|It was announced yesterday X-Games has dropped wakeboarding for 2006. Slight chance it may return for 2007, but not likely. They stated the cost of producing it for TV with the venue being so far away from the main venue, it became cost prohibitive. |
Not good for our sport.
|doesn't surprise me one bit. espn isn't one of wakeboarding's biggest fans.|
|wakeboarding is having a tough time being mainstream, which surprises me because wakeboarding has to be one of the fastest growing sports out there. |
What gives? Its made its way into cheetos commercials for cripes sake, why cant we get a little air time?
|maybe if espn aired the pwt stops before 2:30 in the morning they would have gotten better ratings. the x games thing doesn't suprise me though; wakeboarding has to have its own unique camera set-up, and it's not worth it to just show the 3 or 4 finalists. maybe next they'll get rid of motocross big air at winter x and outlaw backflips at big air summer x. here's to hoping. whatever happened to speed mountain climbing?...that made for entertaining tv|
|i think that espn just wasnt ready for a hardcore sport....|
|what a joke|
|thats pretty disapointing. You know what they should do? |
Winch pulled-rail jam!
It would be sweet, cause they definatly could do it at there venue. They have enough room for a huge ramp for skateboard big air. they could make the winch pulled rail jam like 150-200 feet long. it would be sweet! Lets see if we can get this in there!!
|that sounds even worse|
|Brian - Is this stated on EXPN's website, in a press release, etc?|
Wakeboarding will never be mainstream or "huge" as the cost of a boat is rediculous. If there were cables in every major city in the US, it would double in size.
A winch pulled rail event doesn't sell boards. It gives a cool look to the sport, but Joe from TX isn't going to go to a winch event and say "damn, I need to get home, build a pool, buy a winch,...wait, first I'll learn to wakeboard behind the winch in the pool..then build rails.." Not going to happen.
The boating lifestyle of the family in the boat for the day, dog, lunch, tubing, etc... That is the bulk of wakeboaring.
90% of the reason wakeboarding isn't bigger... boats.
Unfortunate about X. I have gone the past three years. Maybe ESPN can take that money and build an EXPN cable park in So-Cal. It could be snowing, a hurricane, tornado's ripping apart the OC, and it would still be packed 24/7/365.
|Can't wait for the day ESPN drops all sports for Poker. It's close to that now! |
Espn needs to start remembering what got them where they are, sports. I can barely watch it now with poker, darts, and shuffleboard (check the listings for yesterday afternoon, that was the trifecta on ESPNHD) I guess it's cheaper to produce, and the lemmings that are the American TV viewing public will watch crap you throw in front of them
The spirit of the XGames has official been lost when "cost of producing it for TV with the venue being so far away from the main venue, it became cost prohibitive." Since when is extreme sports about convience?
|Who cares....IMO, the longer we can keep it out of the mainstream the better. All the lakes around here are filling up with people trying to wakeboard anyway. I really dont care if ESPN supports it or not. I really thought Xgames was the it started, now it just seems to be too commercialized, which is not what it was meant to beto begin with.|
|Wakeboarding was replaced with RALLY RACING! |
|if this site didnt dot out how i really felt id have a few pargraphs of red dots on this subject. |
Byrd Right on man i feel the same way lately having to get up at 530 am to ride locally ..if not i have to drive two hours and start by 9am or im riding in an ocean filled with idiots..
However isnt that kind of one sided from someone who just opened a camp for wakeboard training?..
arent you counting on newbies to bring you cash to teach them to ride??
|I'd like to know where you got your info from? Doesn't surprise me if they did though...|
|well said Byrd|
|Damn, now all the X Star owners out there better take off the 'towboat of the X games' decals on their boats |
Personally, the lack of 15 minutes of wakeboarding coverage shown during the week long X Games event doesn't really bother me all that much...
