Daniel Grant might just be the most entertaining rider on the planet. This duel-sport wakeboarder and wakeskater is viewed as a competition threat, no matter if he’s strapped in or not. Known as the Candy Man or Turtle (Tao), Daniel is a 14-year-old globetrotter; this Thai rider started traveling the world alone in 2011 and expanded on his travel in 2012. Daniel set the record for youngest professional world champion in WWA history by taking the 2010 WWA Wake Park World Championship; and he’s won multiple WWA Wake Park World Series stops in Pro Men, Pro Features, and Pro Wakeskate as well. Tom Fooshee, James Windsor, and Nick Davies have their eyes set on Daniel, in fact all three believe that he’s going to podium in at least one division at the 2012 WWA Wake Park World Championships hosted by Al Forsan International Sports Resort.
Progression and legitimacy are Daniel’s two most valued aspects; he’s landed tricks that are simply mind-boggling such as melon toeside backside 180 rewind backside 540s and melon toeside backside 540 rewind backside 180s. At the 2nd stop of the Monster Energy WWA Wake Park Triple Crown, Daniel landed a heelside backside 900 then followed it up on the next pass with a heelside frontside 1080. This is just Daniel’s wakeboarding, there’s a whole different list regarding his wakeskating.
• Date of Birth: December 23, 1997
• Division(s): Pro Wakeskate, Pro Wakeboard, Pro Features
• Years Pro: 4
• Current WWA Wake Park World Series Ranking: 2nd
• Country: Bangkok, Thailand
• 2011 Wake Park World Championships Placement: 4th Pro Men, 1st Pro Features
• Home riding spot: Thai Wakepark, Bangkok – Thailand.
• Other Notable awards or wins:
o 2010 WWA Wake Park World Champion-1st Pro Men
o 2011 WWA Wake Park World Championships-2nd Pro Wakeskate
o 2011 WWA Wake Park World Championships-2nd Pro Wakeboard
o 2011 WWA Wake Park World Championships-1st Pro Features
o 2012 Monster Energy WWA Wake Park Triple Crown Stop 2-1st Pro Men
o 2012 Protest Cable Call-1st Pro Wakeskate
o 2012 Sooruz Wake N’ Country-1st Pro Wakeskate
o 2012 Transworld Wake Awards Wake Park Rider of the Year
WWA: How did you get into the sport?
Daniel: Transition from skateboarding, which I was doing since I was 3 years old.
WWA: Who has been most influential in your development of wakeboarding?
Daniel: From the start in terms of teaching me the basics, for sure is a local rider by the name of Didi Anwar, and of course Aum and Oye, the owners of Thai Wakepark who have supported me from the start.
WWA: What has been your favorite trip this year and why?
Daniel: Difficult to say, I love riding at Thai Wakepark (home cable) so when travelling a lot, coming home was sweet. Texas was a lot of fun, I enjoyed staying in Orlando, had also a lot of fun on the U.S Wakeskate Tour, then events in Europe such as Wake the Line, Wake & Country. To many events to mention!
WWA: What is your mindset coming into the 2012 Wake Park World Championships?
Daniel: Have fun, progress the sport, don’t sandbag, go big and with style or stay home.
WWA: Al Forsan has a plethora of new features including rails and kickers; how will they play a role in this year’s championships compared to the 2011 contest?
Daniel: I heard they would have more obstacles this year and make use of both lakes, which will be much better.
WWA: This year’s contest is on the opposite cable from last year (Clockwise cable); how will you adapt your riding to accommodate to this cable?
Daniel: Is no problem, I am used to both directions and it’s just part of a comp.
WWA: What rider will you be most prepared to compete against?
Daniel: I focus on my own riding not the others, who I am up against is not something I really think about until I am at the dock.
WWA: Who will be the top 3 finishers in your division?
Daniel: Tom should win the Tour; he’s on fire right now. After that is tough to call, but for sure well represented by Liquid Force.
WWA: Any particular person that you’ll have your eyes set on to beat in the karting race?
Daniel: Anyone in front of me.
WWA: What about in the paintball arena? Who do you want to shoot?
Daniel: I’ll make a short list when I am there.
WWA: Who would you like to thank?
Daniel: I would like to thank all my sponsors and supporters, including Liquid Force, Monster Energy, Rip Curl, Thai Wake Park, Spy, Razer, Boon Rawd, Sesitec, The Flow House – Bangkok, Intensity Pro Shop.
Headshot: Rob Corum
About Wake Park Worlds
The 2012 WWA Wake Park World Championships hosted by Al Forsan International Sports Resort (wakeparkworlds.com) is the final stop of the 2012 WWA Wake Park World Series season. Wake Park Worlds is open to all ages and abilities; for registration visit wakeparkworlds.com/registration. Make sure to stay up-to-date and interactive by following us on our Wake Park Worlds specific sites at:
About the WWA
The WWA is the world’s premier provider of amateur and professional wakeboard events, sanctioning and rules, developed by riders, for riders. www.thewwa.com
About Al Forsan
The Al Forsan International Sports resort aspires to be an internationally-recognized and top-rated world-class resort by leisure professionals, as well as companies and families. By consistently providing first-rate service and state-of-the-art facilities, it will establish itself as the major sports hub for regional events, setting new standards for international sports and leisure experiences. www.alforsan.com