Yan Lecomte is sort of the Swiss army knife of wakeskaters. He’s handy in just about any situation. Need to scale fifteen feet up a tree to hang a pulley? Yan’s your man. Need a guy to cover your second angle? Yan’s your man. Need someone to talk the police into letting you session the spot a little longer? Yan’s your man. If Yan was completely terrible at wakeskating he would still be perfect for your film trip, but lucky for us and everyone else he is far from it. Do you need someone to hurl himself down a twelve foot drop for an hour walking away with a slew of heavy clips? Yan is your man. It’s hard to really say what this guy can’t do and even harder to say when he’ll stop. Lecomte’s persistence is only matched by his raw talent and there are few people as naturally talented on a board as him. For someone who only has his water in liquid form a few months out of the year it is insane to see what he is capable of doing on his wakeskate. Istudiomo is eternally grateful to have this unique talent a part of our roster and we can’t wait to show you what he’s got.
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What’s your date of birth? Where are you from? How long have you been wakeskating? What stance are you?
07/01/1982, Drummondville, Quebec Canada, 7 or 8 years not sure, and right foot forward.
You learned to wakeskate in Canada, specifically Quebec, and still currently live there. Your wakeskate seasons are shorter than most others. What do you do during the long and cold winters? Are there ways to still help your wakeskating while it’s snowing for months?
Well the season is short so if we want it gives us the chance to travel and ride more during our winter. And sometimes it gives us a chance to take a break from riding [laughs]. I skateboard a lot, that helps. We have some good indoor skate parks here, and when the snow is good I snowboard as well. I also train at my friend’s gym to get my legs ready for the season.
Do you feel you are as good as you are now because of other board sports like Skateboarding and Snowboarding? Is it important for a wakeskater to do other board sports (skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, etc.) to better their riding?
I don’t think you need to be good in other board sports it’s just the way I’ve been doing it I guess. I don’t always have the sun shinning and perfect lakes here so if it’s raining or snowing or too cold to wakeskate than we do other stuff. I think skateboarding helps in a way for certain trick for sure, but I don’t think you need it.
What do you say to new riders looking to get into wakeskating and possibly other water sports that might be discouraged by the shorter summer seasons in places like Canada?
To enjoy it as much as you can.
What is something that the wakeskate scene in Canada really needs?
More wakeskaters [haha]. We have a good crew in Canada, but we are scattered a lot. My friend Alex is an hour away Braden Ioi is seven hours away and the guys from BC (British Columbia) are reaaalllyyy far away.
You’ve had the chance to travel all over the world to wakeskate. With so many different options it surely is tough to choose one, but where do you enjoy wakeskating the most?
For the two times I have been able to go, I have gotta say the Philippines (Camsur Water Complex). Such a good spot to focus on riding and getting you back in shape before the season.
Last year on the wakeskate tour you were doing a lot of lock-in tricks, blunt-slides and tail-slides being the first to come to mind. What is your favourite lock-in trick? Which sorts of lock-in tricks do you want to see more from wakeskaters?
I love front tails and back tails. They just feel right. I can’t wait to see some flip in to nose, tail, or bluntslides [laughs]
Do you train for these contests and organize a plan of attack for your heats? Or do you just show up try to just go out there ride for fun?
I don’t really train for contests. I just try to take the pressure off my brain by telling myself that I don’t give a shit about the contest. The one time I tried that I did okay in the contest [laughs]
You are no stranger to road trips. You have been on a couple different winch trips stretching all around the U.S. some with Red Bull, and others with the Remote team. What do you like most about these van excursions? Who is someone you really enjoy road tripping with?
Well my boy Beni Horan is pretty much the best roadie you can get and that’s cause I did a lot with him. But all the wakeskaters know how to roadtrip I think. As long as you’re not too much of a princess [laughs]. I’m missing that this year, lets go on a roooaadtrrriiippppp!
Not too long ago you purchased your own van. Decked it out with a kitchen, bed, and tons of storage space. What’s the advantages of having a van like this as a wakeskater? What sorts of trips have you taken?
Well the week I bought the van we did a winch trip up in the Toronto area with Braden [Ioi] for Istudiomo, that was sick. I got this van cause it was really cheap for what it is and what’s in it. I really like the size of the Ford E250s and I’m in love with the sportmobile so I want it to be like one. I still have a little bit of work to do, but it already looks better with the new lift kit.
What do you like most about winch van trips? What journey do you have planned next for you and your van?
Well I love driving around and finding new spots; of course those RedBull trips were insane for that. I’m not too sure where to go with the van [now], but probably somewhere around Texas to go shred some spots with those guys; I would like to go back to California as well.
You have a lot of natural ability when it comes to wakeskating. Being a stuntman and a gymnast you seem to be pretty comfortable doing just about anything. Do you find yourself picking up on tricks quicker because of background in stunts?
No I don’t feel stunts help me for wakeskating. I feel like stunts is another life that I live in another dimension [laughs].
You are known for doing tricks down some really big stuff. How do you find the courage to try these intimidating spots? Is there a certain way you approach these spots or do your tricks that helps with impacts and shallow landings?
I don’t know why, but I like jumping down big stuff on a wakeskate. I don’t think too much about it. If I feel like I need to to try it. I just try it.
You are one of the older guys in the wakeskate game; yet you are pushing the sport with the best of them and battling spots people wouldn’t give a second look. How have you kept at it for so long? How is your body not destroyed? How are you still standing on podiums and putting out gnarly video sections? How are you still progressing the technicality of wakeskating?
I think wakeskating is not as hard on the body as other sports. Don’t get me wrong, I can be sore for days even weeks after one session [laughs], but I just love to ride. I love skateboarding and every time you land a new trick on skateboard or a wakeskate, or you go to a new spot it feels like it’s a never ending experience. I say that I’m old sometimes, but it’s just a number. I’m a kid on the inside and probably always will be.
What are you expecting from Istudiomo?
From what I have seen of what’s out already on the site I feel it’s going to be something really good for wakeskating; I hope it will be timeless.
Cinematography by Andrew Roehm, Braden Ioi, Charley Camirand, Evan Ciniello, and Jordan Sullivan
Photography by Andrew Roehm