Malibu Athlete, Raphaël Derome
Wakeboarding Legend Documentary Hits the Big Screen
If you’ve been anywhere near the sport of wakeboarding for the last 15 years, you probably know Raphaël Derome’s career. To the outside world, he’s a shadowy figure who emerges every now and then to release a mind-blowing new project that propels the entire wakeboarding industry into a new dimension of creativity and progression. To those lucky enough to know him personally, he’s a kind, thoughtful individual whose passion for wakeboarding has no match. Raph combines technical skill with inventiveness in a way very few riders – if any – have ever equaled. His unique skillset and riding style have earned him a reputation for progression at the top of the sport.
In his newest project, Au Revoir, Raph looks back at his decade-and-a-half career that most can only dream of as he says goodbye to professional wakeboarding. In true Raph fashion, he’s not leaving without a banger project that will change the industry forever.
Raph’s watersports story started out in Canada with his dad wanting to build a private lake. Malibu Boats believed in the Derome family from the beginning, and began sponsoring Raph and his brother Olivier right away. Their dad’s private lake was on the smaller side, so turnarounds were tight and general maneuverability was at a premium, but they weren’t willing to sacrifice having a great wake. The Derome brothers fell in love with their 21 VLX because of its performance and size, and rode it on their dad’s lake until around 2012 when Raph’s dream boat was added to the Malibu lineup – The Malibu Wakesetter 22 MXZ. Just like the rest of the MXZ series, the 22 MXZ features a pickle-fork bow which produced a maximized wake and offered plenty of forward seating without sacrificing on maneuverability.
“I love the 22 MXZ’s wake. It’s so consistent. It never curls over your board when you’re edging in, and it’s not too hard and not too soft. It’s very forgiving. And it has the perfect double up—not too steep. It gives you more options for double-ups.”
Raph went on to win The Wake Open behind the 22 MXZ. Despite having several other disciplines, the Wake Open “boat category” took center stage, and Raph’s relationship with Malibu and his 22 MXZ was a huge part of his success. The Wake Open really put Raph on the international wakeboarding map, showcasing his unique brand of all-around, multidiscipline riding on one of wakeboarding’s biggest stages.
"Malibu supporting me in the Wake Open really boomed my career, along with the entire sport. Malibu always injects money and resources into growing the entire sport, and no other company really does that."
Outside of competition is another facet to Raph’s personality, which is self-expression and growth through progression. Raph’s various video projects like Beyond Perception and Formats have propelled the industry forward and inspired countless other riders to think outside the box when it comes to what’s possible on a wakeboard. And capping off all those inspirational projects is Au Revoir.
“[Au Revoir] means saying goodbye to a big chapter of my life. Technically it means goodbye for now, but it’s not the end. It’s not sad at all, it’s nostalgic. Wakeboarding will always be a part of me. I’m always going to be riding, whether it’s behind the boat or the cable park or whatever, I’m always going to be on the water. And I’m always going to overlook wakeboarding a little bit to see what’s going on in the sport, and if there’s any way I can help or support. I’m never going to be too far.”
Raph Derome//Malibu Athlete
In other words, Au Revoir is Raph’s final way of pushing wakeboarding forward as much as he can. The high-end production is feature-length, and is currently available for streaming on Apple TV, Vimeo on Demand, YouTube, Prime Video and more. For more information, visit aurevoirfilm.com.
Malibu is so grateful to Raph for all these years of partnership. Malibu’s world-class wakes can only be showcased with world-class talent, and Raph was one of the best to ever put on a wakeboard. His unique outlook on life and riding are something that can’t be emulated, and his top-notch representation of the Malibu brand both on and off the water are exactly what Malibu wants to represent.
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