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Old    David (lipslide08)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-03-2017, 9:24 AM Reply   
I am just curious as to why these events are not bigger? Something is amiss. I can see in the past why it was kind of a niche sport and not really given the respect of some of the other action sports but we are in a whole different era now. The stuff the young guns are doing now and as nice as the boats have became it just seems to me that there is a massive audience out there that is not being reached for whatever reason. Any thoughts ideas or suggestions about reaching this audience is what I would like some input on. Thanks for viewing the thread.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-03-2017, 12:53 PM Reply   
Before WWA split off from the AWSA tournaments, the events were broadcast by mainstream media such as ESPN. Now, I don't know of any major sports channels covering much of anything water related. If they'd go to webcasting format, like the surf competitions that could be replayed at the viewer's convenience, they might get better sponsorship. As far as I know, LiveStream doesn't allow for a rebroadcast.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-03-2017, 10:14 PM Reply   
Are any "extreme sports" getting much play time any more? People just don't care like they used to. Extreme sports are played out in the mind of most people nowadays. Especially with the current youth of today. Wakeboarding is just one of those sports. I used to support the pro wakeboard tour and take my whole family every year if they were anywhere near my town. We also spent a lot of money buying gear from the venders who were there and paid for clinics with the pros who stayed in town long enough to knock off a few extra bucks before their next tour stop.

Now? Meh... I'm older and my kids couldn't care less about it. I think another thing is the gap has really narrowed between what pros can do vs what Joe public can do behind his new G. (That's an exaggeration of course, but you get my point). part of what made wakeboarding cool in the first place is the fact that no one had ever seen it done before. Especially any kind moves that are considered old hat now.

The biggest thing killing wakeboarding is the knowledge of the inevitable injuries that everyone knows will happen when you push the envelope, trying to learn new stuff. How many current, competing pros DON'T wear a knee brace from a previous injury? It's part of the sport. It's to the point of when, not if.
Old    David (lipslide08)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-04-2017, 8:14 AM Reply   
Very good points. But I mean let's consider how many people race cars vs. how big NASCAR is. The thing of it is is that watersports are more accessible to the public than people seem to realize. You don't have to have a g series or x series mastercraft or anything of the sort to enjoy yourself out on the water. A few buddies, a few girls, some good music, and a pretty day. I know when I go to the lake I see a heck of a lot more people doing watersports than I do fishing. The sports not dead it's just not being as inclusive to the Everyman like the others.
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       07-06-2017, 11:15 AM Reply   
I think that's the difference.

A few buddies, a few girls, some good music, and a pretty day.
you forgot that you need a boat as well (got 100K?) but it's not like a bunch of people can come with you. watersports have always been fairly exclusive. The old school skiers would have MAYBE 3 in the boat, 2 if their state would allow it. Wakeboarding changed all that (more people = bigger wake) but its still fairly exclusive as more than 6 or 8 on a boat starts to get really crowded.

Add to all that the aforementioned injury aspect of it. combined with millenial crybaby bitches these days, I'm not surprised at all. Take away the limited media exposure it once had and we're back to being a niche sport. Summer X games doesn't even mention wake on their site. PWT is back with Supra, but has had a tough time continuing to put on events. 4 stops this year, but they did away with Ft. Worth, so I won't be going.

NASCAR is popular cause ppl can get drunk for 4 days and be a "participant". You don't need a stock car to show up "have fun".
Old    David (lipslide08)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-06-2017, 3:23 PM Reply   
Maybe watersports needs events in which people can get drunk for 4 days and "participate". You dont have to have a 100k dollar boat. You dont have to have a gibson les paul to play guitar.

Not really seeing anything positive here. Ok well here are some of my ideas to increase the exposure a little. More content on things such as instagram and youtube. Host events during the same week or weekend as another big mainstream event such as a nascar race, a supercross race, or maybe even something like a UFC fight. I just wonder as I have only been to one nascar race and one supercross race and I didnt hang out outside of the arena and only watched the race I am wondering if this sort of guerilla marketing is already going on from the companies in the watersports industry?
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-06-2017, 10:34 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lipslide08 View Post
Maybe watersports needs events in which people can get drunk for 4 days and "participate". You dont have to have a 100k dollar boat. You dont have to have a gibson les paul to play guitar.

