Matters: Air it Out

The King keeping hold of his crown

“Air It Out”

Bell bottoms, cigarettes rolled up in a shirt sleeve, discos, afros, Chia Pets, JNCOs, rap murders, mood rings, Crocs, virtual pets, myspace.com, etc, etc, etc. I’m talking about fads. Some are awesome while others should have been dismissed as a terrible idea the day they were created. We have gone through many fads within wakeboarding, but I would like to discuss one that is occurring right now at cable parks around the globe. Call them what you want; air tricks, flats tricks, slingshots, corner tricks, getting stretched out… we know all about them at the park and have probably done at least one, whether it be out of humor or out of progression. Here’s the problem, they have the potential to become another really bad fad in the history of wakeboarding and we need to do something about it.

I spent many years operating the cable at Texas Ski Ranch watching the sport grow right in front of me. I took my first liking to cable because of the endless rail hits possible at a park, only to quickly realize that kickers were the closest thing to a wake. At that time (2003-2004), there were no “obstacles/features only” contests, there were just cable (kickers, rails and flats tricks) contests. Being a competitive guy and because I liked riding the park so much, I figured I should try some contests. Consequently that meant I had to make use of those empty stretches between two towers that had no features and learn flats tricks. Ten years later I am still a fan of these moves, but only certain ones.

When I first started really getting into the cable scene it was a time full of nuclear grabs, double S-bends to blind, and spinning on rails at the park. Fast forward to present day and to many “non air trickers” much of the air/flats tricks world seems outdated. I cannot help but agree with them. I believe this is a large reason why guys who ride nothing but park, and focus on flats tricks do not get as much respect as boat riders.

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