Archive for the ‘Cool Web Stuff’ Category

Alliance Q & A with Company Wake

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

found this on www.alliancewake.com and (see what kind of passion for the sports it takes to build a company in the wake space) The more people who do what Justin and so many others have done to build wake, the healthier our sports will be.

Alliancewake.com: Why the change, was it the boards, the opportunity, the long-term for your career, working with someone like Justin? Give us the real answers.
Randall Harris: Let me state first that my moving to Company had nothing to do with any negativisms in association with Gator Boards. I love Erik and everybody at GB. I wish nothing but the best and success for Gator Boards.
Moving to Company was a result of many different factors. First off, the opportunity to be a major shareholder and owner of a brand is very appealing to me at this stage of my life. I’ve paid the cost to be the boss. Time to be a shot caller, ya know what I mean (laughs)? Seriously it’s always been a dream of mine to own and operate my own brand. Organization was also a key attraction. Company as a whole is taking a very strategic and proactive approach at all levels. There is a definitive plan in place. Company as a business is aggressive but at the same time very responsible and well thought out.
The freedom we have in manufacturing is incredible. The manufacturing processes at-hand enables us to do consistent research and development; prototyping will be a constant thing at Company. These manufacturing capabilities will allow us to push the technological limits of the sport. No gimmicks, just creating effective products that work.
One of our key strengths at Company is marketing and media. Of course media is my strong suit. As you will see over the next few months, the vision of this brand is powerful. The marketing force is fresh and creative. What happens when you have the “Video of the Year” producer link up and start a brand with the current “Rider of the Year” and “Video Section of the Year” athlete? You do the math.
Company is a brand founded on passion. We aren’t stopping at anything to realize this dream. Failure is not an option.

A: So Company is your home, are we about to see the next evolution of Randall Harris?
RH: Of course, I’m co-owner of Company Wakeboards. That is motivation. My livelihood directly relates to the success of this brand. I’m going to go harder than ever on the water in order to push and develop this brand. At the same time Company will be allowing me to develop and sharpen existing business skills. My goal is to be more than just an athlete at Company. I want to be a valuable asset in relation to managing and running the business.

A: How do you feel about Company’s technology and how do you see that changing your riding for the better?
RH: There has been a lot of speculation about “flex-tech” and Company being solely dedicated to this type of board construction. The fact is we are dedicated to innovation and new technology. I’m extremely excited about the possibilities we have in creating a product that will advance my riding and every wakeboarder’s experience.

Alliancewake.com: How many hours of sleep have you lost since starting a new company and acquiring a team rider?
Justin Stephens: Not much to be honest, because I was never really getting that much sleep in the first place…

This is my current schedule:
9am-7pm - Office stuff.
7pm-10pm - Eat dinner and hang with family at home. (Not enough time)
9pm-2am - Watch the TV show “24” on DVD with my wife while on the laptop working with our designers over iChat. My wife is discouraged by this, but has been very supportive knowing that some of our designers have day jobs still, and knows that this is the only time that they can get work done for us. Everyone is working really hard for us right now, so we are very grateful for that. As far as the TV show “24” goes, we’ve made it to season 5 so far, and its pretty intense. We’re averaging about 2 to 3 episodes a night.

A: At what point did you say to yourself, “I can do a board company and do something I believe other brands are not”?
JS: I was at Nationals in 2005 when I thought to myself, “I really want to start a new wakeboard brand”…and I’ve been fighting for it ever since. I think that there is a need for something fresh in my own opinion. It doesn’t mean that I know what I’m doing, it just means that it’s something that I can see in my head, totally dialed in and existing in the market.

A: How has the market responded to the existence of Company?
JS: …. Check out the rest of the article here: http://www.alliancewake.com/article_details.php?id=3998&page=1

Also you can check out all of the Alliance Wakeskate Mags here: (this is cool) http://www.alliancewake.com/wakeskate/home.htm

Red Bull Wake Lab Surf Expo

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Another dope production from our friends at Red Bull - See the full article here: http://coastalblog.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/red-bull-wake-event-at-surf-expo/

Red Bull puts on a sic show! Some of the best rail riders in the world arrived to compete on the straight-line cable system from Sesitec. The new cable system provides a continuous ride. Last weekend we had a long night in Orlando, it started with a Red Bull event at Lake Eola, 24 wakeboarders — that were selected by Parks Bonifay — competed in a new type of wakeboarding event. Lake Eola is right in the center of Orlando, Florida. The next generation of top riders took to a new cable system course that included an elevated pool, hand rails and sliders inspired by skate and snow parks. HERE’S VIDEO!

“This system is going to change wakeboarding forever,” Bonifay said. “The pull of the rope is so high, it clears the sliders.”

Normally, wakeboarders are pulled behind boats.