|That is really disappointing, but then again, that's what we get for trusting ESPN to handle our extreme sports coverage. They have never really seemed to like wakeboarding. Once in a while they'll throw on a half-hour segment at 3 in the morning so they can say they are supporters of our sport, but that's about as far as it goes. |
|I got my info from MasterCraft and World Sports and Marketing. Steve, there are more people in the "loop" than you think.|
|Im always wakeboarding when they show the X-games wakeboarding.|
|At 3am on Tues? |
|DAMN no more 15 minute break of wakeboarding between the 5 hours of fmx|
|that sucks, i always enjoyed the coverage, even though it was short it was usually quite good|
|Wakeboarding will never be mainstream. ESPN just realized that for every person who has any interest in wakeboarding there are 100,000 fat lazy people who can play poker or who's kids have a skateboard or want to see someone die trying to jump a motorcycle.|
|Ok, kind of off subject, so I'll try to make this short. |
Its funny how "Extreme (hate that word) Sports" are so accepted by parents and society in general right now.
Who else on here remembers skating down the street back in the 80's and hearing "Skate or die dude" screamed from a car, as a bottle comes whizzing by your head?
Anyway my point is, all this "Extreme Sport" attention is a "luxury" right now. But mark my words; there will be a backlash again. And that will happen when someone dies on live television at the X-games. Most likely it will be an FMX-er. Those guys are doing the most dangerous and gnarly stuff.
But regardless of what sport it is, this will totally flip parents out. And those "regular sports" type people will suddenly think "Extreme Sports" are for idiots again.
"We" know that these sports are dangerous and people die, even when the lights and cameras from the X-games are not on. But I donít think these parents/others realize that. And as soon as it happens on live TV , as they sit on their couch watching, little junior's skateboard is going to be taken away and replaced with a basketball.
So to all you youngin's out there that will refuse to conform, remember when you hear "Skate or die" shouted from a car, duck!
|I think X-GAMES needs to build a pool/slider event that can be set up at their main event, like at Staples..... |
Someone shoot them some photos and get them hooked!
ESPN is a business and made a business decision.
Cable Park in the OC? Are you nuts? Good luck finding land, then insurance. Tried to be done before, believe me......
|Ryan, you made a really good point. I never even thought of that, but with the size of the jumps and types of tricks the FMX'rs are trying someone is gonna get seriuosly injured, its just a matter of time. |
This is why I am glad that no one in my home town knows what wakeboarding is.
|ESPN is a business, and they are trying to be as profitable as possible. This is done with spectators sports. Wakeboarding is not a spectators sport. The venues are difficult to get going, and very limited. Why do this for a every small portion of the viewing audience? X-games is nothing but marketing material, but how many X-Stars are sold based on being seen at the games? We think wakeboarding is huge becuase of how crowded our waterways are getting, but that is nothing but a testament of how limited our sport is to time, location, and conditions. We think we are huge because we submerse ourselves in the sport, but honestly we dont even show up on ESPNs radar. A sport so limited will never be a mainstream success. And thats not a bad thing.|
|"how many X-Stars are sold based on being seen at the games?" |
i honestly don't know, but i would think quite a few. probably a good portion of the people with a parks board and bindings and a shiny new x-star bought all that stuff after seeing a double-half cab at the x-games or even on some of the earlier PWT stops on espn2 (and no, i'm not saying if you have an x-star or a parks board you're automatically a poser--the x-star is awesome--so let's not start that debate again). i'm sure mastercraft has banked pretty well from the x-games, so i bet they're pretty bummed about espn's decision
|Mastercraft markets the X-star as the elite wakeboard boat and I am sure that there are alot of people that buy it because of that. I bet the "official boat of the x-games" is replaced with the "official boat of the Pro Wake Tour" of something similar.|
|"how many X-Stars are sold based on being seen at the games?" |
I doubt many at all. I would think people that watch the x-games WBing are already into it and know about the sport.
I remember watching Wakeboarding with some of my friends that don't wb. They got bored of it really quick. They said "they just do the same S#$t." I think that has something to say for the amount of TV coverage it gets. People really don't understand it until they have done it, and know what to look for. It can be pretty boring on TV.
