February 11th, 2014 by Submitted

Amber Wing_Cortese

I am not really sure what year Women came on the US Pro Tour, what I do know is for the past 11 years that I have been competing on tour, that Women have always been at 2-5 stops of the US Pro Tour. To wake up Friday morning to an email stating that the US Pro Tour this year will only consist of Pro Men was quite the shock. Not 1 female rider that I know of had any idea this was going to happen.

Personally I am very worried about the professional side of women’s wakeboarding. Not only are less girls getting paid, the current women at the top of the sport are being paid less and now we have no Pro Tour. The future of Professional Women’s Wakeboarding is looking grim.

This summer in Australia I have seen more girls than ever buying wakeboards and riding out on the river, it has been amazing. Parents calling me up asking what their girls need to do to follow in my foot steps and become Professional in their sport. Right now I really don’t know what to tell them apart from stay in school and get an education. I don’t know what the future holds for Women’s Wakeboarding and thats a scary thought.

As I have always done through out my career I am going to continue to push the limits of my riding personally, travel around keeping girls amped on wakeboarding and teaching new ladies to ride. Hopefully work out a way, looking outside the box to create a Women’s Pro Wakeboard event with Melissa Marquardt, as that has been her dream for many years.

We will continue to fight for the sport we love.

Amber

 

From the Pro Tour…

MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour to Focus Exclusively on Men’s Pro Division in 2014

Orlando, FL. — The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, the largest and most storied professional wakeboarding circuit in the world, has redesigned its format for the 2014 season and will feature only the Pro Men’s division at all four events. With an exclusive focus on the sport’s premier division, along with a restructured contest heat advancement system and athlete qualifying standards, the MasterCraft Pro Tour has laid the groundwork to produce the most competitive and entertaining wakeboard events on the planet.

Additionally, athlete eligibility for the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour has been adjusted to ensure a dynamic and competitive field of riders at each event. The 2014 Tour will feature a collection of the world’s top ranked Pro Men wakeboarders, intriguing wildcards entries and several up-and-coming athletes from the Junior Pro Series going head-to-head at four of the country’s most proven contest venues.

“During the offseason we met with some of the most respected minds and most talented athletes in wakeboarding to develop a strategy that ensures world-class competition and progression are paramount on the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour,” said Chris Bischoff, Pro Tour competition director. “The format changes achieve these objectives and will also bring exciting new storylines from contest to contest.”

Contest structure on the Pro Tour will remain a heat-to-heat qualifying system with riders seeding determined by their ranking. However, new rules will reward riders who win heats one and three allowing them to bypass the next round. Riders who do not win in heats one and three will not be automatically eliminated. They will be placed in rounds two and four and have a second chance to advance in those heats.

Last year’s wakeboard world champion, Rusty Malinoski has been vocal in his support of the new Pro Tour format. The “Bone Crusher” recently stated, “Wakeboarding has seen a ton of progression over the past few years. I think the new format tweaks will help our sport showcase the best riders at the biggest contests and give the fans the most bang for their buck.”

19 Responses to “No Girls for the 2014 Pro Wakeboard Tour”

  1. Jeff Rowland Says:

    Amber I’m completely disgusted by this decision. Its a poor one and not very well thought out. Since the tour is not stopping in Ohio this year my friends and I would have loaded up and headed to Michigan to watch but this will alter those plans. I will not attend any event that has cut the womens and juniors out. Though I’m only 1 person I am going to protest in every way I can because its a very very poor decision. You girls keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing you will see many people have your backs.

     
  2. jon Says:

    Nicely done, Alliance. Way to frame this as Mastercraft’s war on women.

     
  3. That's what she said... Says:

    Womens Pro Event would be awesome. Like for real. I want to help!

     
  4. sweet Says:

    That is ridiculous!

     
  5. CL Says:

    Lets face it, this is a male dominated sport, men made the decision to cut women out of the pro tour, men treat women and look at them a certain way, (usually degrading) which is why we will always be stuck in the rut that we are in. For instance this magazine mainly features male riders and then features half naked girls for men’s viewing pleasure. Women are not just there for sexual pleasure. we think, act and feel the SAME way as men. Men are the reason women’s sports are not progressing. Women have nothing to do with it. I could go on and on. but you get the picture. Wakeboarding is basically men sitting around jerking off to eachother and then laughing at womens sports.

     
  6. Suggestion Says:

    Amber:

    I am bummed that there will not be a women’s division this year. I personally think that moves like this will detract men and women from the sport. However, have you thought to just get on the Pro Tour with the guys? Make a statement. Why not ride at the Tour with the guys. I doubt anyone will deny you a spot, plus your sponsors would probably pay for it (I guess). Good luck this year, I will be interested to see what you decide to do.

     
  7. chad Says:

    jon,

    not sure what you are talking about. Alliance posted Amber Wing’s response and the pro tours official statement. Alliance had none of their own content in the article besides “From the Pro tour…”.

     
  8. jon Says:

    Oh, Chad. If you can’t see it simply from the title and position of each statement there is no point in ‘splainin’ it to you.

     
  9. jamie Says:

    I think this is completely unfortunate and i hope the girls find a way to shred this year.

