Word. I wonder if this aspect of their influence on the industry contributes to some of the mistrust/fear of the company as a kind of evil monopoly that's going to take over and abuse the sport. I'm not saying there aren't good reasons for this fear (Kent Sporting Goods, patent lawsuits, etc.), but I think that a lot of the hate for LF has to do with the fact that they're so successful and people love to root for the underdogs.
I saw an old video of Shane talking about how he'd been with Liquid Force for something like 15 years and seen all the good things they'd done for riders like him and the sport in general. He truly believes in their product, and more importantly, in their intentions/vision for the future of wakeboarding. He's one of those guys that pro and amateur riders alike respect and put on a pedestal because, as they see it, he hasn't "sold out." I think it's really impressive that Liquid Force can maintain such a huge following and continue to earn the respect of the biggest up-and-coming names in wakeboarding even after all the heat they've taken.