How has it been shooting for Noisia Vision?
I’ve always wanted to make a full-length proper video. That’s always been a dream of mine. I knew that now is the time and I had people around me to do it, and that’s the hardest part. There are so many people who have the skills to create these types of videos, but they don’t have the people to film, especially when it comes to sports stuff. But then, even when you are in the scene it’s hard to get people to film. So it has been tough but fun!
How did you get into flying remote-control helicopters for filming?
I’ve always been fascinated by aerial shots and trying to get that aerial view without the high budget of renting a helicopter. I just messed around for a few years flying RCs and eventually got one that would hold a GoPro. Then I got the wireless video feed so I can actually see where I’m going and what I’m filming. Then I bought a bigger helicopter and kept on crashing and learning.
Ha-ha, with a GoPro on it?
Yeah, a couple of times, mostly into the lakes. But you’ll be surprised how well a bag of rice and an oven fixes wet electronics.
Was all the RC heli footage in the Noisia Vision teaser from a GoPro?
Yeah, and with all that hype I was able to start building my new hexacopter from Quadrocopter, which is what I film with now. I ordered the kit and built it all myself because it was much cheaper that way. I had to teach myself how to solder and figure out a bunch of other stuff. I’m not that kind of guy either; I’m not good with that clever stuff. But somehow I broke it down and figured it out. So I did it, it worked and carried on working.
That’s awesome. What are some of your influences in wakeskating?
Well I always enjoyed watching Gregg Necrason, Matt Staker, Gator and Byerly — those were who I looked up to. When Keith Lyman came out and his style was just going huge and being solid, that was awesome. But I would have to say my favorite wakeskaters are Yan Lecomte, Reed Hansen, the Pasturas and Nick Taylor.
And outside of the sport?
I would say just general board riding. Skateboarding is always fun to watch, and now to be able to go do it on water is so much fun. I see such a bright future for wakeskating. But one thing that really grinds me is that it seems like so many kids are trying to push wakeboarding completely out of wakeskating. I mean, it’s all the same thing. I think people just need to bitch about something and feel cool doing it. It’s that whole skateboard “legit” cool factor. Just relax and go ride a board.
Do you ever strap on a wakeboard anymore?
I haven’t in a while but every now and again I’ll have a boat set or hit the cable up. I just have to try to hold myself back a lot in case I do something to my knee and ruin my wakeskating. That’s always something in the back of my head.
You ride and hang with Reed Hansen quite a bit, huh?
Yeah, Reed is one of my best friends down here. I was always a fan of Reed’s and then getting on Fox. We hung out a lot more and became good friends. Reed is a crazy human being. So much talent and drive. The whole Hansen family are such good people and it really shows through Reed. So I try to surround myself with good people and not hang out with the downers. One of the hardest things about moving away from home is not hanging with your friends and finding new solids.
You used to ride for Fox back home before you moved here.
Yeah, I rode for Fox back home and then John Fox saw a picture of me doing one of those glide things I do off the kicker and found out who I was. A couple of months later Todd Hicks called me and I got on the international team. That was a huge milestone in my life. It was my first proper paid sponsor. I was actually a pro wakeskater then, and that was my goal. I wanted to be a pro surfer when I was younger, then a wakeboarder, and it ended up at wakeskating in the end.
Yeah, so ever since then having Fox be the first ones to believe in me and sponsor me has opened up so many doors. Ever since that, it’s just been a dream come true, it’s been awesome.
Is there a hobby or something else you’re interested in that you would like to pursue?
Lately I’ve been wanting to fly. Anything really, skydiving, planes, helicopters. I see little planes go past and I just want to be up there.
You think the RC thing has something to do with that?
Definitely, yeah. It’s like I started flying those and now I actually want to be up there. My dad used to tell me he always wanted to be a pilot. I enjoy it but I’m scared of heights. I really want to become a pilot, or a helicopter pilot. It’s a bit far-fetched but we’ll see. I’d love to start skydiving too; I really want to do that wing-suit thing. I’m just so scared of heights. I don’t know how that is going to work [laughs].
What are you going to do with all your free time after the movie drops?
First, I think I’m going to go home. I can’t wait! I haven’t seen some friends and family in a long time. And surf, I’m gonna surf my face off.
Will you go home to visit or to live?
Just to visit. It will always be my home but I’m just going to relax and catch up with everyone and soak it all in. I need to get back here and finish planning the wedding. My fiancée, Victoria, and I get married in November, so that’s first.
This coming November? Wow, man. Congratulations.
Yep. Thanks, man. I’m stoked. Victoria has been a big part of my success out here. She has been so supportive, helpful and a great friend.
Where do you plan to live the rest of your life? Do you think you’ll end up back in South Africa?
I always wanted to live summer here and summer back home, just bounce back and forth. I want to somehow be able to do that and take Victoria and the dogs. I just want to carry on riding as long as I can, my knee feels great, and I look at my situation and I have everything I’ve ever wanted. A house on a lake, a boat, a winch, a PWC, a pool gap in my backyard and all my friends and family. I just want to keep it going.
Do you have long-term goals in the sport?
I want to enjoy it for as long as I can, you know? I want to make an impact and have that responsibility of pushing wakeskating every year in whichever way I can. I would like to try to get another 10 years out of wakeskating while I’m trying to put as much into it as I can.
Any shameless sponsor plugs?
Yes! Absolutely. Everyone who has helped me get where I am today. So many people have helped me! All my friends: Bobby, Ross, Mike, The Josef’s, Francios, Ronnie, Doogs, Bern, Stu, Rob, Sheldon, Rolphe. Also everyone here who has helped me: Matt Staker, Jordy Klein, Chase Heavener, Josh McWilliams, Garret, Bear, J Lee, The Hansens, Steve C, Chase G. Todd Hicks, and John Fox especially for believing in me back in the day. My whole family, Mom, Dad, Pete, Gogs, Sean and Jackie; the Giles and my fiancée, Victoria! I’m so blessed to have so many people and companies backing me now. Tige, Electric, Teva, Fox, CTI, Ronix, Mystic. Thanks to you all, and thank you, Shawn and TransWorld Wake for giving me this opportunity.