We move our cameras and computer screens over to east Orlando to catch up with Florida local boy, Danny Thollander. Danny is a smooth, but powerful, rider who has quite the knack for watersports. Whether it’s surfing in the salt or wakeboarding in the fresh, he seems to have a pillow case full of tricks and it seems to just keep growing. You have most likely seen Danny somewhere on the internet or at a wakeboard contest, but do you really even know much about Danny himself? Well, now is the time to see for yourself. Enjoy, Danny Thollander.
WW:Howdy Danny, how are you doing?
DT: I'm doing great, man. Just staying healthy and enjoying life.
WW: Let’s start things off with a little introduction.
DT: I'm 23 years old, born in Winter Park, Florida. I have lived in Orlando my whole life.
WW: For how long have you been shredding the water?
DT: I have been surfing since I was three and wakeboarding since I was 12.
WW: What first got you into wakeboarding?
DT: Growing up in Orlando my Dad and all my friends had boats. We would have our parents pull us after school almost every day. Finally, I got good enough to compete at Gravel Tours and then in Junior Men on the Pro Tour.
WW: What is it about the sport that keeps you going at it every day?
DT: The thing about wakeboarding that keeps me going is that you can always learn something new, either new tricks, grabs or just a different way of doing the same trick. Also, the lifestyle that comes with it; being in the boat with friends, traveling the world and meeting new people.
WW: Do you usually have a daily ritual for riding or is your life just a crazy adventure where you have to pick and choose your days on the water?
DT: I get into a daily ritual during the season, about 6-8 months a year. I wake up, pull my girlfriend wakeskating, take a short set on my rails, make breakfast and watch the latest wake videos on the web. Then I go get some gas, 10-20 minute stretch out and have a freeride shred behind the boat. Then, after pulling someone else, I take another set and work on my contest pass and new tricks. After lunch, I take a set on my rails or head to the gym depending on the wind. So basically I ride, eat, stretch, ride, eat, ride, etc.
During the winter/off-season I focus on staying healthy and strong while enjoying a lot of other sports like surfing, snowboarding, wakeskating, dirt biking, lumber jacking, skeet-shooting, hunting and fishing…really anything that is outdoors.
WW: Word on the street is you built a private little rail park on your lake. Do you have any words to say about that or would you rather just keep it a secret?
DT: Actually, yeah, everyone can know about my park. It has just become pretty popular since I built my newest rail. It has been pretty secret for a while just so we can get a lot of filming and shooting done for videos and mags. Now I have it open to the public to come pay for sets and instruction. I have a 90-foot flat bar, 80-foot roof top, 85-foot rainbow C-rail and three wakeskate rails.
WW: I hear your girlfriend could out wakeskate you with her eyes closed...or maybe I'm just saying this for myself, but is this true?
DT: Yeah, I’m dating Jen GilanFarr. She is a three-time Wakeskate World Champion. I used to be as good as her, but she past me up a long time ago. Wherever we go to ride she is better than most of the boys there.
WW: If you had the chance to travel through time, where would you go and why?
DT: I would want to go to the year 3075 because there will be space travel so I can go to different planets.
WW: With Christmas around the corner, did you ask Santa for anything special this year?
DT: Yeah, I asked Santa for a new wetsuit and an iPhone. Hopefully he pulls through because the water is getting cold and my phone keeps messing up.
WW: America’s pastime is baseball. At the rate wakeboarding is growing, do you think baseball has met its new competition?
DT: Yeah, one day it will be that big. The sport just needs to be brought to stadiums and big cities in the form of shows. Like a big concert/music festival and wakeboarding at the same time. It is heading in the right direction now using the System 2.0 at all the Wakestocks and rail jams I go to each year, such as Wake the Line or Wake of Fame.
WW: With more rail jams and events popping up like that showing people our sport, do you think the outlook for wakeboarding will start to change?
DT: Yeah, it’s really hard for the average family to get into wakeboarding because you have to ride behind a boat. But now with cables popping up everywhere and these rail jams going to big sporting events and music festivals, more kids and families will get interested in our sport.
WW: Who is your favorite rider to watch?
DT: Danny Harf. Not only do we have the same name, but he is such an innovator for our sport and he makes everything look so fun
WW: Favorite cartoon of all time?
WW: What are the top three most played songs on your iPod?
DT: 1. Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone, 2. Los Del Rio – Macarena and 3. Baha Men - Who let the dogs out?
WW: You fall towards the end of your second pass in a final and there is only enough time for one more hit after you get back up. What trick you going with?
DT: If I need a hammer tech trick a Moby Dick 540. If I need a spin, a backside 7.
WW: Best movie of all time?
DT: Point Break.
WW: Worst movie of all time?
DT: The American
WW: Best way to spend $100?
DT: Ten waves at Typhoon Lagoon.
WW: Worst way to spend $100?
DT: On the game at the fair that pushes coins and glued down bills over the edge. You'll never win.
WW: What are your favorite websites to surf?
DT: Hyperlite, Surfline, WakeWorld, Transworld, Alliancewake, etc. And don't forget DannyThollander.com!
WW: DannyThollander.com? I think I've heard of that site. What goes on there?
DT: I got on there my bio, almost every photo I have gotten in a Magazine, videos I have been in or made and a calendar of events. Then my blog is called The Latest. It’s pretty much everything cool I have going on in my life, pics and videos of my trips and any cool videos of friends or funny random stuff I find on the web. I update it a few times a week to keep things fresh!
WW: Where would you like to see this sport in 10 years?
DT: Well, there will definitely be bigger boats with bigger wakes. Bigger cable parks and better tricks. It would be great if the sport gets Into the Olympics, X Games and big sport events. The possibilities are endless and I believe anything could happen.
WW: I'm sure you have some people to thank, so let's hear ‘em!
DT: Well, first my parents for helping me get where I'm at in my career. My sponsors; Hyperlite, Nautiques of Orlando, Zinka, Dunkelvulk and Rockstar. GoPro HD cameras for helping me get into filming and editing my own stuff. My girlfriend Jen for making DannyThollander.com. Everyone who has ever pushed me to learn a new trick and all my competitors for making me ride hard when it counts.