We had the good fortune of connecting with Dalton Cooper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dalton, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I wanted to start a business that reflected a piece of who I am today. Wakeboarding has become a big part of my life during the past 10 years. Those 10 years include countless hours of riding, competitions, and teaching. The sport casually came into my life when I was younger, but it wasn’t until 2012-2013 during my freshman year of college that I really fell in love with the sport. I grew up playing sports my entire life, but they were always the common sports that most people do – baseball, football, basketball, etc. But wakeboarding felt different. It felt more extreme. During my freshman year of college, I had a private tryout for Oklahoma State’s baseball team. At the time, the conditions weren’t in my favor, and I didn’t make the team. Baseball had always been a big part of my life growing up as well. I was bummed that I wasn’t going to make the cut, especially since baseball had been in my life since I was around four years old. Looking back though, I am appreciative that it didn’t work out because I wouldn’t have realized my passion for the sport of wakeboarding. All of those years of working out and becoming a better baseball player day-in and day-out didn’t just go to waste. I used that drive, ambition, and motivation that I had learned and transferred that into the sport of wakeboarding. I was definitely a beginner when I first started going out to the lake. But I was completely immersed in it. I made it a lifestyle. I wanted to succeed at something that was so foreign to me. I think that drive from growing up playing sports really helped me succeed at becoming better at the sport of wakeboarding.
I came to be on the Oklahoma State Wakeboarding team during my years at OSU. During that time, I competed in multiple tournaments, regional qualifiers, and national tournaments. I even worked for Rockstar Energy for over 2 years. I was a paid instructor during the summers in Oklahoma City.
I wanted to start this business to help people succeed. To help grow the sport. To help people become better. Whether that’s learning something unfamiliar to them for the first time, or even helping advance the more familiar riders.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work involves teaching the sport of wakeboarding. Wakeboarding is a sport that occurs on the lake, behind a boat. There is a rope with a handle, and the end of the rope is attached to the boat (usually on a wakeboarding tower). The wakeboarder is strapped into boots on a board similar to a snowboard, only wider and shorter. The wakeboarder can then ride behind the boat and use the wake that the boat makes to perform tricks.
My business offers private wakeboarding lessons behind your own inboard boat. This can include beginners who are just learning to stand up, or even seasoned riders who are wanting to learn new tricks or perfect what’s already in their bag. Learning behind your own boat makes all of the difference. Every boat is different, and I believe learning behind your own boat is the key to success when it comes to consistently learning a sport as such. What makes DCprivatewakeboarding unique, is the ability to be mobile. Servicing any lake around the DFW area, DCprivatewakeboarding will come to you and take the traveling aspect out the equation. Not only will DCprivatewakeboarding offer wakeboarding lessons, but boat driving and even wake surfing lessons.
I am most excited about sharing my passion for the sport, as well as seeing the pure joy and excitement that comes from a person accomplishing something new. Wakeboarding is a challenging sport. Whether you’re learning how to just stand up, jump the wake, or land an invert, nothing is more exciting than being able to teach that to someone and seeing the smile on their face when they accomplish it.
Starting a business is never easy, especially when it comes to something so niche. It has been challenging trying to get the word out and my name out there, but I have been staying focused for the long run. I knew starting this business would start out slow, but it is in my power to exhaust every resource possible to get the word out there including handing out flyers around the lakes and creating a social media presence.
I want the people and the lake community to know that I am there for THEM! If I go out there for a lesson, and the client doesn’t feel fulfilled or like that they made improvement, then I am willing to work with them and potentially offer a free lesson until they feel like there has been improvement. Wakeboarding can be challenging, but I welcome all age groups and skill levels to give it a chance. With over 10+ years of riding and teaching, I KNOW that I will help them improve or learn.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Definitely the lake! I would make it a lake day to begin with, and then the Truck Yard in The Colony to follow. I would also have them attend my favorite brewery, being Hop and Sting in Grapevine.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ry Huff – Without him, I may have never learned how to wakeboard. I learned how to wakeboard for the first time at Lake Hiwassee in Oklahoma behind his boat one summer. It definitely ignited my interest. Oklahoma State Wakeboarding Team Members – Met so many awesome people. So many people that pushed me to become better and ride more than I was willing to. Even on those cold days where the water was 50 degrees. Man did I hate the cold water, but yet I was still out there!
My family – They have always been there to support me in my endeavors. They also remind me to not be so hard on myself. This is huge when it comes to a sport like this.
Other: Email: DCprivatewakeboarding@gmail.com