The field will be whittled to 12 wakeboarders after qualifying, then to eight for the semifinal round. Bonifay, a former X Games champion, and Josh Sanders will automatically advance to the semis.

Bonifay, who is sponsored by Red Bull, selected the competitors. One of them, J.D. Webb, soared over the 30-foot-high fountain at Lake Eola two years ago.

“I think it will be competitive but fun and unique at the same time,” Bonifay said. “Everyone is on the same playing field.”


Marquardt and Kanter on the Daily Habit

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Homegirls gettin’ some love!

FUEL TV’s The Daily Habit

In case you missed it, Liquid Force Maven’s own Shelby Kantar and Melissa Marquardt recently appeared on FUEL TV’s the Daily Habit. The girls were up at the studios in LA to discuss their new ’09 pro-model boards/bindings, what’s happening in the next few months, and all things Maven related! Check out FUEL TV as they’ll be re-running the show regularly over the next few weeks.

The Vandall Reflects on the ‘Wonder Years’

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

I ran across this ask Randy a question column on wakeworld and thought it was a pretty cool reflection of the early years in the sport. Check it.

just curious how today compares (if at all) with the ground y’all broke in the early years of the sport’s progression?

Wakeboarding life today is something completely different than wakeboarding life during the “early years of the sport’s progression.” It’s a complex evaluation because 10 years ago I was going through puberty and experiencing life for the first time as a youngster, going through my wonder years so to speak. Looking back at that whole time period invokes somewhat of a mystical feeling. That romanticized memory is due in part to the fact that I was coming of age alongside the legends of the sport, whom I idolized, and partly to the fact that I was in a drug and alcohol-induced haze most of the time.

No matter whose perspective is being offered, I doubt anyone could argue that the years surrounding Byerly and Gator winning the Worlds on the Flight 69, when Nelson was on top of his game and when we were scaring the hell out of the ski community for the first time was wakeboarding’s golden era. We were all about having fun and doing crazy looking things that had never been seen before. There was no corporation sponsored club event to attend in order to keep up appearances and grease palms. Most nights were spent looking for a good time and a house party or chilling to the sounds of Skynard and a campfire blazing alongside the river.

The wakeboarding personalities of the time all offered a unique take on life and the energy in the boats was raw and untamed. Who would have thought that the channeled angst of this group of misguided youth would have spawned what has now become an entire bustling industry. None of us really approached wakeboarding as a business or a career. We never expected wakeboarding would eventually cross paths with that of the rap/hip-hop world or that we could become legitimate business owners and team managers. It was more like we were all along for the crazy ass ride and had no idea where it was leading us.

So to answer your question, wakeboarding life today doesn’t compare at all to wakeboarding life back then. I do feel truly blessed to have been a part of the sport during its magical incubation period and still be a relevant rider/business person in the commerce that the activity of wakeboarding has become today.

Do you feel more or less inspired by the newer riders?

The talent in wakeboarding today is amazing. Do I feel as inspired by the top athletes in the sport today as I did by my superheroes back in the day? No. It doesn’t really matter though because I haven’t been drawing inspiration for my riding from this sport for many years.

Does the fact that you’re not the “kid” in the boat change the way you approach your riding?

The fact that I’m not the “kid” in the boat doesn’t necessarily change the way I approach my riding, but it does change the way I behave in the boat. I’m not the little turd that has to be coaxed into riding the early morning session. I’m not the kid sitting shotgun and sleeping while the older guys drive and do all the work. Even though I now have seniority, I feel like I have to step up and show the younger riders what it takes to make it in this industry.

In your opinion, how does the new wave of riders compare with the guys who laid the foundation in the first place?

I think I’ve clearly explained the mind state of us that laid the foundation. The new wave of riders are more athletic, serious and goal-oriented. Riders nowadays aren’t riding to tweak their board in a way no one has ever tweaked it. They are riding to build an arsenal of check cutting sponsors. Riders today don’t ride, they train. They train three to five times daily. They train to be consistent. They train to be the wakeboarder on Fuel TV mounting the podium. They train to be the next rider with a line of signature products and a pro model boat wrap.

Do any of today’s riders remind you of the older guys who don’t strap in anymore?

No, I don’t see any similarities between the current wakeboard stars and that of the past. That’s not to say there isn’t any riding out there that is jaw dropping and inspirational. It’s just a different time with different mind sets and different goals. Every now and then you can spot the influence of Greg Nelson’s flawless toeside frontside melon 360 or Gator’s gigantic hoochie glides or Byerly’s stylish hook. There are a select few like Ben Greenwood, the Valdez bros, Collin Harrington and Lyman that appear to have captured a spark from the once roaring fire of soul that ignited this sport.

Valla Con Dios

(the complete article is at http://wakeworld.com/getarticle.asp?articleid=1818)