The Derome Brothers - InterviewEach one has their own style, unique personality, and energy.
Oli, is the older brother who at 22 is some what of a seasoned veteran. He
has been competing on the Pro Wakeboard Tour for years now. Last season he
broke in to the top twenty with a 17th place over all finish on the Pro
Wakeboard Tour. Oli, is an amazing coach, a bundle of positive energy and
pretty much gets along with, and knows everyone.
Raph, is the young brother Who has been continually blowing up. Raph has
forged his own path and is recognized as being force and style of his
own. Despite describing him self as a free rider Raph has also become a
serious competitor in the Canadian scene and is looking for more success
on the junior Pro Tour this season.
Because of injuries, contest and busy schedules the two brothers have not
had much time to spend riding together on their home lake these last few
years. They are both looking forward to spending the summer of 08 together
pushing each other like never before!
Oliver Derome, 22
Raphael Derome 16
Where is your home lake?
Oli: the lake we grew up riding on is called Lake St-Francois behind our
house. But for the past two years, coming up on three years this summer
It’s been WoW lake on the side of HWY 401 in ST-Zotique. It’s about 15
minute bike ride, 7 minute car ride from our house. It’s crazy! It’s so
perfect it’s about 2800 feet long, 400 feet wide. We just added a bunch of
new rails this winter, so we have 5 rails now, Malibu VLX with a nice big
wake! A really good crew of people we ride with, its awesome.
What made your dad want to go to all the trouble of going and making his
He grew up water sking at a national level. When he was a younger he would
train on the same lake we live near, Lake St Francois. During the summer
the lake was getting to hectic, so many boats, tubers and fishermen. The
fishermen would get caught in the slalom course. They always seem to think
a slalom course would attract fish or something.
Raph: It’s been his dream since he was 15. So for over 30 years now!
Oli: As we grew up and really started getting into it, he started getting
more and more excited about doing it. He knew his family would also enjoy
Raph: But he still said the main reason was for himself.
Oli: He was doing everything he could to get approval and permits for
about five year, it seemed really complicated. Then one day just before
Christmas he received a fax that said he could begin digging. Two weeks
later January 9th he started digging and 22 days later it was complete.
Raph: It was the best Christmas gift he could have!
Oli: he accomplished his dream!
So what is going on at lake WoW now days?
Oli: We have a Wake school there now. Check it out www.popwakeschool.com.
It’s a really good spot. We have 6 coaches, including Raph and I. John
Ferguson, Marc Porier, Max Carter, Fred Gendron . We all ride together
everyday at the school. We all just show up, ride and pull students and
have a good time. We have a good vibe there. We are always just riding,
having fun and messing around! We all usually travel to tournaments
together. It’s like we are family now.
Raph: it’s the PoP team!
It sounds like the two of you must have had some strong water ski
influences when you were growing up?
Oli: ya we all started water sking at a couple of months old beside the
boat on a boom with attached skis. We have home video of us doing that as
Raph: I was always crying.
Oli: we just kept going with it. We got into 3 event sking. We competed in
the Quebec Games. Then Wakeboarding started getting more popular. Since we
had always been snowboarding and skateboarding and trying to do the more
extreme sports. We just started wakeboarding.
Not that it was hard for my dad. But, it was different for my dad to see
us wanting to wakeboard. Then when he let us go and start doing it more.
He saw we were having so much fun and was cool about it after that.
Did you two start Wakeboarding at the same time?
Raph: Oli started first, he started when I was like 8 or 9.
Oli: I quit water skiing and started wakeboarding in 2001.
Raph: I landed my first invert the last run of the season when I was
nine. Then my first year riding all the time I was 10 (2002).
Raph, how has Oli influenced your riding since you began wakeboarding?
Raph: He is the main reason why I started wakeboarding. I was into water
skiing. When he began wakeboarding I followed him. As for style and
riding: At first he was much better then me so my goal was to land the
same trick he was doing. I got to the point where I could do all of his
tricks then we kind of took different paths. He doesn’t influence my
riding the same as in the past. Now, he is more of a contest rider and I’m
more of a free rider.
