“Come here often?”  Photo: Rutledge
Crowds (or lack thereof)

Spectators bring the energy, stoke and atmosphere to your favorite contest. Unfortunately in recent years we have seen more more friends and family of riders than fans at some of these events. What gives, dear consumers of wake? These contests provide access to the best riders in the world, who are not only awesome to watch, but even more awesome to interact with. Who doesn’t love to hangout at a lake, drink a few cold ones and watch some insanely talented wakeboarders show off? In a time with social media and advertising everywhere those shorelines should be packed with spectators. Trust us, watching in person is way better than on that tiny screen in your pocket.

“Not here, but here!”  Photo: Cortese

There isn’t a bigger downer in wake than a rider going down with a bad injury. Well, that and the local cops trying to shut down your fireworks party at BROstock, but that’s a story for another time… Put simply, injuries suck. Every year there are a number of riders that succumb to the never-ending pursuit of the injury bug, but this year seemed extra harsh. With Harley Clifford and Meagan Ethell going on the DL, it was the first time the top male and female riders in the sport sustained season-ending injuries mid year. Other injured riders this year include Josh Twelker (broken ribs and collarbone), Oli Derome (torn achilles), Jeff McKee (shoulder), and Sophie Hogben (knee), Tony Carroll (knee), among others. Get well soon, shred brothers and sisters, and screw you, injuries!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we just whined about injuries, but this is different. We’re talking about you guys who can’t get off the Whaambulance (yeah, we went there) these days…

“All these sponsors are pulling out… WAAAH!”

“Wakesurfing… WAAAH!”

“What happened to the good-ol’ days…? WAAAH!”

“The Bluetooth in my boat stereo keeps breaking… WAAAH!”

We get it, things have changed. But you know what? We’re all still riding. We’re all still hanging out on boats or at parks with our friends. We’re all pretty lucky getting to do what we do. And if it still sucks so bad, then be proactive and do something to help make things better. But please, stop whining in front of everybody, you’re becoming Captain Buzzkill.

“Riding can wait… FORE!!!”  Photo: Cortese

We see you out there. You pro riders coasting along, not really doing much anymore these days. Snapchat is filled with your week in Miami with bottle service at the club. Your boat is all over Instagram… being used by your friends and not you. Face it, you’re coasting. You’ve lived the good life and now you’re enjoying some finer things. But the problem is you’re wasting space. There are groms out there chomping at the bit to push the sport and make their mark, only your coasting ass is blocking their path. Maybe it’s time to swallow some pride and admit to yourself you haven’t learned a new trick in years. Pass the torch and help the next generation take the sport to the next level.