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Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       08-13-2008, 12:23 PM Reply   
I was very surprised not to see any chatter on the discussion board after we posted Randall's latest Q&A column. I thought his extended answer to the second question was one of the most interesting reads in wake in a very long time.
Old     (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-13-2008, 12:49 PM Reply   
You have a good point there. He basically said that he wasn't sure he liked how wakeboarding seemed to lose it's heart and soul that it had back in the day all for corporate sponsorships and competition payouts, which is a pretty inflammatory statement, at least for some of the people around here. However, I actually agree with him, and even if a person isn't super consistent, if they can ride with style and make all their stuff look good, I don't care if it's just grabbed 180's, it's fun to watch. As neat as it is to see people do really tech tricks, they just aren't quite as fun to watch in my opinion.

A few of the guys I've ridden with in the past year are really good and have a huge bag of tricks, but I know one or two people who work hard on making a somewhat smaller bag of tricks look really good and making them bigger, and I think it's a lot more fun to watch them than someone who does a really technical run, because it, personally, doesn't feel like it's all that fun. But then there are guys like that I have ridden with who are just completely off the hook with their bag of tricks and make EVERYTHING look good because they grab it all and poke it all out. Double grabbed w2w 3's and grabbed w2w 7's behind an old prostar 205 DD.

Okay, I definitely got distracted while I was writing that and lost my train of thought, so sorry about the incoherency...

(Message edited by wakeboardern1 on August 13, 2008)
Old     (funkyhomosapien)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-15-2008, 6:54 AM Reply   
I agree Dave. Take this quote, "Riders nowadays aren't riding to tweak their board in a way no one has ever tweaked it. They are riding to build an arsenal of check cutting sponsors. Riders today don't ride, they train."

I think there are a good number of people that have been riding since the beginning that love wakeboarding as much as anybody else. On top of that, they rip it just as hard as a lot of pros, some in different ways. They just don't have the time or resources to ride everyday. I know personally nothing makes me feel better than rippin a huge grabbed tweaked 180 into the flats. I ride because I love the feeling it gives me everytime. Not just to train for an arsenal of tricks. I am sure if you got to ride everyday year round though, wakeboarding would probably start turning into more training. Anyway, there has to be alot of underground people who ride really hard, been there since the beginning, and do it just for the euphoric feeling it brings them.
Old     (jsweat)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-15-2008, 7:27 AM Reply   
i believe randall was talking about pros nowadays not the weekend warrior or any other non paid rider. of course those of us who dont get paid to ride ride for the love of it
Old     (jsweat)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-15-2008, 7:35 AM Reply   
but as to what randall said about the pros riding basically to get paid i agree. but its not like its the pros faults they just want to get paid. a lot of sponsors only want the riders who do well in contests and that in my opinion is bs. im like randall id rather see someone freeride with passion than go out and throw another 180 to a whirly dick or whatever. and as randall said only a handful of riders are out riding to have fun as opposed to collecting a check. dont get me wrong id love to get paid to ride as well and id love to get paid the most which soven is probably gonna do this year. but id rather see sponsors throwing more money at bangin video sections than at podium finishes. go big and ride with style
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-15-2008, 7:43 AM Reply   
Would you say the same thing if Randall was winning, or even won a contest? It just seems to be the norm that if someone doesn't win, ridiculing things is the next step. Not that he ridiculed anyone, more that you seem to be hinting at ridiculing other riders. Great reply though, it is interesting hearing that stuff.
Old     (ridinonair)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-15-2008, 8:04 AM Reply   
I havent been around boarding all the time, but I use to skateboard every day for 9 years, and kind of watched the same thing happen with that. For me wakeboarding is an opportunity to go out and hang with close friends, get amped when we learn new tricks, crack jokes, meet other boarders, have a good time and a sense of accomplishment with every trick landed. Its all about the heart and comeraderie with the activity to me, I dont ever plan on doing contests, just having a great time.
Old     (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-15-2008, 8:11 AM Reply   
Not just pro riders. I can't tell you how many times I have seen riders post up about competition passes, or what it takes to pull in a sponsor. I have heard little league parents shout from the boat "IF YOU WANT TO BEAT JOHNNY, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A ******* IN YOUR RUN. NOW TRY IT AGAIN. Talk to anyone in the industry, seems like more and more riders have their hands out.

I definitely see, and agree with Randall's point. Wakeboarding is it's best when it is just that, riding for the fun of it. Soul Riding. It's bad for the sport when the focus goes from that to throwing a fit at a contest because you came in second.

