Derek virtually grew up on the water in Winter Park, FL. He learned to waterski, slalom, trick, and barefoot by the time he was 12. When he got the H.O. “hyperlite” for Christmas in 1991, Derek discovered wakeboarding was his passion. His folks had to send him away to college in St. Louis to get him off the water, and even then, when the river wasn’t frozen over, Derek was out riding on the Mississippi River.
During his breaks, he worked for a watersports camp back home teaching kids how to wakeboard and waterski. In 2000, a bad knee and an inherited pontoon boat prompted Derek’s ascension from wakeboarding to wakeskating. Ever since, Derek has been quietly involved in the evolution of wakeskating and is fortunate to be able to share his love with others.
Having graduated from college with a business degree, and with three years of managing a wakeboard camp, Derek decided to work for himself. Together with his good friend Sean O’ Brien, he launched Orlando Wakeboard Academy. Occasionally, you can catch Derek on a wakeboard teaching Sean a thing or two, but mostly he lives out his love for wakeboarding through his students.
Sean stumbled across wakeboarding back in 1995 as a result of a series of fortunate events. However, when he started all he had was a wakeboard and bindings. No boat and nobody to ride with. It wasn’t until 1997 that his parents were conned into buying a boat for the family. Little did they know how much time and gas money they would be spending on this boat.
After his first real year of riding, Sean started coaching at one of the local wakeboard camps where he met Derek Seaman. After finishing high school, he left Orlando to go to school at Florida State University. During those four years, he majored in Exercise Science with an emphasis in exercise physiology with the ultimate goal (at the time) of becoming a doctor. While at school, he was unable to ride as much as he wanted so he was forced to use his summer breaks in order to make up for lost time. After his sophomore year, he decided to give the Pro Wakeboard Tour a try. Even though he didn’t finish as well as he wanted, Wakeworld.com acknowledged him as the 1st Runner-up for their Rookie of the Year Award. After receiving this honor, Sean decided that he would put off med-school and pursue his career in wakeboarding. He finished his last two years at FSU, graduated Summa Cum Laude in Spring 2005, and is now determined to progress his riding as well as everyone else’s through the Orlando Wakeboard Academy.