Words by Oli Derome
Photos: Tyler Soden

In an industry where most upcoming riders grow up by the water or with a group of friends who they ride with regularly, it’s pretty rare that guys make it up the ranks on their own. In a time where there are less events in Canada, French-Canadian cable slayer Nic Leduc comes out from the shadows and gives us a piece of who he is and why he has been turning heads everywhere he has gone this past year!

Photo: TSode

How did you get into wakeboarding? First time I rode a wakeboard was when i was 12 years old and it was just an introduction. It’s only later on when I was 16 that my brother’s friend took me to Pointe’s Wake Park (called Beach Club back then), for most of the summer I was wakeskating. It was only a few months later that I started wakeboarding more since I had been going to the park more regularly.

How long have you been riding for? I’m 21 now, so when I was 17 I got my first car and started going to the park everyday so I could ride. That’s when I consider I really started riding. That would make it four years ago. For the first two years I would only ride in Quebec, which really only permits us to ride for 4-5 months, but for the past two years I’ve been able to travel and ride almost year round.

What kept you coming back for more to keep progressing to where you are now? I grew up snowboarding a lot and like most east coasters, we don’t get that much snow so I spent most of my days hitting rails in the park. I really liked jumps but the conditions weren’t always there. When I started wakeboarding more it was like I could continue my progression from the snow to the water, and from the water to the snow. The perfect cross over!

What separates a good rider from a great rider? And why? To me consistency is important and how fast a rider adapts. After travelling I’ve realized different cables have different pulls/tension. It applies to winching a lot too, getting a trick or spot in fewer tries, etc…

What is your opinion of boat riding? The more I ride the more I’d like to figure out and learn how to ride a boat. It’s almost like an unknown aspect of the sport to me, a different discipline. The fact that there is transition in the wakes makes it intriguing and attractive to me.

What is the biggest trend in cable riding at the moment? As far as tricks go, it’s almost like riders either do small and stylish tricks or big tech difficult tricks.

Double inverts or large spins? I’m a spinner! Haha to be honest, I haven’t had the motivation to go upside down twice yet. Maybe it will come later on…who knows?

Photo: TSode

Do you consider yourself more of a “tech guy” or a “style guy”? I’d like to think I’m in the middle of the two or at least I try to be! But I think my riding would be closer to the style end of the spectrum.

What do you think of the state of wake in Canada?

Wakeboarding as a whole is still fairly new, but cable riding is a very young sport and is evolving quickly with cable parks and two tower parks settling all over. If you look at a province like Ontario where they have more than a dozen parks it clearly shows there is lots of room for progression.

What are your short- and long-term goals? Short term, I would say to try and keep up with my current flow of social media posts, to go on little trips and make little edits. Long term I’ve got good ideas that need to blossom and get started for them to become reality.

Do you think you could manage a girlfriend with the travelling lifestyle of your career? I’m pretty sure I could if I found a gem and it was serious. Good thing I have Tinder and everywhere I go has free wifi to let me connect with local honeys with just a swipe… hahaha.

What is your school situation? And did you decide? I just finished online CEGEP (the equivalent of grade 12 and first year of Uni), and I am looking into starting university online in Administration. It was hard to convince my parents to let me travel and do online courses but I have done well and graduated CEGEP.

Full length, part or full part online? I don’t really have a tight crew of riders I am with all the time riding and travelling. It would be great to have that, but instead I travel and meet up with a bunch of friends I have met through my travels. I guess for now my projects are like my love life, SINGLE! Haha there might be a full part dropping in September…hush hush.

Favourite riders to follow on social media? Felix Georgii, Dylan Miller, Alex Graydon, I’m a big fan of them! Also, I really enjoy looking at Kylie Jenner on insta!

How do you see social media affecting riders and wakeboarding in general? It promotes the sport a lot and makes the sport more accessible as far as connecting, engaging and following it. As for riders I feel like it can dilute your riding since you can feel forced to pump footage out instead of stacking it for a longer project. I see some brands giving away product to a bigger field of riders for free exposure rather than investing in riders to make a long-term relationship. I also feel like the definition of a sponsorship has changed since the arrival of social media.

How does trick selection affect your riding? Trick wise I think every trick can be made sick, it’s all left to the rider’s discretion and way of doing it. A nosepress back one out can look as sick as a double flip. It’s up to you to make it look cool or nah.

What are your summer plans? I have plans of travelling as much as I can! Home base will be Montreal as usual but I have a feeling I will be spending quite a bit of time overseas in Europe, hopefully seeing many different countries. Since the cable scene in Europe is way bigger than North America, it make sense for me to go compete there. More riders = more challenge which I enjoy

What was your favourite part of shooting for your interview in Orlando? Shooting with T-Sode has been fun. My favourite was when we went to Area 52 where Kevin Henshaw greeted us and helped out with the concept of the coned wall ride. He set it up so well that it turned out way less sketchy than I expected and the shot turned out sick so I’m stoked!!

Photo: TSode

This or That?

Frontside or Backside
Nose or Tail
Melon or Stale
Kicker or Rail….ummm, a transfer
Switch or Regular
Rockstar or Red Bull…Beer, Rolling Rock
Pepsi or Coke
Black or White
Red or Blue
Beard or Stash
Left or Right
Tacos or Burritos
Skate or Snow
Blonde or Brunette
Boobs or Booty

Best and worst food in USA? Best is Chipotle, worst is Gator wings in Orlando. I spent the night puking them out…it was cheap wing night so I ate a lot!

Is there anyone you would like to thank now that you just finished your first interview? Haha. SBC for giving me the opportunity to do that. T-sode for shooting pictures with me and also Keven Henshaw for giving us the time to shoot at Area 52. Oli Derome for doing the interview. Also Hyperlite for giving me the support to accomplish what I’m doing right now! Would not be possible without them!

NIC: What about you Oli, what can we expect from you in 2017? Are you making a comeback from your injury?

Haha yeah man, thanks for asking! It’s now been 8-9 months since I’ve had surgery to re-attach my achilles tendon and I am feeling good! It was a long process and difficult to stand on the sidelines throughout the entire summer and think that I should be in the mix but I took that energy and focused in on rehab. I’ve been working out, snowboarding, playing hockey, climbing and got to ride at the Toronto Boat Show and everything felt good. I’m gonna start my season in Australia and will be ready to fire away once the season starts. Planning on competing a bunch but I want to focus a bit more on shooting quality clips and photos.

Photo: TSode