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Old    Dave (daveronix199)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-19-2014, 5:22 PM Reply   
This sport isn't big at all (compared to other board sports)... But with Riders being dropped from company's that's have supported the rider for years kinda makes you wonder ( Shane Bonifay - Mastercraft , JD Webb, Adam errington -Redbull, Steel Lafferty - LF, Scott byerly- reef, Chad sharpe -billabong) and I'm sure there is a few other riders in the same boat getting left high and Dry. And this year this no women's pro tour... Is wakeboarding as a sport fading out?
Old    Chase Tillett (tn_rider)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-19-2014, 6:07 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveronix199 View Post
This sport isn't big at all (compared to other board sports)... But with Riders being dropped from company's that's have supported the rider for years kinda makes you wonder ( Shane Bonifay - Mastercraft , JD Webb, Adam errington -Redbull, Steel Lafferty - LF, Scott byerly- reef, Chad sharpe -billabong) and I'm sure there is a few other riders in the same boat getting left high and Dry. And this year this no women's pro tour... Is wakeboarding as a sport fading out?

IMO and just MO, because the sport is so small/new these are really the first "mainstream" riders. Minus steel and adam all the other guys have been around for a long time. These companies do not make an absolute killing off of these riders. They make a killing off of their name. There's a new crop of riders coming in, younger and better than the older veterans. They can't afford to keep the veteran and sign the young gun. So they have to drop the older guy to make room for the new. It happens all
The time in other sports because they have been around. Wakeboarding is new, this is the really the first crop of riders to really get older in age since the sport got a little more "mainstream" if you could even call it that. It sucks, chad is one of my favorite riders of all time. I have a video of him on my computer hitting the kicker in acworth in 08 at the pro tour stop going bigger than anyone I've ever seen.
Old    Dave Diaz (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-19-2014, 6:17 PM Reply   
A lot of the companies trying to cash in on the sport are crossovers. Billabong, Reef, bodyglove, etc. some of the company's are in it because they want to grow the sport, and enjoy the lifestyle. Many are just trying to cash in and do not see the return in investment. Of course many of the other sports do not require you have the funds to own a 100k boat and get to the lake everyday. IMO, the best way for the sport to grow right now is through cable parks. Kind of like watching slopestyle on snow boarding or street with skate. These sports you just go, and are not reliant on a boat, friends, etc. Even in the video's, these guys are towed behind the latest and greatest boats. Even if someone was throwing hammers behind an '89 malibu sac'd, it would almost be laughed at or picked apart by people on here because his boat wasn't a G, or BU, or whatever. I think this sport has started getting away from the riding aspect and more concerned with "the Lifestyle" which we are lead to believe consists of a new boat and gear every year. Kind of sad really.
Old    David (99Bison)      Join Date: Sep 2012       05-19-2014, 7:05 PM Reply   
Wb probably at a crossroads, too old to he new/cool/edgey, to new to be a mainstay. To become mainstay, wb likely has to branch out - cable parks are a big key, "lifestyle" concept has also passed its newness, reality on new boat prices, reality that you don't need an inboard to have fun, clothing, boards, apparel ranges for different generations, etc.

For example, downhill skiing as branched out in many if these areas. Meanwhile waterskiing has not.

Perhaps that's a lot of opinion, but yea.
Old    Eric (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       05-19-2014, 8:08 PM Reply   
I've got to wonder why it isn't broadcast on TV more. I see lot's of things on TV that are much more obscure than wakeboarding. 50 channels of church, 100 channels of Spanish, and 100 channels of shopping but no room for wakeboarding? How about public access channels even? I've got to wonder if there isn't some greed that prevents competitions from being broadcast. Some organization behind the scenes that wants money for the rights like its the NFL. If you can't find it on TV then how can it grow? 10 minutes of wakeboarding 4 times a year with that pathetic King of Wake coverage that spends more time with the rock star girls than the riders isn't going to grow the sport. Now that you read my rant, you can go back to your episode of Lizard Lick towing or Swamp Men or whatever redneck TV they've got on the boob for ya. I think there might be someone driving a truck in the snow or cutting down a tree that's much more interesting than a wakeboard competition. If only we could get wakeboarders to yell at each other while sliding their heads back and forth and waving their fingers in the air .... or better yet ... hitting each other over the head with a metal chair while wearing some manly tights.
Old    Josh M (dvsone79)      Join Date: Dec 2012       05-19-2014, 8:09 PM Reply   
Accessibility certainly plays a part. You have to own a boat, know someone that does, or go to a cable. Where I live cable isn't an option. Closest one is 4 hrs away. And having not been to a cable park I may not have the best opinion on this but a day at the cable, even with friends, doesn't seem like it would be as good as a day on the water with those same people. There's something about being on a boat on the lake or river with good friends/family. Unfortunately not everyone has the means to experience that. I'm sure a day at the cable can still be fun. But I doubt it would be the same.
Old    Dustin Yost (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-19-2014, 9:00 PM Reply   
Hard to say, the whole boat thing has gotten completely out of control for sure. I grew up riding anything we could, and spent lots of time behind boats most people now days would turn their nose up at. And thing is we really pushed each other and really progressed our riding. Learned all my inverts behind an I/O. Stuck my first 540 behind a 1992 closed bow ski brendella. I have heard people now who say they would rather not ride than ride a boat improperly weighted or have to ride an ski boat.

