Editor’s Note: This is Tom Fooshee’s response to the recent post of the Matters article he wrote for the April issue of Alliance. To read that original post and the passionate (often times inappropriate comments that followed, click here ). While we at Alliance don’t force anybody to register a real name or create an account in order to post comments, we encourage those of you who are passionate about a debate, whether on one side, the other, or right in the middle, to use tact and, God forbid, manners… And if you really believe in what you’re saying, log into this site via your Facebook account and make a post through that – with your real name behind it. Read on and shred on.

The Follow Up

by Tom Fooshee

Well here we are, fellow wakeboarders, it’s 2013 and it’s safe to say that summer has just begun. Of course all year long we dream of a time when we can spend less time indoors and more time outside hopefully shredding our faces off on the water, which is the reason that leads to my delayed response to everyone’s comments of all sorts of behavior to my “Airing it Out” Matters article. I have currently been on the road filming for perhaps the greatest full-length park video of all time “The Debut”.  I have just now been able to read, digest and respond to everyone’s thoughts on the article. So here we go…


Kevin Wipplinger airing it out


First off I would like to say, let’s all calm down for a moment. I feel that most of you are more upset about the article than I am about all the derogatory comments you said about me personally. All of you that are upset most definitely did not understand my point completely behind the article. And there are even some of you that are so upset that you didn’t even read the entire article. I say this because I read reactions from you guys that got the idea that I said to not do air tricks at all. That was the exact opposite of what I meant. I am trying to protect flats tricks from the people that feel as if they should not be present in our sport. Most of you should know that I am a current advocate for flats tricks as I do them as much as anyone else does. Of course there are some flats tricks that I do not do as well as I would like to, most of those being toeside flats tricks, so I feel your thoughts there. They can be done right, maybe just not by myself. And then to the people that did understand what I was meaning, thank you for your support and taking the time to analyze in depth what I was really getting at. This article was not meant to bring so much negativity to our community and for that I apologize.

My apologies do not stop there. Originally I wrote the article almost double the amount of words that I was supposed to keep it within. So it was required to be cut down. One important paragraph was cut out after it was edited and I looked over it and approved it. That paragraph discussed essentially what the posted commenter named @wow had said. So basically I am going to reiterate it now. Raley/superman based tricks (i.e. blind judge, 313, 315, FS, BS, TS, HS, etc) is something that is very essential to the progression of flats tricks. So yes, I do encourage you to learn them. You have to learn them before you can move on to bigger and better things and then start to focus on maybe turning your collection of maneuvers to a more current form of riding. So I am not completely hating on these tricks, whether it be behind the boat or off the flats at the park, these are very needed for learning and getting your basics down for future tricks. So I am acknowledging that I did make the mistake to not make sure this was widely known in my previous article after it was edited down. So consider this my apology for any of you that took that offensively.

I was basically directing the article to the top leaders in this aspect of the sport that maybe we should try to make our riding appear a bit more modern. I never intended this to attack anyone nor offend them and again I offer you my apology if I did. The guys that created these type of tricks or were doing them back in the day, props to you because those are very hard tricks, especially for their time. Very appropriate for when they were originated. All of those maneuvers that I discussed previously were maneuvers that were very popular about 10 years ago in cable, so what I was requesting for was a change. A change to alter an older, practically 90’s appearing form of riding to a more modern form. Be creative. I am by no means telling anyone what is cool and what is not, again that is not my point. I was trying to bridge the gap between the people who hate on air tricks and the people that love them. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me as a rider that participates in both types of pulls regularly. The opinions I get from a ton of professional boat riders about their hatred for flats tricks are because they look like they are tricks that were performed in the 90’s, so in other words, outdated. I was just leaving my suggestion on what we could do to change their thoughts. Take it or leave it, no hard feelings. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with me on this, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but this is just my suggestion to the top professionals in park that do flats tricks to make a change to help legitimize our aspect of the sport amongst our most respected professional boat peers. Of course floating a big raley around Corner 4 is always a good time, but it is not intended to showcase your high level of ability riding a wakeboard if you are a top performer in the sport. To put it in another way, if you do them its usually out of comedy or just the good ‘ol feeling of going large and there is nothing wrong with that.

I would also like to point out that I was very stoked to see all of the discussion that this prompted. Not that I am particularly amped on the way people responded, but I am glad to see all of the discussion. Let’s keep it rolling, but maybe in a more constructive tone. This is obviously a topic that needs to be talked about as we all can see. I really appreciate the way that Marc Shuster and Mark Griffin both responded. Even though they both disagreed, they proved some really good points and reacted respectfully. I was already a fan of these two guys and now I am even more. So props to you guys and lots of respect! You two were not the only ones though, there were many more too that responded both agreeing and disagreeing that acted maturely. Lets try to continue that. Instead of attacking each other (which is practically what the comments turned into) let’s dissect this and talk about it.

Thank you all again for your patience and participation in this. I am anxious to hear each and every one of your responses, let’s just try to keep it a bit more mature so that this does not turn into people battling against each other. That’s not what I want. And just FYI, I will not comment back on Alliance because this is the only way you will know that people posting under my name are really not me. Let’s face it, both you guys and myself have better things to do than to get worked up about what people say online. So let’s get a grip on ourselves, take a deep breath and just relax.

See you all at the park!

– Tom


Danny Thollander in the park


Phil Soven off the kicker