Not really seeing anything positive here. Ok well here are some of my ideas to increase the exposure a little. More content on things such as instagram and youtube. Host events during the same week or weekend as another big mainstream event such as a nascar race, a supercross race, or maybe even something like a UFC fight. I just wonder as I have only been to one nascar race and one supercross race and I didnt hang out outside of the arena and only watched the race I am wondering if this sort of guerilla marketing is already going on from the companies in the watersports industry?
Wakeboarding already tried hitching its wagon to other sports/events for exposure. That was like 15 years ago. It seemed to work for awhile and then went away like a fart in the wind. Bummer, but I'm actually okay with it because I'm okay with less people on the water. I have no problem keeping a secret about how much fun it is to be out there enjoying some H20 without a crowd.

One thing that always sticks in my head are the announcers who used to call wakeboarding contests. I think they did a lot to kill the sport with their wannabe surfer "bro talk" whenever this move or that move was done. It was kind of embarrassing to watch. Who talks like that while announcing any legit sport??? I realize it's a board sport, but I t was like a 13-15 year old was calling it. What they did was marginalize the sport. Surfers used to scoff at wakeboarding and say things like, "why are you grabbing your board when it's attached to your feet already?"

Bottom line is worrying about the public image of any hobby/sport is not worth wasting time on. If you're having fun doing it, keep having fun doing it.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-06-2017, 11:07 PM Reply   
Oh, and that whole "drunk for 4 days event" thing already happened with wakeboarding too. It was called Boardstock and Brostock. It never lasted in the same location for long because the authorities shut it down. Too many drunk idiots who ruined it for everyone. I see in your profile you're 31. The fact that you're asking about this stuff now shows that you probably have good parents that didn't let you go to stuff like I just mentioned. Lucky you.

Funny side story: I remember taking my son and daughter to a tour stop on the Delta in Stockton, Ca back in the day. Maybe 2001? Darin Shapiro days. My kids were little. Anyway, there was motocross jumping going on, multiple bands on a stage, parachuting stunt guys falling from the sky and wakeboarding. Quite the spectacle. So, the "bro" announcer starts talking about how they were going to throw out some free VHS wakeboarding movies. The crowd goes wild. The announcer's booth is elevated. Everyone is clamoring for a stupid VHS tape. My kids are looking up at the announcer's booth, I turn around and notice two chicks who were standing directly behind my son and daughter had their tops pulled up to flash the announcer, hoping to get him to throw the tapes their way. I'm talkin literally 6" from my 10-11 year old kids' heads! I think that was the last event we ever went to...
Old    Mike (roosm)      Join Date: Sep 2014       07-07-2017, 2:19 AM Reply   
I think when it comes to most extreme sports, maybe even most sports, the ones who are into the sport, watching the sport and creating the crowd have also at least sometime tried the sport. The number of people who ever swung a baseball bat are far more than the number of people ever putting on a wakeboard.
Same applies for the number of people who have surfed, snowboarded, skateboarded, skied and so on... Still none of the other extreme sports are really that huge, but I would assume there is a decent correlation of the number of people who have tried the sport and the number of viewers for example ESPN would get for an event.

In the US wakeboarding is pretty big, but elsewhere in the world the sport is still very small. In Sweden, where I live, there are starting to pop up some wakeboard camps, but otherwise most are going behind a boat. And people here don't go out and get a wakeboat (well I did, but not very many do), but rather go behind a small bass boat or similar. This will of course not be the same thing and people won't become hooked. I do some 3's and a backroll and I have never seen anyone do more on the waters where I board. Basically no one does wakeboarding. 1 in a few 1000 of people.

Even if there are no decent place to ski within 500 miles everyone does skiing. Like 1 out of 5 persons. And 1 out of maybe 10 are intereseted in extreme off piste skiing, at least to watch the films. No one watches wakeboarding. And we live right on the ocean in one of the worlds countries with the most lakes.
Sure it is kind of cold, but still we get a few months of good weather in the summer... There are maybe 100 die hard kite boarders for every person that have ever done a one-wake-jump.

Why is this? Probably because to get into the sport you need to get a boat for 100 K or go to a (almost) non existent wake park.

Mikael
Old    Chattwake (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-07-2017, 6:31 AM Reply   
Quote:
Oh, and that whole "drunk for 4 days event" thing already happened with wakeboarding too. It was called Boardstock and Brostock. It never lasted in the same location for long because the authorities shut it down. Too many drunk idiots who ruined it for everyone. I see in your profile you're 31. The fact that you're asking about this stuff now shows that you probably have good parents that didn't let you go to stuff like I just mentioned. Lucky you.

