April 19th, 2013 by alliance


The King keeping hold of his crown

“Air It Out”

Bell bottoms, cigarettes rolled up in a shirt sleeve, discos, afros, Chia Pets, JNCOs, rap murders, mood rings, Crocs, virtual pets, myspace.com, etc, etc, etc. I’m talking about fads. Some are awesome while others should have been dismissed as a terrible idea the day they were created. We have gone through many fads within wakeboarding, but I would like to discuss one that is occurring right now at cable parks around the globe. Call them what you want; air tricks, flats tricks, slingshots, corner tricks, getting stretched out… we know all about them at the park and have probably done at least one, whether it be out of humor or out of progression. Here’s the problem, they have the potential to become another really bad fad in the history of wakeboarding and we need to do something about it.

I spent many years operating the cable at Texas Ski Ranch watching the sport grow right in front of me. I took my first liking to cable because of the endless rail hits possible at a park, only to quickly realize that kickers were the closest thing to a wake. At that time (2003-2004), there were no “obstacles/features only” contests, there were just cable (kickers, rails and flats tricks) contests. Being a competitive guy and because I liked riding the park so much, I figured I should try some contests. Consequently that meant I had to make use of those empty stretches between two towers that had no features and learn flats tricks. Ten years later I am still a fan of these moves, but only certain ones.

When I first started really getting into the cable scene it was a time full of nuclear grabs, double S-bends to blind, and spinning on rails at the park. Fast forward to present day and to many “non air trickers” much of the air/flats tricks world seems outdated. I cannot help but agree with them. I believe this is a large reason why guys who ride nothing but park, and focus on flats tricks do not get as much respect as boat riders.

I have personally learned, survived, participated in and eventually dropped many of the bad trends within riding cable, but as they say the first step toward finding a cure is admitting there is a problem. When I first started riding cable, flats tricks were only about one thing: doing as many S-bends as you can between takeoff and landing. That would include the double S-bend, the double S-bend to blind, and the ultra rare, triple S-bend. I’d say this fad has just about been laid to rest, but not completely. Following that trend was the “grab every flats trick you can nuclear” movement. This occurred throughout the late 2000’s, and is still happening in certain places today. Again, I was guilty of this, but did not get stuck to it for very long. I believe that most riders are now realizing it is indeed outdated and that the nuke is out of the grab zone. Currently, we are on this fad of “how many spins we can add to our raley moves.”

Thankfully we have all realized that to spin as many s-bends as we can is just dangling and does not look good, even with a very very quick grab that your 12 frames-per-second SLR cannot even pick up. The nuclear grab also does not look great. More like a pretzel maneuver than anything else. It had a short trendy period of life behind the boat, but I’m not sure why it is still seen regularly at the cable. I’d like to quote one of my favorite riders of all time, Ben Greenwood on this one. “I left my crossed up grabs in the early 2000’s along with my Palm Pilot.” ‘

From 2009-2012, one trick that was way too common off the flats was the raley (aka the superman) 540. Now we are seeing how many spins we can add to our raley. Really? Why would you ever do that? Don’t get me wrong here, that is an incredibly hard trick to do and takes a lot of talent to perform. But does that mean a couple of years from now we are going to see a superman 1080? When was the last time a superman was the thing to do in a professional boat event? 1998? Why then, would we do them in a video or a contest at the cable? Please guys, I beg you, stop with the superman tricks.

I gave up on the superman tricks about four years ago to push for air tricks at the cable that I thought would help progress the sport, rather than add to the growth of an unsightly fad. A few of the young bucks in the scene seem to be pushing even further than me. One is the one and only Prince Daniel Grant. He knows what’s up and it makes me happy that someone that does flats tricks will take it in the right direction by staying away from the superman. Another person that is pushing flats tricks in the right direction is Steffen Vollert. Have you ever seen him do his half-loads? They are insane! He goes huge off the water, not breaking axis and grabs his board as long as anyone does wake-to-wake.

As of 2012, flats tricks riders are starting to realize the value of grabbing their board. It looks more controlled and it’s harder, thereby showing more difficulty and talent when done properly. I’m stoked now that this is starting to catch on, it just took a long time. The great thing about cable riding is that there is much more to it than the super spinny S-bend and raley maneuvers. There are front flip and roll variations, half loads with so many different legit grabs and much more, just like you would do behind the boat. That’s the direction I believe we need to expand on in the cable realm of wakeboarding.

All of this is only directed towards the people at the top of the game, not people getting started, not riders really getting into park riding, up and comers or any kind of amateurs. I’m talking to the best of the best trying to represent the sport in photos, videos, and contests because you are the ones creating stereotypes and pushing our sport in a specific direction; good or bad. We shouldn’t take ten years to do things the right way and represent this section of our sport appropriately. Let’s do it right from here on so that we can get the respect we all deserve.

 By Tom Fooshee

94 Responses to “Matters: Air It Out”

  1. rayfink Says:

    I just want lower cables, longer ropes, and big soft handles… but l guess l’m weird

  2. Brett Says:

    Well put Tom!

