Time magazine is conducting an on-line poll of the 100 worst ideas of the century. By far, coming in at No. 1 is Prohibition. The 1919 law forbidding the manufacturing, transportation and sale of alcoholic liquors except for medicinal and sacramental purposes would probably rank on my list of crappy ideas, especially if someone imposed it today (just ask a smoker living in California). But what surprised me was the 20th-century invention sitting in space No. 2 - personal watercraft: Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, WaveRunners, Kawasakis, PWCs. Whatever you call them, they've logged enough votes so far to make them the second-worst thing next to no drinking in the last 100 years. I mean, even the Ku Klux Klan, Spandex in plus sizes, Jerry Springer and the Y2K bug have garnered fewer votes! Seems as though the general population has it out for the high-pitched, whining craft affectionately called "lake roaches."
What's that got to do with wakeboarding, you ask? A lot, considering that given the opportunity to go wakeboarding behind a PWC, most of us purists would not-so-politely decline. No wake. No boatload of hot chicks. No tunes. Did we mention no wake? Despite the dogged hours Sea-Doo has spent on the pro tour trying to prove otherwise, personal watercraft seem to represent everything wakeboarding isn't and couldn't be.
That was then.
Turns out, most of us are wrong. Considering the upward climb of boat prices and the nationwide crackdown on wakes (we have to honor the environment), personal watercraft may become the only way you can wakeboard close to home - a mind-numbing thought at best. Fortunately, we've come to realize that there are some situations where PWCs are better than boats to ride behind.
Welcome to the new millennium.