(Message edited by psudy on May 08, 2006)
|MC probably saw this coming since they are sponsoring motocross now, and Nautique for that matter. Exposure sells and knowing your exposure will be limited by excluding your biggest (cable TV) event you have to adjust. Besides are we really getting more respect? Steve Martin even called it "waterboarding". |
I will not miss the coverage since Fuel TV has really picked up the slack, nor will I miss the EXTREME label being applied to every sport (especially wakeboarding) that doesn't use a ball.
|As said above, it's an issue of economics. Anyone can afford a skateboard, a lift ticket, etc., but less than 1% of the working population can afford the luxury of a boat. |
Even with another 2% of friends bummin' rides from the 1%, isn't going to make a profitable demographic to market to (on tv).
* Disclaimer. Actual percentages may vary. Please contact your financial advisor before attempting any discussions on this topic.
|Im thinking a rally racing car is'nt real affordable either. |
|When it comes to wakeboard sports on tv, people often confuse two issues. The sport as an entertainment venue vs. the sport as a marketing venue for companies that sell wb equipment and boats. |
Using tv to grow the sport in trying to get more people entering it, buying boards and boats is doomed to failure. Too small. Wakeboarding as a spectator sport has very little to do with the number of people who wakeboard.
Sports on tv is entertainment value. You don't have to actually be in the sport to watch it. Look at all the people who watched curling as guys swept ice for a puck at the winter olympics. ESPN had the 2001 women's North American Curlibng Championship on a few months ago in the middle of the day. Wakeboarding smokes this.
Look at NASCAR. It has nothing to do with how many people race cars. NASCAR is not looking to grow racing, NASCAR is looking to grow racing fans. The more racing fans who watch, the more sponsors. The more sponsors, the more tv coverage. The problem is not wakeboarding, the problem is no one has figured out how to present it.
Part of the problem is the wakeboard sponsors are industry sponsors. They don't care about spectator growth, only participation growth to sell more gear and boats. In fact, they are better off NOT having to pay for it to be on TV. Too much money for too little of the audience who would buy their product.
In order to be successful, wakeboarding needs to find a promotional group that knows how to present wakeboarding. Present it in an entertaining way. Then consumer product companies and services will want to put money into it.
But first you have to get down to one sanctioning body. Look at any sport that has TV/spectator value. One sanctioning body. Whether it is surfing, PGA, snowboarding or whatever.
I personally want to see wakeboarding explode in spectator viewing but stay small as a participation sport.
|What's "Rally Racing"? Is it a spectator sport in which the draw involves fiery crashes, and bloody mayhem? |
Nascar's appeal has this and the fact that most everyone drive's, and enjoys the thrill of speed no matter what they're driving.
|i understand espn not wanting to set up a separate venue for wakeboarding, but then they send an entire camera crew, announcers, and commentators to mexico to compile 20 minutes of x-games surfing coverage. does surfing on medium-sized waves really draw that many more eyes to the television than wakeboarding?|
|Are you serious? I bet the surfing industry/market in California alone is as big as the world's wakeboard industry. |
It might suck but the X games are all about the money and what the big money sponsors want to see.
|sean, i honestly didn't know, that's why i asked. i know surfing is a much more popular sport, it just doesn't strike me as a heavy spectator sport|
|my grandma can surf|
|from http://expn.go.com/expn/story?pageName=sx12dates |
SAVE THE DATE: X GAMES 12, AUGUST 3-6, 2006
ESPN announces that X Games 12 will be held August 3-6, 2006 for its fourth consecutive year in Los Angeles, Calif.
The annual X Games is the premier action sports event in the world, featuring athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in the following sports: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, Surfing and Wakeboard. X Games 12 will be telecast live on ESPN and ABC.
Announced earlier this year, X Games will remain in Los Angeles through X Games 15 in 2009. Details on sports, venues and athletes will be announced next year.
|that announcement is from november though. a lot of things can change in six months|
|i seriously hated listening to those commentators on the wakeboarding segment. personally, it sounded like they had NO clue what they were talking about|
|doesn't jeff barton usually do all the talking? and a couple years ago they had shaun murray commentating. they have that old guy too who's not up to date on his wakeboarding lingo, but he's used mostly to transition to and from commercial|
|The question is: |
"What is entertaining?"