(Message edited by socalwakepunk on August 15, 2008)
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-15-2008, 8:26 AM Reply   
Often on here i see people get slammed for their opinions for various reasons, some may be too quickly reached, and others may be off the wall, but as far as Randall's statement about the state of wakeboarding regarding to the swap of soul for $$$, i feel that he's somebody who being where he is in the industry and his status throughout, he is completely justified in his opinion, and he isn't the least bit hypocritical with it. The wake industry is what it is, and the way things are these days, you gotta pay to play, but i definitely see where Randall is coming from.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-15-2008, 8:27 AM Reply   
I guess I would have thought that larger podium checks would be a good thing for Wakeboarding? Personally I don't understand the comments... I think you can make wakeboarding what you want it to be... just like say golf. If you want it to be about chilling with your boys and having a good time in a relaxed atmosphere, then make it so. If you want to compete to be the best... then that's your choice too. what's wrong with competition?
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-15-2008, 8:33 AM Reply   
You could also take the stance that Competition has pushed the skills in wakeboarding to new levels. And I'll be the first one to agree with that. Where is the motivation to do a heel 9 wake to wake, if a backside 180 into the flats is supposedly a more inherently stylish move? Skills pay the bills, and those who are lucky enough to have the assets/skills to utilize their wakeboard skills, whatever they be: free-ride oriented or competition minded, in that way are living the dream.
Old     (owenitall)      Join Date: Jun 2007       08-15-2008, 8:39 AM Reply   
his reply reminded me of the lords of dogtown and dogtown and z boys (skateboarding). it sounds like he was in the exact same time and place with wakeboarding. he should make a movie of it.
Old     (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-15-2008, 8:53 AM Reply   
thats what i was thinking of alan. its just like the history and progression of all of the other board sports, surf, skate, snow, etc.

(Message edited by romes on August 15, 2008)
Old     (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-15-2008, 8:57 AM Reply   
it really just goes to show you how young our sport really is.
Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-15-2008, 9:40 AM Reply   
I'm always surprised To read about proís that donítí exercise regulary or eat a somewhat healthy diet. If Iím making money off the performance of my body, I would invest as much into it as possible. You have nothing to lose, only gain. I could only imagine what he would be capable off if he had increased strength and flexibility, not to mention the potential injury prevention.
Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-15-2008, 9:44 AM Reply   
Just read question # 2 answer...

"The new wave of riders are more athletic, serious and goal-oriented. Riders nowadays aren't riding to tweak their board in a way no one has ever tweaked it. They are riding to build an arsenal of check cutting sponsors. Riders today don't ride, they train. They train three to five times daily. They train to be consistent. They train to be the wakeboarder on Fuel TV mounting the podium. They train to be the next rider with a line of signature products and a pro model boat wrap. "
Old     (mike2001)      Join Date: Feb 2008       08-15-2008, 10:04 AM Reply   
It is good to see someone have a set of beliefs and stick to them like randall did with that second question.

Sponsors throw money at what sells. And what sells is dictated by our demand. So, sponsors spend the money on the guys who do well in comps. because thats what the general public recognizes and identifies with.

I've been a member for about a yr and one thing I find interesting. People really appreciate Gator boards and what he's done on his own, but no one really rides any of the boards (or those people just don't speak up much about them...but I've seen from pics that Collin Ryan rips on one). All the hype surrounds the newest and greatest innovations. So, you love the company for being rider owned and operated, but don't financially support it.

Even Harris, I don't hear about many people riding his boards. I'd guess that Soven's board outsells Harris, to no fault of each rider. That is what the public determines.

I agree w/ OnlyInboards, as long as you make it what you want it to be, don't worry about what other people do.

Sorry a bit of rambling.
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-15-2008, 10:16 AM Reply   
I am not trying to get into nit picking here, and I get what Randall meant by answering question #2 (specifically what Sam posted), yet I know I have read an article where Randy states no matter the weather, no matter how he's feeling that day, he has to get out and ride, multiple times a day. Yet this is training if other people do it? And to what Sam posted, here is what he said in an earlier reply

"I don't argue with muscle memory. Muscle memory is how you become consistent. When perfecting a trick, the old adage holds true; practice makes perfect. There are some tricks I do in sets of two or three."

