Not long ago i was sitting around with a few international athletes within the watersports industry, with a fairly heated discussion coming up regarding the sport of wakesurfing and it's place within the industry. The conversation was regarding whether or not it should in it's current state and skill level, be considered amongst the rankings of competition 3 event skiing, wakeboarding and the likes considering there remains no inherent risk involved. On top of this was the based around the necessity for large wake boats for sponsored pro surfers, affecting the chances of boats for those who some would consider more deserving athletes, such as jump skiers who put their life on the line every time they head into a jump.
While sitting in the back listening to the athletes i got to thinking on 2 levels, not just about the sports place in the industry, but to it's purpose in most cases as a past time for those out on the water, and the 2 sides that are ever present in each story. From a sporting perspective, wakesurfing proves no large risk of self harm, in stark contrast to jump skiing which arguably carries the highest risk of any sport involved on water, and while looking good and having a fair degree of technicality to it, much like traditional surfing and skateboarding in an athlete's manipulation for the board, wakesurfing can also be taken on by the older generation who's body is passed skiing or wakeboarding with considerable ease. In no way does this discredit those who have built the sport from its foundation stages to what it is today, they have worked hard to develop their craft and have created something that has taken the industry by storm. Much like wakeboarding did throughout the 90's, wakesurfing has imbedded itself in the fundamental necessities when going out boating, to gaze back through that 90's period world class waterskiers looked at wakeboarding with the same amount of disdain that some do to wakesurfing now.
No matter what way we look at it from here on out, wakesurfing is now a part of the watersports industry as much as waterskiing and wakeboarding, an while the debate will continue with or without our input, we can sure expect that once the noise dies down as it sure will, the industry will benefit all the better for it. At the end of the day there is unity in diversity and wakeboarders and wakesurfers both share within our single industry, accounting for the sports that we have all come to enjoy.