncepts for the sickest helmet paint job, Hot Products for all the parts and support, Morgan Motorsports, Quakysense for the wetsuits and gear, and Jettrim and Works H2O for keeping me comfortable and in the tray!