The Moscow is a new wakesurf trick that James Walker is working on. It’s composed of an ollie 3 and that flows into an indecsion. The indecision is comprised of a backside surface 180 and a frontside surface 180. To see the indecision, you can check out this short unedited clip of James Walker on his Flyboy Wakesurf board. It’s the 4th trick in, you’ll recognize it by what looks like an aborted surface 360.
That was a nice run, huh? But back to the wakesurf trick. After landing the ollie 3, James takes the board 180 and then stops the rotation and brings it back around. You’ve seen James working on standup, no-handed rotations and that will allow him to combine surface rotations with aerials and other surface rotations. Let’s go to the video clip and get a look.
The second trick in this short unedited clip is the Moscow. It’s an ollie 3 to the indecision, as we mentioned above.
Now James didn’t quite land it, the look of surprize on his face is priceless. He said that he felt he wasn’t going to come close based upon how far out he went on the indecision part of the trick, but he was back in the wake in time to land it, had he been ready!
So that brings us to the next part of this post and that is combined tricks.
Some history! One of the things that wakesurfing seems to lack is a sense of history, there are lots of folks that come into the scene with no historical reference and claiming to be experts of everything. The struggles this sport has undergone are probably pretty common with any fledgling sport like wakesurfing. In competitive wakesurfing the concept of linked tricks, that is to say two or more uniquely identifable tricks put together in a continuous flowing motion, was first introduced at the 2008 World Wakesurfing Championships in Tenessee. Kayce Brewer (now Johnson) was the organizer for that event, at the time she was the Marketing Director for Fineline Industries, manufacturers of Centurion boats, and of course the WWSC organzier. Kayce’s background was in professional wakeboarding and she was a winning competitor at that level. She now runs a successful wakeboarding school down in Mexico.
At the time, the concern was to be sure that as the sport progressed folks that were doing combinations of tricks would be properly scored. The concept seemed to be a little before-it’s-time as there weren’t many folks, if any, doing combinations of tricks, but going forward we now see them a little more frequently. They aren’t common in the pro levels yet, but those that made the podium at Nationals are now doing combinations of tricks, both in the surf and skim divsions. Some of the combinations are pretty simplistic, like a bottom turn into a slash, not significant like this Moscow.
Back in 2008, the surf style folks were not doing combinations of tricks, they were doing 360′s, aerials and the like, but always done individually. The 2009 year was a a tough year for the boating industry and the economy overall and we saw a contraction of wakesurf contests and the WWSC was placed on hold. That year seemed to create a change in how folks saw things or how they wanted to do tricks. You have to have an understanding of the whole surf vs skim debate.
They are differing types of equipment and the battle cries have ranged from “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”, rather simplistic and insensitive to a LARGE population of wakesurfers. Starting in 2011, our own James Walker started combining tricks together the first being the Blender which is a surface reverse to a surface 360. To date, James is the only rider to have ever landed one in a competition. That level of progression challanged the OTHER battle cry of surf style riders aren’t able to do the combinations or other tricks that skim style riders have practiced for years. Back in 2008, when the criteria was introduced, the surf style riders were adamant that it was unfair, as they didn’t or weren’t capable of doing linked tricks. Also remember that surf and skim were NOT separated back in 2008. The reality seemed to bear that out as the podium in the men’s pro open only had one surf style rider, that was James Walker, of the five that were awarded. EVEN though the field was pretty evenly split in terms of number of participants. It was that event that seemed to cause the current organizer, Todd Gaughan to take a fresh look at the surf vs skim debate, as well as the purse for the women’s pro events. Todd split surf and skim and also equalized the purse between men and women. The fairness and striving for equity between the divsions, did a worl of good for the sprt.
Fast forward to 2012 and we see see James Walker still leading this surf style revolution in tricks by being the first surf style rider to land a backside big spin and also being the first surf style rider to land a backside big spin in a wakesurf competition. James has landed three now, in two different wakesurf competitions. Keenan Flegel has also landed one in the surf division. Development of the equipment and continued development of riding style is blurring the lines between what was once seen as a division between the two types of equipment. A backside big spin on a surf style board is still significantly different than on a skim style board, but it wasn’t all that long ago that it was considered impossible on a surf style board.
Recapping, back in that transitional period from 2008 to 2011, surf style riders “heard” what was coming and started to change their equipment and riding styles. Also, that seemed to be the progression of any sport, combining different individual tricks to form unique NEW tricks. In 2012 the CWSA has created a subjective catergory that specifically address the assessment of combined tricks, elaborating on the criteria created back in 2008. So there is the history and the progression! It is driving some new shapes in surf style wakesurf boards and also the creation of new and exciting tricks!
James Walker in the middle of a back big.
Thanks so much for following along and letting us yammer a bit about the history of wakesurfing and the continued development.