In his newest episode on FlowPoint Marcus talks about how water skiing is the greatest lost sport. He starts by talking about the Coors Light tour and Hot Summer Nights (both of which rocked sweet graphics that need to be brought back). Then he show some amazing footage from this years worlds in Mexico and it leaves you thinking "Why the hell is this not on mainstream TV?"
That has been a question posed by the CRB for years now. I personally didn't get into the sport till after its mainstream days in the 80s and 90s. I really had no idea what it was, but as soon as I watched it, I was hooked! What is the answer to bringing the sport back to its prime?
Is it bringing back those sweet graphics?
Having more babes in bikinis on the sidelines?
Is the answer throwing bigger events that feel like a party? We have seen more success with this in the last couple years with events like, Malibu Open and LA Night Jam. Those take a lot of organization to put on and you really need someone dedicated to doing it.
The biggest event out there is the Moomba Masters. Why do so many people show up to that? Well it piggy backs off another huge event is as easily accessible. We as water skiers need to accept what we do just doesn't seem as cool when people hear about it. So doing an event that the main item is Water Skiing, is not going to bring the crowds. However, doing a tournament and utilizing the crowds of another large event to bring people to it works great. The largest crowd we saw at a US event in the last few years was at the Malibu Open, right after the Blue Angels were done....people strolled by and said "Hey that's cool!" "Holy shit did you see that fall?" and then they stuck around!
This all brings up another point...accessibility. We get it skiers want to ski on the most prestine lakes that have no ripples and allow them to smash records. But how the hell is Joe Blow going to crush Coors lights out in the boonies where the lake is hidden? When the tournaments were huge on on TV they were at accessible venues, that the conditions weren't good at. Moomba is not the place you go to break records. If you ask any pro out there they want crowds and money. Probably records too but what do the records mean if you can't get paid to do it? You want bigger pay days and more visibility forget about the conditions and find the venue. That will bring more people in which brings in more money. Leave the records for record tournaments.
Marcus brings up a great point at the end when he says, "Perhaps the folks in charge forgot to stay young and hungry." Can't agree with that more. It's and old skiers club that needs to be smashed. Bring in some new young blood who knows what the younger generations want and actually listen to them. We have seen young people come in and do things, but they don't stick around. Part of this is due to them getting sick of the bullshit old skier politics. So much of this sport is the same old shit where people just want to feel important. This water skiing "elitism" is selfish and childish, grow the fuck up and let the sport evolve. We know plenty of people who started to do things to change the sport and events to build them up. But they were not welcomed in and were pushed out, leaving them to not want to do anything.
End of the day it takes just one person to step up and change the sport. In a day and age of "disrupters" being the new norm, water skiing needs a disrupter. Who knows maybe Marcus is just the guy for the job.
All right I am going back into hibernation. Make sure to check out the FlowPoint episode here: