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$ in wake boarding??


thor_64
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I will start by fully admitting to being ignorant on the real data.....,but it seems that most times that the topic of the tournament scene and $ get brought up there are comments about how much cash and how many people wake boarding events bring in.....like that pro scene hardly can figure out to do w/ all the money. Personally, I don't see really see it. Last summer I was able to make it to the WB stop in Indianapolis and there were no means tons of spectators. ......what really are the numbers?

 

I do understand that the masses are buying WB boats and that is driving much of the cash in the industry, but especially "per capita of pro" is wakeboarding really in much of a different situation much different than pro skiiers?

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I think the $ in wakeboarding comes down to the nature of wakeboarding vs skiing and the $ the average wakeboarding joe will drop on equipment and boating accessories. Those who know wakeboarders (of which I tried to be one before realizing I don't really enjoy wakeboarding) know the guy who spends big buck on a big boat then turns around and drops another 15k on stereo, underwater lights, upgraded ballast etc all with the goal of having that boat that everybody wants to hang out on. He might not be able to do anything cool on a wakeboard but if his boat is big enough he might get somebody in his crew that can do some cool stunts, and somehow that makes himself feel cooler. There's a lot of one-upsmanship that translates into more $ spent and eventually into sponsorship dollars.

 

Contrast that with average joe skiing- if he has a modern ski boat with a good wake- well that's about it. maybe he'll buy a new ski every year or try to win one from ball of spray, but the average joe skier isn't trying to impress his friends to create the "party barge" so he can feel cooler. I can't speak for every skier out there but I think most average skiers ski for themselves, not to impress others. And if @horton comes out and skis -39 behind my boat I might feel slightly cooler, or less cool, I'm not sure which.

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There is precious few dollars for professional extreme sports athletes - with a few very visible exceptions. I do classify slalom, jump, and wakeboard as extreme sports. The main reason is spectators, venue, and identification. The most successful sports are football, and NASCAR. They have large stadiums, highly organized presentations of a limited time duration (most of the time), and fans want to identify with them (teams, players, mascots, etc.) That does not work as well in extreme sports. Those that do work well include skateboarding (especially vert ramp), arena-cross, and snowboarding vert ramp. All have a lot of elements of the most successful sports including a compact venue, a short duration, and colorful characters to watch (Shaun White, Travis Pastrana, etc.). Marcus Brown is getting there in terms of character development, but is slalom enough of a show-sport to get it done? I think it will be really tough to attract enough external money to make a lifestyle for most "pro" skiers. We have to support our own.
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@baorditup All of the big sports you listed are government subsidized. Taxpayers pay for about half the cost of all stadiums build, maybe even more. College sports are subsidized by government though federal loan programs. Sure the loans are for education, but then stadiums get build, coaches get a few million and a whole apparatus is put behind recruitment and marketing and merchandise.
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Agreed - another big difference.

 

Why does the government subsidize those sports? Because they are popular with the voters - for the reasons listed above. However, early in the 1900's they were not subsidized, either. Subsidies came later - after they got big. Extreme sports are not typically government subsidized other than neighborhood skate parks and boat ramp maintenance. We are on our own.

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True those sports got big before they were subsidized, but by no means a majority of voters said "hey this candidate wants to build a bigger stadium for my football team we oughtta vote for him" Granted when stadiums are not subsidized teams pick up and leave to a place where they are and politicians get it from voters.

 

Come to think of it the lake I ski at is indirectly government subsidized because its a reservoir.

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