Nationality: South African yeeeeew!
Home Town: Cape Town
Started ridng: 13
Gear: CWB DB9 with CWB Answer Bindings
Top Places to Ride: Misverstand Dam, Xtreme Gene in Spain
Favourite Moves: Pulp Fiction, Get him to the Greek, Pointless Incomplete
Favourite Rider: Josh Twelker shredds it up!
Riding Tips: Have fun and make sure you keep having fun, and don’t be afraid to try something new if you think it will be fun. (the worst thing that could happen is a good old front or back edge ;))
Other Dirty habits: haha
Sponsors: Fox Clothing, Monster Energy, CWB Wakeboards
Website: dylanmitchell.tumblr.com (although I haven’t given it proper attention in a while)
Facebook: Dylan James Mitchell
Dirty Habits: You spent most of last year traveling, competing and riding with the best wakeboarders in the world. Tell us about that and what it meant to you.
Dylan Mitchell: it was awesome, after finishing my Matric in 2011 my parents gave me the opportunity to take a Gap year to pursue Wakeboarding overseas, With the Support of my sponsors and friends I had made over the years overseas I was able to go traveling for almost the entire year. I started off the year at Shaun Faccio’s place in Johannesburg at the Vaal river where we got some serious shred time in behind his Tige to get fit for the season overseas. After that I headed across the pond to Orlando Florida, where I got to live with SA’s legend Dieter Humpsch and his fiancé for two months. It was awesome to stay with Dieter because I have always looked up to him as a rider and to get to ride with him every day was way to sick. After America I headed back across the pond to Europe where I spent the rest of my Gap year taking part in competitions and riding as much as I could. I started off in Germany and then went to go stay with the Kroon family in Holland for a bit, which was awesome. After that it was off to the UK for Wakestock and some more shredding, there I stayed with Charlotte Bryant and her family, which was awesome. Then I went to Spain to Train and coach at the most amazing place for riding in Europe, Xtreme Gene. I stayed there for 4 months, Got to meet and ride with lot of great people, and got to travel to quite a few events like the Europeans in the Ukraine and Chill and Ride in Germany. It was one of the sickest years of my life because I got to see so much and ride nearly every day and I am so thankful to everyone that was a part of it and allowed it to happen.
Dirty Habits: If anyone ever met you, they’d know that you are always full of monkey business and don’t take anything to seriously. How did you get so good with such a relaxed attitude? you don’t seem to have a competitive bone in your body?
Dylan: Haha! I don’t really know how to answer this, but I guess I started wakeboarding and got so addicted to it because it was fun and for me wakeboarding has always been about the fun aspect. Competitions aren’t the funnest things, but the best part about them is being able to see all your buddies and have a laugh with them, in my eyes the competition just gets everyone in one place to have a good time with one another. The competing part is short, so you just have to get it over with quickly and hope you ride well.
Dirty Habits: We see a lot less boat riding going on and a lot more cable parks and 2.0 systems opening, there over over 150 in the world more than 60 in Germany alone. How does that effect the future of boat riding and wake boarding in general.
Dylan: This is so true, Germany is crazy about their cable parks and I guess that’s why you get to see so much talent busting through into the cable scene from their country. When I got there and I wanted to go ride a cable I went onto google maps to find the closest one and there were three parks within 30 minutes drive of where I was staying.. haha it was nuts! I think Cable Wakeboarding is great and even though I don’t consider myself a cable rider, I have just as much fun behind a cable with nice obstacles than I do behind the boat. I think the sport is growing so quickly and Cable has become just another discipline in it. Just like Superpipe and Park disciplines in snowboarding. I don’t think it’ll have much of an effect on boat riding, but more on the riders, pushing them to become more dynamic and push themselves in both disciplines equally.
Dirty Habits: How does that change things for someone like you (one of the best boat riders in the country)?
Dylan: It doesn’t change much for me, I have so much fun doing both although my cable riding still needs quite a lot of work
Dirty Habits: Why is South Africa so far behind with only 3 parks. and a hand full of good riders?
Dylan: I think the sport is still quite small and young in South Africa compared to the rest of the world, but hopefully that will change in the near future, Setting up full sized cable parks isn’t the cheapest thing either, so I think we’re going to have to wait it out and see, but I have been entering the lottery quite a bit lately . We also have quite a few grommies tearing their way through the ranks now especially on the cable side, so I’m sure that handful will become bucket loads soon!
Dirty Habits: If you could change anything about SA Wake boarding what would it be?
Dylan: maybe get some more grassroot competitions going to get more lighties involved, I think a lot of people are intimidated by entering the South African “pro tour” but in actual fact we all can’t wait to see more people in the sport whether your just slashing the wake and learning your first few ollies or busting massive tantrums, it’s all the same to us. So come be part of the fun!
Dirty Habits: Unfortunately you are going to be preoccupied with you engineering degree now. and the last of the event you were rushing from home between study breaks to throw down some sick runs, then racing off back to the books. and didn’t even make to it prize giving to collect your silverware. how do you see your career changing during your studies..
Dylan: It is very hard and this year has put quite a lot of strain on me so far in terms of balancing work and play. Especially when Shaun Faccio and myself headed over to the world cup in Australia earlier this year a week before my test week (it was not so fun when I got back), but if you graft hard enough during the week, you’ll always have the weekend to take part in a dirty habit and let’s not forget about those nice long University holidays!
Dirty Habits: Tell us about Varsity Wakeboarding… is it growing? do you think you could have a good impact on the students being such a big name in the sport. maybe even competing in the inter-varsity comps.
Dylan: We had the first inter-varsity Comp about a month ago and it was sick! Unfortunately I couldn’t ride because of a knee injury, but I got to judge and it was awesome to see the guys shred it up. Wakeboarding clubs are being set up at a bunch of universities now, but it’s still really young as well, so I’m sure we’ll see the guys ripping it up just like on the pro tour in the next few years which I am excited for.
Follow Dylan of Facebook: Dylan James Mitchell
Thanks to Eugene Van Der Elst for the use of his photos:
Facebook: Ugen Photography