OMG new post! (photo: Mathis)

by: Oh Come On Man

We’re at a point in wakeboarding where we are seeing tremendous growth. New cable parks are popping up all over the world with no sign of slowing down. Amidst this ever expanding industry, we have a lot of riders approaching this growth in different ways. Some are creating quality content while also engaging in the community that surrounds them, while others are taking a different, more gimmicky, path to personal growth.

So let’s run through a list of @oh_come_on_man’s do’s and don’ts of trying to become a sponsored or professional wakeboarder. Starting with the don’ts.

Don’t: Buy followers.

This is a big no no and you know who you are. I know it can be hard out there but you should grow your page naturally. Don’t be a cop-out and pay to have fake accounts follow you. This is not a great strategy to gain sustained and respected growth. Anyone with half a brain will see you go from 1,000 followers to 6,000 followers overnight. It’s a little suspicious having tons of followers but still managing to draw less views than the latest post on WakeZeach…

Don’t: Shamelessly push your sponsored content *cough advertisement* by posting a blurred out version to your story.

If you have put time and effort into putting together your new edit and want to let people know it’s online, go for it. But no one needs to see a scribbled out picture of you standing next to the lake with the caption “new post” and “throw it a like” on it. It’s this kind of content that dilutes someone’s overall experience and in the long term, it will likely cause you to lose loyal followers and make people want to swipe through your stories all together.

Don’t: Post mediocre Instagram content because you feel like you need to in order to stay relevant.

If the caption of your 30 second long Instagram edit is “throwaway clips”, then why don’t you just do us all a favor and drag and drop them to the recycle bin where they belong? Take your time out there and shoot the tricks you’re truly proud of. This is not to say that you have to be trying back 9’s or every combination of 4’s on and off all the time but as long as you keep your stuff tee’d up, legit, and progressive, you’re going in the right direction.

Now that we’ve hit some of the don’ts, let’s run through a few do’s, shall we?

Do: Let others know when you think they did something sick, but not in a lame generic way.

After watching someone’s insta clip, don’t be scared to throw a comment their way but be specific about saying what you liked. All the fire emojis and cheesy comments aren’t really doing much other than serving as another place where people will see your own username (ah, the circle of self promotion). If you’re not adding to the conversation, maybe just take a seat.

Do: Use more b-roll in Insta edits and full parts.

There is so much potential with using video as a creative platform for wakeboarding, so take advantage of it. A lot of edits recently are just people dumping clips together with a sh*tty mumble rap song in the background. That’s really easy to do but it does nothing to make it stand out. Tons of riders can do the same tricks so take some time to show them in a different light, something that makes you truly stand out. A little insight into your life and who you are, clips of you slamming NOTBEERS with the boys, or shots of you swiping mommy and daddy’s credit card to fill up your 336-gallon gas tank. You know, the fun stuff.

Do: Actually put time and thought into filming your ender.

In case you don’t know, the “ender” is the last trick of your video part. It’s supposed to leave the viewer in awe, have them rewind to watch again, and get them stoked to strap on their own board. Landing directly on your butt after spinning like a helicopter does not constitute an ender, or even a make. So go out there and try some stuff you’ve never done. I know it can be scary but I believe in you.

Do: Have fun, enjoy yourself, and keep riding because you want to, not because you’re trying to get paid.