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Old    English (kristian)      Join Date: Nov 2002       02-03-2004, 4:07 AM Reply   
I just want to hear some opinions about the 'elite' format of the Pro-Tour this year.
http://www.wakeworld.com/news/2004/wsm1.asp
Old    Craig Butinsky (olddude)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-03-2004, 5:45 AM Reply   
I think it SUCKS! reason being, you have only one chance to qualify, lets say your a no name rider and ride pretty well during qualifying and your riding against Parks and he falls twice because he had a bad day and you and Parks are on the bubble, we all know would would win out on that one. I can't believe that the tour won't do like the Vans stops and make it three days using Friday to try and qualify. What if you can't make it to Orlando for the first stop, you can't get another chance to ride on tour, I'm sorry, there's got to be more than one chance to qualify, eveyone has a bad day including the best. I want to use Andrew Adkison for example, in 2002 at the first couple of pro tour stops, no one really knew who Andrew was but he's had the opportunity to make a name for himself and if he had the pressure to qualify all or nothing at the first tournament, he might no have made and no one would have had the chance to meet one of the nicest riders on tour plus he was Rookie of the year in 02!
Old    David D (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       02-03-2004, 9:12 AM Reply   
You make a good point Craig and I wish your son the best of luck.
My first thought about the new format was exactly was Bisch said about the growth of the sport. There are so many talented riders out there now and I can see how it's become necessary to trim the fat so to speak.
Which brings me to my next thought - we all know what makes the world go around and this new format will attempt to boost the bottom line as well.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-03-2004, 10:32 AM Reply   
Anyone with half a brain knows that when you limit competition you encourage mediocrity whether it's in business or sports. In a perfect world with perfect judging the best Pro athletes would be on the water every Sunday but I think it's obvious that in someone's mind (and in the minds of the riders and the fans) that's not happening. From the little I've seen of the ProTour it kind of reminds me of Ice Skating at the Olympics.

So obviously there is a problem with the Pro Tour attracting fans, sponsorship money and TV time or they wouldn't need to fix it. I guess the big question in my mind is who out there thinks the Pro Tour has anything to do with the growth of the sport (or cares) or that this move in anyway promotes growth like the article is claiming?

And who is deciding who the top 40 atheletes are that are going to compete? Sounds like it's the same people who can't get the "best" riders out there to compete now.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       02-03-2004, 12:48 PM Reply   
The problem was that the tour stops were open to everyone that paid their entrance fee. As an example, last year for opening round there were 54 competitors in the Men's division. So 9 heats of 6 and only top 2 move on. One mistake and a top rider is out, which is what happened to Jeff Weatherall and Keith Lyman last year. Plus it takes a long time to just get through that many guys. Then add the Jr Men, Women and Wakeskating to the mix and you have a very long day. Opening round last year saw 120 riders on Saturday. That is a seriously long day and not many fans are going to be excited about being at the venue for 12 hours. I also think they expect more wakskaters to enter the pro tour this year. Last year in Orlando they only had 15 enter.

It's just not possible to allow an unlimited number of riders. It's not good for the fans and it's not fair to the judges, boat driver and the rest of the people working to put on the event.

That doesn't mean you couldn't have qualifying on Friday but that adds costs to the tour and for the riders that have to fly in a day earlier. I agree that you need some way for people to qualify other than just the first stop in Orlando. Maybe have an extra 6 or 8 spots that are on a first come basis, and make that a separate heat and top 2 move on to qualifying. It's important to provide some way for young, unknown pros to get some experience and exposure and it's also nice for local pros at each stop to get a shot at competing.

The fans come to see the top riders and if this change results in more of the well known riders competing on Sunday then it will be a success.

Old    Matt VdA (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-03-2004, 2:49 PM Reply   
What a great way to divide our sport. Bar half of the good riders from competing in the big events. Seriously, this is idiotic. I understand the reasoning, but this solution is very short sighted. It used to be that the top 10 ranked riders automatically qualified to Saturday and that the rest had to battle it on Friday for the other 10 spots. While this was not perfect, this new solution bars the entry of new talent into the Tour. Competition is much different than free riding. You need to do it at least a few times before you get the hang of it. I would contend that a rider of Parks' ability but no competition experience, would have a hard first run in a tour event, and would probably not score well enough to qualify. How can you learn to compete on the tour if you only get one shot at it? It's not like any local competitions in the country have the same obstacles or format or judging as the tour. I like the Pro Tour and wish for its success, but I think they are hurting themselves and the sport. The new (and old) talent barred from the tour will make names for themselves, and as they do, it will cause a loss of credibility to the Tour and weaken the marketing power of the tour. This could cause major sponsors to retract sponsorships of the sport altogether.

