Check Out: Daniel Grant

Born in England but homegrown in Thailand, young phenom Daniel Grant claims the Thai Wake Park as his stomping grounds. The dude has the energy of a gazelle but ironically goes by the nickname "Turtle." At just 13 years old, Daniel already has more than 40 podium appearances under his belt, including his most recent title as Pro Men's cable wakeboard champ at the Ultimate Wake Championship in the Philippines.

Just when you think Daniel is done wakeboarding, he puts his shoes on and wakeskates with the best. He has big spins and flip tricks on lock, and he just pulled a toeside 720 off the kicker — yes, on a wakeskate. So I asked him which he likes better, wakeboarding or wakeskating. “When I get bored of skating, I wakeboard; when I get board of that, I wakeskate,” Daniel says.

For three straight days I watched Daniel ride in the Philippines and no words were spoken between us. But after he offered me a Pixy Stix, I found myself spending almost every waking minute talking and laughing with this little ninja. While eating Skittles and Push Pops, he showed me his ways. Soon, I was looking at the water like I was a teenager again. Nothing mattered but pure fun and entertainment.

With the support of Gator Boards, this ripper has traveled the globe and has ruled every park he shows up at, from the Philippines to Germany, Singapore and the Netherlands. Daniel’s next goal is to tour the United States, which he will hopefully accomplish this year. If you get a chance to see Daniel ride, you’ll want to act like a kid again. You might find yourself inspired to ride all day long and to not take everything in life so seriously. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. — Brandon Thomas