Wakeboarding trends come and go…Some are ahead of their time and some completely wear out their welcome. In an attempt to keep you on the cutting edge of trends and fashion in the wake industry, I’ve provided this handy little guide for 2009. It’s kind of a long read, but you should read it, know it, and live it. Whatever you do, just don’t go against what I say, because this is the internet, and opinions are facts around here.
We’ll start with the “Not’s” because they’re more prominent in the sport and it’s always fun to call people out.
5. Loud Boardshorts – Come on people, this is not the early 90’s. It’s not even cool in an ironic sense anymore; dudes in 2009 shouldn’t be dressing ironically. The neon and the wild patterns need to go, otherwise we’ll never get respect from the other boardsports. And we all know that’s the most important thing, right???
4. Fullsuits With Boardshorts – I know, we’ve all probably done it at some point. But just because I had a Vanilla Ice tape in third grade doesn’t mean I still bump it. Jeff McKee effectively put this trend to rest recently with a few clicks on the keyboard over at Alliance’s website. He said “Fullsuits with boardshorts are the number one indicator of a small wiener.” Well played, sir. Well played.
3. Big Ol’ Melan 180’s – There was a time not too long ago when this trick would have been at the number 1 spot on the “Hot” list, but times they have a-changed and this trick is officially played out. When you watch the Pro Tour on TV and see every single rider do the same trick in their pass, it gets kind of old. A big Melan 180 into the flats has become the S-Bend of the 21st century. Time to move on, fellas.
2. Bandanas – Seriously, you guys are not in a biker gang. Like a lot of great fashion trends, this one seemed to start on the West Coast (most notably Canyon Lake, CA) and migrate across the country. Wakeboarders have been spotted with bandanas and other cranial accessories for several years now, and normal people everywhere cant help but wonder why. There’s no good reason why wakeboarders should dress like Aunt Jemima, unless maybe because you have really long hair. Which brings us to our #1 played out trend of 2009:
1. Really Long Hair – This has been a growing problem for some time now (see what I did there?) and it’s time to cut it out (I’m on fire!). It’s gotten to the point where I can’t tell the difference between Surf Expo and a Widespread Panic show. You guys are not Samson, you can cut that shit off and still be able to do your tricks. You’ll probably be better off because your hair won’t be slapping you in the eyeballs and you won’t have to wear that stupid bandana. Even Eric Ruck cut his hair last fall, and that dude pretty much led the hair-farming revolution of the past five years. It’s wakeboarding in 2009, and long haired freaky people need not apply. (Note – Collin Harrington’s the man, but I found a shot of him committing two wake fashion faux pas at the same time and couldn’t help but use it.)
Now, on to the “Hot” list. Keep your eyes open, cause you’re about to see this stuff everywhere you turn.
5. Riding in Short Sleeve Button Down Shirts – Wake-a-holics like myself usually avoid a collared shirt like the plague, but we all have to grow up sometime. People have been riding in t-shirts for years, mainly because it looks cool, it feels cool, and it covers up a farmer’s tan really well. Now, you can get the same effects of riding in a t-shirt, but look a little more grown up while you do it. Plus, you’ll already have a collared shirt ready to go when it’s time to go looking for a job. It’s a win-win!
4. Summerbirds in the Cellar – These guys are hotter than Hell in the wake scene right now. They’ve got mags reviewing their records, pro riders rocking their t-shirts, and video guys using the jams in their movies. I hope these guys have some polarized shades, because their future is looking bright. They’ve got a new record coming out, so go scoop it up and play it on the boat. It’ll probably make you ride better. Note – An honorable mention has to go to Young Brother, who also appear to be kicking out some quality jams.
3. Winches – They’re not really a new idea, but winches are going to straight blow up in 2009. Why? Because we’re currently in an apocalyptic recession and people are freaking out about money. Desperate times call for desperate measures and if you can’t afford a boat, then you’re going to have to figure out another way to get yer shred on. You’re going to see a lot guys taking it to the streets in ’09, doing really cool things at spots that were once deemed untouchable. You’ll also probably see a lot of video of riders getting hassled by the police, which will both increase your core score and make us laugh at the same time. I just hope there’s not a widespread drought anytime soon, because we’d really be screwed then.
2. Flex Boards – If you’ve ever read these pages before, you know that we have a huge boner for Slingshot Wakeboards. But it’s not just us; people everywhere are figuring out that flex technology just might be the wave of the future, and it’s resulted in the biggest technological revolution the sport has seen since every manufacturer decided to take a jigsaw to their boards and call it a “bat tail design.” New players are popping up left and right: Slingshot, Company, Humanoid, not to mention the more established brands tinkering around with flex technology. Plus, it’s the single most talked about topic on internet discussion boards, just beating out “Which Boat is Best?” and “Why Aren’t the Girls On Tour This Year?” for the top spot. When the history books have been written and we look back on 2009, it will be known as “The Year That Wake Flexed Its Muscle.” Well, probably not, but it should be, because that sounds really bad ass.
1. Wakeskating – Again, definitley not new, but you’re going to see much more cool stuff from the wakeskaters than you will from the wakeboarders this year, because on top of all the economic reasons (see #2), it’s just cooler. I know Nick is going to give me hell for saying that, but it’s true. Wakeskating is at a point right now that is very similar to the early days of wakeboarding when new riders were coming out of nowhere and blowing minds. It’s just going to be way more exciting to watch unfold and these guys are going to have jaws dropping and cameras firing for the rest of year. It’s going to be cool to see what goes down…
To sum things up, I can’t believe that you read this much. Seriously, that was so long; you should give yourself a hand. Now go throw away your bandanas, get a haircut and get out there with your wakeskate, winch and button down shirt. You’re now on the cutting edge of wakeboarding fashion…You’re welcome. Now make me proud out there.