This thread turned out awesome.
Here's the thing. Regulatory bodies kill the party, free spirit vibe of any sport. They do allow a sport to get a ton of exposure, and legitimacy for big money advertisers, but they kill the free spirit. Regulation dictates rules on who wins an event. With clearly defined rules, people train to do the absolute best within that set of rules. You've got a ton of people training, and pushing each other to do well within a set of rules. And boy, do they push each other. We've seen fucking crazy things happen to the comp scene in the past few years. You can't win comps without training today. I know that's hard to hear, but top level comp pros spend all year, traveling to just lap pipe and park. You can't afford to be hungover, showing up at the training pipe mid afternoon when your competition is out there dialing in new tricks. You can't really win contests like that anymore. It's becoming a lot less possible to do that all the time.