Our "industry" has completely abandoned the 23-30 year old rider. You're pretty much considered to be at a disadvantage if you don't have a massive wakeboard. It's all marketed towards young kids and their parents who fund the boats. Go to any boat show, all the dealer reps are selling is the surf aspects of the boat, the rough water ride, the creature comforts, stereo, cup holders, etc.... Never hear a single one of them talk about the wake. The parents don't wakeboard, the kids don't wakeboard. Most of the wakeboard boats I see around anymore (which is not near as many as it used to be) do not even ride. It's all about the biggest boat, the most bling, the loudest stereo, etc... $50k is supposed to be "budget friendly"? Still a hell of a lot of money for a sport that most climates in the US only allow 6-8 months a year tops.

I was so stoked on the Sean Obrein vid behind the ski boat. Going huge. Same with the wake fest 97 vid a month or so back. Reminds me of when I was in college and buddies of mine had bought used inboards for 7-9k and we just rode all the damn time.

Maybe just getting old, but it sure seems the whole thing has changed quite a bit and not for the better.

Cables are hard to beat though, and I'm lucky enough to have one 45 mins away in KC. In three and a half hours I can drive down, ride till exhausted, drive home and hang up the gear in the garage and be done. No towing, cleaning, etc... I think a lot of the growth will come from cable.
Old    Jesse Mitchell (jessemitchell)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-19-2014, 9:20 PM Reply   
Its all about Wakesurfing now, no one wants to put the time and effort into learning inverts/720/900s and going big and wrecking themselves. Wakesurfing is fun, easy and safe.
Old     (Dissociative)      Join Date: Nov 2013       05-20-2014, 12:48 AM Reply   
I don't think it's fading at all, but I suppose the transition to cable is really the trend.

I agree that companies tend to switch to younger talents after a while, like in any other sport, just to keep things fresh. I also agree that accessibility plays a big factor too.

Anyway, wakeboarding belongs to a niche market. Let's say 50 people tried it out at a cable, probably 10 or less than that would end up really being into the sport, given that they have access to the park, can afford the rather expensive gear, and generally have friends with the common interest.

Obviously cable riding has made the sport more cost efficient and less of a hassle. Personally, I would love to see cable riding get more exposure on TV.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-20-2014, 3:28 AM Reply   
IMO it's all about accessibility. Snowboarding is a great example. It's been phased into the mainstream from the outskirts. It's not a cheap sport. Riding cable would be roughly the same cost of riding boat. In places where wakeboarding has not taken off, the north, adding cable parks to supplement snowboarding could be a big winner: a ski resort owner I knew once told me that it's the snowboarders that are there every week that keep the place running. The issue is exposure. If you build a cable park, will the snowboarders realize they can get down with some jibification, and catch a tan for the same cost that they spend on snowboarding every season? Who knows....
Old    Kevin Zoodsma (zoodsmak)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-20-2014, 4:27 AM Reply   
The inboard market continues to grow so the sport isn't contracting. Also, I think I heard about a year ago Quiksilver cut half the surf team. I think last year at Surfer Poll Dane Reynolds thanked Quik for letting him "survive the massacre" so budget cuts are not exclusive to our industry.

I think your just seeing a large focus on wake surf because there is room for innovation there. Brands are going to talk about and push their new products and features.

Typically Wakeworld draws a fairly core audience and if you ask most boat manufacturers or cable park owners, the core audience isn't exactly the mass group of customers where the money is at. I think everyone likes to innovate for the core group because most of our industry IS part of that group, but many times companies like Hyperlite and Liquid Force sell tubes to pay the bills even if they would rather focus on building a better wakeboard. (Tubes just being one example)
Old    Tim (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       05-20-2014, 5:02 AM Reply   
IMO I think wakeboarding is feeling the aftermath of the recession still. It is slowly climbing its way out of the hole. As more and more boats sell and the industry picks back up, exposure will get better. Cable parks have definitely increased the accessibilty of the sport and assisted in the exposure. Give it a couple of more years.
Old    Greg D (shorewake)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-20-2014, 5:34 AM Reply   
Get MTV to bring back Wake Brothers and the sport will grow. Some people may not feel the same or may think the show was lame. But I can tell you from personal experience a lot of peoples interest was sparked.
Old    Mark (biggator)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-20-2014, 8:17 AM Reply   
Maybe I'm in the minority.. but I think that while cable will help grow the sport - it is NOT the trick to helping it cross over to the mainstream. Why? Because it's boring as hell to watch.

Remember wakeskating? It's like that... it may be hard to do, but it doesn't look impressive.

Think in terms of skateboarding.. which gets a crowd more pumped.. street or halfpipe?

Going big is what's fun to watch. That's boat riding, not cable.
Old    Tarek Richey (tarek)      Join Date: Jun 2011       05-20-2014, 8:37 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggator View Post
Maybe I'm in the minority.. but I think that while cable will help grow the sport - it is NOT the trick to helping it cross over to the mainstream. Why? Because it's boring as hell to watch.

