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On the future of freestyle kayaking…

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  • #4166
    tartopomme
    Participant

    [b:350dmrsn]Read somewhere on the boatertalk[/b:350dmrsn]…:

    "Rodeo will more likely develop into an exhibition sport like professional wrestling. Jackson Kayak will become the Harlem Globetrotters of whitewater, and they will all sew luchador masks for themselves. " (http://www.boatertalk.com/forum/BoaterTalk/1283238)

    I love irony, but sometimes it scares me <img loading=” title=”Wink” />

    #27517
    markpospisil
    Participant

    I would agree in some way, however I wouldn’t group the sport with entertainment like WWE or the Harlem Globetraters, those are more staged events.

    I would compare roseo kayaking to freestyle snowboarding/sking(park riding inparticular), skateboarding – street, and mostly surfing.

    I did mention street and park because I think that the general public has a very limited understanding of the sport and of what the athlete is acutaually doing. In my personal opinion I would say its just like halfpipe and again Surfing.

    Surfing is more likely to see an olympic birth than rodeo kayaking, and I agreed with the comment that kayakercross river races/creek races would likely be more popular and a better fit. They provide a more layman friendly viewing exeriece and some carnage, which is great for TV.

    It happend in Snowboarding and will likely happen in skiing, Snowbaorder Cross is now an olympic sport….in N. America its relatively less popular among snowboarders but for the public, its easy to understand, …3,2,1 GO, turn, jump. turn, pass, crash, Finish…
    The public doesn;t understand Switch 540 Rodeo, Halfcab 180 mute grab,…or for that matter in Rodeo kayaking Space Gorrila, and other stuff….

    My two cents…I’m sure it will piss someone off as my posts usually do…please dont take offense.

    Perhaps if the government would support grass roots sport growth better in this country than interest would grow.

    The UK, US, CZ, and other countries make huge efforts in supporting whitewater. Granted in the us a population of 300,000,000 helps, but smal countries in eastern europe liek CZ have a better understanding of what sports like this do for culture and youth and will provide better athletes in the future.

    This is evident in major sports in Canada as well….aside from Hockey. The competitive swimming community has been trying to estiblish themselves with better funding and organization from teh gov’t and they are having issues. But big ticket sports: hockey, figure skating, cycling, soccer have an easy ride…..Blah Blah Blah I am rambling too much coffee…not enough white water in the GTA, if someone can get a park built people wont need to read this trash anymore because I’ll be out on the water.

    #27518
    h2sk1
    Participant
    "markpospisil":1zea8qlr wrote:
    I would agree in some way……snip………
    The public doesn;t understand Switch 540 Rodeo, Halfcab 180 mute grab,…or for that matter in Rodeo kayaking Space Gorrila, and other stuff….

    My two cents…I’m sure it will piss someone off as my posts usually do…please dont take offense.

    Perhaps if the government would support grass roots sport growth better in this country than interest would grow.

    The UK, US, CZ, and other countries make huge efforts in supporting whitewater. Granted in the us a population of 300,000,000 helps, but smal countries in eastern europe liek CZ have a better understanding of what sports like this do for culture and youth and will provide better athletes in the future.

    This is evident in major sports in Canada as well….aside from Hockey. The competitive swimming community has been trying to estiblish themselves with better funding and organization from teh gov’t and they are having issues. But big ticket sports: hockey, figure skating, cycling, soccer have an easy ride…..Blah Blah Blah I am rambling too much coffee…not enough white water in the GTA, if someone can get a park built people wont need to read this trash anymore because I’ll be out on the water.[/quote:1zea8qlr]

    Bang on — the non-kayaking public can’t give a rats xss about rodeo. I showed the videos of the semis and finals to a friend who’s not into boating and they were bored stiff. They just saw a bunch of people bouncing in a "surf" wave that looked small and less intimidating than surf & windsurf waves off of Maui.

    You know what they liked watching? Creeking vids from the Green or stuff from Chile. That looked cool to them.

    BTW – white water sports are so fringe in this country that the Government will NEVER do anything to help. It makes no sense to help these sports other than with token statements. How many people venture into white water in Canada? Almost no one. How many fish, or play soccer, or baseball? Tonnes more. There’s no one pushing for more participation in these fringe sports, especially a sport that hasn’t been doing much for involving youth. I see this in our local government — if you don’t have a strong youth program, forget about getting any time with them. Yaks & single bladers will have to get out of their park & play lineups and start encouraging the 6-12 year olds to join the sport by teaching clinics at "boring" entry level locations. THis will garner some more attention from the municipalities and gain some legitimacy.

