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Is Wakestyle dead?

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby dylan* » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:20 pm

probably has a lot to do with the world tour falling apart. seems very fragmented now, the only real competitions left are the core wakestyle ones like triple s, hood river slider jam, etc

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby runner1 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:16 am

I do some wakestyle but only at a low level (still working on getting my raley to blind bigger and cleaner before thinking about air passes). I am over 40 and enjoy both the feeling and challenge of wakestyle, but I hear about wakestyle being more susceptible to injury although I am not sure exactly how.

Is it progressive/accumulative damage from wearing out the knee or shoulder, or is injury usually due to large one off crashes/not letting go of the bar and rupturing something? I have had some bad stacks and bruised ribs/mild concussion as well as sore shoulders from trying to hold a bad landing blind, but nothing serious. Keen to know about what sort of injuries people get, and if they only happen at more advanced levels.

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby Frank82 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:36 am

For low level wakestyle the risk of injury isn't that bad I think. It's more when you go in it with full power like the pro's do, they ride with so much power that the impacts can be really hard. I have no ambition to do multiple air passes but landing a nice blind judge or backmobe would be great.

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby alexeyga » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:56 pm

edt wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:52 am
Wakestyle isn't dead, it's just difficult. Surfboards, foils and such are a nice break from working on your wakestyle moves. Don't worry people will go back to wakestyle.
andylc wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:15 am
edt has it right. It’s the most difficult branch of the sport. Most people don’t have the time to progress in it, and the vast majority even if they did would find that there is quickly a level beyond which they cannot progress, and where the risk of injury becomes increasingly high. Anyone who has tried gymnastics will probably have had a similar experience!
All of the other disciplines in the sport are accessible and fun, so naturally us average Joes choose to spend our time doing these - we do do it for fun after all...
You guys confusing "difficult" with "interesting", just because something is difficult - it doesn't make it interesting for everybody. Although there's definitely a pressure from the industry painting wake-mambo-jumbo as the apogee of a rider's development - the reality is somewhat different.

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby dylan* » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:08 pm

alexeyga wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:56 pm
edt wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:52 am
Wakestyle isn't dead, it's just difficult. Surfboards, foils and such are a nice break from working on your wakestyle moves. Don't worry people will go back to wakestyle.
andylc wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:15 am
edt has it right. It’s the most difficult branch of the sport. Most people don’t have the time to progress in it, and the vast majority even if they did would find that there is quickly a level beyond which they cannot progress, and where the risk of injury becomes increasingly high. Anyone who has tried gymnastics will probably have had a similar experience!
All of the other disciplines in the sport are accessible and fun, so naturally us average Joes choose to spend our time doing these - we do do it for fun after all...
You guys confusing "difficult" with "interesting", just because something is difficult - it doesn't make it interesting for everybody. Although there's definitely a pressure from the industry painting wake-mambo-jumbo as the apogee of a rider's development - the reality is somewhat different.
be careful conflating the general opinion of this forum with "the majority" though, this forum is mostly 50+ year old vacation kiters

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby Toby » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:17 pm

I would say it is the majority you see on a normal beach.

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby SaltWaterDog » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:33 pm

I hope not. I don’t do boots but I enjoy watching wakestyle. Lots of kids here in DK get into riding wakestyle but for me (and I think this is why some also branch out from wakestyle) freeride/freestyle offers a great mix of cruising with possibility of hooked-in tricks. Strapless surfing is also something I want to get into soon..

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby jumptheshark » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:08 pm

Be careful ascribing any importance to the opinion of the "average" or "Majority" when it comes to the evolution of styles in the sport. This is not a democracy! The average do not lead, they follow, and then only as far as they can. The only influence the "majority" or average kiter has is in aggregate buying trends and tourism dollars. Why in hell would we want the average to have any influence at all on what the advanced riders are doing in any style. Wake, wave and even foiling are all steps up from average. Steps beyond simple functional TT riding for virtually everyone in any other style.

Every sport's development sees its numbers grow, peak and then drop. The bell curve of: early adopters, the masses, and late adopters. Early adopters are the life blood of innovation and development. They are risk takers and generally above average by most athletic measures when it comes to sports. Back in that stage this forum was alive with collaboration. Gear was evolving quickly, and so were skills. Ground was being broken in all kinds of styles. Good times! Real built a massive and awe inspiring slider park. People took it to the surf. Foils were first used. Some of the sports best riding of all time comes from the early adopters and holds its own against the best of today.