Remember wakeskating? It's like that... it may be hard to do, but it doesn't look impressive.

Think in terms of skateboarding.. which gets a crowd more pumped.. street or halfpipe?

Going big is what's fun to watch. That's boat riding, not cable.


did you forget to watch this?

Daniel Grant Big Air Mash-Up from Zelus on Vimeo.

Old    Justin Harrelson (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-20-2014, 12:29 PM Reply   
Yeah, If cable riders would just start going big, then it would grow...

I like boat and cable. I have a lot to learn riding cable and crashing on cable has really got me comfortable with eating crap and that has been translating to some new stuff behind the boat.
Old    Sander (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       05-20-2014, 3:31 PM Reply   
The sport is definitely going through a rough time with all the layoffs and no women on pro tour etc.
But I think the industry is also thinking it's cable where it's at. Correct Craft/Nautiques going into cable. Look at LF's team; possibly the majority are cable riders now. Look at LF's boards; same thing.
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-20-2014, 6:42 PM Reply   
Its a natural progression for "action sports". These industries explode and the suits try to grow the sport by taming it, in order to squeeze every dollar out of it. Once its tamed, its no longer attractive. Action sports are the sports of 20 somethings. If 20 somethings cant do it on their own dollar, the sport will die. If the only way you can ride a decent wake is to buddy up to a 14yr old in hopes his dad will take you out, the sport dies.

I started wakeboarding in my mid 20's in the early 90's. Everyone who was wakeboarding was my age. kids weren't wakeboarding yet. We all bought boats for <$30k, and this was Mastercrafts and Nautiques, etc. everyone was like minded, and the sessions were epic and the parties after were even more so. The riding was intense and risky. The lifestyle was born from that.

Today, a 20 something with a basic job cant afford a boat. Only children can afford to ride. Everyone must wear a vest, and everyone must wear a helmet, and everyones helmet must wear a vest. Everyone must be sure not to offend anyone. It is now the safety sport for children, not the adrenaline rush for 20 somethings.

Yes, you can sell a few G23s to a few really rich dads. Prob sell everyone you can make. or you could continue to make $35k boats that 20 somethings can buy. You prob sell alot more but wont make as much. However you will be growing an industry, instead of slowly killing one. How quickly they forget how the inboard market almost died after 3 event took this same lame path. Wakeboarding saved all of their skins, yet the did not learn from their mistakes.

20 somethings hanging out with their crew is what built wakeboarding, not rich dads and 12yr olds.
Old    Dustin Yost (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-20-2014, 7:12 PM Reply   
Jason, you totally made the point I was trying to get at a few posts up, you just articulated it so much better.
Old     (jwweathers)      Join Date: Aug 2011       05-20-2014, 7:15 PM Reply   
Completely agree, jason_ssr. Wakeboarding (behind the boat, anyway) is dying partially due to the boat prices. I think the driver is wake size. Seems it is human nature to want bigger and bigger wakes. It takes a bigger and, thus, more expensive boat to produce such a wake. Hence, the the 23+ ft X-Stars and G23s north of $125k. How popular would skating be if a deck cost $125k? Or even $5k, for that matter?

Mastercraft's new budget boat is ~$50k. What a joke.

The cable parks are way to get wakeboarding to the masses. Without them, the sport will die, completely.
Old    Dustin Yost (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-20-2014, 7:27 PM Reply   
Tim, don't disagree, it certainly seems wakeboat sales are up from the roughest parts of 08-10 recession. However in today's landscape I don't think more wakeboat sales necissarily equates to more wakeboarding exposure or more wakeboarders, I think it just means more expensive boats are being sold and there will be more loud stereos in the party coves. At least it's easier to get back into the boat for another beer with an inboard swim platform than it is with a bayliner or pontoon, plus you can control your stereo while floating on your inner tube with the transom controls.... Oh I should be a boat salesman....
Old    Dustin Yost (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-20-2014, 7:59 PM Reply   
If I sound bitter, I probably am a bit. Not about the fact that a $125k boat is and will forever be completely out of reach for me, not about the fact that other folks can afford it (I am a total capitalist and thinks its awesome Americans can have that kind of disposable income) and buy them with no intention of really wakeboarding. I am most bummed that boat companies no longer market to the "core rider" demographic and have put the sport even further out of reach for most real riders. I'm not saying anyone should expect a G wake for 30k, but the old MC205V hull or original SAN210, absolutely. Engine, hull, tower, couple seats... should be do-able. The boat makers have us (or at least those willing to shell that kind of coin for a boat) convinced we need all the bells and whistles. "Budget" Axis comes standard with led underseat lights? "Budget" NXT has touch screen control?

