Raph may as well have been born with gills. He’s been in, on and around the water since birth and shows no signs of changing his ways. Born and raised in Coteau-Du-Lac, Quebec, he still calls the area home when he isn’t chasing the Pro Wakeboard competition circuit all over the world.
By 18 months Raph was already on water skis following in the footsteps of his Dad, a former National Champion in water ski jumping. At 9 years old Raph got his first taste of Wakeboarding when his brother, 7 years his senior, introduced him to it. Raph was a quick study and by the end of his first full year he had already learned inverts and was hungry for more. He excelled quickly and by 19 had already claimed a Jr. Pro Men Tour Stop, a Jr. Pro Wake Games Championship, a Wake the Line Title and was named the Transworld Rail Rider of the Year in 2010 and Wakeworld Rider of the Year in 2011.
When Raph isn’t on the water he’s on snow. He makes sure to spend a few months each winter in Canada to get in a few turns on his snowboard before heading to Orlando, Florida in February for the the remainder of the winter, which he has done for the past two seasons. Orlando is considered the Mecca of Wakeboarding due to the ability to get 10 to 12 months on the water as opposed to only 5 or 6 in Quebec along with the extensive Wakeboard infrastructure including a number of cable parks and man made lakes.
Recently coming off a serious injury, misdiagnosis and subsequent infection to his left tricep suffered in July of 2010 that kept him out of the wakeboard game for over a year, Raph has already proven he didn’t lose much ground to his competition. Throughout his ordeal he underwent than 3 surgeries to repair the damage and after just a few weeks back he won the Monster Energy Wake Park Triple Crown in Dallas in September 2011.
With his left arm not quite back to 100%, Raph is looking to get completely healthy through extensive training and physiotherapy. He talks about his game plan, “I’m looking to take a step away from cables and rails to get back behind the boat for a few months to get all my tricks again. I’ll get back on the Pro Tour, and try to travel all over Europe to a bunch of great events over there.” On top of all that, when summer hits, he will be working on a video that will be available on the web in the Fall of 2012.
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2010 – Transworld Rail Rider of the Year
2011 – Wakeworld Rider of the Year
2011 – 1st Place – Monster Energy Wake Park Triple Crown (Dallas)