WAKESHOP.BE interview #6: Oli Derome

Welcome to the WAKESHOP.BE interviews!

 the WAKESHOP.BE interviews are here to get to know better your favourite riders.
We have ask a few questions to some riders we like the most to share their insight with you!

There will regularly be new WAKESHOP.BE interviews posts like these with some of the biggest names on the scene so stay tuned!

Today we are meeting Oli Derome !

Name: Olivier Derome
Nationality: Canada
Date of Birth: 1985
Sponsors: Follow, Malibu
Quote: “Be the leader you wish you had”

You may have heard of Raph Derome and everything he s acheived in the wakeboard world. Well he is not the only one in the family to have succeed in wakeboarding. Oli Derome, his big brother is a pretty big guy on a board as well. Between boats and Cablepark, he has competed on the biggest contest and reach finals rounds at WWA, Plastic playgound and many other ones! Heavily involved in the development of Follow. If you see that guy somewhere around the world, make sure to take the time to get a beer with him, its would be a well worth 15 minutes o your life!

Instagram: Oli Derome

Questions to Olivier:

1. Tell us about yourself in a few words.

I am a french Canadian who grew up waterskiing, snowboarding and skateboarding. Being a Pro Wakeboarder was a dream of mine as a teenager. My passion and determination helped me in my journey to accomplish this – along with the motivation and support from my parents. You might know my little brother, Raph Derome? I tought him everything 🙂 

2. How and when did you start wakeboarding?

1st time I tried I must have been about 10, I wore slippers inside the bindings to keep my feet from coming out. The bindings in the 90’s were very basic and still much better than the sandal straps… Then I got my 1st wakeboard at 12 years old, we actually still have it “Liquid Force Mini Squirt 121”

.3. What is your favourite wakeboard location and why?

There are 2: Our spot in Quebec, The Wow Plaza & The Projects in Florida (now known as The BoardingSchool). I have spent coutless hours driving and riding at these locations, they have shaped me into the man and rider that I am. Back before 2 tower parks and full size parks were popular in North America, we would ride rails towed from the boat and jet ski. The Projects had the biggest and sickest rail park back then, so as soon as coaching was done, I would go for a ride or 3!

4. You are as big in the boat than the park scene, where could we see you on the water more often ?

Typically I would say I ride a bit more boat, like 60% and 40% park. I try and do both as much as possible, but in the end, I think the ultimate for me is a full boat run with rails throughout the lake – ts like a full slopestyle course. Cable is so much fun and I love kickers, but having a transition to land in behind the boat is why I like riding the boat.

5. A lot of wakeboarders look very similar on the water, but in Canada it feels like each rider find their own path and come up with an incredible unique style, what is you guys secret ?

Thank you, I see that as a huge compliment for all Canadian riders! Before social media, the only way to see what any one else out there was doing was by showing up to an event of some sort. In Canada back then the only time all the best would actually meet up is at Nationals. We watched full lenght wakeboard videos over and over and over again, read every magazine and found inspiration in the other seasonal board sports we practiced with snow and skate. Then we would watch full lenght videos of those sports too! Haha

6. You have been around in Europe to wakeboard, what do you think about the scene over here?

I still remember my 2 first European trips for wakeboarding. 2005 in Moscow for the World Cup and 2007 at Montpellier for FISE combined with Cologne for Wake The Line.
Traveling around and seeing all the different parks and the amount of amazing riders really motivated me to ride more cable. 

7. One project, trip, session that is on top of your list, which one is it and can you tell us about it? 

My little brother Raph is working on another big project, stay tuned! 😉

8. What event are you the most excited about every season? 

Seeing all my friends and getting the opportunity to travel the world with them. And of course summer and the warm weather. Winters are so long and cold here in Canada… some of might understand in Northern Europe.

9. Your brother Raph and yourself are both outstanding wakeboarders and must have spent countless hours riding together,
is the brotherhood part such a great success?
 

