Focal Point – Get Stoked
Chris Abadie putting in the work. photo: Soderlind
What gets you excited most about wakeboarding? Is it going out and learning a new trick? Cruising across some glassy water, tunes blasting from the boat? Hanging with your friends at the park, riding some doubles? Maybe it’s getting to see a contest in person and meet a few of the pros, a new video release with some awesome riding, or new board designs and graphics. There are a lot of things that can get all of us stoked on the sports and lifestyle we love. Truthfully speaking I believe one of the most exciting times in the history of wake is right now. It is definitely one of the most exciting times in the history of Alliance. Allow me to explain.
Take any of those things that can get you stoked and there is something that has recently occurred or is about to within our sports. To start, the contest scene within wakeboarding has taken some huge strides in 2015. There is better prize money and accommodations for the riders, but most importantly there are more big contests taking place across the country and around the world where fans can not only see the best riding the sport has to offer, but they can also get an opportunity to meet and interact with their favorite rider. Then you have an event like the MasterCraft Throwdown, which not only featured the biggest purse in wake this year, but was also aired live on ABC as part of the “World of X” series. That’s huge; for riders, fans, and wakeboarding as a whole.
Speaking of X, wakeboarding also made its way back into the X Games this summer (in case you didn’t know). That’s right, after ten years away from the big eXtreme, wake returned via Real Wake. So even if you’re not a fan of traditional contests and more of a video/media connoisseur, you could thoroughly get your fill of stoke from Real Wake. I’m proud to say the team at Alliance played an integral role in the creation and development of Real Wake and the response was overwhelming. Of course I’m a bit biased, but truth be told I firmly believe that Real Wake was the best representation of all the unique aspects and avenues of wakeboarding to show to the masses on a national media level. And in a point of view that’s definitely biased; I think it’s awesome that two kids who’ve never had the biggest sponsors or played the normal “ride contests and move to Orlando” routine, came away as double winners (one gold voted on by fellow competitors, the other voted on by fans/viewers) with a section made up of winching and homemade park riding. Hopefully you’ve all already seen the Real Wake video sections and full TV show, but for a little behind-the-scenes look, check out the article in this issue.
Wake’s connection with the “World of X” continued in August with the airing of “Tide + Time: The Danny Hampson” story. This was yet another piece of wake media put on view through ABC, but more than that it was the incredible telling of the incredible life of a kid from the Florida Keys. For lack of a better description, Danny was basically wakeskating’s first grom, and over the last thirteen-plus years he’s become a legend. It’s always good to take a look back at where our sports came from, and it’s even better when we can get that look from the perspective of one of the most integral players in the game. If you missed the show stay tuned to alliancewake.com to watch it online. Another AVE production, “Tide + Time” did a brilliant job of both telling Danny’s story and appealing to people who might not have ever seen wakeskating before, and that’s something we can all be stoked about.
The stoke train doesn’t stop there, though. With the release of this issue of Alliance Wake will also come the release of “LF’n Awesome”, Liquid Force’s next full length feature. While this might be the only big video release of the year, it can more than carry the load. LFn’A features the team’s best young riders: Harley Clifford, Raph Derome, Daniel Grant, Bob Soven, and Nico von Lerchenfeld shot by none other than Keith Kipp and AVE (I told you this was also a big year for Alliance). While the tagline might be “a film that was supposed to be about wakeboarding”, don’t let it fool you. “LF’n Awesome” will both stoke you out and have you bowling over with laughter. It won’t just be the best video of the year, it will be one of the best videos ever. Look for a full feature on the making of LF’n Awesome in the next issue of Alliance Wake.
On top of all of that this issue also represents the beginning of the 2016 product year. New products are being introduced as you read this and there are some awesome things about to hit the showroom floors and shelves of your local dealers. From new board shapes and designs, to new badass boats built for having even more fun, there are all kinds of new toys to get stoked about. In the end we’re all a part of this community because we love riding sideways on the water and having fun with friends, and these products will only make it easier to do that.
Needless to say, there is a lot to be stoked about within our sports. From contests, to videos, and everything in between, there is something going on that you can get fired up about. Right now really is a great time to be a fan of wakeboarding. Yes, the future is bright, but a bright future can only come from a solid right now, and right now in wake is awesome. I know everyone here at Alliance is stoked, but we’re even more stoked to have you along for the ride with us. Grab a seat, grab some popcorn, and prepare yourself for some entertainment, this issue and the future of wakeboarding and wakeskating are coming in hot.
Enjoy the ride,