Funny side story: I remember taking my son and daughter to a tour stop on the Delta in Stockton, Ca back in the day. Maybe 2001? Darin Shapiro days. My kids were little. Anyway, there was motocross jumping going on, multiple bands on a stage, parachuting stunt guys falling from the sky and wakeboarding. Quite the spectacle. So, the "bro" announcer starts talking about how they were going to throw out some free VHS wakeboarding movies. The crowd goes wild. The announcer's booth is elevated. Everyone is clamoring for a stupid VHS tape. My kids are looking up at the announcer's booth, I turn around and notice two chicks who were standing directly behind my son and daughter had their tops pulled up to flash the announcer, hoping to get him to throw the tapes their way. I'm talkin literally 6" from my 10-11 year old kids' heads! I think that was the last event [MY KIDS] ever went to...
I fixed your post.
Old    TW (tweeder)      Join Date: Aug 2015       07-07-2017, 6:53 AM Reply   
I don't think it really has much to do with the cost of the sport. How many parents spend thousands of dollars and countless summers shuttling their kids between summer camps, games, tournaments, and practices? The structure of a lot of these extreme sports won't be able to attract the masses like racing, mma, nfl, nba, soccer, etc. Its watching riders take turns doing sets behind the boat vs two teams grinding it out for an hour. Team sports and racing are a roller coster of events, suspense, emotion, and camaraderie. It's something you won't be able to get with professional snowboarding, wake boarding or skateboarding. The emotional connection or loyalty has got to be stronger in team sports than extreme sports; look at all the die hard fans of different teams (it's amazing people still support the browns) and racing drivers. Its a different take on it, but it really believe it comes down to the emotional/social appeal of the sport and others.
Old    Pierce Anderson (BOOMSMACK)      Join Date: Apr 2017       07-07-2017, 8:16 AM Reply   
I think there needs to be more common knowledge on how to teach people and how to progress your riding in a safe way. I know a lot of people that have nice wakeboard boats, can get up no problem, try to jump a little and they are having fun and then they take a hard fall, get discouraged and just wakesurf for the rest of the summer. When I ask them why they don't want to wakeboard anymore they all say it's because they can't do any tricks. Everyone who ever starts wants to get up, then wants to catch air, then wants to do a flip and a raley and they don't realize that there are a million other little tricks like surface 180s and such that are easy to learn and increase their board control a lot. they also think that wakeboarding is a big risk = big reward type of thing which it doesn't have to be. If you start small and learn in steps it can eliminate a lot of injuries and hard falls. Also a lot of people don't know how to not power turn and try to ride in super rough water which never helps.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-07-2017, 11:46 AM Reply   
^^^True
Old    Stephen P (stevo8290)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-07-2017, 12:09 PM Reply   
Yeah most people are just completely ignorant on how to have a wake session. If half the people who owned nice wakeboats got into the sport of wakeboarding the sport would be completely different. I have pretty much spent my whole wakeboarding life riding with inexperienced crews. It all starts when you ride with some newbies and just be patient. If you stick with them a few trips they always learn the art of the craft. Before you know it they will be calling you to ride after work on a Wednesday for a progression session and be in it for the sport. Instead of how they usually start out: Taking the boat out on the most beautiful day on a holiday weekend with far too many people each packing a bunch of useless crap trying to ride in the worst conditions. Be patient, be fun, and ride with new people. Spreading the stoke is good for the soul.
Old    TimelineX (timelinex)      Join Date: Oct 2014       07-07-2017, 3:33 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMSMACK View Post
I think there needs to be more common knowledge on how to teach people and how to progress your riding in a safe way. I know a lot of people that have nice wakeboard boats, can get up no problem, try to jump a little and they are having fun and then they take a hard fall, get discouraged and just wakesurf for the rest of the summer. When I ask them why they don't want to wakeboard anymore they all say it's because they can't do any tricks. Everyone who ever starts wants to get up, then wants to catch air, then wants to do a flip and a raley and they don't realize that there are a million other little tricks like surface 180s and such that are easy to learn and increase their board control a lot. they also think that wakeboarding is a big risk = big reward type of thing which it doesn't have to be. If you start small and learn in steps it can eliminate a lot of injuries and hard falls. Also a lot of people don't know how to not power turn and try to ride in super rough water which never helps.
Let's be honest here... Sure it's "fun" to just putt around sometimes, but SOMETIMES is the key word. So unless you just get enjoyement out of the act of challenging yourself and progressing, it's a long time till you really get to do the fun stuff. If someone is on a boat already or if they haven't done it in a long time, they will be excited to do it for the novelty. But thats it, and I totally get it! I'm 2-3 years in and I think I go alot compared to most people that aren't in FL or are pro's (3 - 4 times a month year round). I'm just now starting to have a little more fun with landing flips and getting serious pop. The progression to cool stuff is extremely slow and painful. Going w2w is one of the most fundamental things and most people can take either years to do it right (depending on how often you go), or they just speed up the boat to a speed where they are just making it with little pop but high chance of injury from the speed. It's not that the techniques are necessarily harder than other sports, its just that every time you mess up, its a 5+ minute ordeal to pick you back up. On a skateboard I might have learned a kickflip within a day, but thats with 1000+ tries back to back. Good luck doing more than 15+ backroll attempts in a day. I did it, but I would be limping for a week every time.

