WARNING: This article contains explicit Raley bashing. We strongly suggest that parents read this dissertation before showing it to their children. We (the riders) have nothing against the people who execute this trick; we just think that the move is overrated.
CH: So Matt, give me some tips on how to do an S-bend.
MS: Well, Chase, shorten your line to just past the prop wash – that way you’ll look like you go into the flats farther – and do a front flip while keeping your arms over your head. It’s just that easy, AND you can do it switch for more points.
In the above skit we were being facetious, so don’t get your panties in a wad, but if you’re going to do an S-bend, do it like Parks Bonifay or don’t do it at all. That may sound harsh, so let us clarify. There is nothing wrong with a good S-bend or some Raleys even now and then, but we can only take so much. We are not trying to make anybody mad, but five or six versions of this lame trick just to win a contest? Something needs to be changed for the betterment of the sport, and this is a good way to start.
Now that we have that off our chest, let’s talk about The New Crew. These are the guys, like us, who are leading the anti-skiboarding brigade. There is only a handful of us – Thomas Horrell, Steve Wahlman, Randy Harris, Brad Hellerich, Andrew Cairns, Scott Jobe and the two of us. Most of us don’t do Raleys, but we ride every day and we wakeboard because we love to, not because we want to “train” for a trick ski contest. And although they are impressive (and we do do them for fun), wakeboarding isn’t about doing flips either. It never was. Wakeboarding didn’t start out as a sport about who could do the best tricks, so why is it that way now?
The New Crew has fun on the water – that’s our goal. You’ll never see us timing each other’s runs, but you will see us throwing a big spin off the double-up every chance we get. We like doing a variety of moves, but never that mule-kick thing even though it’s adored by onlookers. Mostly, we’re just kids having fun for ourselves, and the only people we’re worried about impressing are some of the local girls.
One thing you’ll also notice when riding with us – we all have different styles. Some of us come from skating, where you’ll see solid grab moves every day; some of us get it from surfing, where big air is key; some from snowboarding, where spin tricks rule; and some of us just let it flow without any previous background. Well, except for Chase, whose style is strongly influenced by Michael Jordan (that’s why he always sticks his tongue out when he rides), but he’s strange anyway.
As far as attitude – everything goes. Everything that is except selling out and by that we mean changing the way we ride and doing moves we don’t like just to place well in a contest.
We also have a big respect issue. We respect spin moves because they’re so difficult yet have so much style. We also respect the riders who came before us and helped pave the way. What we don’t respect are some of the riders in the top 10, not because of what tricks they do or do not do but because they are in it for the money, not for the passion. Don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing wrong with winning money; it just shouldn’t be the only motivation to go wakeboarding every day. That’s when wakeboarding turns into skiboarding. And you already know how we feel about that.
We would like to dedicate this article to Todd Brendel and C.C. Roberts. Todd, you won’t be forgotten, and C.C., you’re in our prayers every day.