  3. Justin H. Says:

    I’ve been saying forever that Raleys should be called Supermans. Have you ever had a chick scream, “Do a Raley!”?–No. They want Supermans. Ladies love the Supermans.

  4. Kyle Says:

    Very well said. They raley 5s are just ugly. I hate how much force they have to put into the handle pass. that being said the mobe 5s never look clean, everyone always lands in a wheelie. If we are being honest, rewind spins are also f-ugly and for god sakes, do we really need to press out every rail hit?

  5. Riley Says:

    Good shit Tom!

  6. Yep Says:

    Good stuff here. I definitely think that air tricks have sort of lost a bit of glamour these days. It seems like a lot of guys are avoiding this category of tricks all together and only hitting rails and kicker. I think its cool that theres some discussion about this stuff, but what’s better is that everyone seems to at least agree that with whatever kind of tricks/riding you’re doing, #1 is making it look good.

    I think one thing that’s tricky for people learning is that it’s not easy to make it look good right from the beginning. And you need to accept that you’re gonna crash, and you’re gonna land some sketchy looking stuff before you dial in with some real steez. But thats part of having fun and progessing. I think there’s a lot of really good riders out there that kill the boat, and kill the rails, but have no air game. And they’ll dog on air tricks when you ask why they don’t do them. But c’mon, if you could do airs like fooshee, grant, davies, vollert I’m pretty sure you’d be doing them all the time… gotta start somewhere

  7. .... Says:

    how can you slate people doing doubles and double to blinds, and also raley 5’s and 7’s,i think they look cool. Just because you cant do those tricks, which i have never seen in any of your videos or in real life, man up and try it. What about the s-mobe 5 you do, your not saying that this looks bad in the article, and also toe side trick like your crow mobe 5?? i dont know how you can be saying all this stuff when you are rider that does a lot of air tricks, man u0 and try some new air tricks rather then riding rails the whole time!

  8. James Guildford Says:

    Why are you comparing cable to boat? We don’t want cable to be more like boat, two different disciplines, and as for raley5’s and 7’s should we of just landed a krypt and left it at that? It’s called progression.

  9. .... Says:

    thats like saying skateboarding would be cool with out flat ground tricks, makes no sense ?? load of bs

  10. .... Says:

    I’m with James! If you want something more like boat riding, ride boat!!!
    There comes a point in all rider’s careers when progression with air tricks kind of hits a brick wall, too old or too injured to go any further. So step aside and let some fresh blood take the podium, don’t try to change the sport to suit your riding. Air tricks are fun, we ride because it’s fun! and lets face it spectators couldn’t care less about rail hits, they want to see a spectacle and not some chump sliding over a plastic box while leaning on one leg, pfffft… this article is horse sh*t Tom!!

  11. Noel Rowan Says:

    I think he has a point in my opinion, which he has directed to the pros at the top of the game. I don’t think he means to make it sound like drop air tricks completely jus lets progress the good air tricks instead of jus doin the same ones comp after comp and on every photo shoot. Like people kept gettin on my case about air tricks when all they were doin was a raley blind 1.Tom is incouraging the boys at the top to work on style and progression on tricks that are more technical than jus dig and handle pass a few times.

  12. James Guildford Says:

    Ha, if only it was as easy as dig and handle pass, *sigh* :)

  13. Mmm Says:

    You know why not everyone you know who does air tricks can do 313’s 315’s , ” superman” type tricks? Because they’re HARD, it takes skill, determination, dedication, effort, balls! Next time you’re riding, you know that bit of cable that hasn’t got any rails in, the bit where you do nothing, try an air trick, you might like it, one day you might even get a 313.

  14. tiger Says:

    It’s like Tiger Woods nearing the end of his pro golfing career, still great at putting but his swing has gone off the boil and so instead of bowing out gracefully, tries to change the game so that it’s ‘not cool’ to do those long ‘superman smashy things’ and urging all others at the top of their game to get rid of fairways, I mean they’re so 1920’s! Lets just focus on the green, then I can still win!

  15. Boom Says:

    This is absolute rubbish! Should remove this article!

  16. really? Says:

    I agree ^^ this article pissed me off more than anything. Who decides how each other should ride? Especially since the sport is all about loving what you are doing. I personally love air tricks because they are fun to do. I love wakeboarding because it is fun to do. Why can’t I do air tricks without being told that they are out of style now. Who cares? If I chose to do 10 s-bends around the cable why does that bother you? Everyone is always so quick to judge each others riding…. Wakeboarding is about having fun. When I go to the park I am there to do what I want to do, not what everyone else tells me is “cool” now. Personally I think rewinds are gay, but I don’t go around making fun of everyone that does them. Its your decision how you want to ride, and I respect that. But don’t put me on blast just because I love getting flung 15+ feet in the air into. ITS FUN, GET OVER IT.

