the Ride: Your Honest Opinion

In wakeboarding, there are a lot of debates going on — debates that will never end and will always be repeated. Debates about where you should grab your board or how you should spin. And while it seems like a bad thing, in all actuality, I feel like this may be one of the greatest things about wakeboarding.

The reason that it is such a great thing is that no one is right, and for the sake of the matter, no one is wrong either. Wakeboarding is an act that can be interpreted differently by every person who sees it. Each person who wakeboards or witnesses wakeboarding has come from a different path than the next person. There may be similar paths, but they are never exactly the same. Some will come from a waterski background and some will come from a snowboard background. Some will even come from a background that has nothing to do with any type of action sport. Wakeboarding will be their first time riding some sort of apparatus. And from those backgrounds and what they read in magazines and watch in videos, they will start to form an opinion on certain things. They will start to like things and dislike others. They'll like the way one rider rides a wakeboard and dislike the way another rides. The amazing thing about it is that almost always your opinion will be different than the next person.

And while all these people have different opinions, there is still no right or wrong. No one can tell you that what you think wakeboarding is is wrong. It doesn't matter if you like contests or if you are a strict freerider. Whether you want to grab your board in a certain place or if you want to spin the whole way down a rail. Or if you want to do batwings and glides or ride a shorter or longer rope than most. The only thing that really matters in wakeboarding is that you are having fun. People will always have an opinion on what you are doing, but don't let that stop you from doing what you most enjoy doing on a wakeboard. Ride whatever way gives you the most joy. Or makes you feel the way you want to feel.

And everyone is guilty of this. Every rider from beginner to professional has been guilty of telling someone they are doing it wrong. I have my own opinion on things just like every other pro rider. I do certain types of tricks because that's how I feel wakeboarding should be interpreted. And my roommate does a whole different set of tricks because that's how he feels wakeboarding should be interpreted. I don't grab nuclear or do glides, and I like doing ollie grabs. I don't spin on a rail, and I ride an 85-foot rope. That doesn't mean you should do these things though or that they are right. That's just what I do. Form your own opinion and go with it. Your opinion can always change. Just because you like one thing one day doesn't mean you won't hate it the next.  And remember why you wakeboard in the first place. It's fun and lots of it. Just like ollie grabs.

— Derek Grasman

Photo: [Spencer Smith

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