For many years the California Delta has produced and been home to some of the most stylish riders of our time. However, nothing can compare to what the young Josh Twelker is already doing on his board. I have had the pleasure of watching this young buck grow from learning his first invert to his first 7 and now scoring his first cover.
Josh is one of the most stylish riders in the biz right now doing things that most people would need to master yoga before trying. He is a calm, cool and collected guy on and off the water, but really expresses himself through his riding, which has definitely paid off for him. Get used to hearing his name a lot more. And dads, hide your daughters. This is Josh Twelker.
WW: Josh, give us the run down...
JT: My name is Josh Twelker. I'm 17 years old and I live in Discovery Bay on the California Delta.
WW: What is the best part about living on the Delta?
JT: The Delta is awesome! The best part of living on the Delta is that it's on the west coast and I get to ride on one of the most legendary spots for wakeboarding almost every day. There are so many different sloughs that you can almost always find good water.
WW: How long have you been riding for?
JT: I started when I was about nine years old, so about eight years now.
WW: What first got you into the sport?
JT: My brother Jeremy started wakeboarding first. I got into it after watching him for a while. Our friends had one of those old, weird pointy looking boards and that was the first one I got up on.
WW: Did you look up to anyone in the sport as you were coming up?
JT: There's this guy named Kaesen Suyderhoud that used to hang around Nor Cal quite a bit and he taught me some tricks early on. I've always looked up to Mike Schwenne as a local pro who has great style. Ben Greenwood was always my favorite rider to watch in videos and I learned a lot from watching his style.
WW: Can you walk us through a normal day in the life of Josh Twelker?
JT: Get up, drink coffee, eat breakfast, do my school work, trampoline, go ride on the Delta, come home, eat dinner, ride bikes, play Xbox, go to bed, repeat.
WW: What’s your favorite trick to do right now?
JT: My favorite trick is a switch heelside late grab stalefish 540.
WW: What’s your current set up?
JT: I ride a CWB DB9 with Answer bindings. The best part about the setup is that it's really light and the bindings are flexible. Great pop. Great edging. Who could ask for more?
WW: As you might already know, you finished in the top 10 of the Jr. Pro Men class on the Pro Wakeboard Tour. Do you enjoy the competition side of the sport or do you consider yourself more of a freerider?
JT: I enjoy freeriding because that's the fun side of wakeboarding for me. I also like the tournaments and the tour has been fun because I have been able to meet so many great riders from the rest of the country. Free riding on the Delta when the conditions are good is the best part of wakeboarding for me, but I enjoy freeriding most of all. Who doesn't? With competitions I'm never really worried about how it all turns out, but I do get inspired to try new stuff after watching what everyone else is throwing down. It's all a reminder of what's possible and to keep pushing myself.
WW: Out of all the tour stops, what’s your least favorite stop and your most favorite stop?
JT: I never seem to do very well in Tennessee. That stop has rough conditions for the riders, but it's a nice venue for spectators. The Colorado stop was cool this year. We had a pretty fun time afterwards too.
WW: What is the most important thing about wakeboarding to you?
JT: Fun! Landing new tricks is always a high no matter how much you learn. The lifestyle, cute girls, meeting new people who share a similar vibe. The list goes on and on as the years go by.
WW: You recently just got the cover of Alliance. How does that make you feel and where do you want to go from there?
JT: Well, I remember the first time getting up. I remember struggling with my first flip, then landing it and being stoked. I remember a lot of other stuff...good and bad...and now this cover shot came along. It's a great reminder of the whole journey and a reminder that much more is possible.
WW: Now I have known you for a long time and I know you’re not the only Twelker on the Delta. How is it having your brother and sister right there riding with you around 99% of the time?
JT: Jer's always been there for me and always helped push me at the right times. He's riding great these days. He just got his first 7, so he's helping to keep a great vibe going. Alyssa has always known how to simply enjoy wakeboarding, just going out there and doing what you feel like, so she helps keep a great vibe in her own way. And she's also an exceptional cook, so I don't starve (which I consider important).
WW: I would have to say there is a select few people out there reading this that know of the famous "Twelker Slide." For the rest of the wake world, can you please explain this clutch contest trick?
JT: The Twelker Slide started as a way to get points when we started competing in local tournaments. If you fell at the end of a pass and couldn't get in a wake trick, you could cut out and do a power slide and it was as many points as a wake trick. Jeremy was probably the first to perfect this. As his younger brother, I followed his lead and the clutch trick won me some podiums back in the day. The crew in the boat during tournaments started calling it a Twelker Slide.
WW: You turn on your iPod...what are the first five songs you listen to?
JT: Atmosphere - My Songs, Rebelution - What I know, The Grouch - Simple Man, Kid Cudi – Alive, Tribal Seeds - Dawn of Time.
WW: So as a west coast Delta man, can you explain the word "style" to everyone please?
JT: Style is an individual thing. Personally, I try to do what I think looks good and is unique. I constantly pay attention to my riding so that I make sure I like the way that I do my tricks.
It's more than just doing the trick. It's more about making it look good while you're doing it.
WW: Do you have a favorite spot to ride on the delta?
JT: We ride at the Delta Force Wakeboard Ninja training grounds. It's a top secret location.
WW: If you could pick one spot on earth right now to ride at, where would you go?
JT: Honestly, probably the Delta. The Delta is home and to me there is nothing better than having a relaxing day on the Delta with my brothers.
WW: If you had a nickel for every time someone asked you___________, you would have $_____.
JT: If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me TO DO A RALEY, I would STILL BE BROKE. A nickel isn’t very much these days.
WW: What is your favorite boat to ride behind?
JT: The Axis A22 is an awesome boat. The wake is like a Malibu only a little bit firmer. The more weight you add, the better it gets. The wake stays super clean even with lots of weight.
WW: Do you like to play any other sports besides shredding on the water? Tubing doesn’t count!
JT: Well if tubing doesn't count, I don't have an answer for this one. Seriously, I tend to jump on the trampoline quite a bit most days. We do a little bit of snowboarding in the winter and we ride bikes almost every day. We also skate a little bit, but not too seriously.
WW: Do you have any travel plans for the rest of the 2010 wake season?
JT: I'm almost done traveling for 2010. I'm going to Alaska for a week (not for wakeboarding) and then I'm looking forward to some fall riding on the Delta. Fall is the best time of the year on the Delta.
WW: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
JT: I love where I'm at right now and I can see wakeboarding being a part of my life for a long time. I see myself still pushing my riding to be the best that I can be. I see myself still being a West Coast rider. I love spending time in Orlando, and I expect to do plenty of that, but my roots are in the Delta.
WW: Do you have any words of encouragement to all the young bucks out there wanting to be just like Josh Twelker?
JT: Work Hard. Get out on the water as much as you can. Develop your own style, but make sure your fundamentals are good. Get good coaching. Stay motivated and, most of all, have fun!
WW: Anyone out there you would like to thank?
JT: I'd like to thank my sponsors: Everyone at CWB has been super good to me. Axis Boats and Boat Country have been awesome. My parents for backing me 100%. The guys I ride with - Jeremy, Trever, Mike, Derek, Chris for pushing me to be my best. Rodrigo, Spence and Garrett for getting me so much good exposure.