Anyways, even if we take out the part about how hard it is.... People love to watch things they can relate to and have done. EX: I don't water ski, so I would rather watch funny youtubes than a skiing video of someone doing something insanely hard. The reality is the entire wakeboarding thing is an ENORMOUS hassle AND you have to have money or know someone that does. Then you spend half a day or more just to ride for 30-45 min. Thats all within a small timeframe during the year (for most). etc... Obviously I LOVE IT and there could be more to a lake day than just riding. But unless you literally love it, it's a hard sell. You can't 'dabble' into it to see if you like it by buying a boat (no matter how cheap of one). You basically have to know someone that has a boat.

I think wakeboard parks could do big things for the sport. They solve ALOT of the issues I mentioned and more. Unfortunately, outside of Florida, they are a rarity. I live in Phoenix which is one of the largest cities in the USA and has perfect weather for it year round. The closest park is 4+ hours away. They have tried to build one here once or twice but each time it got denied. No idea why.

Last edited by timelinex; 07-07-2017 at 3:37 PM.
Old    David (lipslide08)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-07-2017, 4:13 PM Reply   
Some very good posts here. I like Markj's history lesson. It just kind of eats at me a little bit that these pro riders are out their really pushing it and posting mind boggling video clips on instagram and getting so little buzz or hype going. I didnt even know what wakeboarding was until a guy I knew told me about his Moomba Mobius LS for sale and showed me some pics of him wakeboarding. I bought the boat the next day and bout a board at a tige dealer in Jackson MS 11 years ago and I have loved wakeboarding ever since. I think I am going to try to organize something here in South Carolina. Maybe just a few boats and and some guys that can really throw down on the wakeboard. I probably wont come anywhere close to recovering the expense but I am willing to put up some cash to get some guys that ride at a really high level over here and maybe inspire some folks a little and get a more active scene going over here. I know JB O Neill so if you see this JB hit me up if you might be interested. Anyone else interested in this project I would love to hear from as well.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-08-2017, 6:05 AM Reply   
No one wants to watch a gymnastics contest behind a boat.

Most riders have never even ridden behind a boat.
Boats are too expensive.
Wakeboarding is dying like snowboarding.

I can go on and on. The sport is dying at the hands of overly expensive wakeboard boats, lack of cable parks, and maneuvers people don't really care about.
Sweet, double flips. Yay, it's not progressive anymore. Every contest rider looks the same. Just like the triple cork in snowboarding, no one cares anymore.
Old    Shawn (fizzz)      Join Date: Nov 2010       07-08-2017, 3:57 PM Reply   
Not sure how anyone could say the sport is in trouble, it's definitely going through some changes but our lakes in Georgia are full of wakeb oats and riders. The people that say otherwise and can't find people to ride with probably have an attitude that no one wants to deal with. At the last event I rode in there was over 50 riders I believe. 5 years ago wakeboats were few and far between, now they're everywhere. It definitely has a lot to do with what part of the county you live in but so does snowboarding and it seems to be just fine. The problem is people getting jealous of the $150k boats and thinking that's what you need to wakeboard, this mentality will kill the sport when the reality is 90% of the people out there would be better off behind an unweighted early 2000's nautique. Ya it's not for everyone, your always gonna have the sissy that takes a digger gets in the boat and never rides again but I saw plenty of kids I played hockey with get leveled and never put skates on again so every sport has that.
On the original point of contests, the coverage is crap they need to fix that plain and simple but I've always seen a good turnout to the events in person.
Old    David (lipslide08)      Join Date: Apr 2010       07-09-2017, 6:24 AM Reply   
great points Shawn.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-09-2017, 11:35 AM Reply   
Yea there's plenty of wake boats. From used early 2000's bu's to mega expensive G's.