Oli, how has Raph influenced you riding?
Oli: Like Raph said, I started wakeboarding. Then the following year he
started riding with me and the guys I was riding with. At first it was
cool just see my brother doing what I like to do, and knowing how much he
liked it. It was fun watching him learn and eating crap and trying new
things. Then he really started learning really fast and making things look
really easy. We got to the point where we both were riding at the same
level. Shortly after that I injured my knee and had to get surgery. That
summer while I was injured he got a lot better. It was crazy because I
kept thinking I can’t wait to come back a start riding with him, because I
knew when I got better and started riding with him again, we would really
start feeding of each other and get even better.
Raph: We really hadn’t been riding together that much because he was doing
the tour with JF Goslin, and I was always riding at home with Marc. So we
were only riding together maybe 2 days a week, two years ago. It’s kind of
been like that for the last few years. We haven’t had much time to ride
together. But this will be the first summer we truly get to ride together
all the time.
Oli: YEAH, cant wait!
Raph, the last 3 weeks you have been in Florida riding at the Projects
getting ready for upcoming season. How hard is it to keep up with school
Raph: I haven’t really been doing much home work, I’ll start today.
Oli: Hahaha a few days before you get back home!
Raph: We have a seven hour drive to a contest in Georgia today. So I have
seven hours to do some home work today! Maybe I’ll do some in the hotel
while Im there? I will get through high school and then I’m moving to
Florida. Wakeboarding won’t always be there, school will. It’s hard to
give a 100% to one thing. When I come to Florida I train very hard. I’m
not going out and partying, I’m only here to ride and get better.
I’m also making really good contacts with big companies and people in
the industry. When I’m finished wakeboarding there will be other
opportunities for me through those contacts.
Raph, have you set any goals for your self this year?
Raph: I have a trick list for sure. I think everyone has goals like that.
I really just want to be more consistent, go to all the tour stops. If it
was just about me I would just always free ride and never go to contest.
But I really want to be more consistent and do better in contest.
Do you enjoy contest?
Raph: I don’t hate then. But going to contests isn’t my favorite thing to
do. I like the traveling.
Did you find anything changed for you after winning the Canadian Nationals
Raph: No, not really. It was just a really cool experience being on a
podium with one of the best riders in the world Chad Sharpe. Who is also
my favorite rider! It was kind of a dream. I wasn’t expecting it.
Oli, what are your goals for the year?
Oli: Like Raph said, everyone always has a trick list they are working on.
Other goals would be more filming, more pictures and trying to get more
exposure! I would also like to get on tour again. Last year I made top 20
this year I would really like to do top 15 or top 10. Just do my best. For
sure top 10 would be amazing. I think if I really put my mind to it and
really ride hard I will be able to do it.
Raph: I also want to try to get more exposure and try to get in some
video’s. We really haven’t done much of that in the past.
What are you guys riding right now?
Oli: Manna 134, with size 6 cell boots, no fins. Rope length 82 and a half
Oli: All the way out?
Raph: Manna 134, with size 8 one bindings, no fins. Rope length 82 and a
Raph: I have a custom stance. I have extra whole in my board that makes my
stance a little wider. I think it’s about half an inch wider that the
largest stance from the factory.
Oli: Big thanks to the Projects for letting me come and train here for a
few months every year! And for letting Raph come for a few weeks of
training! Thanks to Pat Panakos, Courtney Panakos, Joel Adair, and all the
Staff including Leslie Sparks, Jay Bay, and Yan Tibo, Brandon Mclean, Kris
Salteski. My Parents, my sponsors: O’neill, Malibu, Dragon, Etnies,
Projects Camp, PoP Wake school, Surf 66, Skull candy, Ronix
Raph: I want to thank Ronix, Billabong, Vonzipper, Skull Candy, PoP Wake
school, Malibu, the Projects Camp, Surf 66, Etnies.