I would also like to point out that since the qualifier is early in the season in Orlando, west coast riders are at a disadvantage. With 5 out of the 9 tour sanctioned events on the West Coast (Reno, Portland, Kelowna, Irvine, and the X-Games in LA) you'd think they'd be trying to cater to this audience, not alienate it.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       02-03-2004, 2:55 PM Reply   
I agree. The tour needs to adjust to the growth of the sport anyway. There should be more opportunities to qualify. In many pro sport events, spectators don't even show up to watch qualifying.
Old    mike (wakeboarddad01)      Join Date: Dec 2003       02-03-2004, 6:07 PM Reply   
Hey since we are on this subject....Why do we only have 2 events for the women riders? I know wakeboarding is a growing sport but lets not forget that we have some really great female riders... If we want to really make this sport grow lets include the women.... after all they have dads that buy wakeboard boats and all that expensive gear thats goes with it... I would like to see more venues for the girl riders.... Anyone else agree?
Old    Alpha_Beast (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-03-2004, 6:37 PM Reply   
Can I get a Halliluja for brother Mike?!!! I loves to watch me them women riders!

Seriously, the women in our sport deserve way more respect than the industry (read tour) has given them.
Old    upupnaway            02-03-2004, 7:02 PM Reply   
I Think it sounds good. Read the rules again. On the "MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour presented by Chevrolet and GM Vortec engines " it says there is only one qualifying day. If you fail to make it in that way, there is another way in.
"After Orlando, invitations to compete at each event will be extended to only those in the top 40 pro men and top 20 pro women on the Indmar Pro Tour standings, the top 20 wakeskaters according to the Sea Doo Pro Wakeskate ranking, and the top 20 junior men in the MasterCraft Junior X Series."
From the PWT website, it seems these are open enrollment. If you do well there, you get invited to the GM tourny. Sounds like the GM tour is the big dance, and the smaller tours are for scouting.
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       02-03-2004, 7:04 PM Reply   
According to the people that I spoke with last year, it was the women that wanted fewer events so they didn't have to spend as much money/time traveling. Although there are only 2 pro tour events for the women, there are several other tournaments for the women: X Games, Gravity Games, Masters, Nationals, Worlds, Malibu Open.