  17. really? Says:

    for the record I actually respected Tom Fooshee as a rider up until this article. I enjoyed watching him ride bc he killed it. He did his thing and I respected that. And if you are talking pro level, then you are now talking about exhibitions and showing off to the crowd. Once you become “pro” you are officially an entertainer for the crowd. And what does the crowd like to see? People getting booted as high as possible while doing as many flips/ spins as possible. Are double flips lame? Cuz every pro does them now. So does that mean that when someone lands a tripple flip it won’t be cool? Worst article I have ever read.

  18. ben cordery Says:

    you are a bell end mate, a pioneer for everything that is wrong with wakeboarding at the moment.

  19. Stephen Says:

    I got to disagree the sport prgresses as people push limits and try new stuff. Stuff that in 5 years we dont even think possible right now. I think trying to crush creativity like this is bad. Let folks go crazy and do their stuff. Some will stay some will go. Me I got a Ral errr Superman and its all I did while I was riding…….why…..because I LOVE FLYING!!!! If you ride to win comps do what you gotta do. If you ride cus you love do what you gotta do. SUPERMAN BABY ALL THE WAY!!!!

  20. me Says:

    I agree. progression means style and creativity and innovation. it doesn’t mean taking out air tricks, but keeping air tricks stylish.

  21. Ashley Templeman Says:

    Writing this article shows just how much you DON’T know about the history of cable Wakeboarding! Your suppose to a role model for up and coming riders and spectators and instead your preaching about bullishit!! Some young kids who are riding hard and learning their first inverts are gonna read this and think of you as the biggest cock smoker on the planet! Spectators who are new to the sport are going to be way more impressed with a double to blind rather than a styled out nose press FACT! And air tricks are not a fad it’s CABLE not fucking boat so stop trying to compare the two! I have been cable riding for 16 years and know people who have been cable riding 16 years before that! You know jack shit about the history of wake boarding and have made your self out to be a class A bell end!!

  22. Fadsout Says:

    The minute someone starts telling anyone, pro or beginner how to ride or what is cool or what isn’t is the minute I’m glad I don’t listen to what people think is trendy or ‘in’. I don’t care if you’re Ben Greenwood, Tom Fooshee or Jesus, you have no right to tell anybody what to do. And if you think you’re cool by doing so, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. I like Ben Greenwood. I have major respect for a lot of the stuff Tom does. But trying to see yourself as an authority for what’s ‘cool’ and what’s not… You’re acting like a couple of ponces.

  23. Benoit Says:

    Totally disagree with this article. Was a big fan of Fooshees riding until this, now just seems like he’s not the man to watch anymore if he’s given up on progression of his flats. Cable gives you the opportunity to work on a number of areas of wakeboarding.
    Ever seen Freddy Von Osten hit the raley 7’s? Thing of beauty.

  24. I_AGREE Says:

    I’m 100% agree with Tom. It seems people don’t understand what you tried to explain… Go Tom, and thx for your bravour. So many people think like you. Especially the other sports… Air tricks looks cool but many time, so gay. And more thech they are, more ugly they are…
    Sorry, time changes !

  25. Tom fooshee Says:

    Ashley templeman, you’re the cunt

  26. Ashley Templeman Says:

    Hahahahaha love it! Go Tom!

  27. Ashley Templeman Says:

    I must say a great response to my honest and well structured opinion, again your meant to be a role model and your best response is calling me a cunt? Nice man! You are as thick as you look! Maybe you should give up riding and try acting, I heard they are making a new planet of the apes movie??

  28. I_AGREE Says:

    I think wrote this and put Tom as name. Tom is the coolest man i ever met. So don’t worry Ashley.

  29. Tom fooshee Says:


  30. Sam bobo Collins Says:

    I see exactly where Tom is coming from on this!!
    At the end of the day riders should do what they want, what makes them happy, what they think the sport it!
    But as a pro rider there are times where you need to go out of your comfort zone and push in new or different directions!
    Like Tom said we all when into the time of nuclear grabs & double s-bends (10 years ago) riders of our generation that is
    But we moved on to different things from there

    when I started riding cable 16 years ago there was a massive change in styles! In the mid 2000’s there where massive differences between country’s ( a euro style/ uk style/ Australia style/ Asia style / USA style) but now as the Internet ( YouTube / Vimeo) etc I have noticed every one rides with a very similar style this days! Except for a few stand out riders ie (Tom fooshee/ Daniel grant) so really it’s riders like this that are pushing the sport more then any one else!

    Put it this way if you got a contest of all the top cable riders from current and the last 10 years together and said do a raley 5 (315/515) what ever you wan to call it they all would and can do it so in that fact the trick is like a backflip on a motorbike
    Now days all the pros can do it but that trick on its own is not that big a deal when you look at the guys/ girls at the very top of a sport
    Which is who this was all written about !!!!!!

    To finish every rider has a check list and tick tricks of as they go but the ones who really change the direction are the ones who take it there!!!

    Also in my view if you can make a simple or tech trick look good (stylish/ original ) then your working in the right direction and this is something I always tried for and was always one of the hardest things to overcome, much harder then spinning a 1080 or double flip it takes pure skill and a lot of time to get it right!!!!