Is a waist high wake awesome, for sure. But 99% of riders (myself included) do not NEED a G23 wake. Unless you are pro level and trying to take your 9s to 10s the extra height will not make a difference. I think in a lot of cases it hinders a riders progression rather than helps. An un-grabbed tantrum or backroll is no more impressive with an extra 1-2ft of height. In fact a lot of non-pros I see riding huge wakes don't actually go any bigger, they just take less of a cut and don't have to work as hard. Burning 3x as much fuel for the same result. Not just calling others out either, my crew is a great example. Personally I'm a boat bum, but my primary pull upgraded last season from a 02 Tige 20V to a 13 Z3 (again, extremely hardworking dude, awesome he has the money to spend on a boat like that). Neither of us became magically better riders when he got the new boat. Neither have learned a new trick we didn't already have before getting the new boat. Go a little bigger, don't work quite as hard, spend 3x more in fuel. Wakeboarding is no more or less fun with the new boat over the old.... (Maybe a little less cause now I toss him $40 for two sets instead of the $25-30 before he got the fuel guzzler and required bigger truck to tow it.)
Old    Dustin Yost (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-20-2014, 8:12 PM Reply   
I will likely get flamed for this, but I'm also not a wake surfing fan and hate that wake surfing is in part to blame for the boat makers ditching the core demographic and for the outrageous boat prices.

I get that it's low impact and all, but it also involves little to no skill or physical conditioning. I'd put it a half step above tubing in terms of being a "sport". I don't see how someone would shell out $125k just to do that.... I suppose still cheaper than beachfront property, but even with that logic, wake surfing is not a sport compared to real surfing.

I have wake surfed before and will on occasion take a set when others are. But to me it's like jet skiing and I'm bored after three mins. Every time the other guys dump my friends Z3 into a 45 degree list and plow around at 9 mph I just can't help but think what a waste of fuel this is and how ridiculous...
Old    Vinny Armentano (VinnyA)      Join Date: Aug 2011       05-21-2014, 4:46 AM Reply   
This thread makes me sad. I think we're all to blame for thinking we need big wakes to stick huge/epic tricks but once I watched this video I really do think my relationship with wakeboarding changed.
I have an I/O and ride in the ocean, it was rough at times but I love wakeboarding more than anything, and that's all that matters right?
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       05-21-2014, 7:34 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyost View Post
I will likely get flamed for this, but I'm also not a wake surfing fan and hate that wake surfing is in part to blame for the boat makers ditching the core demographic and for the outrageous boat prices.

I get that it's low impact and all, but it also involves little to no skill or physical conditioning. I'd put it a half step above tubing in terms of being a "sport". I don't see how someone would shell out $125k just to do that.... I suppose still cheaper than beachfront property, but even with that logic, wake surfing is not a sport compared to real surfing.

I have wake surfed before and will on occasion take a set when others are. But to me it's like jet skiing and I'm bored after three mins. Every time the other guys dump my friends Z3 into a 45 degree list and plow around at 9 mph I just can't help but think what a waste of fuel this is and how ridiculous...
X2!

It seems like companies go after surfing because its something that the older guys who can afford the boats can participate in without fear of injury. It's really apparent if you look at the way boat brands are marketing their boats. For example, the Supra SC has a FANTASTIC wakeboard wake and surfs pretty well, but then you get advertisements like this:
Attached Images
 
Old    Tom (boardjnky4)      Join Date: Dec 2011       05-21-2014, 7:53 AM Reply   
Agreed with above, I think manufacturers are hammering the surf industry right now. IMO, I agree that it's watering down wakeboarding. People see it as less risky way to have fun, which I think is a disservice to the adreline rush that is wakeboarding. I do surf every now and then, but it's not a priority for me, and I wouldn't mind NOT surfing. Just kind-of do it since it's there and others are as well.

The prices are outrageous on the boats, but to be honest with you, ALL boats are outrageously priced right now. I saw some seriously high prices on all types of boats at the boat show. So it's not just the wake industry, but the boating industry as a whole.

Affordable boats are still out there for those that want to spend less. A buddy of mine is selling a 205v with upgraded motor and 4-bag plumbed ballast for ~20k right now. Turn key wake boat. Almost anyone with a decent job and willing to make some sacrifice elsewhere in their budget can afford that boat.

In the end, it's up to the riders to build and spread the culture though. Stop asking where the industry is going and start spreading good vibes. Here are some things that I try to do and ideas for everyone to do.

- Invite some new people on your boat. Wakeboarders or non-wakeboarders, get them out there and interested in participating and/or spectating.
- Be friendly at the dock and off the lake, talk to people about wakeboarding and your boat.
- offer younger kids pulls behind your boat. In the past we've flagged down young kids riding behind dad's Stingray and offer them a pull behind a real wake boat. It seriously makes their day/week/month/summer. Share that stoke around your lakes!
- Be social, online and in person. Create a facebook group for riders and fill it with content. Make some T-Shirts/stickers/koozies and hand them out.

