Interview Next Generation – Claudia Pagnini

Name: Claudia Pagnini
Age: 20
Board: Peak
Board size: 141
Stance: All in
Sponsors: Liquid Force, Roxy Ita, Oakley Ita
Best contest result: Got first at Fise in 2018 and 2019, first in European, and World Championship in Jr. Division in 2018/19, second place in Plastic Playground in Bangkok, third in Plastic Playground in Bali, and Space Queen award in Space Tapes 2020. Yeeeewwwww.

Photo- Alex Graydon

Madonnaaa! How are you Honey?
Heeeeyyy! I’d say all good! I’m in Thailand at the moment and I’m doing what I like the most. I really can’t complain. Haha. Riding is going pretty well and I’m trying to film as much as I can!!

A pandemic and you still made it to Thai Wakepark – How does that work? Are you alone there and how busy is it there right now?
It actually was hard to get all the documents to fly here. We kept trying for a month and until the last few days, we weren’t sure we could leave! When the Covid tests said that my dad and I were negative, I was so happy that I cried. Haha. Also, I had to do a 2-week quarantine in a hotel room. The longest 2 weeks of my life for sure! I’ll say it was 100% worth it! There’s nothing better than riding at Thai Wakepark, hot weather, and Thai life!!

If you compare the past years, the cable is pretty empty during the week, especially in the morning, which is perfect for riding! On the weekends when Thai people are not working, the park is full. But, for sure I miss all my crew and my friends! I really hope next year we will be able to travel again in a normal way!

However, I realized that by traveling without my friends, I’m more open-minded to meeting new people and this has made me also grow up.

We just get to see bangers from you. It is mind-blowing what you put together! What does your day look like and do you have a plan of what tricks you want to learn or do you just go for it? Let us know how to get as good as you!
Sooo, I’m riding an hour and a half in the morning and the same in the afternoon, more or less. Usually, I try new stuff in the morning, when I feel fresher and chill, or try easier stuff when I feel more tired in the afternoons.

Every day I usually have in my mind what I want to learn or what I want to try, but I can’t say I always do what I planned. Some days I just like to enjoy riding and chill in the water or just doing stuff that I can already do.
When I have to try a difficult trick to learn I go step by step, so I don’t crash too hard. Obviously, it doesn’t always go as planned and I have freaking bad crashes when I don’t land the tricks. It can happen and I get angry. I learned to use this energy to motivate myself.

Photo- Alex Graydon

I see you traveling a lot with your dad. Is he also your coach? How does it work and are you always in harmony?
I have always traveled with my dad since I was super young because we share the passion for the same sport. I wouldn’t say he is my coach, but he really helps me a lot, not only in what I do on the water but in everything! He advises me on my photos and videos, with my sponsors, and he makes me notice when I behave in a bad way.
We’re almost never in harmony. Hahahaha. Actually, we argue a lot! I always know that when I need him, he’s always there, and vice versa.

How did it all start with you and wakeboarding?
My dad was waterskiing behind the boat for a long time and he made me try when I was like 5 or 6 and I didn’t really like it. Then, one day a guy came to the waterski school with a board and I tried it. I fell in love with it immediately and from that time I never stopped. I was always riding behind the boat. I made a lot of comps with the Italian team, etc. Then in 2014, my dad opened a cable and from then I started to ride more and more cable and stopped the boating. I feel like I can express myself more when I ride cable because I can do much more creative stuff, but I miss riding behind the boat and all my friends from that world! I can say I just love wakeboarding in every way. Haha.

What is your tip for progression while also being scared sometimes on the water?
I would say that we should try new stuff when we feel ready to do it! It’s a feeling between being scared, but at the same time knowing that you can land it. This gives me hype. Also, we should always have fun when we’re riding, so it makes no sense if we’re always riding with fear! Just enjoy what you’re doing and I’m sure the tricks will come!

Photo- Alex Graydon

What are your goals for the next few years? How are you managing your school and wakeboarding?
I really hope that we start to compete again soon because I really miss seeing my friends all over the world! I hope I’ll film more projects like Liquid Force Girls, which was such a crazy experience for me and I want to film for more videos like Space Tapes! I really hope we will travel again and that this virus ends because we all need to get back to normal life! I finally finished school last year! Hahaha!! For now, I still don’t have a firm plan! I’ll see what next year brings!

Words for the Cats out there?
For all the Cats out there, I’ll say, just keep shredding and always enjoy your time on the water!! Bring more girls to this world because we need them and wakeboarding is so fun! It is not only the competitions and hard work, but also you have the chance to meet so many people and travel to maaaany different places, and that’s just crazy cool! Plus, it is really not only a sport for men but really for everyone!!