    Sam “bobo” collins

  31. Tom fooshee Says:

    That’s not the angle i was going for!
    I was just saying that we shouldn’t be doing anything off the flats/inverts/…etc.
    Everyone is trying to catch up with me and my style, and that’s not cool.
    People need to be more inventive like i am!

  32. Mick neville Says:

    Very well said Tom great to hear your thoughts. Particularly stoked that you took the time to clearly pronounce your comments were directed at the pinnacle of the sport and not your average joe who we all know will be stoked to land and learn any! Kind of water trick. Timely article on what’s a pretty current topic of interest!

  33. Tom Fooshee Says:

    Sorry guys, I really didn’t mean to offend anyone. Me and a couple of my boys had spent the day trying to set a new record for bumming, human centipede style if you know what i mean. Shit got crazy and needless to say, I’d smoked a fair bit of crack (and cock) before writing this article! Sorry if upset ya’ll. all i was really tying to say is that people should stop doing stuff that i can’t do and concentrate their efforts on trying to be more like me, i mean I’m a pretty fucking cool guy right?

    peace and man love!
    Tom (the king) Fooshee

  34. Jon Dickey Says:

    I think alot of you need to re-read this article. I for one think you could change a few words around in this article and apply it to rails or kickers as I think all three need lots of improvement.

  35. Abdullah Says:

    You should just go back to teaching kindergarten…

  36. Marc Shu Says:

    Although I’m good buddies with Tom I happen to strongly disagree with this writeup. I started cable riding at 13 years old after trying riding for the first time behind a boat. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford a bout nor did I have any friends with boats in the area so I naturally got heavily into cable and the whole cable scene. At this time, there was literally no support for “cable riders” in any way. Sponsorship opportunity was pretty much zero and worse than that, cable riding was always looked at as the ugly stepsister by fellow wakeboarders who were primarily boat riders. With that in mind, every “cable rider” still would give huge amounts of respect to the guys pushing the sport behind the boat even when little respect was given back in return. I’m not picking at individuals, I’m generalizing the overall feeling that was always around being a cable rider in a boat riders world and quite frankly, it sucked.

    But oh joy how things have changed! …or so we thought…

    In the last few years, cable riding has taken a much needed upswing due to rising gas prices and ease of accessibility. As more of these parks pop up, more people are turning towards the cable and doing away with a lofty boat payment. This means that now cable riding is gaining acceptance within the industry.

    Since this movement, all cable riders have been briefed to stop calling a cable park a cable park; now they are “wake parks”. Competitions, sponsorships and overall acceptance has grown (marginally) and even the guys who were firmly against cable are now giving it a bit of love.

    Now things are changing again and I don’t think its the change we wanted. The events and the federation that myself and so many other riders around the world have supported are changing the competitions to better suite rail and kicker riders. Air tricks are trying to be taken out of the equation (for what reason I have no idea). As of this year, the WWA has introduced the Malibu Pro Card. I myself was lucky enough to grab a top 15 spot this year and although I am proud of this; I question why it has come about. I personally believe that it has come about because nearly anyone can do double-flips, 1080’s and press rails nowadays and there is nothing that seems to really separate a pro from the average grom. Is there nothing to separate them? I believe air tricks are the distinguishing factor. Now this is not to say that air tricks are most important, nor are they least important. My view is that the best rider is one who shows skill in all aspects. Again, guys like Tom and Daniel are great riders ALL AROUND and that is why they deserve to win. Another great example is Nick Davies. If you can find someone more fun to watch than Nick I would be very surprised. He can go out and kill air tricks, kickers and rails while going huge, grabbing tweaking and spinning like a cirque du soleil show but he doesn’t seem to get the industry respect that he deserves because he does “raley superman tricks”. Why is a non grabbed raley 720 any more lame than a non grabbed 1080 or 1260? Is a double S bend as played out as a double flip yet? In my opinion, they are just as hard and deserve just as much respect. Air tricks are only as gay as you make them look and a bad air trick looks just as bad as a bad trick off the wake. Of course things look better grabbed but what I got from this article was to limit your riding and make it look good rather than push your riding and the boundaries of possibility while still making it look good.

    Much respect to everyone and their opinion; this is just mine. If I have to watch another video of someone sliding the same rail 40 times in a row and maxing out their spin at a weak grabbed 540 I’m going to punch a homeless man in the eye. Diversity peoples! I’m a shit rail rider but I’ll admit it and try to push harder and make my rails better; if air tricks are your weak spot and they look like crap, practice them and make them better while making yourself a better rider overall.

    In my opinion, air tricks are as important to wake park riding as the wake is behind the boat. Air tricks, kickers and rails should all be equal categories seeing as how in my opinion they are technical in their own way. The rest should be judged on the rider, how they made it look, if it was grabbed etc…

    Just my two cents. #realtalk

  37. Ashley Templeman Says:

    Well said Marc!!