    #27519
    Bobbie
    Participant
    "tartopomme":2r0o8ezl wrote:
    Rodeo will more likely develop into an exhibition sport like professional wrestling. Jackson Kayak will become the Harlem Globetrotters of whitewater, and they will all sew luchador masks for themselves.[/quote:2r0o8ezl]

    Yes, very cute… Here’s what I’ve noticed:

    Paddlers with tons of skill, but no balls, have no interest in creeking…

    Paddlers with tons of balls, but no skill, like to make fun of freestyle… (Apparently they’re more insecure than skilled paddlers with a strong sense of self-preservation.)

    Paddlers with tons of skill and huge balls like creeking… and they like freestyle… They don’t seem to be as insecure as the guys who’ll huck themselves off 60 footers, but who can’t do a flat-spin.

    R.

    (I don’t mean to exclude women by using the term ‘balls’… Some women paddlers, while lacking in anatomical balls, have some pretty big proverbial cajones.)

    PS. I’ve shown freestyle footage to my non-paddling friends, and while they don’t find it as exciting as Jaws in Maui or steep creeking in Norway, some of them do find it more interesting than snowboard halfpipe… and all of them find it more interesting than curling and figure-skating… Oh wait, those are in the winter Olympics… Let’s count the summer Olympic sports that are less interesting than freestyle kayaking:
    [url:2r0o8ezl]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Olympic_Games#List_of_Olympic_sports[/url:2r0o8ezl]

    #27520
    cmnypny
    Participant

    It was pretty frickin amazing to see some the big tricks done at worlds in the open boats.

    Alot of the judges went holy shit … never new that could be done in an open boat!

    #27521
    mark.d
    Participant

    I would have to agree , a beginner going of a 10 foot clean drop , is more impressive that any of the worlds rides , from a non paddlers point of view,

    #27522
    Bobbie
    Participant

    I want to clarify my last post…

    Strano provides this board for ‘whitewater paddlers’, and that encompases freestyle kayaking/canoeing, river-running, and creeking.

    The people who are mostly into freestyle don’t really put much effort into mocking creekers, but it seems like some people want to give freestyle a hard time… I have a theory about this, but I’ve already gone over that…

    Regardless of what looks cooler to non-paddlers, freestyle should qualify to be an Olympic sport based on its merits as a sport alone… (I’m not thinking about whether or not it will be good for freestyle, just whether or not it merits Olympic status…)

    Boatercross would probably also be a really good Olympic sport… (They’ve got both halfpipe and boardercross for snowboarding, eh…)

    So freestyle = cool… creeking and boatercross = cool… They’re all cool, but different…

    (This is totally turning into a ‘why can’t we all just get along?’ post :roll: )

    So… Mocking freestyle = annoying… but mocking Jackson = still kinda funny…:wink:

    Y’know… The making fun of single-bladers is all in good jest, but not so much with the freestyle thing… Umm… Except for Kevin Maggs mocking single-bladers… Sometimes I think about trying C1, but then I worry about Kevin torching my car or something :lol:

    #27523
    patrick
    Participant

    the one thing that i can see a problem with in freestyle is that the play locations are so dynamic. i can see that as a benefit in some ways, but the nature of how we set up the competitions must dramatically change if it is to go anywhere…

    what i mean is this: in some of these competitions you see people like steve fisher and yap not even make the semi-finals because they had a bad ride for some reason (wave kicked their ass likely?). If you compare this to almost all other olympic sports the course is very static and the variations are in the athletes instead: halfpipes, slalom courses act fairly statically compared to a single wave, etc… So I disagree that freestyle would be considered until there are good enough ways to make artificial features that are worthy.

    and yes, seeing someone run a 20 ft drop class 5 rapid is always going to impress non-paddlers (and paddlers?) more than a minute long ride of buss-eater with 5 moves i believe.

    #27524
    Perrett
    Participant

    i agree with the fact freestyle wont be an olypic sport anytime soon but its becasue of what patrick said…feature location. i kno the idea place would be on some massive wave that pepole can throw down massive pan am, mcnasty combos…but i also feel that as a kayaker ou shoudl be able to ajust to your settings. so if one year its on a smaller or faster wave (maybe similar to garb) you can still throw down most of the same tricks, its just no thtqa big of a wave. or what about all of those hole moves!! they can look preaty spectacular if you get guys like yap compleating a full loop (all in the air) and just pulling off huge "arieal" hole moves "non boaters" may see that is kinda cool….a tiny boat like that getting lanched into the air out of a pile of water.