Now were at or past the peak of the bell curve. The sport has been proven viable. Gear development has levelled off and its available for the fraction of the cost of a vehicle. The sport has been seen by the masses. There are lesson programs and tourist spots developed around it. The average are inclined to give it a try and the numbers, market, destinations etc grow. Only a percentage will stick with it, but this is the stage of the sport where the ratio of average to advanced riders is at its peak. We see trends toward all-round gear, the development of safety equipment as well as gear for gear's sake. Unboxing becomes a thing! The forum gets trolls and memes. Fashion can pass as innovation as everyone in the industry scrambles to make a buck. This is probably the least interesting phase of a sport with growing pains to figure out if there is such a thing as a viable professional level, while issues of access, crowding and liability arise. Trends in the sport are toward convenience and safety instead of performance. Technical levels of proficiency and difficulty are overshadowed. No one builds massive sliders or kickers! There is still a steady rate of development, but its neither seen or appreciated by the majority. Like a populist rejecting the value of education, the average kiter refuses to reward or respect the truly elite levels of the sport in favour of dumbing it down to look something more like what they do. There is definitely a dark chapter for many in the industry near the end of this phase.

Once past the peak of the bell curve, the numbers go down. The truly addicted and advances will stick with the sport. The companies who survive the down slope will generally last. There will be attrition of the average levels to age and other activities. The ratio of advanced to average riders starts to go back up. There is likely a renaissance in the various styles as the top stuff quietly developing on the fringes during the bulge will get its due as truly exceptional. Each branch of the sport looks back at how cool it was the whole time despite the metaphorical 80's of the sport where it all went plastic.

Wake style is the most difficult form of TT kiting by a long shot. It's hardest on the body, requires the most strength and has some of the worst consequences. Someone will mention mega looping, but lets be real. The real megaloopers are the wake stylers, not the average hooked in rider. Many people will not find handle passes to their taste, but their kidding themselves if they think its no harder than whatever they choose to do.

Only a tiny portion of kiters can unhook on purpose. It's a minor benchmark separating those that can from those that can't. Moving on to inverts and handle passes takes far more skill and ability. Waves have conditions as the benchmark, where those that can't handle it simply don't go. It's always been that way, and it always will be regardless of what the average kiter is into.

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby Toby » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:22 pm

good post JTS!

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Re: Is Wakestyle dead?

Postby edt » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:35 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:08 pm
Be careful ascribing any importance to the opinion of the "average" or "Majority" when it comes to the evolution of styles in the sport. This is not a democracy! The average do not lead, they follow, and then only as far as they can.

It's pretty important for the leaders of the sport to listen to the average. If you look at soccer/futball, there is only one ref and he runs around with a red and yellow card. Exactly the same as they do for youth soccer. Why is this? You could have 12 officials instant replay and make every call right. The reason is that you want the average joe to be able to relate to understand what the elite are doing. In bicycling, the most aerodynamic machines are recumbent ones, yet, these are not the ones they race in tour de france. why is that? Now of course the machines they do race have almost nothing in common with our aluminum framed things, they are all carbon fiber with all kinds of weird aero stuff going on but it looks exactly the same as the bicycles we ride around on Sunday. That is very deliberate. If you want the amateurs and weekend warriors to relate to your sport you have to make sure you are putting on a contest where the average joe can understand and relate to what you are doing. There's a reason that red bull big air is by far . . . by far the single most popular contest for kiteboarding and that's because the average joe can relate. The average guy boosts. He see these guys going 20 meters, 25 meters and while it's something he might never do he can relate and it helps the sport. Wakestyle is a great part of the sport, but to be perfectly honest, most kiters have no understanding of just what the level of difficulty there is and can't relate to it very well. For as long as I have been in the sport, the stars of the sport, the best of the best, they perform in a particular aspect of the sport which really the average kiter doesn't relate to doesn't understand and frankly doesn't care. that's not good for the sport. If you take a look at the world cup, they are doing their best to move away from the huge fast catamarans and back to a single hull sailboat, why? So the average sailor can relate. When a sport becomes completely divorced from the fans, why is there any incentive for the average fan to buy products that are branded by the same stars? I'm in favor of wakestyle, I think it offers the greatest amount of difficulty in the sport far more difficult than any board off, but there's a problem when none of the average kiters care or understand about it. Can you imagine the world cup soccer FIFA championships being held where the players didn't play the same game that we did, that it was a completely different sport from your normal futball? Who would even watch?


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