It's easy to get too focused on the pro riders that make up the upper echelon of our sport. However, most of them started when they were very young, so sometimes it's good to shine the spotlight on the younger riders that are pushing wakeboarding up from the bottom. One such rider is 12-year-old Tyler Higham, a little ripper with quick wit, clear goals and, of course, style for miles out on the water. Don't miss the video after the interview to get a look at what wakeboarding's future looks like.
WW: What is your name, age and where do you live?
TH: My Name is Tyler Higham. I am twelve years old and I live in Bend, Oregon where it is cold and rainy.
WW: How did you get into wakeboarding and how long have you been riding?
TH: I knew how to double ski when I was four years old. Once I was so pro, my dad brought home a wakeboard and took me to Shasta. The rest is history.
WW: Where do you find most of your wakeboarding influences?
TH: Growing up in Bend, Oregon, where there is a ton of snow, I found snowboarding to be very fun. Alex Scagliotti and Robbie Carter were my two main influences and really helped me to create my own riding style.
WW: Who are your top three favorite riders and why?
TH: Josh Twelker: He has tons of style and makes each trick his own. Plus he has bangers.
Mike Dowdy: He has HUUUGEE bangers like mobe 7’s, not to mention he is short like me.
Alex Scagliotti: I grew up riding with him and he is one of my hometown rippers.
WW: So how is staying/training with Josh Twelker?
TH: Staying with Josh Twelker is a dream come true because he is one of my favorite riders. Getting to watch him ride every day gives me inspiration to learn new tricks and make old tricks look new. Being at his house is so fun and you never know what’s going to happen next.
WW: Where do you usually ride? What is your favorite spot and who is your crew?
TH: I usually ride at Shasta when I’m not staying with Josh, but my favorite spot to ride is the California Delta. Back home my riding crew is my family, Alex Scagliotti and his dad Randy and Remy Barber. But when I’m at the Delta, the whole Delta Force crew is my crew.
WW: At only 12 years old, do you feel lucky to have parents that back your dream 100%?
TH: Yes, and it’s not just my parents, but my whole family, friends and people who support me.
WW: If you’re not on the water, what are three things we might catch you doing?
TH: If I’m not out on the boat, I would be on the trampoline practicing tricks, snowboarding and getting gangster with it and studying hard for school.
WW: What is a good day for Tyler Higham?
TH: So a good day for me would be looking out the boat window and seeing flat water, having a wakeboard set where I land all the tricks I can do, and when it’s hot outside because I live in Oregon.
WW: You seem to have a lot of determination to be very good. What are your goals as your get older?
TH: My goals as I get older are to become a professional wakeboarder. I would really like to get the tricks to hang with the best in the world. I also want to have mad style because I grew up on the West Coast.
WW: What tricks are on your checklist for this season?
TH: The tricks that I want to land this year are heel 540, switch heel 540, Tootsie Roll and a whirly.
WW: Who would you like to thank?
TH: My parents and my family, my friends, CWB for the support and the Twelker household.