  38. oldripper Says:

    I say riders who want’s to bungee jumping just go and do those ugly air tricks , and riders who care about wakeboarding as a sport and there style of riding will stop doing those …….. what ever you call these ugly corner tricks.

  39. MB Says:

    Fuck bitches get money…

  40. The coon Says:

    Tom !! Go suck a cunt

  41. Brad Says:

    FYI, pretty sure the two comments by “Tom Fooshee” are not really him! Well said Sam Collins! And yes Jon Dickey, I think a lot of you didn’t understand what Tom was trying to say!

  42. Old twat Says:

    Old ripper, wakeboarding is air tricks , should people on the boat stop doing ugly air tricks as well, boat comp would be pretty boring, KGB on the boat is the same as a KGB on the cable, amazing comment. I’m pretty sure you tried a raley once, crashed, cried, daren’t try it again, made it your mission to dog on everyone who has the talent to master ALL aspects of wakeboarding.

  43. Tom Fooshee Says:

    Brad, you think? Even the one about bumming an smoking crack??? I was pretty sure he’d written that! Oh well. I don’t think people have misread this at all. In fact I think Marc has summed it up perfectly. For years boat riders have given cable zero respect and now that they are coming around to the idea they seem to want it all their way by removing the only thing that separates the two disciplines, flats tricks. This debate has been going on for the past couple of years and Tom has made it clear which side of the fence he’s on, that’s fine but don’t try and tell people what’s cool and what’s not! A lot of cable riders are obviously going to offended! This article is insulting!

  44. .......... Says:

    Tom Fooshee you sir are a cunt.

  45. lolknub Says:

    After reading all these comments i think everyone hating on this needs to understand that Tom is the top pro at the moment and a lot of riders look up to him and if he starts pushing the sport in this way a majority of the wake scene will follow because, Tom is the king and always will be the king and that’s his job and what he does. TOM FOOSHEE Such a Boss, i know right you could be one too!

  46. Tom fooshee Says:

    When you say look up to me, I’m quite short so really its look down to me XD
    just read all the feedback guys, i don’t know who is posting in my name :s i feel that this might have touched a sweet spot in some and i didn’t mean to offend, as we have seen you are all entitled to your own opinions and this was mine.
    Please forgive, haters.

    Tom Fooshee (real)

    P.s. Ashley, you’re still a cunt!

  47. Cabled00d Says:

    Air tricks are gay says the guy with a completely stiff pro model board with molded fins made specifically for air tricks.

  48. Fred Says:

    Tom mate you’re a class A cheif just stay in Texas you wannabe Eric Baker

  49. Eric Baker Says:

    Tom mate you better watch out when the lads come to TSR, I’m going to be pulling blind judges into trees err’day, BECAUSE IM OFF THE RAILS CUNT. I hope everyone has seen the trick I claimed at LWP, its a tutsie roll to blind and is called the ERIC! and its off the kicker so hope you will approve. anyone that wants to come round for dinner just bell me because me mums made too many yorkshire puds and I need to get someone round to help me eat them because ali wouldnt come round. big shout out to the gb squad and medcity, PEACE

    YOUNG MULA BABBBBBAAAEEEEEEYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. billy Says:

    wakeboarding is complete free style theres no set rules or trends to follow its your own style and unique riding.

  51. Midgets have bad style Says:

    Whats even worse is when a grown man rides who is smaller than most women. Tom you’re a midget and have horrible style, so please dont tell others what looks good.

  52. RolyPoly Says:

    @Eric Baker you claim “the eric” to be your trick, however Daniel Grant landed that when he was about 12.

  53. Chase Giese Says:

    Wakeboarding is super lame haha people arguing about style WHAT A BUNCH OF KOOKS

  54. Yes Says:

    Holy hell calm down kooks get off your keyboards and go work on your superraleyglides, and make us look even more like snowboardings retarded cousin

  55. Chloe-Amanda Bailey Says:

    This is an interesting debate. As a journalist and having a hubby who rides cable I find a don’t completely agree with Tom, even though we are friends. Don is probably one of the best water trick riders at our local park, and thats what separates him from the others. His double S is far harder and much better looking than say a back 5 grabbed stale. When I get completely over my riding injuries I intend to learn water tricks as thats part of cable wake boarding.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Chloe-Amanda Bailey

  56. Mark Griffin Says:

    First off I would just like to say that the level of maturity of the responses is very disappointing.

    Tom Fooshee is a very nice guy, and has more than earned his dues to state his piece on what he would like to see the sport evolve into.

    Having said that I still disagree with Tom. Marc Shuster (who by the way is probably the most under appreciated cable rider out there, he KILLS IT) pretty much summed it up perfectly and expressed what Ive been feeling for a while now. There are a lot of talented groms now, who are ripping on rails and kickers and more or less ignoring air tricks because of the type of sentiment promoted in that article.

    Im a big fan of being a complete rider, that means you should slay air tricks, rails and kickers. If you’re bad at one aspect then WORK on it, you dont marginalize it, which seems to be happening in the sport right now with air tricks.

