Global Perspectives: Ryan Durham
Ryan Durham is an up-and-coming rider who hails from South Africa. We spent a few minutes to get to know him and to learn a bit about the state of wake in South Africa.
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Preferred pull: MasterCraft X-Star (boat)
When did you begin riding and how did you get into the sport? When I was around 11, I went to the local cable park with a few friends and decided to give wakeboarding a try. I’ve been on a wakeboard since that day.
Where do you typically ride in South Africa? On the Vaal River and at a cable park nearby my house called Stoke City.
An afternoon cruise down the Vaal River…
How’s the wake scene in South Africa? Is cable growing as well? The wake scene is definitely growing in South Africa…both cable or boat. The level of riding is progressing and there is a lot of potential for great things.
What do you feel will help the sport continue to grow in South Africa? South Africa has a huge number of people who wakeboard socially but many riders are unaware of events and training here. I really think wakeboarding in South Africa needs good advertising and a better effort towards getting the sport out amongst the social riders.
What’s your setup? I ride a Ronix One with Ronix One Bindings.
What are your goals for the coming season? It’s my last year in high school and in the Junior Men division. I would like to improve as much as I can and hopefully do really well in some of the upcoming international events such as the IWWF European and African Championships in Poland and the IWWF World Championships in Korea.
Any plans to come to the States soon? I try to come down to the States at least once a year. The previously mentioned events and school are all in August, so I am hoping to be there in December or January.
Last time I rode with you in South Africa, we finished a set and there was a body floating down the river. What’s up with that? Hahaha, well, I did some asking around and I was told by a few people that the local tribesmen believe in a ‘river God’ of sorts and ceremonies similar to that of baptism in the river. If the person slips into the water they believe that their God is taking him/her for a greater purpose and nobody attempts to rescue him. It’s kinda freaky but luckily I’ve only seen a body floating once.
Do you prefer riding at home or in the States? Home is where the heart is but the States is the place to be for wakeboarding. Especially when riding with my bru, Palma!!