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Old     (wiltok)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-29-2005, 8:38 AM Reply   
For the first time in years, I am starting to see a lot more non-boarders (skiers, kneeboarders, etc) out on my lake. In past years, if I saw someone doing something besides boarding I'd be very surprised. Now, it's commonplace. Boarders are still in the majority - but not as much as before. What's it like on your lake??

I'm wondering if the cost of admission (boats, boards, bindings) is starting to deter people. From what I understand, this same theme occurred in the snow skiing/board world - just got too damn expensive.
Old    wickedwake            07-29-2005, 8:40 AM Reply   
Ha...Wakeboarding is still a young fawn waiting to be released into the wild LOL. Nowhere near the peak b/c it is still progressing every day. I see more boarders that is than I did last. And here in Alabama wakeboats are a dime a dozen.
Old     (skibum69)      Join Date: Aug 2004       07-29-2005, 8:46 AM Reply   
No, just a slow down in the growth.
Old     (wakeboard19)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-29-2005, 8:49 AM Reply   
I see more and more wakeboarders on are lake everyday and less and less skiers.
Old    lunaraven            07-29-2005, 9:12 AM Reply   
My lakes volume of wakeboarders have increased 10 fold in the last few years. The sport's dependence on boats and limited season length in most areas will likely keep it at current levels. It has converted a lot of waterskiiers.
Old     (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       07-29-2005, 9:19 AM Reply   
No. Wakeboarding has already replaced waterskiing as the main behind the boat activity. Wakeboarding will continue to grow beyond where waterskiing ever was because it is more of a social sport. Whether you are purely recreational or hardcore, the more people in the boat, the better. Wakeboarding is also more fun for beginners, and it's easier to learn. With skiing, you only want 3 people in the boat and nobody can sit in the back when the rope is attached to the pylon. Certain aspects of skiing really capped the number of people that could get into it. Most of these aspects tdo not exist for wakeboarders. Kneeboarding will always be kneeboarding. Unless the number of 6 - 9 year olds quadruples, it will never gain mass traction.
The one non-board activity that could really take over is tubing. Like cockroaches, these genetically inferior creatures continually defy evolution, surviving and multiplying at an alarming rate. Though you want them to go away, they never really do.
Old    robertt            07-29-2005, 9:24 AM Reply   
I see it growing by leaps and bounds. I am in my mid thirties with kids....and I just started. There are many like me. Its fairly easy to get into...boards and bindings are very inexpensive compared to just about any other sport like it.

The boats are an issue...I think cable parks will get much more popular.

Old     (thor)      Join Date: Oct 2001       07-29-2005, 9:24 AM Reply   
I think wakeboarding for the recreational person is still growing, and will continue to grow for quite sometime before it reaches a plateau.

On the professional side though, wakeboarding seems to be declining. I can't even remember the last time I saw an event on television. A few years ago every stop on the tour was aired on ESPN2, but now with the X-games only a week or two away, we'll be lucky to see 15 minutes of coverage, and more than likely, only the top two runs will be shown.

Professional wakeboarding just doesn't seem to be able to attract and sustain the large corporate sponsors necessary to push it to the next level, and in my opinion, it has reached its apex on the professional level.
Old    martini            07-29-2005, 10:07 AM Reply   
you pretty much nailed it Robert!
Old     (patoloco)      Join Date: May 2002       07-29-2005, 10:08 AM Reply   
I remember when kneeboarding was the cool new thing to do and you actually knew the names of some of the pros and people anxiously awaited the hot new boards each year.

Now I'd say 80% of active watersports consumers over 20 years old have owned or used a kneeboard at sometime..but can you name any of the pros....or have you seen a new kneeboard innovation in the last 10 years?

Maybe a poor comparison since I don't remember ever seeing a kneeboard specific boat...but wakeboarding could still end up there.
Old     (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-29-2005, 10:14 AM Reply   
I'm seeing more people wanting to wakeboard these days as well. Matt brought up some good points about skiing versus wakeboarding (BTW, that last part was just damn funny).

I don't think professional boarding has reached it's apex though. The PWT should be creative and try new they did with the head-to-head concept this year. (I wonder how attendence was this year on the whole versus years past)

You still have popular local events that do well (The Canyon Lake, Gravel Tour and Toe Jam come to mind) and it seems like new local events are springing up every summer. BTW, the Toe Jam aired on OLN.