Thank you. That is definitely is part of the success. We legit have spend at least twice as much time jumping on the trampoline together over the years of our youth haha. Pushed each other to keep learning and progressing, which then turned into a friendly rivalry. Getting to travel and compete with your brother’s support was huge!

10. How is home to ride wakeboarding as a kid when you grew up in Quebec? 

It was great, we rode boat almost every day with our best friend and former neighbour Jonathan Ferguson “Still Not Famous Production” (Filmer / Editor of all Raphs projects and a few of mine). We would ride park about 2-4 times a year. Raph wore a wetsuit a lot as a kid, I guess he still does haha.

11. Is Montreal still what you call home today? I believe you spend a lot of time the USA, right? 

Yes Montreal is still home but I was based out of Florida for about 10 years in Spring & Fall. My gf is from New Hampshire (North East USA, near Boston) so I still spend a good amount of time in USA just not in the Florida heat! haha

12. What is it like to be part of the Follow family ? 

Follow is family thats for sure! I got on with them nearly 10 years ago as their 1st North American rider, then took my first trip to AUS for the Follow Family Vacation which was such as amazing time with an amazing crew ( Video link ). Year after year I would go stay with Steve (Brand Creator) and his family in Aus to work on new product, shoot it, ride and have a good time. As a huge wakeboard fan, it’s great to see the “cool” brand make it in the industry and keep their identity.

Oli Derome Signature Vest & Handle.

13. What/Who do you really dislike in the sport? 

Hahaha!
I dislike lots of political aspects of the sport and industry.
I dislike how most brands treat their riders.
I dislike how “team managers” dont do shit to ACTUALLY guide their riders in their own respective path to success.
I dislike how social media has diluted the incredible level of riding the world has reached and how everyone is expected to keep diluting it… POST POST POST, ALWAYS MORE POSTS. Save the good stuff for something meaningfull, give value to your best content!

14. How do you see wakeboarding in 5 years? 

Right now, as I’m sitting in confinement I’m hoping wakeboarding can be putting on events in front of massive crowds like it did during the 2010’s, at least I’m hoping that big social gatherings will be a thing once again… haha The level of riding will simply be a step beyond mind blowing. I really wonder if boat wakes will get much bigger, they are quite ginormous these days and the kids are sending!

15. 3 riders that inspire you the most? 

Massi Piffaretti, Raph Derome and Pedro Caldas.

16. 3 personalities that inspire you the most?

Nico Von Loncherfeld, Andy Kolb, Felix Georgii, Steffan Vollert, Alex Aulbach – 5 germans… thats weird haha love ’em

17. Who will be the Wakepark rider of the year in 2020? 

Pedro Caldas or Joe Battleday

18. Best wakeboard instagram to follow?

 My favourite Wakeboarder related social media is this SnapChat group I have with the young Aussies – they are the funniest cunts I know!
Sam Brown, Lewy Watt, Cobe France, Luca Kidd, Massi Piff, Haydon Bru, Bryce Grey, Joolz.

19. An advice for the new riders looking to get better on a board? 

Just ride, ride ride ride. Look around, get inspired, look further than the 3 guys you ride with. Practice different sports to progress different aspects and ways of riding. Stay in shape, if you’re gonna party, know when you should and when you shouldnt, if you still party then drink that fucking water – you will feel much better the next day!

20. We are living a period where most of the countries are on lockdown, What is a typical lock down day for you? 

Today marks my 7th week, I have been growing my beard out, I’m starting to look like the typical Canadian Lumberjack! haha For the last 2 weeks- wake up at 8, drink water, coffee, work on computer – watch F1 episode on Netflix with breakfast – work on computer – go for a walk or jog with World War 1 podcast – Lunch – spend too much time on my phone – facetime the gf (which I havent seen in 7 weeks so we facetime a lot throughout the day) – work outside – dinner – movie – play on phone – read.