But, there's one thing about every one of them: They all get used to surf and tow tubes. Surfing is king.
This phenomonena shut down INT in the north east, the only people that went were our own crew.

With relatively few "core" riders that would be interested in watching, contests are fruitless. Many people who love the sport would rather watch feature films and web edits than contests.
Old    Shawn (fizzz)      Join Date: Nov 2010       07-10-2017, 4:46 AM Reply   
I think a lot of it has to do with region then because our contests are more full of riders than they were 3 years ago. I don't disagree that a lot of the boats out there are tubing/surfing but I think that's because it's easy to do. Wakeboarding is not easy to do nor teach but the reality is most kids would rather be flying through the air than surfing or tubing it's just a function of dad not knowing how to teach the kids.
Old    Sloppy (winchinretention)      Join Date: Oct 2009       07-11-2017, 2:48 PM Reply   
It's a judged sport and doesn't drive the excitement that true competition does. Excitement=ratings. Name one other highly publicized judged sport...

Also, team sports are free after school care. Wakeboarding takes a ton of time if you don't have a boat in the back yard.
Old    Pierce Anderson (BOOMSMACK)      Join Date: Apr 2017       07-12-2017, 7:28 AM Reply   
winchinretention you defiantly have not been watching wakeboarding lately because that last pro tour stop was pretty dam exciting.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       07-12-2017, 11:45 AM Reply   
Our local wakeboard contests used to be such a blast. We had some pretty crappy boats at the events but there were a ton of riders and everyone had a blast. There was a wide range of ages and abilities of wakeboarders and it was always fun. And you got to meet a lot of other cool riders too.

Now the entire "wakeboard tour" is sponsored by Nautique and there are brand new G23's at every stop. Its like a dream come true. And guess how many people actually wakeboard at the events...... like 5. There is like one division for everyone.

However there are 30-40 surfers doing their pirouettes and ballet moves (surface spins) up and down the lake and the hilarious part is the few "advanced" riders who think they are "extreme athletes" showing up in their RV's covered in Centurion Surf stickers and surfing with board shorts over wetsuits and wearing flat brim caps WHILE surfing. meh. Call me a hater. It's freaking wakesurfing. Kinda fun to do, but boring as HELL to watch especially in a competitive format. The entire feel and look of the scene has changed and now its not even worth it for the wakeboarders to show up, so they don't. Its quite sad really.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-13-2017, 5:36 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOMSMACK View Post
winchinretention you defiantly have not been watching wakeboarding lately because that last pro tour stop was pretty dam exciting.
It was?


All looked the same to me \_(ツ)_/
Old    Shawn (fizzz)      Join Date: Nov 2010       07-14-2017, 4:41 PM Reply   
Most of the top riders doing multiple double flips in their runs, I think Noah did mobs dick 720, not to mention 1080's and backside 720's are becoming a must do, I'd say competition riding has definitely stepped up a level. I get that not everyone is into the doubles and 1080s but there's no doubt the runs are way more difficult than they were 3-5 years ago.
Old    Chris Dunkley (Droopington)      Join Date: Jul 2015       07-14-2017, 4:57 PM Reply   
Shawn definitely agree. I think the truth of the matter is people are fading away from viewership in most sports. TV and tune in programming has become obsolete, to the new generations. They spend more time on instagram, facebook, and twitter. Companies basically sponsor events, but want to be gauranted moderate viewership so that they can advertise, and sell some item, whether be it a boat, or equipment of some sort. If you watch other sports such as NBA or MLB and you have been for 25 years like myself, you would have noticed viewership and fan interest declining. A number of reasons have lead to declining viewership, but the main reason at this point is that the current generation aren't likely to watch a 1-3 hour long set broadcasting.

That being said, the riding is out of this world. I haven't been this excited to watch competitive wakeboarding since the Shapiro, Bonifay, Murray days. For the last 20 years Parks Bonifay was on a level on his own, being the only rider doing double half cabs, 1080's mobe 5's and 7's. Then came Harley around 2013 and he had basically caught up to that level. Within the last 2-3 years we have seen it become a norm for multiple riders to land multiple doubles, Mobe 7's, and 1080's. Contest riding is back at a point that is healthy for progression. You get that feeling that when you watch someone may try add a 180 to their double flip, or maybe a mobe 7 to their run, or maybe a 1080... Pretty exciting times to watch if you know and appreciate tricks, and progression.

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