Grom Squad: Dagen Duczek

Dagen has been a part of the Grom Squad for four years now and has been one of the guys pushing the young riders. It doesn't hurt that his main riding partner is his older brother Ryder who rips himself! Dagen has made a name for himself in the Wakesurf world for his super aggressive riding style that is fun to watch. He ended the 2020 competition season with a strong 2nd Place finish in the Amateur Men's division at the 2020 World Wakesurf Championships. We hope you enjoy our talk with Dagen below and are sure you will hear this guys name a lot more in the future!

P5: First off Happy New Year. How is life treating you?

DD:Life is great. I’ve been doing lots of ice fishing and had a great fall of hunting.  We are lucky to live in a place with four full seasons, so there is always something fun to do here.

P5: How long have you been riding for Phase 5? What does it mean to you to ride for P5?

DD:This will be my fourth year riding with Phase 5 and it means a lot to be riding for them. It is cool to be part of a team of such amazing riders, and I hope someday we are able to get together to ride with the Phase 5 team just for fun.  One thing that you quickly learn is that the Phase 5 team is full of really good people – on and off the water.  It’s very special to be part of a team of such good people and to have the support of Max, Drew and everyone at Phase 5.

P5:What does a day in the life of you look like right now?

DD: Monday to Friday is school, but on the weekend, I get up at 5:30am and go ice fishing with my dad.  We get home in the late afternoon, and I usually chill out for the rest of the day and hang out with my family in the evening.  Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of game nights and I’m getting pretty good at black jack (LOL).

 Nice. So besides early morning Ice fishing, w
hat are the big plans for the winter?  

DD: I am hoping to do more snowboarding. I have been out a few times, but am hoping to hit the hill a lot more in the next couple of months. I am going to keep fishing as well, as the Canadian winters really don’t allow us to do much surf training until late April or May...and even then, the water is still really cold.  Last year, we actually broke ice with our boat to start riding at the end of April and the water was 44 degrees until late May. 

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,  Reed etc)?  How do you like being on a team with some of the best pro riders?  Should they start getting nervous that Grom Squad is coming for them? 

DD: The grom squad is full of really cool people.  That’s one of my favorite parts of live competitions is meeting other kids my age who share my passion for surfing.  A good example is Reed Cole-Tucker – we met in Texas and after the comp, we went to the BSR Surf Ranch together and it was so awesome to meet him and his dad. Then, we got to hang out again at Worlds in Utah – and even went for a rip on the Flow Rider there.  If you look back five years ago when my brother first started competing in Worlds, he was the first Junior to land a 720 and a shuv in competition and showed the World what Juniors can do.  Today, the groms are throwing some unreal tricks and I think we are pushing the sport and showing other young kids there’s no limit no matter your age.  Being a part of a team with Pro riders I look up to, like Sean and John, is amazing.  I think the Pros should watch out for my brother Ryder as he is coming for them.  I have a few years to go yet, but I’m coming too!

What board and size are you riding?  What was it about this board that helped you decide it was the one?

DD: I ride a 48 Matrix. My older brother rode a Matrix, so when I went up from a Scamp, I wanted a Matrix. In 2019, Phase 5 made me a custom-sized 45” Matrix which was just an awesome board and helped me win my first World Championship.  I stayed with the Matrix ever since and just love the board.

If you could add one skill to your wakesurfing talent what would it be? 

DD: Well, other than being able to land every trick, I think one area I want to really focus on this year is patience.  I definitely need to stop allowing myself to get frustrated – as that not only affects my riding, but the people around me. I know that will help me continue to grow and will be a big focus for me this year.

P5:Favorite professional Athlete? 

DD: My brother Ryder. He is Pro this year at 15, which is huge.

If you are not wakesurfing, what are you doing?

DD:I am a big outdoorsman.  You will find me fishing, hunting, cliff jumping, riding my bike and dirt bike, playing basketball, skateboarding, and snowboarding. 

 Rapid Fire Round:

Favorite Ice Cream- Cookies and Cream

Boat Wake or Ocean Wave?Boat – I’ve never tried ocean surfing, but really want to.

Your least favorite Chore?Anything that ends in CHORE!

Favorite restaurant?We have an Indian restaurant here called Spice Hut and I love the butter chicken there. For game nights, it’s Boston Pizza all the way.

Favorite Travel partner?My mom – she brings the best road snacks and we always have the best time on the road together.

Last words

Surfing has added so much to my life. I’ve met so many people and been able to travel to so many different places in Canada and the USA.  It’s cool to think that I know people in places like Austria and Japan because of the surf community. 

We have been really lucky to be supported by so many friends and sponsors and 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 Caro Villeneuve for their support this year. 

One of the best things about this sport is that anyone can do it and it’s never too late for someone to learn.  We have made so many good memories out on the water, have made new friends and it’s always fun to pick up people at our lake and take them out for rides or teach them some new tricks. 

When I look at what I have accomplished as a 13-year-old rider – a national wakeboard championship, a national and world wakesurf champion, provincial championships, along with several silver medals in both disciplines – I can’t imagine what the future holds. I do know it will be filled with lots of good people, great rides and the best memories.

Find me at: @duczek_brothers and @dagenduczek

Interview: Drew Danielo

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