People are entertained by 3 things:
1. Things they understand and relate to.
2. Things that involve extremes.
3. Pain and suffering.
Wakeboarding offers none of these things. Most people dont notice or understand the technical side of wakeboarding. Sliding on PVC, going 23mph, or jumping 8ft off the water are not extremes in the eyes of most. And there is rarely any pain and suffering.
Skate does well, because almost everyone in the demographic has ridden a skateboard, and the difficulty of what they do is obvious to anyone. BMX does good, because almost everyone has ridden a bike, and relates to the skills they see. Other sports that involve extreme air, or extreme speed also get attention from the uninvolved spectator.
Wakeboarding offers nothing to anyone except us.
Same thing happens in kiteboarding. Contests are held on public beaches, and attract a huge crowd. A rider can go out and throw a sick Double S-bend to blind with perfect execution 12ft off the water, and the crowd doesnt make a sound for this very difficult trick. However, some guy goes out and boosts 35ft in the air and does a tail grab (very easy in the kiteboarding world) the crowd goes nuts and declares a winner in their minds right there!!!
Why? Why does the difficult tricks not score well in the public eye, and the equivalent to a wakejump sends the crowd into a frenzy?
Because it doesnt matter what is good, all that matters is the perception of the clueless majority.
|Ya It got replaced with rally car racing and guess who is big time into rally car racing? Travis Pastrana Mr. X-Games himself. It sucks but makes since Travis draws more fans then anyone.|
|How does one explain why millions of women watch the NFL or NASCAR (cars going in circles?)? FIguring out how to present it in an entertaining way is the challenge. I think if you take a page from NACAR and find some Jeff Gordons or other marketable personalities. |
Beach Volleyball had no ratings. ESPN made the women wear 2 pieces and now it is big time. All I am saying it is a marketing/presentation challenge more than our sport not being a good tv spectator sport.
|Maybe that's why they dumped kiteboarding...does anybody remember the first two X Games in Rhode Island? |
|To help shed some light on this, I contacted ESPN and was pleasantly surprised to receive a response directly from the GM of the X Games, Chris Stiepock. According to him they aren't "dropping" wakeboarding from the X Games, but are taking a year off to work on the logistics involved. It almost sounds like they are considering a rail jam for the 2007 X Games. Here is what he said... |
"We're only looking to take a year off for wake. We like wake in the X Games and will strive to re-insert it next year. With the X Games we try as best we can to present each sport live - we feel that's important for the growth of the event. Presenting wakeboarding live from Long Beach Marine Stadium is a major operation - logistically, operationally and financially. After last year's X Games that saw us simultaneously live from three different venues on a Saturday (Staples Center, Home Depot Center and Long Beach) - this year we want to consolidate our event to one venue (Home Depot Center) for the weekend. We will be working with our Wake organizers to bring in the wake pool to Home Depot Center to bring wakeboarding in amongst the many other attractions and sports we will have at that venue.
This was a very difficult decision for us. Wakeboarding is one of our original sports and has been with us for 11 years. The wakeboarding athletes have always been professional, dedicated and great to work with. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward and that is what we're doing here."
|How about street luge, sky boarding, super modified shovel racing, downhill skateboarding, kiteboarding, and I am sure there are more that I cant think of. The Xgames are about what sells which is evidently not wakeboarding which is sad. I think Personality is what it is all about Pro fishing has even developed some wild personalities and has become more popular and that is fishing.|
|I hope he is sincere but that sounds like fluff to me. If they wanted to keep wakeboarding why wouldnt they just do it like they had this year and then build a slider pool next year, or better yet build it this year?|
|They never should have takin the X Games out of Mission Bay in San Deigo. Its was the perfect venue for the X-Games . It was always packed with people they had water right there, the weather is perfect, and so on and so on.|
|Jon, I'm with you, sounds rather fluffy for responding to the head of a major wakeboarding site. Plus this line... |
"We like wake in the X Games and will strive to re-insert it next year."
Strive?!? Sounds like he's giving himself an out when there is no wakeboarding next year either.
|hmm are you kidding me ! |
I dont like not having wakeboarding at the games but this rail pool crap the last few years is nothing more then skateboarding on water...
i thought the winch thing and the indoor rails were cool the first few times but its gotton out of control ,maybe im too old school but this is NOT Wakeboarding and does not even come close to accurately displaying or representing OUR sport..
