photos: Yann Roy

There is a strong possibility that Raphael “Raph” Derome is the best wakeboarder you’ve never seen before. For a few years there was always talk of Ollie Derome’s younger brother breaking out and making some noise on the scene, but until 2010 it never quite materialized. This year though, there was no mistaking it, and given the amount of young talent Raph is surrounded by (Bob Soven, Harley Clifford, Steel Lafferty, Daniel Powers, Trever Maur, etc, etc) that is saying something. Raph’s skills on a wakeboard are ridiculous, and that’s not just behind the boat. Anytime, anywhere, riding behind anything, Raph will shred. Hard. The kid has a smooth, technical style behind the boat, while still mixing in big air. He can jib, bonk, press and drop with the best of them. But where he his riding may shine most is on rails. Whatever way you look at it, Raph is one of the most well-rounded riders not just amongst his age group, but arguably in the entire world.