 

Pick A, B or C

Wide stance/ Narrow Stance?
I am 100% down with both – my old knees are liking the narrow stance lately

Blonde or Brunette?
Dirty Blonde

IWWF or WWA?
AHHHHHHHHHHH
 I was hoping for this question!!

I have been around long enough to have experienced both, they each have their advantages but as a rider and fan of the sport i would like to see the sport portrayed in parallel with major boardsports (snow, skate, surf) I believe WWA has a better vision.

Dont get me wrong I absolutely love the fact that the IWSF supports wakeboarding programs across Europe, Asia and South America with actual $$$ for athletes to train and travel to compete. They have given the opportunity to amazing talents to flourish, travel and grow, most importantly, its a movement to support wakeboarding and I’m all about that! The structure of it is a bit too traditional/old school; the park setup and performance of the tow boats are often questionable, 15 years ago they had the same event format and probably the same judging panel, these ppl might not know how to judge a whirly5 against a wrapped 3-2-1 late stalefish… and shouldnt be traveling International 1st class to their events, thats a waste of money riders could be benefitting from in many ways.

     In my opinion, the WWA has a better vision of the sport; the format is constantly changing, the judges are up to speed with the new tricks and trends, the boats and parks are typically more advanced, etc… The big downside is the WWA doesnt have the funding and support from governments to support the riders expenses; each rider needs to pay their own way to get there, register, accomodations, eat, drive to site etc… but the prize money is there for the top contenders like any competitive stage.

As a rider, it is fair to say the best events are the independent ones that are not part of any association or tour – one and done. Events like: Munich Mash, Plastic Playground, Tennessee Wakefest, Langenfeld Open, Rising High, Wake the Line, Wake of Steel, Harbour Reach, Wakestock etc…

Too often the riders are asked to choose because they cannot do both, not to support the other associations events. So in the end, the riders are the ones loosing out on possible opportunities like: meeting a new sponsor, visiting a new country, meeting new riders, possible podium $$ etc… 

Tea or Coffee?
Coffee

Water or Whisky
water, then whisky

Bum or boobs?
left hand boob, right hand Bum 

Breakfast or Diner??
Breakfast

Day or night?
Sunset into the night

Cable, winch or boat?
Winch is king – Cable with the boyz, Party in the boat

Gin or Beer?
Beer unless it is a big night

Rap or rock ?
Rap on my own, Rock on the road

Meet or veggies ?
Vegetarian meal with meat on top

Ice hockey or football ?
HOCKEY! no need to say “ice” before it, Hockey is played on the ice, if not they specify; field or grass hockey 😉

Rollerblade or Scooter ?
Rollerblade all day! Much more room to ride with their own style, but still not a fan

Tv or book ?
Havent read a book in a while, I wish I would say that but TV is incredible these days

Beer or Wine?
Wine in good company

Poutine or French fries?
POUTINE is fries on steroids!

Belgium or France?
Never been to Belgium but after listening to my WW1 podcast I’ve learned a lot more about it. I have a french heritage to I have to go with my OG’s

Sand or Snow?
Snow just because thats what I know! haha I love the beach but I havent spent much time there over the years.

Salt water or soft water?
Soft water! If the ocean didnt burn your eyes and make you feel like puking when swallowing it, it would be heaven!


Thank you Olivier for your time! we appreciate this a lot!

 

Videos where you can find Oli Derome:

A run in Florida ( WWA )
Oli Derome Shred

We hope you enjoy reading this and we are looking forward to share much more about the wakeboard world with you !

INTERVIEW #1: Victor Salmon
INTERVIEW #2: Nico Leduc
INTERVIEW #3: Massi Piffaretti
INTERVIEW #4: Lisa Baloo
INTERVIEW #5: Antoine Allaux


See you next wednesday for the next wakeshop.be Interview with: Graeme Burress

– the WAKESHOP.BE team –

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