    Ive been riding, competing and judging for quite a while now I STILL get a kick when someone stomps a 315 or double s-blind. Why? Because they are awesome tricks, only possible at cable.

  57. Sam bobo collins Says:

    To all the haters of toms article please do your self a favour and read this article by mark macnamara a Wakeboarding legend!!!
    It my change your view and you may even see where toms coming from http://unionwakeboarder.com/overflow/hater-or-realist/

  58. Eric Baker Says:

    @RolyPoly It was a spoof comment you twat. From the nature of the comment I was certain that a human being who has the cognitive ability to get onto this article and comment would have realised that.. CLEARLY NOT.

  59. Wow Says:

    It is amazing how far the Euros took this out of context. The article didn’t say “Don’t do air tricks”…it suggested that the best guys in the world at doing air tricks take a step back, think about what looks good, and stop doing hucked tricks. For people that are learning, go ahead and learn blind judge, 313, and even 515…there’s nothing wrong with checking them off the list. But for the rest of you immature little brats (pros…minus Mark Shu and anyone else who was able to write a descent response bc your feelings didn’t get hurt), you look rediculous at contests with your flailing raleys. HERE’S YOUR WAKE UP CALL….I judge A LOT of contests, and you’ll never beat guys like Daniel and Tom (unless they fall) if you don’t change the way you ride (read: stop thinking 515 is a hammer trick).

    This was a very timely/neccessary article, and all of you raley hucking pros should swallow your pride and quit that nonsense…you’re strengthening the “cable/kook” stereotypes by responding the way you have to this article. Also, stop hating on Tom…He was the one driving the bus for the last 5-10 years that got cable riding any respect from the rest of the sport anyway. Think about how every one of you immediately does his same kicker and rail hits after he introduces them at a contest (Pete 5, spinning transfers, spinning gaps)…weird, huh?

    P.S. To Marc’s point on the diminishing value of air tricks in a cable contest, I completely agree. Air tricks should count evenly…just do the right ones

    Cheers to Tom, Marc, and Sambo…great article/comments. At least we’ve opened the doors to have some constructive conversations at upcoming contests. It’s going to be a great year!

  60. I_AGREE Says:

    Well said WOW

  61. Peter Says:

    Well I personally like front and backedges

  62. B Says:

    how TF, the ugly guy can say stuff like that, air tricks and obstacles are cable wakeboarding, and great when doing with style, grab…
    of course “superman 7″ is ugly, but who do that, not the most stylish riders…

    if the rules was really apply, some riders must never seen the first place when you do a 2.7 fs board “no press, not finish”, or perfect on obstacles and a superman for air triks

    when style jugement will be apply, we will descover some new rider.

  63. shred til dead Says:

    im gonna shred til dead

  64. Yes Says:

    Dear euros
    Sorry to burst your bubble, Wakeboarding has moved past your gay ass raleys, learn how to grab something that involves spinning more than a 540. Why do y’all think none of you have won a real contest in the past 3 years? Cus nobody wants to see how you can do the same run since 2001. When u can actually throw down and invent new grabbed mobe 5 and 7 variations and beat most everyone in any contest, then y’all can talk shit about Tom. Till then, i dont care about the 180 u added to a raley, shut up take some notes

  65. Yes Says:

    Oh ya stop pre spinning too please, it’s just sad to watch, y’all are “pros” for god sake, do the freakin trick right they’re not that hard and we have a damn handle just to make it a little easier for ya

  66. Steven Says:

    I admire the fact that you are trying to make top-level riding more stylish. Unfortunately it’s something no one can really do with words.

    People tend to follow the leader. It’s how trends get started- and how they end.

    You want people to wakeboard with more style- the only way is to show them how.

    Style being opinion based also adds to the confusion here. No one can say what the best style is. Style is the essence of someone’s riding (their visible soul) and can only come out when they stop caring how it looks when they do it and they just do it to do it.

    So the very act of telling someone to “add more style” actually does nothing but show impatience to their personal progression.

    There only reason someone can make a trick look better is because of experience and their individual personality. Style does not come from effort only- it is also a matter of time and experience.

    Some guys are just not that cool. They just don’t have that real individuality and they will never be able to make a trick look like their own.

    Who cares as long as we have awesome people that push the sport where we want it to go. The not so stylish riders will be forgotten and the stylish riders will be remembered.