The industry CAN grow, but it's not up to wake boat manufacturers or equpiment manufacturers. They're already spending ****loads of money on marketing. Time for riders to do our part and get more people on the water in our boats. I can say that without a friend with a wakeboat, I never would have gotten my boat and gotten back into wakeboarding. It wasn't on my radar until I chatted with an acquaintence about a "Centurion Boats" t-shirt. He told me he had a wakeboarding boat. I told him I used to wakeboard a little bit back in NY (now in NC) and he invited me out to get back on a board. Since then I've been riding on a regular basis and I'm on my second boat. Wakeboarding is now my life. Funny how things change with an informal small-talk conversation.
Old    Jim Powers (JP)      Join Date: Aug 2011       05-21-2014, 8:12 AM Reply   
Tom (above) is completely on point with his recommendations. I'm old enough to have witnessed the decline of three event water skiing. It can be debated, of course, but in my opinion it is largely due to the retreat of three event skiers to private lakes, not wanting anyone in the boat because the wake gets bigger and generally an anti-social attitude. That's fine if that's your thing but it won't grow a sport. Tom's advice is the formula for growth. Be social. Have fun!
Old    David Di Donato (davedidonato90)      Join Date: Mar 2013       05-21-2014, 8:18 AM Reply   
I agree 100% with Tom, it seems that wake boarding is popular at a more grassroots level and that is where it will grow. That idea about the Shirts and stickers is exactly what we are doing now, we even got a couple local sponsors on board that help with costs and we are entering a couple local amateur contests (we have a bit of a competitive side too) I feel you should ride because you love who cares of the boat.

I mainly ride behind a friends X5, but also when I'm other friends cottages i ride behind a newer sea ray or an older four winns I just like to ride i don't care what pulls me - it grinds my gears when guys are like "i won't ride behind anything that doesn't throw a good wake" - They need toremember boats are luxury items and not necessities and we all started out somewhere. I have never owned a boat (I'm only 23) but hopefully it is in my near future and I'm sure itll be an I/O or an older VDrive. But thats what fat sacs are for right?
Old    Justin Harrelson (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-21-2014, 8:31 AM Reply   
It was way up in the thread, but Jason G, that was a monster post. Absolutely spot on.
Old    Peter T (deltawake)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-21-2014, 4:44 PM Reply   
So here's the thing. Most people who buy a boat put only a few hours per year on it. That means that down the road that there will always be perfectly good used wake boats for significantly less than the going rate for a new boat. My kids are all accomplished wake boarders, but they started behind a 19' IO. We got into the sport, because we loved spending time on the boat with family and friends. It doesn't take a $100K budget for a boat to have fun on the water. The increased popularity of wakesurfing is good for wakeboarding. Cable is good for boat wakeboarding. Nautique as a brand has gotten into the cable business because they see the potential for cable to lead to more boat sales. As cable increases in popularity, there is potential for wakeboarding to become a far more popular sport, because the barrier to entry into the sport comes down significantly every time a cable park comes into a new area. I think the future is bright for wakeboarding. There will always be boat wakeboarding, because of the social aspects of hanging out and having fun on a boat.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       05-21-2014, 5:03 PM Reply   
Wherever, we the riders, choose to take it. In an echo of much of the above- share your boards, give lessons, share the boating experience, support and visit cable parks and 2.0's, and spread the good word o' wake. If we spent 1/2 as much time writing one of these longs posts takes telling somebody about wakeboarding or inviting them out (cable or boat) to try it, we'd be set!
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       05-21-2014, 5:08 PM Reply   
Don't need a big ol' boat My first invert was on an unweighted 19' Monterrey haha (Full disclosure, we did have it trimmed up a 1/4).

Old    Steven (scuba_steve)      Join Date: Oct 2013       05-21-2014, 5:42 PM Reply   

Kim yong il wakeboarding Honda130 Small Boat Riding from india0529@nate.com 821055254927 on Vimeo.

Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       05-21-2014, 6:13 PM Reply   
"But to me it's (surfing) like jet skiing and I'm bored after three mins"
Dude, after three minutes switch to riding goofy to make it more interesting!
Surfing will Never go out of style!
Old    Ben R (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-21-2014, 6:55 PM Reply   
Lol every time i see a pic of somebody wakesurfing they look bored.

I think wakesurfing does help wakeboarding because it gets people out on the lake enjoying the sun and social atmosphere.

I think the biggest issue with wakeboarding is that you need three main things to go do it. A boat, a truck to pull it, and a lake or river nearby. Because of needing all three things, many americans just dont have access.


Skateboarding needs noting really, some concrete.

Snowboarding, snow and some hills.

See my point?
Old    David Mayo (fusion134)      Join Date: Jan 2014       05-21-2014, 8:03 PM Reply   
There also aren't new tricks very often. It adds to the excitement when you have a chance of seeing something you have never seen before. I think mx was stagnating before the backflip and other flip variations showed up.

While spinning is impressive, I don't think an outsider cares if there is a 1080 or 1260 it all just looks like a lot of spinning. I think new double and triple flips will help, but we are getting to a point where it is hard to come up with new stuff to do. I do think cable helps, if you want to know what the scene can look like here just look at Germany. Winching is novel, but anyone who has ever tried to do it knows it can be fun, but is mostly a pain in the butt.
Old    Brad Riddick (riddick)      Join Date: Jan 2010       05-21-2014, 8:37 PM Reply   
Saying that major brands are dropping riders due to a decreased popularity in a sport like wakeboarding is ludicrous.

Billabong, Reef, and quiksilver are "cool" brands that have impacted the lifestyle enough that the sales will maintain without representation until a competing brand tries to impose, in which will most likely lead to the competing brand into a restructuring process much like the majority of these brands have faced in the past in order to stay out of big box retailers to continue to be perceived as "cool" It's business.

