Just today Noah Flegel was announced as the Sports Illustrated Kids Sportskid of the Year, so we figured it's the perfect time to get his Rider Link interview up in front of our readers. Congrats to Noah!
WW: What is your name, age and where do you reside?
NF: My name is Noah Flegel and I’m 14 years old. I live in Lighthouse Point, Florida.
WW: For how many years have you been wakeboarding?
NF: I have been wakeboarding for ten years, since I was four.
WW: Since you were four? So, are you more comfortable on a wakeboard than you are walking?
WW: Who introduced you to the sport of wakeboarding?
NF: I saw some kids wakeboarding in the canal behind my house when I was about two years old. Ever since then I had the urge to try it. My brother and I became friendly with the kids and they and my parents taught us how by holding me up on the board and doing a beach start.
WW: Where is your local lake?
NF: Crystal Lake in Pompano Beach, Florida is where I ride, at the Lavelle Train Station with my coach, Dean Lavelle.
WW: How long has Dean Lavelle been your coach?
NF: Dean has been my coach since I was about five.
WW: Does Dean Lavelle still throw a slurpee into his wakeboard runs?
NF: For sure. He is still rockin’ that trick.
WW: Has he taught you that trick?
NF: Not yet, but it is soon to come.
WW: What is the wakeboard scene like in that area?
NF: The wakeboard scene down here has definitely grown in the last couple of years since we have so many international riders coming down to train at Dean’s place. We are also really close to Ski Rixen. They got a cool new transfer box.
WW: Do you ride with the same people or do you venture out and ride with other wakeboarders?
NF: One of my good friends I ride with a lot is Merrett Fay who lives down in Miami. Other than him, just all of the people who come to the school.
WW: What kind of boat do you usually ride behind?
NF: I normally ride behind a Centurion Enzo. It throws an amazing wave for wakesurfing and wakeboarding!
WW: How about your wakeboard set up?
NF: I ride a Liquid Force 136 Witness with some 10-11 Watsons.
WW: What do you enjoy most about wakeboarding?
NF: The best feeling in the world to me is when you land a big new trick or when you’re riding doubles with some of your friends.
WW: What do you like to do when you’re not wakeboarding?
NF: My favorite thing to do besides wakeboarding is surfing. I also compete in surfing in the off-season of wakeboarding. I love to go on surf trips with my friends from Island Water Sports.
WW: Surfing, nice! If you are ever in California, hit me up and I will take you to some sick surf spots in Santa Cruz. You will drool all over yourself.
NF: Ha, ha, yeah, that sounds awesome!
WW: Do you have WakeWorld.com set as your home page?
NF: I must say it isn’t my home page since I am completely addicted to Facebook, but it is one of my tabs! Ha!
WW: What’s Facebook?
NF: This social networking site that I found.
WW: Are there any tricks that you are working on or want to work on?
NF: I am working on a couple different mobe 5’s, but I would like to try and go for some 1080’s in the next year or so.
WW: What would your ideal day be like?
NF: Wake up at around 7:00, go get some steamy barrels at the beach, go to the lake, ride in some overcast glassy water with my friends, go eat some sushi, go spear fishing, watch some Family Guy and then have some babes over to the house. Ha!
WW: Pro wakeboarders…who would be your top three and why?
NF: Harley Clifford, Steel Lafferty and Bob Soven. They all kill it.
WW: Are there any spots that you are hoping to ride at one day?
NF: I would like to winch the Fountain of Youth.
WW: Do you have any words of advice to those that are starting out?
NF: Bend your knees!
WW: How does it feel to be selected as the SI Sportkid of the Year?
NF: It feels really great to be on the cover and I think it's a great thing for the whole wakeboard community.
WW: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now when you are old and gray?
NF: Packed up to go to a great college somewhere where there is great surf and a lake so I can practice for the Pro Tour.
WW: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
NF: I would like to thank my parents for supporting me, my coach Dean Lavelle, Centurion Boats, Reef, Body glove, Miami Ski Nautique and Liquid Force.