  67. Wow Says:

    Steven…easy there zen master

  68. Tex Says:

    As a wakeskater, I have an outside perspective on all of this. I think Tom was misunderstood. He is in no way hating on air tricks. He is, in my opinion, at the top of the field in this respect of the sport. I used to hate watching “dangling” air tricks and wrote the cable off as lame until I saw Tom ride and do things properly. The growing sentiment form some of the best riders in the sport is that air tricks should go by the wayside and be forgotten. Tom is trying to prevent this from happening. Before you get your pink panties in a wad maybe you should reread Tom’s article. He is actually trying to help those of you who dangle to save air tricks in the future. I’m sorry to say it, but the Raph Deromes in our sport have more say over what happens than you do. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it’s true. At this point in time, those type of riders are trying to eliminate air tricks from contests. Tom is trying to prevent them by legitimizing air tricks in the eyes of the most influential pros. The ones making the changes in the sport today. Instead of hating on Tom and making unwarranted personal attacks, maybe you should take a step back and reevaluate what it is you are saying and doing. Tom is trying to save air tricks and you are personally attacking him for it. Ignorance in it’s purest form is simply not knowing. Unfortunately, you know the truth, but refuse to admit it. That is just plain stupidity. Try reading Tom’s article again and using your brain. Tom is not trying to eliminate air tricks, he is trying to legitimize them. Get over yourselves. Tom is the king!

    -Aaron Reed

  69. Jake Says:

    Well said Aaron Reed!

  70. ListenToReed Says:

    Aaron Reed is the man, good point, None of them even thought of it that way, they just heard “no more raleys” and panicked

  71. Hulihee Says:

    Check out what i assume to be the EURO’s response to this article… They sure seem to making light of it!!!! Hahah


  72. Ryan Jones Says:

    Firstly the immaturity of some the responses to this article is revealing. It is unproductive and reflects poorly on our entire scene. Stop being so childish with personal attacks. Instead, if you took the time to actually write out your opinion everyone would respect you and your views much more.

    That being said, I think this article was a great read. I am stoked to see all the buzz this topic is getting, especially to see differing opinions of already accomplished riders. It is an area of riding that has not been clearly defined. Although they are being seen less in contest, I think they have a really unique spot in the contest scene. I think of them as the fillers in between the structures; they’re versatile in the sense that you can do them on almost any spot on the cable by taking the correct line, which adds variation to the lines riders choose. I strongly agree with Tom that proper form on flats tricks need to be legitimate, grabbed, and controlled with arms and knees bent. There is a substantial amount of power in the line during flats tricks and doing them in that way rather letting the line take control and stretch you out takes much more athleticism and board control.

    Surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding all share the common denominator of being a board sport. Although they all take athleticism to do it, the focus is always the fact you’re riding a board. In all of these finesse with board movements is key. During an s bend or raley variation where your board is behind you just along for the ride does not put any emphasis on the board. If you’re greatest joy on a wakeboard pulling on the line as hard as you can and launching yourself uncontrolled I think you’d find more pleasure in being a gymnast because you already have the athleticism and some impressive rope swinging skills.

    Where I disagree with Tom is what he wrote about ‘crossed up grabs’. Nuclear grabs are hard to reach. I like to see that a rider has enough board control to tweak the board so those grabs can be reached.

  73. Louise Says:

    I read the article, then re-read the article, and read it again. And well each time, I find the tone of arrogance and narrow-mindedness unwavering. Granted, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and Tom leaves no question about where he stands… but he was mistaken if he thought this article wouldn’t offend lots of other riders. He can think what he thinks, write what he wants, but be prepared for some heated backlash. Personally, I love cable- all aspects. Embrace diversity of tricks, style, and grabs even at the most competitive level. Besides, what trick, grab, style that looks cool is all subjective anyway. That’s why it’s pretty ridiculous to tell other top level riders what is the “right direction” of which to push the sport. Push it in all directions. Cable wakeboarding will become pretty monolithic and limited if the best of the best all move in a singularly accepted direction. But, really what do I know? I’m just a girl cable rider ;-)
    Louise Sawyer

  74. Wow Says:

    When Aaron Reed writes or responds to an article, just take it as the end all/be all on that subject. He agrees with Tom, and so should you, lol. Great to hear Aaron and his perspective on this.

    Ryan…you’re wrong. Raleys have no place in a pro contest. “Filler tricks”…I’d rather see a guy ride flat on the water than fling raleys in every possible spot before obstacles. It’s not a contest to see how many tricks you can do….cramming in tricks all crazy like makes a run look like trick skiing. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” ….If you don’t have anything other than a raley, don’t do anything at all, lol. Remember, we’re talking about pros here.

  75. Rob Mapp Says:

    Very well said marc. I do think tom has some great points and believe his point was misunderstood in some areas. Being a grandpa of the sport and started air tricks I am still learning new stuff myself. I myself am always trying to push the sport in all areas to make myself a better rider. Always trying to do stuff huge, adding grabs and pressing better on rails. Tom is a great person and for the sports. I think in writing ,his point came across probably not the way he meant on somethings.

  76. Rob Mapp Says:

    P.s. miss type. I didn’t start air tricks. Meant to say ” one of the guys who started doing air tricks when obstacles didn’t exist back then.

  77. Turbo Says:

    I think what Tom was saying is that this sport has progressed into a lap and a kicker hit format that sucks. Ive watched people completely negate rails when judging a competition. If you can’t name rail tricks you shouldn’t be scoring runs… Also the format of an obstacle only competition is more exciting for spectators and riders. Its the reason Monster energy triple crown is moving away from air tricks… So like it or not your going to have to learn how to ride rails. No one argued that raph was rider of the year… He doesn’t do air tricks.