On a smaller level, LF sees more opportunity in investing in cable. (I would too if I built boards for a living) Its a sheer numbers game there. On the same note, Mastercraft is an established brand that is known for watersports performance. (where they stand vs the "top 3" doesn't matter) Dropping a few riders to invest in other opportunities makes perfect business sene, since they are a well perceived brand in the consumers eye.

I would put big money on wakeboarding popularity growth over the next 10 years based on an improving market, increased inboard sales, increased cable activity, and the attention wakesurfing is getting right now.

Cable may soon dwarf boat riding in the years to come, however, there will be growth in both aspects which is good for everyone involved.

"I am convinced that if the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight." –Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-22-2014, 4:34 PM Reply   
No, whats cool is 20 somethings. No matter what medium, whats cool is what you do between 20-27, period. Everyone under this bracket looks towards it for guidance\excitement. Everyone over this bracket looks back on it fondly and tries to keep up with the new people entering that bracket. Doesn't matter if its sports, music, hangouts, etc.

Sports grow when outside companies are sinking money into it. Outside companies don't sink money anything that isn't pointed at their demographic. Companies whose marketing is based on trend and popularity are trying to hit the 20 something not the 15yr old. Look back when wakeboarding was cool (1993-2003), and look who the sponsors were. Do you think the beer companies were aiming for the 12yr old bunch? Or the truck companies? Or heck, Vivid? No, wakeboarding was built by that 20 something crowd and had a growing mass. Everyone wanted in.

Boat riding is dying because they have turned their back on the 20 something. Thus the sponsors aimed at the 20 something are also gone. Industry sponsors in turn are dumping the 20 something. If your going to drive the sport into the kiddos realm, then maybe you need to find sponsors that look to hit that market. Fisher Price? I think I see a LEGO rail in the future.
Old    Will (razorjaw)      Join Date: Jan 2003       05-22-2014, 6:21 PM Reply   
Cool thread. Many valid points and I thought I might add one more - I think we lose many beginners from sport early - usually self inflicted. I often come across guys and girls who buy new boats and try to learn and teach others with massive wakes and no real understanding on what they are doing. A year or 3 later, the boat is on the market because they couldn't progress much further than a sketchy low wake to wake jump. The #1 myth out there is that you need a big wake, and that requires $$$. I've taught countless people how to ride behind our tinny and straight away they see progression very quickly. (from wake jumps to the usual inverts). The sport needs good instruction to progress, and strong coaches who can help people utilise what they have access to - better. As for the industry, cable is to me the most exciting, fun and accessible way to wakeboard. Anyone who still has difficulty getting up behind the boat gets an invite from me to our local system 2 and we get them up straight away.
Old    Jon Doe (Kane)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-29-2014, 3:26 PM Reply   
I think without cable wakeboarding will become a very small niche sport within a decade.
The entire attitude I've picked up from boat riders is the attitude I (because I started out as boat rider before cable) used to pick up from waterskiers back in the day. A real resistance to change, stagnant, almost elitist attitude. Organisations like the IWSF telling competitors to call cables "wakeparks".
Don't even get me started on the attitude some rider have about air tricks.

Thing is unless you are a wakeboarder, watch pro tournaments on TV is boring. Even your avaerage weekend warrior (who actually wakeboards) can't tell the difference between a Pete and and XMobe if they were to watch a pro do one after the other.

If wakeboarding is to get back on a platform like the X-games then it will be on cable, 2 point to be specific, loads of rails, easily moveable and spectator friendly.

As for getting newbies into the sport, again I think system 2 is the future. Boats are just too expensive and even if you pick up a boat second hand the price of fuel is only going one way.
I started riding cable after riding boat for a few years so I was able to get the hang of it quite quickly so I never noticed something, my girlfriend is pretty new to the sport pointed this out to me, it's a very intimidating place for beginners. The regulars jump all around the dock, nose and tail grabs while standing in the queue, jumping into position and a lovely high nollie start with a massive slap on the landing, the newbie standing next in line is thinking "I'm going to fall and look like a fool". As I said it can be intimidating.
You also get picked up at full speed, the best rider and the newbie on a cable both ride at the same speed.

While a 2 point cable, it's just you, the operator can slow the cable down and focus on getting any newbie up and running within 15 minutes.

Downhill skiing saw which way the wind was blowing and an they adapted, now there are loads of disciplines and the sport is on the up again. Wakeboarding needs to learn a lesson from 3 eventing because if it stagnates or tries to suppress change it's just going to get left behind. The sport's origins are very important and boat is brilliant fun to ride behind, if this sport is to grow it has to be cable.

It has already been mentioned above but just look at the number or cable boards in the LF line up now compared with 5 years ago. They are just looking at customer demand and altering their line up to meet their customer needs.
Old    Josh B (joshugan)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-29-2014, 6:59 PM Reply   
I also think wakeboarding got too much of an elitist attitude before it was big enough. The point should have been about going out and having fun but Alliance seems to think you should do things their way or you shouldn't be doing it.

I do question how much boat prices are keeping people out. I bought a used Super Air in great shape for under $20,000 a few years ago and it was more than that when it was brand new in 2000. Go back to 2000 and most local wakeboarders I knew were not using top of the line boats but were using whatever boats they could find and afford.
Old    Mark (biggator)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-30-2014, 6:43 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshugan View Post
I also think wakeboarding got too much of an elitist attitude before it was big enough. The point should have been about going out and having fun but Alliance seems to think you should do things their way or you shouldn't be doing it.

