Editor’s Note: This is the “Reason” column from the April issue of Alliance. We are stoked to have 2013 Wakeskater of the Year Andrew Pastura regularly contributing both words and art to these columns. Andrew’s riding obviously speaks volumes, but his perspective and voice about the sport he loves is refreshing. Plus, his artwork is one-of-a-kind. Take a read and enjoy what the elder Pastura has to say.
Real estate is prime on Mt. Shred
Beauty is in the Eye of the Shredder
I’m writing this article from high on top of Mt. Shred, deep in the innermost radical galaxy. As you can see the inhabitants of this planet take advantage of any opportunity to ride: there is something for everyone and it is my belief everyone should try them all at least once… or twice. Not all of us have four distinct seasons or live close to the coast, but it’s important to make the best of what you have and to keep an open mind to everything.
I first tried wakeboarding when I was about 14 or 15. My aunt and uncle were really into watersports and were kind enough to take me and my brothers out from time to time. I wasn’t the biggest fan until my cousin bought a wakeskate. From there I was hooked. I grew up skateboarding and snowboarding, so wakeskating wasn’t extremely challenging at first, but it was something different that I will never forget trying. While learning simple pop-shuvs and 180s I felt a connection from things I knew how to do on a skateboard. It was completely different but also similar to what I loved. I did all I could do to wakeskate in Ohio throughout the warm season and made the best of the remaining colder months skateboarding and snowboarding. Almost immediately after high school I moved to Florida and realized I wanted to spend most of my time wakeskating. Six years ago I was watching Sfumato and Volume videos hundreds of times, wondering how Nick Taylor could flip his board so many different ways with ease. Now I’m blessed with wakeskating, friends, and being able to run a board company with my brothers. You never know what will happen or where you’ll end up by trying new things.
Yes, it’s great to be really good at one thing, but is it more important to be well rounded and have different skills? Anything done over and over can become repetitious and boring. There are plenty ways of mixing it up on a winch trip or just doing different activities throughout a normal week at home. Lately more times than not I’ve found myself learning something different on my wakeskate by taking a week or two off and only skateboarding, or relaxing and making art. Even other things like mountain biking, building stuff, making music, or just letting your body heal can be a good way to recharge and keep your riding fresh. If your normal way of riding is limited to only the boat, cable, or PWC it’s nice to have other sports that complement each other. Bouncing back and forth may or may not help your riding, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Participating in any water sport is a privilege that some of us take for granted. Sometimes we do anything we can to get in the water, so why not involve someone who isn’t as fortunate or someone who has never tried? Do something different and change up your crew. If you can’t remember the first time you got up on a wakeboard you may have taken too many slams and should try wakeskating. For most it’s an amazing experience that many will never get the chance to try. I’m grateful that my aunt and uncle included me and my brothers on their boat back in the day. And all the support my dad and family have given me is invaluable. Any watersport is somewhat of a team effort, so it makes sense to work as a team.
Lastly, I’m gonna stray off topic a little but want to talk about how important it is to stay positive. Trying different things can be one way to get your mind off that trick that you somehow cannot grasp. I’ll admit I’m not the best at keeping my cool, but lately I’ve been trying to stay focused on the funny/not-so-serious side of what we do. When you’re out there winching, trying something over and over, please try not to make a scene and destroy all your gear on someone’s private property.
1. The neighbors might call the cops because they think you’re dying from yelling profanities
2. Your friend driving the winch and buddy filming will not get to hit the spot
3. You’re weirding them out and the only good footage they’re getting is you smashing your board
4. Getting pissed isn’t healthy and if you’re filming your “sponsor-me” edit you might want to rethink your goals
So don’t get stuck on being pissed because you couldn’t get that one trick. Remember that you started wakeskating or wakeboarding because you enjoyed it. When you look at some of wakeskating’s coolest footage you see kids flipping their oversized skateboards down a drainage ditch right next to a sewer runoff. Yes, to some of us this is BA, but some people think this is completely absurd and gross… and when it comes down to it, it sorta is! Try something different, stay positive, bring a new face out to the water, and have fun.
Most importantly, shred everything