Yann Tibo is one unique and funny Canadian from the French side that isn't afraid to tell you what he thinks. He is one of the top rail riders and wake park riders in the world. He killed it in the Philippines and impressed everyone at all the rail events in France. Yann has a smooth style on the rails and explodes the same style off kickers. He does a really good job on making things looks easy too. I guess that happens when you ride with the Derome brothers.
I got a chance to catch up with Yann during his busy summer and talk about how the year has been and what his plans are to finish the year off. He has been having one hell of a past nine months, so I can only imagine what he has in store for the next three.
WW: Yann, how is your summer going? Is it starting to get cold up north in Canada yet?
YT: My summer is insane right now. Since I concentrate my riding only on rails and cable, I have been learning new things pretty much every day. Since my ankle does not hurt anymore and since I ride for CTRL, it feels like I just discovered wakeboarding again. It’s awesome!
WW: You have been traveling like a maniac this season? How has that been for you?
YT: So much good experience. I went to Philippines and France...two destinations that some of my friends are dreaming about and I’ve done it. I met so many people and so many good riders that I never heard about. Those trips are stuck in my memory forever!
WW: You have also made a board sponsor switch to CTRL. Has the switch to their flex board helped your riding at all?
YT: Definitely! I’m way better on rails since I ride for CTRL. I will never get back on a hardboard, even for riding the wake. I broke my last board on my trip to France and good chance that Keith Lidberg was there with an extra CTRL. Soon as I tried The Blueprint, I told Keith that I’m keeping the board. Haha!
WW: Even though you speak French, why do the French people still seem to giggle when you talk?
YT: I don’t know. It makes the girls laugh. Over here in Quebec we say, "A girl who laughs, she’s halfway in your bed! Hahaha!
WW: Where is your local spot to ride?
YT: Usually the beach club (the cable park in Montreal). Some people call it the bitch club because this place is more like a club instead of a place to wakeboard. I also ride a lot at the beautiful Derome plaza!
WW: Do you usually ride with a group of buddies?
YT: When I’m at the cable I’m pretty much by myself. It sucks. When I’m at the Derome's, there are tons of good people, a lot of good kids. It makes me push myself every time I go there. Soooo much fun.
WW: Now, you are known for your sick rail riding, but how has the boat season been for you this year?
YT: I touched the wake like six or seven times this season. Since Philippines, I decided to concentrate more on rails and cable riding instead of doing everything. I have more fun on the cable and on rails anyway. I'm coaching a lot of people on their boat over here in Quebec though and sometimes I will enjoy a little boat set myself!
WW: You seem to always be giving Turtle a hard time at events. Can you explain the friendship between little Daniel Grant and yourself?
YT: It’s funny. I met him for the first time last January at CWC. He made me laugh. This kid is so funny, always happy. I guess that’s the kind of people you want around you. I always see him in some contest and his happiness makes me get out of my contest mood. Yes, he is really easy to mess with.
WW: Do you have any other talents besides your wakeboarding?
YT: Talent? I don’t know, haha, but I used to do lots of slopestyle contests on my snowboard. I don’t snowboard that much anymore, I’ll say two times a week. But the sport that I like the most now is ice hockey. I remember driving my hockey stuff down to Florida when I used to work at The Projects just to go play with Olivier Derome and Chad Sharpe at RDV center in Orlando.
WW: I have a celebrity guest question from fellow Canadian, Aaron Rathy.
AR: What's up with your Facebook photo of you with the American flag? Have you always wanted to be a separatist trader? Haha!
YT: Tell Rathy that I don’t know anything about politics and that story about the province of Quebec wanting to be their own country. Haha. Everyone who knows me a little bit knows that I always want to be a true American. One day I’ll be a full American citizen! This is what my Facebook profile pic means…Yan Tibo, THE TRUE American.
WW: Do you have any other travel plans this year that you are looking forward to?
YT: Yeah, I'm going to Surf Expo in September and Texas for the last cable stop. I also hope to go to Thailand for the King of Kicker and Abu Dhabi for Worlds. I hope I’ll find a clothing sponsorship at Surf Expo to help me! Hahaha.
WW: What is your favorite trick to do right now?
YT: I like to do a lot of tricks, but I’ll say toeside nose grab back 7. It’s not the hardest one, but it’s fun to do!
WW: What is your least favorite trick in wakeboarding?
YT: That’s a hard question. I don’t hate any type of trick. I like pretty much everything. The thing I hate is some people's style. I’m not gonna say any name because some of them are friends and really cool to hang out with. I just think that the word ''STYLE'' is way more important than just a super hard trick and usually those super hard trick look like the dude who is doing it has a corn dog stuck in his ass! (no offense, hahaha)
WW: What words of advice would you give to all those young bucks out there wanting to be like Yann Tibo?
YT: Nothing is impossible and just keep shredding. For myself, my parents never had a boat. I just grew up beside a cable, went out there every day of the summer working out my way to the pro level. Even when you are a ''pro,'' I never consider myself as a pro. I just wanna get better and better.