I do question how much boat prices are keeping people out. I bought a used Super Air in great shape for under $20,000 a few years ago and it was more than that when it was brand new in 2000. Go back to 2000 and most local wakeboarders I knew were not using top of the line boats but were using whatever boats they could find and afford.
The elitist attitude predates Alliance (though, I think it's the same guys) - back when it was suddenly uncool to wear gloves, etc (yes, wakeboarders used to wear gloves like every other sport).. it was a whole 'new school' thing.

As for boats.. yeah, they're expensive.. but ALL boats are expensive now. So are houses and cars. Wakeboats may have jumped a bit more than other things.. but they also aren't just ski boats with a tower slapped on anymore, either. A top line wakeboat in 2000 was somewhere in the $40-50k range.. now it's in the 80-120k range. Doubled in almost 15 years. Take a look at car prices.. they aren't THAT far behind. Frankly, 'boats are too expensive' sounds a lot like sour grapes. Go buy a used boat - you can find them plenty cheap.
Old    Chris Ranner (chrislandy)      Join Date: Mar 2014       05-30-2014, 10:50 AM Reply   
From where I look at it, the boat price thing is a valid argument, in 2000 the UK the average wage was 18.5k gross ($31k), in 2013 it was 26.5k ($44.5k) so up 40%, an X-Star in 2000 was circa 40-50k (lets say 50 ($84k)for the sake of argument), now, a 2014 X-Star is around 120k ($200k) a rise of 140%.... I checked on a UK inflation website what 120k equivelant was in 2000 and it was 80k ($135k).

Arguably the guy that buys a new x-star isn't on average wage (far from it) but it does illustrate the point.

Even my local cable park has gone from 20 ($33) for 2hrs on a 5 poster to 25 ($41) for 15mins on a system 2 just in 1 year!
Old    Sander (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       05-30-2014, 10:44 PM Reply   
Where the sport is headed is to be found in another thread where someone is now offering a 2-tower cable for 8K. Might not be the thing for commercial parks, but everybody with a property big enough and a backhoe can have their own cable park! Plus, now it's 8K, how much longer before Overtons or whatever has a diy kit for half that? (OK won't happen soon because of liability, but sooner or later something like that will pop up. An internet-guide "how to build your own cable"? A wakemakers-type site for tower parts?).
This could get huge.
Old    Mark (biggator)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-31-2014, 7:14 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripsw View Post
Where the sport is headed is to be found in another thread where someone is now offering a 2-tower cable for 8K. Might not be the thing for commercial parks, but everybody with a property big enough and a backhoe can have their own cable park! Plus, now it's 8K, how much longer before Overtons or whatever has a diy kit for half that? (OK won't happen soon because of liability, but sooner or later something like that will pop up. An internet-guide "how to build your own cable"? A wakemakers-type site for tower parts?).
This could get huge.
I think many here forget... wakeboarding was NEVER a cheap sport. It was always a rich kid sport, because you had to have a ski boat (which were always more expensive than regular old I/Os). There are just some sports that are expensive - this is one of them. You also don't find too many poor kids getting into Le Mans racing.. or even high end kart racing... it's expensive.
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-31-2014, 8:01 AM Reply   
its a hobby not a sport, its an activity that boaters enjoy. Until someone integrates it into program outside of boating, it will continue to be looked over. In college we had a ski club, it was a hobby club, not a recognized sports program. keep it the way it is, a hobby, thats why its fun, you can be terrible at it and still enjoy it. Try playing golf and sucking, you will usually end up stopping.

most people who boat are doing it for fun and relaxation, thats what makes boating great, being out on the water with fam and friends. if you get a chance to board great, if not no worries. 95% of boaters don't go out to board its just an accessory to boating. sorry if that upsets some, but thats probably the way it will be
Old    Sander (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       05-31-2014, 7:01 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggator View Post
I think many here forget... wakeboarding was NEVER a cheap sport. It was always a rich kid sport, because you had to have a ski boat (which were always more expensive than regular old I/Os). There are just some sports that are expensive - this is one of them. You also don't find too many poor kids getting into Le Mans racing.. or even high end kart racing... it's expensive.
No it never was a cheap sport. But we're looking where it's heading at, not where it came from, right? And I think this trend of super affordable cable systems will influence the sport a lot.

Besides that, you don't necessarily need an inboard. Plenty people that rode or ride behind I/O's. And have just as much fun (almost )
Old    Mark (biggator)      Join Date: Jul 2010       06-01-2014, 9:05 AM Reply   
All good points.. but the boat price thing is still bugging me.