Now that is not directly referring to the same topic, but I do find it ironic. Riding every day, multiple times is his job because he's a pro, yet if others do it and call it training, it's a negative thing. Same can be said for "training" to have the next pro model or boat wrap. Are people not supposed to strive for anything? Did he not strive for that himself? I'm really not trying to be a negative nancy here, I really like Harris' riding and have followed him for years, but in doing so I've noticed it seems sometimes (or comes across) that others don't deserve or can't strive for the very things he has and wants. He is truly blessed, and we are just to get to watch him, and him replying to the average Joe is a great thing, yet, I find it odd that the very things he has, and has worked hard for, is criticized that others do it.
Old     (anthemwake)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-15-2008, 11:24 AM Reply   
It's all about perspective. I have a friend who thinks of Shawn Watson the same way I think of Byerly. As he was coming up and getting into the sport, that's who he saw and identified with and that's who influenced him the same way Byerly did for me 7 or 8 years earlier. Later on down the road, kids are going to be like "Aw man, remember 2008? Things were so much better then." And they'll be right; the sport will have changed and it might not be as appealing to them anymore.

For the sake of comparison, it's the same as when bands put out a new record and people all say "it sucks, their old stuff was better." The old stuff is better to them because when they associate it with a time in they were 16 years old and making out under the bleachers and having fun. Now they're older with more responsibilities and have a different perspective and are not drawn to the same stuff they were when they were 16.

Plus, this is the dude's job. No mater what you do, a job is a job and you're not going to be psyched on everything about it all the time. I think that probably the best way to get sick of wakeboarding is to be a pro wakeboarder.
Old    justinh            08-15-2008, 11:24 AM Reply   
A-dub, I with you. Training and riding to progess is a very fine line. (I don't know the difference)

Old School vs New School is a tale as old as time. I have been riding long enough to see a few cycles. Randy may see old-school to some, but I remember when he was a punk kid shooting the "old school" with a pellet gun (a lot of deep meaning). It may seem like riders today are sell-outs, but I would bet that your average elite pro has half as many sponsors as the riders did 10 yrs ago. Those guys had to hauk their goods day-in-day out like door to door salesmen--and they did it for peanuts (or love of the sport, whichever way you want to look at it).

I respect the old-school, but the young riders, with their big $$$ and training schedules are on the front-lines writing the sport's future. Randy is doing the same, truly amazing, riding he did in Natural Born Thrillaz (2001).
Old     (solo)      Join Date: Oct 2001       08-15-2008, 12:06 PM Reply   
I think there is a huge misconception of what Pros make. The big $$$ contracts are few and far between. Only the top 10 riders in the world make 100k+ everyone else is scraping to make a living. You could probably make more money managing a McDonalds then riding as a pro in our industry. With our economy, sponsorship dollars are at an all time low.

With regards to Randalls comments, What I got out of his interview was that too many riders are just training to try and go Pro and learn as many tricks as they can rather than riding for the love of our sport.
Old     (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-15-2008, 12:31 PM Reply   
^^^^Spot on, Hahn!
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-15-2008, 1:22 PM Reply   
Just to be clear, I get it and partially agree, even though you may not read that in my posts. I just don't get how everyone jumps on the love of the sport train when someone like Harris says it. I have a friend who gets stressed out because of sponsors and how he must place at a comp, it has killed the fun and love of the sport. I see it first hand, and get it. But he does it because he wants that success, thats what drives him. Let what drives people be their thing, and do yours, no need to drop on people because they want what you have.
Old     (solo)      Join Date: Oct 2001       08-15-2008, 1:32 PM Reply   
I didn't get the impression from Randalls response that he was discouraging young riders from trying to go Pro. Just an observation that kids now a days are training to compete rather than just riding for fun. Parents are paying top dollar for coaches and winter camps in the hope that their kid can go pro. That wasn't the way things used to be.

"None of us really approached wakeboarding as a business or a career."

In my opinion the talented young riders competing today look at our sport too much like a business. When in reality only the top 10% of them will ever make a lasting career out of it.

Just my $.02
Old     (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-15-2008, 2:13 PM Reply   
"I just don't get how everyone jumps on the love of the sport train when someone like Harris says it"

I don't see it. There are pepole who ride just to ride, then there are people who want something else from wakeboarding, be it money, fame or whatever. I don't see anyone jumping from one to the other. FYI, I still enjoy comps, have been competing for 10 years now, it's fun to see if you can throw your best in a comp. But that's all it is, not some sort training session for getting on the PWT.