Its a freakin rail going pool to pool theres no FN wake and im tired of this already ,ITS NOT WAKEBOARING,you forgot the WAKE,the boat,the big tricks,the lake and all the fun..
id rather not see any wakeboarding at Xgames if the rail jam is all they are gonna show..how convenient for them !!
anyway off my soapbox..
|We need a badboy to represent the sport. All of the other sports have at least one person who is or is close to being a household name. ie: Tony Hawk, Mike Metzger, Shaun White, Dave Mirra. |
Anybody have a name that comes to mind? I think it's easy for us to think of someone as being popular from within the sport but is there anyone that could really catch the public's eye. The person that comes to my mind is Ricky G. Didn't he date a playboy model?
|yea one guy i think of when i read your post |
Randal the Vandal Harris
aka randy harris the wannabe rapper with tats and an attitude to match but with as much or more skillz then anybody in the business..he goes big and has style..
|Boat means troubles for TV producers. Complicated set of cameras and etc. |
Last year in Europe wakeboarding gained a big media interest (major competitions gone live on eurosport2). Why? Because of the cable. Closed water... 3 cameras and you're done!
|the X games suck anyway, I mean Seriously, Sal Masakala is on E! (entertainment TV) with freaking Ryan Seacrest!!! If that guy has anything to do with the X-games I will never watch them again.|
|"We need a badboy to represent the sport." "ie: Tony Hawk, Mike Metzger, Shaun White, Dave Mirra. " |
Ahhh....last time I checked Tony Hawk and Shaun White are no where even close to being considered bad boys. Besides, we have our ambassador, like it or not it's Shaun Murray. No offense, I know he's a sick rider, but no way do I want The Vandal to be the face of wakeboarding!
|I don't think having a little punk for our ambassador is a great idea. Sure he can ride, but would you want your kids looking up to him? |
I agree with the statement from Chris. That was all crap.
|Like Steve said we have an ambassador for our sport Shaun Murray not only can he ride but he his a really cool guy and everyone likes him. I havent heard a cheer for any rider like there was for Shaun this year at the first stop of the pro tour ever!! Shaun is simply the man in wakeboarding and we are lucky to have him.|
|I agree. Shaun would be my pic.|
|Yeah Steve, I was thinking the same thing. Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Dave Mirra, = bad boys? I almost spit out my drink when I read that. |
Sorry Paul, although those guys are great for their sports, they are about as cookie cutter as it gets in those sports. Those 3 are a sponsers wet dream for representing their products in a good light though. But you are right that they are a household name.
But personally, I dont care about wakeboarding not being on the X-games. At least I wont get frustrated with the coverage. It's not the announcing that gets me. It's the "completely missing a winning run" that bugs me. It kind of takes the excitement away when they come back from another sport, and you hear the annoncer say, WOW so and so just threw down an amazing run, lets watch the highlights of that run. BOOOOOOOO
(Message edited by r_dub on May 10, 2006)
|Sorry dude, wrong Paul, look up a few post.|
|I think it's important to remember that wakeboarding evolves and it's multifaceted. Look at how far it's come from "skurfing" (and even farther before that). You'll always have the wake, you'll always have rails, and you'll always have dreamers that make their ideas a reality (sorry for the cheese). That's the beauty of it all...it just may not be in one place at one given time. So, X-games or not, I like the idea that they're trying to incorporate something a bit different than what they've done in the past. |
personally, I love the pool and rail set ups. Never in a million years did I think anyone would be able to check out a wakeboarding or wakeskating demo at a boat show (it shows how shortsighted I was). I think it's great that both of these activities can be brought to so many people. And what's more is the riding is actually decent, especially when someone like aaron reed will do a front board backside bigs out at some indoor rail demo...that's awesome that people don't necessarily have to watch some "dog and pony" show.