Remember about the expensive boats - this is what we ASKED FOR. Everyone wanted nicer, pure wakeboarding boats - more ballast, hull shapes designed for wakes instead of skiing, stronger towers, bigger stereos, more cup holders.. all of it. Now we have purpose-built wakeboats that are exactly what we asked for... and people are complaining that they're too expensive.
Old     (Ttime41)      Join Date: Nov 2011       06-01-2014, 9:27 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougr View Post
its a hobby not a sport, its an activity that boaters enjoy. Until someone integrates it into program outside of boating, it will continue to be looked over. In college we had a ski club, it was a hobby club, not a recognized sports program. keep it the way it is, a hobby, thats why its fun, you can be terrible at it and still enjoy it. Try playing golf and sucking, you will usually end up stopping.

most people who boat are doing it for fun and relaxation, thats what makes boating great, being out on the water with fam and friends. if you get a chance to board great, if not no worries. 95% of boaters don't go out to board its just an accessory to boating. sorry if that upsets some, but thats probably the way it will be
Try telling that to the pros. It's certainly more than a hobby to them and to others who are serious about riding and progressing.
Old    Chris Ranner (chrislandy)      Join Date: Mar 2014       06-02-2014, 4:17 AM Reply   
That's back to the lifestyle and marketing thing again though isn't it, I learnt to waterski behind a 14ft picton/fletcher with a 60hp johnson on a muddy river with a 30ft depth change depending on the tide. Given the choice of not skiiing / riding again or having that boat back and out on the water all the time I'm sure I'd pick the boat.

I learnt to wakeboard in the early 90's behind an old 80's stars and stripes mastercraft, even without ballast you could clear the wakes and even land in the flats, granted it took a bit of work to do it but at least it developed good technique. You can pick up an old Ski Nautique 2000, 190 / 205 MC Prostar or other late 80's / 90's DD for under 15k (and looking on craiglist etc, around $10-15k) and just with a few barrels of water in there you can get some seriously good wakes and for the majority of us pull off the moves to the best of your ability. In boating terms that's pretty darn cheap.

One other issue now in the UK is where to use your boat, not many clubs let you know and those that do charge 2-3k (say $5k) per year mooring/membership or have a launch charge/day rate for using the boat. It's almost not worth owning a boat in the UK now

The point being you don't need a massive wake to have some fun and pull off some decent moves, I don't buy the idea that you MUST HAVE the best and newest boat but the market in the UK and Europe is different, even some of the pro schools don't have a G23 or X-Star.
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       06-06-2014, 10:06 AM Reply   
Ttime 41, what pro's seriously, to anyone outside of inboard boaters, if you say "wakeboard pro to anyone else, they would look at you like you have 3 eyes" Its like saying you are a professional curler. And its an olympic sport. lol

I bet we could make a professional tubing program and it would be larger than pro wake boarding. BTW 90%of boaters have a tube.lol I am not bashing boarding, i love it too, but its really non existent outside of our little world. We could have tube fest, and all different styles of tubes, speed courses, who can stay on the longest. I would also bet the general public would watch it before wake boarding.
Old    Shawn (fizzz)      Join Date: Nov 2010       06-06-2014, 5:32 PM Reply   
I would say that it's a hobby to anyone that doesn't make a living off of it. But it's definitely a sport, to say it isn't doesn't really make sense
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       06-07-2014, 6:34 AM Reply   
The question was "where is wake boarding heading" I am not saying WE don't consider it a sport. I am not bashing it, I enjoy it as well. Its not going anywhere, its at the biggest peak now and going backwards, slowing down, and the older guys (like myself) are tired of getting broke. As for making a living, what does a pro wakeboarder make 50k a yr maybe 100k a yr,

I raced WERA, CCS and AMA supersport and super stock 600, 750 1000 formula 1 etc etc for 12 yrs, I was a professional (if you call it that) and I could not make a living (even though i was nobody) its a joke to thinking that there was true income in that environment. The top 10 are are paid, but you can see it now in moto x where the big money is gone. Go to the boat show when there are "pro boarders" there is and see the 17yr olds (all 5 of them and there 5 followers) and you can see why large companies don't need to promote something thats obscure compared to other sports (or in this case activities)

I guess being a professional RC car driver is a sport. BTW, it exists, (i still say its a hobby) but these professional sports players make a living driving there RC cars faster than there competitor. Although, at the end of the RC race, there is a winner, no judgement based on trick level, etc etc.
Old    Dave O (wakedaveup)      Join Date: May 2012       06-07-2014, 7:35 AM Reply   
As far as manufacturers dropping veterans in the wake industry I can assure you it's not just wake or a sign that the wake industry is greatly hurting. Look at snowboarding. It's a huge sport; X games, olympics, Dew Tour, etc. Peter Line one of the snowboarding industries most recognized veterans completely lost Forum snowboards. It happens in every industry and like said above typically it's a move for the greater good. Whether it's financial reasons or a company going in a different direction. Peter Line is an awesome guy and what happened to him was very unfortuante but it's truly what happens over time as industries grow and head in other directions. I'm very passionate about wakeboarding and much more so than surfing but I think we can all see that this industry is going towards the surf market. It's just a bigger market and more people can do it therefore more people will invest in it and to a manufacturer that's dollar signs. It's thier business and livelyhood so why wouldn't they chase what pays? A good future thread would be "how to grow the wakeboard industry" and we can start the first post by getting woman back into the pro tour and find creative ideas to drive spectators to wake events. The higher the demand to watch our sport, the better off we will be, so I guess the question would be how can we grow our sport?

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