    But to blame the lack of progression entirely on men is unfair, and to act like men need to save women’s wakeboarding is what will leave it at the bottom of the gutter. Amber’s really hit it–people in general need to look at wha they can do to change or offer something great. She wants to help melissa put an event together. That’s exactly right. Amber was also a key person with oakley’s “sets in motion”, though i have to believe there were men who were instrumental in getting thst going somewhere (reality, yo).Taking control is what the wake babes try to do also. Tear a page out of the book of wakeskating: “if we don’t do it, nobody else will.”

     
  10. Greg Says:

    This is not a slight on women. The tour is a BUSINESS. The women’s sponsor decided to do something else with their advertising budget this year. No reason to take it personally.

    If you asked me the men should be worried also. With wakeboarding as popular as it is the “tour” only consisting of 4 stops is troubling.

     
  11. Death Says:

    This is the beginning of the slow death of boat contest, men and women’s. Riding boat is for the rich and with so many cable parks popping up sponsors are shifting towards that aspect of the sport ie. Nautique. There a step of all the other boat sponsors.

     
  12. Wake Says:

    Women’s Wakeboarding is garbage . They claim sloppy grabs and ugly spins, and flips. It’s a joke for women’s wake to be featured on the pro tour. I’ve watched women’s riding on tour, missing grabs , I’ve seen amber almost drag her head across the wake on a whirley bird, so I think this is a good decision. Look at mens riding these days , you can’t send pro women’s to do a mans job. Pro women wake needs to be more of a free ride sport, so they can actually make their tricks look somewhat decent.

     
  13. Will Says:

    ^^^That guy^^^(“Wake”) above me is an idiot…u sir are a dick… imagine if we had assholes like you saying that about snowboarding years ago…
    Womens wakeboarding has been progressing at a pretty rad rate in the last couple years… why pull money now? why exclude an entire gender, just when cables are exposing park riding to girls interested in pushing themselves. just means more wake park crowds instead of boat crowds, which i wont complain about.

     
  14. Mark Says:

    This is really unfortunate and I applaud Amber, as well as other female leaders in the wakeboarding industry, for her thoughtful insight and determination to continue progressing and proving her ability. Amber and Melissa ride incredibly well, but in addition to that, they add a great deal to the culture of wakeboarding. They are absolute role models.

    Wakeboarding, as with other professional sports, is certainly not devoid of gender inequalities. I would encourage all to continue a culture of respectful inclusion for all who participate in and have a passion for wakeboarding.

    The decision announced by the Pro Tour represents a scaling back in all aspects of the tour, however, the elimination of women from competition is the most glaring example of this divestment. While it is easy to view the new structure a slight towards women, its important to note that it was purely based on economics. In basic terms, that means a sponsors’ ability to maximize return on investment. In reality the wake boarding industry has certainly analyzed all of the data points and is more likely to sell more board and boats, acquire new customers, and command higher advertising dollars while publicizing men’s wake boarding at the most elite level. As was mentioned before, wakeboarding, on the Pro Tour level, is a business and in order to keep equipment manufacturers in business, they need to make strategic, profitable, and (in this case) difficult decisions.

    While this example is particularly sensitive because of gender issues, I think it would be helpful to compare this decision to the removal of wakeboarding from the X-Games. That was a strategic decision that was made based on the same foundations of economic opportunity. ESPN and the Games’ sponsors could simply not make as much money from wakeboarding as they could with other, more “mainstream” sports that included more recognizable and marketable personalities (i.e. Travis Pastrana, Ryan Sheckler, Tony Hawk, Dave Mirra, etc).

    In response to the lack of exposure on the Pro Tour, I would encourage Amber and all women (and men) to continue to gain great exposure through alternative outlets. Freeriding provides endless opportunities for creativity and with GoPros, YouTube, Vimeo, and other digital channels, showcasing your talent has never been easier. I, for one, have been blown away on numerous occasions by the videos and photos I have seen out of Amber, Melissa, and the rest of the female riders.

    In light of this setback, I would encourage the community of female wakeboarders to take this as an opportunity to have conversations with sponsors and industry experts. This is a great chance to strategize how to not only showcase how amazing women’s wakeboarding is, but also acquire more women’s wakeboarders, which means more customers and revenue to the industry.

    I think Amber has the right attitude and hope she and other ladies continue to work hard for the sport.

     
  15. john Says:

    I would agree on it beeing “pro only” so it showcases the best of the sport independent of genres. I believe that if you want to be on tour it should matter only your ability not anything else. So if a woman want to compete on it, she needs to be on the same level as the other riders on the tour

     
  16. ewan Says:

    What about just making it an open event for men and women? That way women are on an equal playing field, can enter events if they make it through the qualification

     
  17. Robert Griffin III Says:

    ^^ From what I hear, that is the case. Woman are welcome to compete in the PWT if they qualify. But as we all know, that is highly unlikely.

     
  18. That guy Says:

    I HATE WAKEBOARDING! Is anyone else pissed the PKT (Pro Kneeboard Tour) didn’t come back this year either???

     
  19. Haters=jealousy Says:

    Got hate in your heart let it out

     

Make A Comment

Connect with Facebook