The sport of wakeboarding has taken many twists and turns as well as some huge leaps in progression over the past 20 years, but in this time there has always been one name/one brand at the forefront of it all – O’Neill. It’s therefore fitting perhaps, that the name associated with some of the most progressive, awe inspiring and innovative riding of recent years teams up with O’Neill to take the sport of wakeboarding to even greater heights.

Nico von Lerchenfeld started his career on board the legendary O’Neill team and rejoins their ranks at the tender age of 20. With multiple world class contest titles to his name including O’Neill Wake The Line, his very own invitational event “Cash for Tricks” – a following for his incredible and unique rail skills the world over, his influence over the direction of the sport can not be ignored. Heralding from the home of world wide cable-riding, Germany, kick-starting the System 2.0 rail riding craze, sweeping the planet with the Sesitec family, his destiny was always pointed in the direction of wakeboarding greatness, but few could have predicted how far and how hard he would be pushing.

As one of the most approachable, fun-loving and humble athletes in the world of action sports, Nico’s enthusiasm for a life on the water embodies all that O’Neill is about. This, according Bernhard Ritzer, the brand’s director of global sports marketing, makes for a perfect match: “We’re very happy to welcome Nico back on the team. His personality, riding skills and style are simply inspiring for every wakeboarder. He’s so creative in everything he does. Nico is pushing the sport every day – he’s pure progression. We’re looking forward to a lot of surprises and fun on and off the water.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking this young athlete has thrown his complete professionalism and dedicated mindset to the discipline of rail riding alone, such are his skills in this area and the current popularity of this facet to the sport. Nico’s abilities, however, are most certainly not limited to jibbing and kicker hits, able to stand toe to toe with the best of the best whether it be on boat, cable or obstacles. With all these possible directions in which to take the sport, he knows that having a brand behind him with the same all encompassing outlook is vital:
“I always wanted to ride for O’Neill ever since I grew up at the waterski cableway. I was so stoked when I got my first O’Neill boardshort! Recently, I took quite some time to look for the right sponsor. Next to cool products, the values that a brand stands for are extremely important to me. O’Neill has always been on top of my list – even after I have left them for a while – so I’m really happy to be part of the team again. Back to the roots and heading into the future with joy!”

Watch this space as we enter even more exciting times in the sport of wakeboarding, and in 2013 able to sit back and enjoy the water based fruits of what is sure to be a formidable and long lasting partnership – Cheers to O’Neill and Nico!

O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to battle Mother Nature. Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative board riding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. From the first neoprene surf wetsuit and board leash to the world’s first stitchless board shorts. O’Neill will always be committed to growing its reputation as one of the world’s leading youth lifestyle brands based on being the First Name in the Water. www.oneill.com