No Filter – Raph Derome


“Everything is now judged by the number of clicks and likes. It’s nuts. I just haven’t fully sold my soul yet.” Photo: Loiselle

AW: Why did you fall off last season and not tell anyone what your plans were?

RD: My sponsors knew what I was up to so they knew my plans. Why would I have to tell everyone that I was going to spend a full season dedicated to a video part? I know the word probably passed around pretty quick about it anyway. I did it because that is what I felt like doing. If I would have done the typical pro wakeboarder year I could have actually gotten more burned out on wakeboarding.

AW: For a year or two it seemed like you won nearly every contest you entered, including Red Bull Wake Open. Do contests matter much to you anymore?

RD: I had really good contests results from 2010 through 2013. I felt like I had proven to myself that I could do this and it was fun because I was trying to do something new and win a new event, or try to win the same one twice in a row or whatever. After those four years I felt like I’d had a full experience with contests, I had nothing else to prove – at least to myself – and that was the most important thing. I didn’t have fun as much anymore because the only reason I was going was to try to not lose the contest because people expected me to win. I have always wanted to spend time on a full video part, not just spend some time in between contests. I decided to go for it. I knew some people wouldn’t like it, but it’s what I wanted to do and focus on.

AW: You have always focused on quality over quantity when it comes to web videos, why is that?

RD: I just want to come out with videos when they are ready and when I am stoked on them. I think a lot of riders love and want to be in people’s face all the time with content on the web. Maybe that works for them, but not for me. I don’t want to be overexposing myself and have people be over my riding because they just know what to expect. And mainly I just hate putting myself out there too much, it keeps it more interesting for me and probably others that I’m not. I just like taking time and coming out with something better – something I’m stoked on, rather than coming out with something every month that isn’t as good. People digest web videos so fast these days. They watch it once or twice and that’s it; then they forget about it. I think you can have a bigger impact on the sport and people watching if you spend longer on a video.

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