Saturday, October 01, 2011

Wake Skating Legitimacy

A couple weeks ago this "wake skating" video was posted on Vimeo and I had some mixed feeling about it, and still do. While it is obvious that skateboarding is the raddest of all "board sports" (hate that term, but whatareyagunnado?), all the others are all trying to imitate is as closely as possible. First you has snowboarding introducing skateparks and halfpipes, and eventually taking it to street spots by hitting handrails in snowy towns. Next you had surfing, which is ironic since that is what skateboarding spawned from in the first place, introducing shuvs, 360s, and now kickflips with smaller boards. Then of course there was the snowskate. But now wakeboarders seem like they got tired of being a 5th tier board sport and wanted to get in on this skateboarding they introduced the wake skate, which is basically a big, weird skateboard deck they are not attached to, getting pulled behind a boat. They do flip tricks that, up until now, only skateboards do.

To be fair, it is pretty impressive. They are doing some legit tricks that are hard to do on a skateboard or otherwise (frontside big heel & frontside bigflip & 720 biggerspin!) and they have the added factor of having to managing a rope in their hands (transferring it from hand to hand and not getting caught in it). It is very impressive, especially upon first view. It also makes you wonder about their consistency and how long it took them to land those trick.

Once you really begin to think about it, however, most of that is the equivalent of skating flatground to them. That have wakes to boost things off of and their landing are relatively soft (minus maybe getting some water up your nose). It is probably annoying that you have to go through the whole process of the boat coming back to get another start and with only one boat, only one person can go at a time.

There were lots of flashy thing and some pretty cool tricks, like the bigspin over canoe. But, regardless of the initial thought of it being pretty inventive, it all comes down to it simply being rich kids doing rich kid things. This is not something that anyone can do, it is a "sport" of the privileged with zero rawness and soul to it. Water sports tend to be reserved for the upper class in general, so this is not something that a kid in the hood can watch and relate to at all. It is something that is done for the simple act of impressing their peers (upper class competitive nature) and showing off to those less fortunate. I will give the dudes a pat on the back for being a little more creative with their money that others of their status, but I do not back wake skating. It is a slap in the face to the pure act of skateboarding...extreme sports jocks.