And I realize that this post is going to sound really preachy (and sorry that it comes off that way), but it's pretty selfish to say that you don't want a "sport" to grow, when you most likely are a result of that growth. What did it take for you to find out about wakeboarding? A magazine? A comp on TV? A friend? If wakeboarding wasn't promoted and didn't grow, it wouldn't go anywhere and wouldn't reach the people it's reached--like anything, sometimes you have to take the good with the bad (and quite frankly, sometimes those early morning sets are sweet). It's just too convenient to say wakeboarding is now big enough, now that "we're" involved. The pioneers did not develop product and promote their love on a crappy budget for it to stagnate and die off, all for some glassy water.
|I never said Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Dave Mirra were badboys. I said that we need a badboy to represent the sport. Today it seems easier to catch the public's eye when you are a rebel. I know this is like comparing apples to oranges, but look at Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Barry Bonds, etc.. They all have a negative aura around them that attracts fans and money to their respective sports. |
Second on my list was Randy Harris. None of us want our kids to grow up like these guys, but they do attract attention.
I'm not saying I want the sport to be recognized by a badboy, but it seems it would happen quicker. Murray is the man, but not a household name. But then again, nobody is at this point.
|Ricky G is a 'badboy' but at the same time a really nice guy.|
|Now that we have all had smoke blown up our asses, I say screw the x-games. They really have gotten away from their roots, and now its just one more big cheesey commercial....Please, Mr. X-Games, keep the kiddy pool on the drawing board. If you cant do it right, dont do it at all. Nothing worse than a half-assed attempt at what you think we want to see for the sake of selling Mountain Dew.....Thanks, but NO Thanks. |
|Wakeboarding still has the Gravity Games I think I heard something about the gravity games goin bankrupt but I dont know for shure. This is still up.http://www.gravitygamesh2o.com/|
|Isnt the X-games on of the stops on the PWT??|
|Nope never has been.|
|Personally, I don't care if the coverage is LIVE. What I care about is seeing a FULL pass by the riders competing in at least the semi's and final's. If they want to highlight the qualifying round, fine by me but once it gets down to the final 6-8 riders, I want to see full runs. |
I think the best tv coverage by ESPN for wakeboarding was 1996-1998. I'm not completey sure about this but the coverage seemed to shorten when they went to San Fransisco and Philly. I thought they were getting back on track with the coverage over the last couple of years in Long Beach. I started to enjoy the coverage of X again. At least I got to see all the finalists and their entire runs.
As far as I can tell, there have been many spectators attending wakeboarding at X since it was introduced in 1996.
Finally, I don't see why having boats make it hard to produce for TV. ESPN use to have kick ass coverage of the pro tour back in the day, and I can't see why it would be any different now. Venues used are pretty much the same. Boats are bigger now so should allow for the cameraman on the boat to have more manueverability. Runs are just as long. And if I'm not mistaken, there are less riders at each event now then 10 years ago.
To be honest, I would be happy to see a pro event produced like it was in the old days. At least then I could get a feel for the flow of a riders run versus the fragmented version that has been shown more recently.
|does that mean asian X-games wont have em this year too? or just at los angeles...|
|Maybe if they made a reality tv show where pro wakeboarders get voted out of a house every week, and there is some killer drama. And some of the guys cry and danny steals park's woman. we could get wakeboarding on mtv.|
|as long as Sal Masakala is on the x-games they and not extreme.|
|Justin as stupid as that sounds it would probably be great for the sport. Kinda like they do with ultimate fighting. There is also some kind of reality show on about bull riders that is pretty good. The drama would make people watch that dont care about wakeboarding, then throw in some great riding and it would be great for the sport. |
I still think that with the costs it will be tough for the sport to ever grow too much.
|I keep saying the sport doesn't have to grow in participation in order for it to grow in spectators/viewership. 2 different things. People love watching things they will never do. Make it entertaining. |
Has there ever been a movie with wakeboarding in it as its theme. That would be cool as long as it was done right. Good riding scenes and a halfway decent script and plot.
|There is a new soap opera on fox that has a few quick clips of someone riding. Looks like an O.C. clone. I'm sure that will help push the sport into a new light. |
Ever since I started watching the O.C., I have been an avid drug user, alcoholic, womanizer, and my twin brother is trying to take my girl.