Pretty sure that if you took a poll of pro riders, that the rider they have the most respect for is Randall. And it is because regardless of how he finishes a comp, or how often he gets a magazine cover shot, he still rides the same way, for himself. If he made no money, or got no exposure from wakeboarding, he would still ride his way with his own style.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-15-2008, 5:21 PM Reply   
I have been around the scene since almost the beginning and have known most pros over the last 10 years. I love what Randall is saying. He has a legit voice that should hold weight with all riders out there. He has always spoke his mind, even if he said some things in the pat that got him in trouble. I would say they are very few guys in the top group that truly ride for their passion or are driven to just really do something unique. An easy example of one that is, is Mike Schwenne. He has always been true to himself even when he won the world championship. Sure he trained for that tournament, but when he rode on his time, it was about what he enjoyed doing. I have watched a ton of kids progress on the west and very few that did it because they just love to be on a board. Most did it as a challenge which breeds Jr.Mens mobe masters. It is clear when you watch today's videos, who is doing tricks to do them or doing them to be unique and expressive. The money is not really there except for the very elite so being yourself and not caring about 900 + 1080's does not really get you paid. Let the man speak and do your best to take the smallest shred of anything he does and add it into your style and you will be a better rider who appreciates the sport.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-15-2008, 6:06 PM Reply   
Buff, well said, but I have to add, up until this year the PWT scoring system forced the young riders to become "mobe masters" as you say. That's what won contest, got sponsor money & recogniton. And Hahn is right, only 10% will every make a living out of it, but so what, their young, let them chase their dreams and have a blast doing it. How many of us wouden't do the same at 17 or 18 years old.
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-15-2008, 8:00 PM Reply   
^^^^^i was about to mention the same thing about the scoring system that randy said^^^^^
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-15-2008, 8:10 PM Reply   
JB, whazz up?

How come the whole time I read this thread I kept thinking about those 12 year old Chinese gymnasts? Just the epitome of all that's great about sports!

Harris is the only one keeping the hope alive that there might be another way besides the PWT. There should be room for both like most of the other X sports.
Old     (owenitall)      Join Date: Jun 2007       08-15-2008, 10:46 PM Reply   
hey mike,
i am still riding randall's '06 board and loving it.
Old     (misteve)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-15-2008, 11:40 PM Reply   
I'm just stoked he answered my question! The first one btw..
Old     (gene3x)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-16-2008, 5:34 AM Reply   
I think the whole old school vs. new school argument is hilarious. There has realy only been a "school" for about 15 years, but I understand what you guys are saying about identifing with someone in a specific time and reference point.

As for the contest riding.... several guys like Mike K hit it on the head when he said: "Sponsors throw money at what sells. And what sells is dictated by our demand. So, sponsors spend the money on the guys who do well in comps. because thats what the general public recognizes and identifies with. "

Part of what is appealing to people when Randall talks about guys who "ride" instead of train is the same thing that has always appealed to certain people with a "fight the system" attitude...... They want to remain unique or different or recognizable for their "own" trick (unique accomplishment). Hell it is what most alternative sports thrive on. I read where many people are ragging on Ryan Sheckler for "selling out" because that is "not what skateboarding is about". Is it not a good thing that these sports grow or should we not introduce it to a whole new generation of kids so that a phenom might come to the forefront to show everyone what IS possible for the future of wakeboarding or any other alternative sport?
Old     (mike2001)      Join Date: Feb 2008       08-16-2008, 3:51 PM Reply   
Alan, good to see the support!

I think the comparison to a band that starts out independent but eventually gets signed to a major label and is called a "sellout" is a great metaphor. And I think that unfortunately, the sport has to sell out to continue to grow (i don't agree that it is selling out, but work for comparison's sake). The sport will only continue to grow if there is a demand for it. I'd guess that if board companies introduced new innovations in their products and saw poor sales for a couple years, they'd probably scale back on production and R&D.

I give alot of credit to people like Schwenne and every one that runs the camps or created The Book...whoever has really found a way to make the sport a solid career.
Old     (brucer)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-17-2008, 4:57 PM Reply   
Mat Hoffman said: "as long as you remain true to yourself, it's not so much selling out as others buying in".

how you do a trick needs to be as important as the trick itself. that's what the new judging system was supposed to be about and that's the difference between building an arsenal and riding your own way. the true test of a hero is to be able to do both....
Old     (wazzy)      Join Date: Nov 2001       08-18-2008, 10:06 AM Reply   
>>People really appreciate Gator boards and what he's done on his own, but no one really rides any of the boards (or those people just don't speak up much about them...<<

Apparently you haven't been reading the posts about Gator Boards questions people post....
Old     (ldebbold)      Join Date: Jun 2006       08-18-2008, 3:01 PM Reply   
Forrest, case in point. I switched from HL Era to Gator Gonzales 07 this year. I love that thing. Now I have to wait in line to ride it because half the peeps on my boat want to ride it. I was stoked to see video of Cooper Swink riding the Gonzales. Great Boards, great team, coolest graphics.
Old     (dustin_w)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-18-2008, 4:29 PM Reply   
The Gonzales is a killer board. I switched to a Watson this year, but it is still my 2nd favorite board.


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