  78. Luke Says:

    The whole article is juvenile and bitter. If everyone rode the same what would be the point! The article just highlights what is wrong with wakeboarding today. And it’s not air tricks or rails…. It’s the riders.

  79. Dusty Says:

    All he is asking for is innovation, which benefits everyone, and he makes it clear that his target is his peers(if there is such a thing). He is not talking to the local warriors that keep the sport going by their board and gear purchases. Meanwhile, I am an amateur and I like the way it feels when I get to the park once a week and do a superman off the water. So I am going to keep doing it as everyone else should that wants to do an air trick because they enjoy it! Afterall, we shred (or pretend) because we enjoy shredding!

  80. wake.O Says:

    Why can’t we all be like the real ” Cable King” Darin Shapiro and do ‘Speedballs’ aka double front flips…and then set up pain management clinics….oh yeah, then get arrested for racketeering…Hail to the King!

  81. Brian Says:

    Those who take offense to this are missing the point! Having known Tom for several years I know that Tom is a huge advocate for air-tricks, anyone who know him would know this. Hell Tom taught me how to do air tricks and progress them. Tom was the first person at the dock to congratulate me when I landed my first double-s bend, he was always the first person to care enough to tell me that learning how to grab my roll 2 blinds and S-bend to blinds would help separate my run from others in contest way more than the double S-bend would. And he was right, I remember several kids trying double s-bends as their wild-card that year, cant really recall many trying to grab their harder air-tricks like Roll 2 blinds and Blind Judges. Anyone who thinks double S-bends and such have a place in pro-contest are obviously not riding at a pro level. The number of kids who can perform a double s-bends and s to blinds is staggering. The number of people who can do nose grabbed s-mobes or grabbed KGB’s is few and far between. And that is the point! As a pro rider you need to do things that show your skill, your style and control is a level above the kids riding the division below you not just that you can do an extra 180. I know for myself A double S-bend was a much easier trick to land and be consistent at than a grabbed Roll 2 Blind or S-Bend, handle control and body position become important with these where as the Double S-Bend is simple as long as you get the pop you need. And that is the whole point of the article, pro riders need to display that they know how to do more than pop big and hold onto the rope, they need to show true and complete mastery of all aspects not just popping big and hucking things. That is my two cents at least!

    P.S. To the people above who said Tom is not good at air tricks and that is why he wants to get ride of them, what have you been watching??? Grabbed KGB 5, Nose Grab S-mobe 5, Indy Heart Attacks??? And your calling those bad air tricks?? I must be confused on what a good air-trick is then.


  82. Brad Says:

    @Brian, best response yet! Nailed it! Finally someone gets it!

  83. Jim Venet Says:

    I kind of agree with both sides here. The problem is somewhere else. The top riders are only doing what the judges are asking. And the judges are trying to represent what the community is asking. I’m personally bored to hear people saying “we want to see press” instead of rotation on the sliders… what about doing both at the same time? I saw Tom freeriding a couple of times and I’m sure it’s what he meant but he is a rider, not a writer so we need to excuse him if he didn’t always chose the right words to express his feelings. It is and will always be the universal rule in extreme sports: “take a step back if you want to jump higher”. A couple of years ago Snowboard was all about double flips and 1080’s, then everybody stepped back to Grabbed 7 and 9… Now we can see triple cork’s with a grab all the way! The same happened with wakeboard behind the boat and I’m still hoping to see a grabbed 1080 one day. I totally agree that a nice “slowmo style” grabbed S-bend looks better than a fast double S-bend but if you can already do both, please don’t stay there and pull us a nice double with your best grab as the cherry on the cake! Not pushing the sport would be a mistake but not making our sport look good would be even worse! Everytime we learn a new trick we should try to make it look cool and eventually grab it and not just “vomit” our skills at the face of the public… event if he’s the one asking for it!

  84. Melty Says:

    So Double S-Blind is Un-Cool; but sketchy, double cut crow mobe is cool? pfft

  85. Justin Says:

    Just ride and do what is fun for you. easy.
    Shred Love

  86. Pete Mc Says:

    Any sport that involves style is a form of artistry, and art is subjective; a matter of taste. A rail rider trying to tell someone his double s-bends look shit is like a rap artist telling a jazz player his music sounds shit. Of course he thinks that, hes clearly not into the same style of music. So its completely pointless writing “This trick looks crap and that trick looks good, we should all start doing this and not that.” Riders can decide for themselves what style they like and therefore want to look to adopt. They don’t need obnoxious articles written by guys at the top telling them what they should and shouldn’t be doing.

    I personally think that a double s-bend is a much better display of athleticism than loads of the rail presses that people seem to love nowadays, but people obviously like doing, filming and watching it so sure, keep on pressing. Just give other people the same respect.

  87. iceman Says:

    who asked you you emofag

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