    I also liked the coment earlier about other sports that are in the olympics…and how fun are they to watch? like honestly…water polo and ping pong?!? i thkn people would much rather watch pepoel throw down huge arieal moves or kayakers rippin down a river boatercross style that that $hit!

    #27525
    Ray-C
    Participant
    "Perrett":2tmhzmj1 wrote:
    I also liked the coment earlier about other sports that are in the olympics…and how fun are they to watch? like honestly…water polo and ping pong?!? [/quote:2tmhzmj1]

    Except table tennis, at least, is in the top 3 most popular sports in the world in terms of participants (over 300 million players). So, I’m thinking yeah, A LOT more people would rather watch table tennis over people throwing small air moves in a man-made hole (which is what you’d most likely see at an Olympic venue). The fact that most of the moves look the same to the layman doesn’t help.

    -R

    #27526
    markpospisil
    Participant

    Pretty much all the posts are completely valid, yes freestyle kayakers as athletes deserve to have an olympic opportunity, but there are lots of other sports in that same categorie which have a stronger viewing audince and more appeal to the general public.

    As much as I hate to say it: The FACT is that the Olympics are no longer about the "spirit of sport" (a few athlete’s excepted). Its a mass marketing, globaly spnerserd televised extravaganza of commercials. I for example enjoy watching some of the more boring events(swiming) But the networks only show either american or Canadian swims, or in skiing I love downhill, but the coverage is crap, its inundated with stupid athlete profiles, BLAH. BLAH.

    The OLYMPICS SUCK! they are all about money. Kayaking would do better as an anuall event or series of events at the Summer ‘X’ Games…the audince would understand some of the freestyle and love the creek racing and boater cross stuff!

    The focus of non traditional white water paddling shoudl be in appealing to the "X-TREME" market,…maybe sounds a bit played out but it would likely be the best and most effective of growing the sport.

    Almost every paddler I know skis or Snowboards, understands somethign about skateboarding and surfing, and as a paddler I was introduced to the sport through fellow mountain sport athletes.

    X-Games should is a more tangible 1st step to the Olympics and a better fit for the demographic for growing the sports popularity!

    More ranting on my part….I’m done now —-GULL IS UP – FINALLY – SEE YOU THERE NEXT WEEK!!!!!

    JUST TO MAKE A FEW OF YOU JEALOUS – I LEAVE FOR COLORADO IN 10 DAYS FOR SOME PADDLING! WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!

    #27527
    Kevin M
    Participant

    Sorry but the truth of the matter is that kayaking is childs play.

    Witness that fact that kids are really good at it. Look around at some of your boating buddies there are a lot of good boaters but not too many of them look like Olympians nor do they train like them.

    All the other sports mentioned may look easy but probably take more time to get good at.

    I don’t pay much attention to the Olympics but when they interview the athletes most of them have been at it all their lives.

    When was the last time an Olympic figure skater placed in the podium after only learning to skate 2 years earlier? I think the same is true for most Olympic sports. Probably even table tennis.However a good athlete can take up kayaking and with training make it to the Worlds within 2 years. Maybe that is because it is relatively new, who knows. That is also one of the reasons Jackson is kicking butt. He treats it like a real sport. He spends as much time as possible on the water and usually on the water at the event he is competing in. He has been in the sport forever at competitive levels. That is why he is so good.

    The one thing boatercross has over freestyle. Is the photo finish. There is no arguing who the winner was.

    #27528
    Perrett
    Participant

    ok so you may be right about the most participants and viewers…but look at the population of where the sport is most popular…obv. its goign to have the most players.

    X-Games, i had totaly forgotten about would be a great place kaykaing to have an International comp. The x-games would also have way better coverage than this years worlds….if you wanted to know what was goign on you had to watch the boater board or go on youtube to watch the rides after they happend.

    #27529
    The Great Gonzo
    Participant

    Paddling is in my opinion a participant and not a spectator sport.
    While I definitely appreciate the thremendous skill level of the top level boaters, be it freestyle, creeking or slalom, I’d rather boat somewhere myself than go and watch someone else do it.
    On the other hand I love watching paddling video’s at times when I can’t go boating myself.

    TGG!

    #27530
    Perrett
    Participant

    i agree to a point, everything could be cinsidered a participant sport. althought some are better to watch than play.

    i know i cant watch other sports that i play such as rugby and hockey, i just want to go out and do it myself instead of watching other poeple enjoy it. but i totaly get where your coming form

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