I think the other group that will be hurt the most by this change is the Jr Men, since they are now limited to 20 riders and there are a ton of talented young guys out there. Last year some stops had over 30 riders competing in Jr Men.
Old    catalyst            02-03-2004, 7:18 PM Reply   
pro tour=retarted. This is the dumbest decision ever
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       02-03-2004, 7:21 PM Reply   
Why? what do you suggest instead?
Old    Mike Vincz (michaelvincz)      Join Date: Jun 2003       02-03-2004, 9:30 PM Reply   
I agree the tour has made a bad decision to change the format so drastically. Being a former Jr. Mens rider the past 2 years I have had enough trouble qualifying for finals however this is too far for up and coming riders like myself and Justin to make. This is going to make it too hard for riders to get the experience in the format of teh tour let alone be able to work and progress their way to the top. With out the opportnity its impossible. I see the format to make more changes next year.
Old    Matt VdA (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-03-2004, 10:16 PM Reply   
Mike (upupnaway), how would you propose that one break into the top 40 in the pro tour standings when only those in the top 40 get to compete on the pro tour? Pretty much, it seems that your place in Orlando sets your position for the year. The guys who place 41-50 will probably get a shot here or there as people in the top 40 miss events, and then they fill in. But if you blow it in Orlando or miss the event, your chances to compete in a pro tour event are done until next season, at which point, you have had only the last year's one competition as experience before your only chance of the next season. This format will prevent new talent from making its mark on the tour, which will force that young talent to go make their mark elsewhere. The tour has, for the most part, been great for this sport. I think this will be bad for the tour, and in turn, bad for the sport.
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-03-2004, 11:48 PM Reply   
Matt (mvda): How would this be bad for the sport? I mean if some guy went to a PWT and saw wakeboarding for the first time, he isn't gonna know the difference between the riders anyways. The people that are going to be aggravated are the same people that would ride no matter what happens to the PWT. People aren't going to quit wakeboarding because the PWT was restructured.
Old    tommyc (tommyc)      Join Date: Nov 2003       02-04-2004, 9:32 AM Reply   
I think the way to do it is to have some sort of qualifying at every tournament. I like the Malibu opens format where they had seeded riders and they had the qualifying rounds. This new format effects the Jr. Mens div. the most. The riders from 15-40 are very close in talent, so we will miss out on a lot of good boarders.
Old    Matt VdA (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-04-2004, 9:48 AM Reply   
The Tour is the most visible aspect and the most powerful single marketing force in our sport, especially when you consider that it is owned by the same group that publishes WakeBoarding Magazine. Anything that makes the tour look bad, in turn, make the sport look bad. If very good riders are not allowed to compete on tour for a whole season, it will affect the legitamacy of the tour.
Old    benhanisch            02-04-2004, 9:51 AM Reply   
yeah the jr. men are in trouble....there is more than 20 riders that can do good on the tour.
Old    tdd            02-04-2004, 11:54 AM Reply   
test
Old    English (kristian)      Join Date: Nov 2002       02-04-2004, 12:35 PM Reply   
Now, will the "top 40" riders be based on the first stop or last years tour. Because if its based on the first stop, say shapiro sprains his anckle early in the contest, or Parks has a serious heel bruise and can't even make the stop. Is that them out for the rest of the year??
Old    hype02            02-04-2004, 1:08 PM Reply   
I think that the new format is not cool. They are going to loose allot of crowd because half the crowd is the riders families and friends. The new format also benefits the southern states because the guys that are up north donít have a chance to practice for the first tourney. But they might be ready for the 2nd. Our sport is not too big by any means so by changing this format is not helping it grow. Half of the up coming riders are in school during April and might not be ready for the first tourney but by the second they might be able to keep up with the big boys. This format eliminates allot of awesome riders so maybe it is not so 'elite' I think people like to watch more than just the same 10 guys ripp. If parks has a bad day the first comp, youíre saying that he wont ride the rest of the season? Ya right! This is not a positive move for our sport at all.
Old    Matt VdA (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       02-04-2004, 1:38 PM Reply   
I just got off the phone with Scott Clack, the Director of Ops for the Tour. He was super cool, and I feel a lot more comfortable with this new format than I did after just reading the press release. The tour is still working the kinks out of this format and they do plan to have a "feeder system" that will allow new talent to compete throughout the season. They have a need to control the length of the day and limit the number of riders, but they are also working hard not to bar or alienate legit competitiors. The people at the Tour are watching these boards so they can adjust things according to the feedback they receive. I think it's pretty cool that they are listening to what the wakeboard communities want.

Kristian, the top 40 will be calulated from this year and last year.
Old    tommyc (tommyc)      Join Date: Nov 2003       02-04-2004, 5:42 PM Reply   
I agree with Adam and I hope Matt is right.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-04-2004, 9:22 PM Reply   
Tom: I'm hearing this is all about money because the tour just can't afford the extra days.

With water skiing you've got local and regional tournaments which qualify you for the nationals and I think most of the pros come from the national ranks and are paid to go on tour. It all seems very regimented and well organized from what I've seen. Wakeboarding may end up with a format like that with time but I'm still not convinced the overall mindset among the general wakeboarding population is all that concerned with wakeboard comps. I think that's why the tour is financially strapped. Our local tournaments have been great and a lot of fun but there's no tie in to any of the pro events (for that matter is there an amateur series anywhere in the country that's tied in anyway to the Tour?)
Old    Mike Vincz (michaelvincz)      Join Date: Jun 2003       02-05-2004, 5:00 PM Reply   
I agree with Adam....whats up man! even if Parks or Shapiro did do bad or not show up for the first stop you know they will still be able to ride the next stop because they are the main attractions. Why would they not let them ride. Hell they are half the reason we have the tour. Its very unfair to the northern riders like myself and Mr. Wensink who actually have jobs (other than getting paid to ride) or school that we may not be ready for the first stop. OR because its cold here and we dont get to ride all that much in the winter because we have school/work. Sure I will move to Florida and wakeboard all year like Parks and all the other guys if someone pays for me like them. Damn that wouldbe nice, but back to reality we cant without the opportunity in contests to get sponsors by having a rep scout us or be there to watch our ride even if it doesnt get you to the finals. And by the way Im still looking for some sponsors for the '04 season. Anyone feel free to email me with some info if you can help in any way. Thanks!~

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