I think wakestyle has receded back after being overhyped for abit. THe reality is that most kiters do not relate to wakestyle as only a small percentage can unhook. The specialized gear ideal for wake - boots, C and open C kites, long leashes, etc. are not necessary for other styles or general riding. The excessive amount of sponsorship money that has gone into a sub-discipline that people do not relate does not lead to sales - see Best Kiteboarding. In the end, no one cares and they are not interested in the specialty gear. Most of the time, people buying wakestyle gear are beginners just buying the cheapest thing they could find used on CL who did not know any better.
In terms of skill, I think its def the most demanding on your body vs Big Air or Wave. But when you get so far from avg as to be a different sport, you lose the attention of the market and subsequently, the market.
Personally I am happy it is diminishing as I would like the brands to use their sponsorship dollars in a more even distribution across sub-discipline. Makes it more interesting than watching guys who drill and train like machines to get in one more pass.
As far as kitesurfing being down, as an instructor I am busier than ever. Lots of people getting into the sport, no shortage there. WIthin the sub-discipline, wave gets people's attention but so does foiling. Big Air gets some attention but most noobs are scared of the big jumps. Wakestyle is an alien discipline to them. Curiously, even the students with wakeboarding backgrounds dont immediately gun for wakestyle - they are usually more turned on by other sub-disciplines (I always quiz my students on goals so I can do addtl biz
Australia may have a currency issue as the weakening currency makes it more expensive.
juandesooka wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:31 pm
Good posts both JST and edt. Wakestyle reminds me of the phase of skateboarding when it became all super technical flippety spinny flat land tricks. Remarkably skilled trickery but the average viewer's interest, skater or not, lasts about 1 minute. Unless you can appreciate the finer skills involved, it's boring to watch. Same thing here, after years of fast forwarding videos through the spinny bits to the next wave or big air segment, now seems like they rarely even include wakestyle any more. But as you say starsky, it then goes underground, with a hardcore group that keep on doing it, refining it, discovering new and better ways, and maybe it'll re-emerge into something so much better. Like the rebirth of skating, where those flippy flat land tricks started to get done at full speed on real world terrain obstacles, and street style now defines radical skateboarding and there's a terrain park in pretty much every town and city.
Dunno. Will be interesting to see what happens with kiting. Feels to me like it's faded a lot in the past few years (though hard to say how much of this is my own arc, leaving the honeymoon period behind). Maui in Dec was sure noticable the lack of young people doing tricks. Average age was 40s. Lots of foilers and cruisers and surfers (me too). Barely anyone boosting. This forum has also become more "mature" ... hate to say boring, but not as fun as it was in the MOST SEXY days. Your phase explanation makes a lot of sense.
So equate it to surfing, which has had a number of boom/bust cycles, from mainstream to underground, and now seems more popular than ever. Surfing has also had its dead-end niches, where a certain style of riding and gear by the pros was not attainable or fun for the masses. That plus shitty boring contests in terrible conditions nearly killed pro surfing. Making surfing exciting to watch again revived it. But also a perception change in the masses. The transition from scumbag water rats living in vans by the beach to CEOs of multinationals surfing before work ... how did that happen? Is it just a generational thing, that 50 years later the question is no longer "why would you want to surf" but "if you have the opportunity, why WOULDN'T you?" Maybe kiting is similar, still a very young sport.
So Maui is not a good example for this post. Maui has gotten VERY expensive - I know, I live here lol. People under 40 cannot afford Maui anymore. Even the younger instructors have been leaving. TOurists in their 20s? lol how could they afford Maui prices. Its not the Maui of the 1970s. Also, the conditions on Maui are ideal for Wave and Big Air. The Pro Pool is a nice slick for wake but the wind/current have to be just right for it to work out; its easier to go to Sherman Island, Hatteras, Cabarete, Brazil, etc. All in all,the only surprise is that there are not more people into Big Air on Maui atm - myself and a couple of guys alongside a handful of visitors.
Wave style is what is killing it and what is on the up and coming. On Maui, that makes alot of sense given we get great waves. The only illogical thing I see on Maui are the foilers - we have variable depths with lots of reefs, lots of waves, and the wind is strong so why bother with a foilboard. I think its the older age group that just really loves foiling and they dominate the Maui scene due to the high cost here. Wakestyle? lol ALtho Jesse does go out and practice some wakestyle every now and then.