WW: Let’s start with some stats…name, age and where do you reside?
JD: What’s up! My name is Joel DeRoche. I’m 28 years old and I live and ride in the grimy, nasty waters of the “D” (Delta), south of Disco Bay. The water is soupy and thick down here, but there is always a spot where you can drop in and catch a set. Even with the 30 mph winds that have been consistent through late May and early June, we have still been getting out almost every day. Gotta love the Delta for that reason alone! Ya heard me!
WW: How many years have you been wakeboarding?
JD: Wakeboarding started for me around 2002. I had played baseball just about every day of my life from the age of 12 to the age of 19. Whether it be Little League, All-Stars, AAU, or Winter Leagues, you could always count on finding me on the diamond, making plays between second and third base. I loved practicing, playing, working out, studying the game! I ate, slept and dreamed of baseball. I never thought that would change until I played a year in college, hurt my arm and decided that was it.
It was going to take so much work to rehab it, that I decided it wasn’t going to be worth it. I needed something though to satisfy my addiction of competing, wakeboarding was perfect. No one yelling in my ear telling me to “do that this way” or “you have to do this or that,” I could do whatever I wanted and I was the only one I had to listen to. It was the complete opposite of having coaches punk me all day long!
WW: Who introduced you to the sport of wakeboarding?
JD: Before baseball took over, kneeboarding, barefooting, and some skiing was on hit. My parents used to drag my brother and I out of bed every weekend at the crack of dawn so that we could beat the crowd and be out on the Delta before anyone else. It was so weak having to be up so early. I think that’s why we ride the evenings because, honestly, I’m terrible before noon! My family and the Williams family were out every single weekend.
Around the age of 12, we finally got our hands on a wakeboard. An old, directional board was the first stick we had. After that year, though, I wouldn’t hop on a board until I was 20. If it wasn’t for BG (Brandon George...aka Kong…aka Valdimire…aka Hampton…aka The Biggest Guy Alive…aka Tons of Fun), our whole crew probably wouldn’t be where we are at today. BG came along, took me and the rest of the Fifty 1 Fifty family under his wing and schooled us. I would say my family, good friends of mine, the Williams Family and my boy BG had the most impact on jump starting my wakeboarding career.
WW: Where do you usually ride?
JD: The “D” is where it’s at! If you can get past all the logs, cars, boats, sea weed, slime, delta rats and seals, it’s off the hook. I live on a little island in the middle of the Delta out of River’s End Marina. We are South of Disco Bay. I can’t even drive my car up to my house. Every day I have to wake up and hop in a boat so that I can get to the mainland and get to my car. There is only one way to my house and one way out of my house and it’s by boat. It doesn’t get any better than that though. Down here we don’t get the crowds like Disco gets, which leaves better water for us. Plus, rarely do we see the 50 (police) out this way.
WW: Is there a bit of a wakeboard scene going on there?
JD: The Delta wakeboard scene has always been legit. From the Bay to Sac there are dope lakes, events, winch spots, bars, beaches, restaurants, girls, photographers and riders! Need I say more?
WW: Do you ride with a set crew of people or do you mix it up a little?
JD: Monday through Friday I ride with my boys. All the Fifty 1 Fifty Productions boys; my brother Ryan, Squirrel and BG. I’m home by 5pm every day after work with five gallons in hand ready to ride. Some days, I roll to Orwood (Discovery Bay) and ride behind my boy Nick’s dope Malibu. On the weekends I ride with all my friends and their friends, and those people’s friends!
Living on the water is too sick! All my friends with boats end up at my house every weekend ready to ride and party. We do it right out here, riding until the sun sets, barbequing and partying until the sun almost comes up. Really though, I want to thank all my friends that come out here every weekend to hang out with me. It’s crazy when you live out on the water. In the winter time you can’t get a soul to come out. As soon as that sun starts coming out a little bit, I have people hitting me up every day telling me, “Hey I’m at the dock. Come get me.” Haha, just playing. I’m very thankful to be out here on the water and to be able to share it with my family and all my friends.
WW: What kind of boat do you usually ride behind?
JD: We have a 2007 MasterCraft X-15, 2004 Sea Doo or winch that we ride behind. Depending on the wind conditions determines the tow method for that day. It’s all good with me. I’m down with all of them.
WW: How about your wakeboard set up?
JD: Right now I’m rocking the 2010 144 Hyperlite B-Side with the Hyperlite Remix bindings. Thanks Joe and Squirrel.
WW: What do you enjoy most about wakeboarding?
JD: The thing I enjoy most about wakeboarding is the freedom. I don’t have to be at work! Free from the 9 to 5 and usually with friends and family. I love pushing myself to be a better rider every day in every aspect. Wakeboarding takes care of me! It keeps me in shape, it relieves my stresses and was there for me after baseball ended.
WW: What do you like to do when your not wakeboarding?
JD: During the winter months we head up to Tahoe to snowboard and catch some Warriors games. During the summer months we are at the A’s games or Stockton Ports games. I’m a sports fanatic! I try to go to as many different sporting events as I can; baseball games, NBA and NCAA basketball games, NFL and NCAA football games, NASCAR races and NHL games. It would be so legit to be at the World Cup!
WW: Are there any tricks that you are working on or want to work on?
JD: I have been working a lot on wrapped 7’s and wrapped back 5’s. It’s been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. I just want to get super consistent on both of them.
WW: What would your ideal day be like?
JD: My ideal day would be calling in sick to work on Monday morning at like 7:30 AM. and go back to bed until 9:00 AM. Next, I would go grab some breakfast and gas in town and smash back out to my house. I would ride the rest of the day. I would take a boat set or two and a set behind the Jet Ski hitting one of our rails/boxes/barrels. Last, I would cap the evening off with a bomb dinner and pass out. It’s too bad I couldn’t do the same thing on Tuesday!
WW: Pro wakeboarders… who would be your top three and why?
JD: Randall, Ben Greenwood and Kyle Murphy. Randall and Benny G I can watch behind a boat all day and Kyle Murphy can do it all. From the boat to the streets, Kyle Murphy has skills.
WW: Are there any spots that you are hoping to one day ride at?
JD: Yeah, actually later this summer the F1F crew is about to roll down to KC and the Natti to hit up the cables there. I can’t wait! I’ll have a week off of work and nothing but riding those weeks. I’m about to ride until my arms fall off. The one spot that is at the top of the list to get to within the next few years is CWC. That place looks off the hook!
WW: Any words of advice to those that are starting out?
JD: For those starting out just have a good time. Be thankful for just being out on the water. I try not to take anything for granted. I live and ride every day like it may be my last.
WW: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
JD: Geez, this may be tough because there are so many people I want thank and give shout outs to. First off, thanks to the man above because without him none of this would be happening right now. Same can be said about my family. Not just my mom, dad and my little brother, but my whole family. They support anything we do to the fullest and provide inspiration for me through the lives they lead.
Thanks to the whole Fifty 1 Fifty Productions fam, my brother Ryan, BG, Tomah, Ohio, Squirrel, Josh, Nando, Dustin, Rusty, etc. for filming, driving, partying, pictures and for always having my back. I know I’m leaving people out. My bad. I’ll get you next time! Thanks to Shane at Fringe Clothing. Thanks to Joe Sassenrath from Hyperlite. Thanks to Patty and Boyd, the previous owners of our island home. Thank you for moving to Texas. Thanks to CM Slocum from CWB. Last, but not least, I want to thank you, Arun and Dave, for giving me the opportunity to have this on WakeWorld.