West coast native, Derek Cook, makes wakeboarding look good. Big things are happening with Derek lately, a new baby, a collab with Follow, and a coast to coast move, just to name a few. We caught up with Derek in Orlando to see how the transition is going and what’s new.
WW: How are you enjoying living in Orlando?
DC: What's up? Thanks for taking the time to do an interview. Yeah, Orlando has been great. The summers are super hot and sweaty, but its been great for my family and I down here. What prompted the move was my wife Lisa got a job at the hospital in downtown Orlando, ORMC, so we packed up and went east. We have a baby boy as well, so life has been fun and exciting with all the changes. But the ease and convenience of going wakeboarding in Florida made for an easy transition for us.
WW: Have you ever lived in Florida before?
DC: Yeah I have. I spent a couple winters living down here to ride. It was about eight years ago. I actually met my wife down here on a boat on Lake Jessamine, so it's kinda cool. It's gone full circle for us moving back down here right down the street from where we met.
WW: Who do you find yourself riding with most?
DC: A lot of different crew. Lately it's been with Tyler Higham, Guenther Oka, Tony Carroll, Jeff Langley, Brandon Thomas, Dallas Friday, Massi, Chad Sharpe and Bob Sichel. They all live really close, so it's easy to jump out for a quick set with someone. I’d like to try and ride with everyone out this way at least once.
WW: Are you missing the Delta Force crew?
DC: Yeah, it's hard not to. Those boys come out here a lot as well and I made a couple trips back to Cali for work last year. I still talk to everyone all the time as well, so all is good. Those guys will always be my crew. Westside!
WW: What do you think is the biggest difference about living in Orlando compared to being on the west coast?
DC: Not a whole lot. Its cheaper to ride here since gas is about a dollar cheaper on average. Everyone out here is on, riding really well and pushing the sport. It helps to know so many people out here already, so going wakeboarding is easy.
WW: Dog Dayz won video of the year. How was it being a part of that?
DC: Man, it was pretty rad to be recognized by the whole industry for the movie. We had a blast filming it as well. And to see Josh Twelker win rider of the year and video part of the year and Rodrigo win photographer of the year was crazy. Felt like a full sweep for the squad.
WW: Any memorable stories from filming with Trever and the crew?
DC: So many! If you watch the film you get a good sense of the vibe from the year. My ender trick for my section will always stand out for me. There was an abandoned sunken boat washed up on shore one day. I decided I was going to drag it off the levy and use it a pole jam type kicker. I remember dying laughing as we were dragging the boat off the rocks with my boat. The shot came out sick and Rodrigo Donoso and I got a cover shot on Alliance from it.
WW: Any new projects that you are working on for 2017?
DC: Yeah, I got something in the works. Kind of like a move to Florida piece. More details to follow.
WW: Congrats on your new vest and handle with Follow. Where did the inspiration come from for those?
DC: Yeah, thanks. I've been working with the boys from Follow for a while now. Our Season 7 line is about to drop and I have a signature handle this year along with two colorways with a vest. The print on the grip is the iconic Railroad Bridge on the delta. So stoked on how it came out. It should be available now on FollowMeNow.com.
WW: Hoven also released a new signature series called the Delta Force. How has it been working with them?
DC: It's been pretty rad. When myself and the Delta Force crew (Josh Twelker and Trever Maur) all got on board last year, the idea came up for a signature shade. We worked with Hoven from scratch on the project to create a whole new frame. It's awesome to see them come to life from concept. We are all super happy how they came out. Go check them out at HovenVision.com.
WW: How old is your son?
DC: Fynnly turned one in March.
WW: Must be pretty crazy being a father. How is it?
DC: Yeah, it's definitely challenging and fun at the same time. It’s a new chapter in life, but we love it. Fynn’s a pretty happy dude, so he makes it easy.
WW: When do you plan on getting him up on the board for the first time?
DC: Whenever he’s ready for it, but I'll probably take him for a ride along with me this spring. He loves going on the boat every day, so it probably won't take much convincing to get him out there.
WW: What does this mean for your career as a rider/coach?
DC: As far as riding goes, I’m riding better than ever right now. I'm still progressing and my riding is evolving. All my sponsors were stoked and supportive about all the changes with moving and starting a family.
WW: Speaking of coaching, what is the plan for your wakeboard schools?
DC: At the moment, that’s on hold. I'll probably get out on the Delta a couple times again this year and do some clinics. I’ve always enjoyed teaching and watching others progress or learn to ride for the first time and I’ve taught thousands of people to do it. I'm sure I'll get back into it eventually, but for right now I have different priorities in life.
WW: Do you have any plans of opening up a camp here in Florida?
DC: No. I have enough on my plate at the moment. I’m enjoying riding and the family. It’s a good change of pace from racking up a couple thousand hours driving a boat every year.
WW: What do you do to stay in wakeboard shape through the winter?
DC: Just ride and carry around a 20-pound baby.
WW: Do you have any goals set for the future?
DC: There’s still a lot of things I want to accomplish in wakeboarding. I'm blessed to be where I'm at with it right now, but I still have goals and a check list of things I want to do.
WW: What gets you most pumped up to go ride?
DC: Shooting photos and video with a good crew get me amped up. I feel like I ride better or with a purpose when the camera's out. Its like being really excited to go to work.
WW: Who would you like to thank?
DC: First off, I'd like to thank my wife, Lisa, for all her love and support in pursuing my goals with wakeboarding. And my sponsors as well for backing me; Liquid Force, Follow, Hoven and MB Boats.