Rider Profile: Ryder Duczek
Ryder has torn his way through the Juniors, Amateur and the Outlaw Divisions over the past 4 years. When you see him ride, it is only normal to think he will be a big player in the Pro Division moving forward. It is impressive to know that Ryder has pushed so far in the competitive landscape with the limited riding time that comes with living through seasonal changes in Canada. We caught up with Ryder to see what's happening in his world!
P5: First off Happy New Year. How is life treating you?
RD: Happy New Year! Life is good. School has been going well and even though we still have a pandemic, I’ve been keeping busy playing hockey with my rep team.
P5: As a young rider eager to compete, what were your thoughts on the 2020 season with the Covid-19 situation?
RD: There was definitely a lot more time to practice. I didn’t realize how much being around other people helps support, motivate and inspire you along the way. With COVID forcing us to be really isolated, it really made me appreciate how important this piece is in the development of my riding. It also made me appreciate how lucky I am to have such a supportive family and community.
P5: What does a day in the life of Ryder look like right now?
RD: Outside of school, I have hockey three days a week and dryland, try to go to the gym when I can and connect with a few of my surfing friends playing Call of Duty.
P5: How long have you been riding for Phase 5? What does it mean to you to ride for P5?
RD: This will be my fourth year riding with Phase 5. I feel very proud to be on a team with such elite riders. When I was younger, I always looked up to the Phase 5 riders and always felt they had the best boards. Back then, I was riding the Scamp and I still think the Scamp is the best board for youth, hands down. When I attended my first Worlds in 2017, I was approached by several different sponsors, but it was a dream come true when I was able to become part of the Phase 5 team. Community is a big part of the wake surf world and in many ways it can be like a family. We couldn’t ask to represent a better company and it is an honor to be part of the Phase 5 family.
P5: So we have slowly built this Grom Squad of rippers with Phase 5. What do you think of your teammates in the Grom Squad ( Afton, Dagan, Reed etc)? How do you like being on a team with some of the best Pro riders? Should they start getting nervous that the Grom Squad is coming for them?
RD: The groms are all natural athletes and it’s impressive to watch their outstanding progress from the beginning of the season to the end. I believe we young riders are changing the game in surfing and I’m really proud of being a part of that change in our sport. I look at my brother Dagen and the tricks he is throwing and it’s crazy to see his development and that of all the groms.
Being on the same team as riders like Sean Silveira, Whitley Stewart and John Akerman is an honor. I have looked up to Sean and John and never thought I’d get there. I first met Whitley at 2017 Worlds and it’s so cool to see her dominating in the sport. This P5 team is full of true ambassadors for surfing on and off the water and I’m proud to be part of this amazing crew and riding for such an incredible company.
To be a 15-year-old rider and now know I am in the pro division riding alongside riders I’ve looked up to for so long is hard to even imagine. Being in Canada, we are a long ways away from everyone and it’s hard to get to know everyone, but I hope this year we might be able to spend more time with the team and to get to know everyone on a more personal level. I definitely think the Pros should be nervous about the whole Grom Squad – and it’s a good thing the Duczek Brothers only can surf a couple of months out of the year!
P5: What board and size are you riding? What was it about this board that helped you decide it was the one?
RD: I ride a 51” Matrix. It’s very light, very poppy, and easy to maneuver. The flow of the board feels really good, it has nice edges and I love everything about it.
P5: What or who influences your riding and style?
RD: I’ve been lucky to have so many good mentors over the years, but Isaac Hockley has been my most influential mentor. He has been behind me in surfing since Day 1 and has always believed in and supported me. I’m also influenced a lot by my brother. He has a very different style than I do, but we definitely push each other and drive each other.
P5: Favorite professional Athlete?
RD: Patrick Cane of the Chicago Blackhawks.
P5: Rapid Fire round-
Favorite Ice Cream - Cookies and Cream
Goofy or Regular - Regular
Boat Wake or Ocean Wave - I have never surfed an ocean, and we live in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, so I guess I’ll have to go for boat wave!
Least Favorite Chore - Probably Laundry
Favorite Pizza - Spaghetti Factory – I love pasta! Also a huge tradition for us it to hit Boston Pizza anytime there is a game on, especially World Juniors, Stanley Cup playoffs and Olympics. It was so cool being there at 5:30am one morning cheering on Team Canada during the Olympics.
Favorite Travel Partner - Isaac Hockley – he is hilarious, and one of a kind…so any roadie with him is a guaranteed good time.
I’m really lucky to have an awesome riding partner in my younger brother Dagen and support from my parents. I’m also thankful that my grandparents bought a little piece of lake property in 1970 with the vision of having a place for the family to make memories. Some of the greatest days of my life have been spent on the water there. After winning two World Wakesurfing Championships and four Canadian National Championships (one in wakeboard), I realize the two most important things in progressing in this sport are having a passion for surfing and good mentors.
Thank you to everyone got me to where I am. We have been so lucky to have amazing sponsors and the best community support you could ask for. I’ve also met and been influenced by so many amazing riders and I’m now really looking forward to hopefully being able to give back to other up-and-coming riders the way others have helped me over the years. I love sharing my passion for surfing with others and am always excited to have riders jump in the boat with us. Being able to share what I’ve learned and help teach others is so rewarding, and I would like to one day become a surf coach.
I would like to thank Phase 5, Boston Pizza Cranbrook, Alfred Hummel Contracting, BWC (Reg Johnson), Hockley Real Estate, Wake Canada, Waterski Wake BC and SA Company for their support this year. And a special shout out to Isaac Hockley and Caro Villeneuve for their guidance and support this season.
If you are ever in the East Kootenay (the furthest southeast corner of BC, Canada) on a sunny summer day, let’s ride!
Track me down at: @duczek_brothers and @ryder.duczek