Dieter Humpsch is name you might have heard of if you somehow know a whole lot about the very tiny world of wakeskating. To put it simply, Dieter rips, and is a true representation of how the sport has grown globally. Wakeskating isn’t some sideshow to wakeboarding in North America anymore, it’s a sport recognized and participated in by athletes on every continent, and a lot of those athletes are a lot better than you might expect. Not only does Dieter rip, but his South African attitude make him one of the funniest and coolest guys to hang out with. If things go right and Dieter can live up to his potential, my money’s on him to make some serious noise at the Toe Jams this year – both with his riding and his personality.
Alliance: Name, age, zodiac sign, and where you're from…
JL: Dieter Humpsch, 26, Capricorn and I’m from South Africa.
A: How long have you been getting pulled around by a boat? When did you start wakeskating?
DH: I’ve been riding since I was about 16… I think I started wakeskating fulltime about four years ago?
A: How much wakeboarding and wakeskating is there in South Africa?
DH: It’s not too big, but we have quite a good little crew repping the scene. There are loads of people riding on the rivers and lakes, but not a lot of people support the contest scene and all that. It’s growing, though. We've got some sick riders. You'll see this year, they should be coming this side for a bit.
A: Why make the move to Orlando?
DH: I just needed to do it. I really want to ride lots and I figured this would be the best place to do it — Orlando being the mother ship and all. I guess I just want to base myself here for a while to ride some contests and push myself more on the wakeskating side.
A: How has it worked out so far?
DH: It’s been great! When I first got here Staker helped me out with a place to sleep and a car to use. The man is legend! He really made my move here easier. Then one of my mates Nick Burton-Moore also migrated from the homeland and we now live on Lake Howell. It’s our home away from home. It’s also been awesome meeting and getting to ride with some riders I’ve been watching in the videos most of my life.
A: Do you prefer riding boat, PWC, winch, or rails? why?
DH: I like riding everything… I can’t choose. It’s all wakeskating and it’s all fun!
A: Are you going to compete in any of the Toe Jam events this year?
DH: Yep, I wanna do as many as I can afford. I’m super amped to give ‘em a go!
A: What are your goals for the Toe Jam?
DH: I just want to ride my best and not stuff up. If I can have a few stand up runs I'll be happy!
A: You've been landing some gnarly stuff recently, what kind of things are you working on?
DH: Umm… I’ve been getting to ride boat quite a bit lately and have got my wake-to-wake kickflips back. Also getting those late wake-to-wake bigspins. Working on some other stuff, but I’m just really trying to go bigger and get more solid grabs and style. I wanna make my riding big and clean
A: Are American quarters or South African rand better for playing coinage? (coinage is the South African version of Quarters)
DH: Well, I’ve found some love for the U.S. quarter. Itss got good bounce and surface area for good pop. But the good ol’ Saffa R2 is a good power player. Got a little more bulk to it if you know what I mean. The way I see it, a good coinage player has to be able to play with any currency.
A: Are there any wakeskaters you haven't gotten the chance to ride with yet that you would like to?
DH: Yeah, I would dig to see Nick Taylor ride. Oh, and the other day Byerly and George Daniels came ‘round to the house and rode, but I was out looking for a job, so I didn’t get to ride with them. Just goes to show… stay at home and ride (laughs).
A: You're also good at wakeboarding and surfing… how'd you get so good at everything?
DH: (laughing) I don’t know… I’ve been surfing and skating since I was 9, so maybe that helped out on the board sport side?
A: How much longer do you think you'll be in the States?
DH: I don’t really know. However long it takes, I guess. I don’t really have any plans. I wanna go home for a while after the season here, but I'll be back after that to keep riding.
A: How hard is it to drive on the right side of the road?
DH: When I first got here I had a hard time. Especially if you’re not following any other cars, ‘cause then you go to autopilot mode and get into the left lane. But then you'll see a car heading towards you and realize quickly what’s going on (laughs).
A: What do you miss most about South Africa?
I miss all my mates and just the lifestyle and the land of South Africa. It’s such a beautiful place. It’s home… I miss home.
A: What does America have that you wish could be in South Africa?
DH: Wal-Mart!!! That place rocks! Oh, and Dr. Pepper. We used have it, but they stopped making it.
A: Any thanks you gotta give out?
DH: I'd like to thank Brode, Jono, and Todd from Fox, Matt And Dorin from GoodWood wakeskates, Bobby from Electric, DVS, Body Glove, Staker, Tony Smith, Arno, my dad and mom and Pete, and the rest of my family for helping me out with everything. Without these people I probably wouldn’t be here riding and having all this fun. And thanks Alliance for giving me this opportunity. Yoop!