Anyways, let me tell you my opinion on Orlando's PWT while I'm at it - the O-dub location sucks. This event would draw a much bigger crowd at another location - like it did at Cranes Roost in Altamonte (just my perception - I don't have numbers). You would think that being in Central Florida they could find something better.
Old     (thirdgear)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-29-2005, 10:15 AM Reply   
Funny thing about tubing -- I think the press and general population are finally starting to realize that it's not necessarily the most safe/family oriented water sport out there. Newspapers in my area have started reporting tubing accidents and talking up some serious injuries that have occuried. Within the last few weeks or so, some lady got tossed and her spine twisted around -- paralyzed for life. Maybe this new "awareness" will start lowering the tuber population at some point, at least for younger ages?

As for wakeboarding, here in the ATX it grows every year with no signs of stopping. I think the am scene is beginning to dominate people's interests as opposed to the pro riders.
Old     (skibum69)      Join Date: Aug 2004       07-29-2005, 10:33 AM Reply   
tubing stories:
Old     (97response)      Join Date: Oct 2004       07-29-2005, 10:44 AM Reply   
I think one really neat thing is that kneeboarding has made a small comeback because of wakeboats. I haven't kneeboarded in 10 years, but I have seen a couple guys kneedboard behind a wakesetter. They're getting 3 to 4 ft. of air throwing front/back rolls, barrel rolls, and 360's. Its actually really fun to watch.
Old    byerly137pro            07-29-2005, 10:49 AM Reply   
Tubing is still the most popular behind the boat sport up here, but thats just based on what I've seen. I mean the little kids love it and there out there ALL DAY. And you know what happens, they publish articles in the Muskokan (cottage newspaper) about how wakeboarders and their boats with oversized wakes are wreaking havoc on the floating docks. They think were doing it out of spite when were just trying to have fun. It should be more like the "two kids who tube
around in circles making huge rollers are wreaking havoc. At the ski school I volunteer at they don't even offer tubing because insurance won't cover them. But as it happens, a lady brusied her kidney and liver on the water weenie(bannana boat).
Old     (thirdgear)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-29-2005, 10:51 AM Reply   
"I never thought I could get hurt doing tubing. Never in a million years."

Haha, great articles Jason. I knew that Sumo thing was bad news the first time I saw it, come ON.
Old     (wakechic06)      Join Date: Jun 2005       07-29-2005, 11:50 AM Reply   
There is getting to be more and more boats on our river with towers and boards. Wakeboarding is getting pretty popular but there are still plenty of tubing goin on. Havent seen too many skiiers recently though.
Old    260searay            07-29-2005, 12:14 PM Reply   
I am one of the few who i see in my harbor on lake erie wakeboarding.
Old     (sandman59)      Join Date: Aug 2002       07-29-2005, 12:16 PM Reply   
I have to agree with Keith about seeing more skiiers in my area. The first wave of wakeboarders have gone off to college and there doesn't seem to be anyone coming up behind them. One thing that hurts my area, the local lake only allows boats with outboards.
Old     (just_board)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-29-2005, 1:22 PM Reply   
it's the complete opposite for my lake

for a while there have only been a small perecent of boarders, but now that percent is actually starting to grow..there are fewer skiiers each season, tubing is growing though, i think..
Old     (wakebrdrnc)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-29-2005, 1:39 PM Reply   
Here in North Carolina it is growing by leaps and bounds. Last year our "flotilla" consisted of 10 boats max. Two or three weeks ago we had 45 boats tied up. I know that is small compaired to some lakes' flotillas, but look how much it grew in one season. Our website has grown from 400 to 600 memebers since the beginning of the season. I think it is growing still. I think that we have become acustomed to seeing so many wakeboarding boats now that the non wakeboarding boats stand out more.
Old    jayp            07-29-2005, 2:44 PM Reply   
There is no decline on the Willamette river in Portland. There are tons of brand new boats this year. I see more people wakeboarding than anything else. Followed by slalom - wakesurfing - wakeskating - and the old school waterskiers with two ski's. Oh, there are more than enough tubers as well.

You have to search for good water at times. And just when you get ready to jump in, here comes the tubers and jetski's to get the water all ready for you.

I like the early morning sets. In at 7:30am and out by noon. Although I doubt the slalom skiers like seeing a sacked out X2 coming towards them on the early morning glass.

Old     (mmobius2001)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-01-2005, 1:13 PM Reply   
no i disagree, i see more and more people trying everyday, but people from about 17-24 give up on it pretty quickly sometimes, i saw a couple boats go everyday last year, and havent seen them on this year, because people dont realize how difficult it is, they see flips on TV and think they can do it, when they figure out how hard it is they quit.


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