Trick Skiing 101

ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 745 Crazy Baller
edited August 2014 in Technique & Theory
So my kids (and me) want to get into trick skiing. I don't know anything about tricks other than it looks really cool, and the one or two times I've tried it was really difficult.

This was a good thread to start the education process. (New to Trick Skiing)

I talked to a few people in trick community in my circles and everyone says to start with 2 trick skis to get comfortable and work your way up from there. This contradicts the message of trusted individuals in this thread (It's Time to Get a Trick Ski).

When @Bruce_Butterfield‌ speaks - I listen! There was another thread where @mlusa seemed to give similar advice (Junior Trick Skis).

Finding modern used trick ski equipment is practically impossible and new equipment isn't cheap.

So do I look at getting 2 pairs of trick skis - 1 for myself, and 1 for my daughter & son to share. Or, do I skip combo trick skis and go to one? Keep in mind, I don't know anything about trick skiing - so any extended information you can provide will not only help me but others in my situation.

Since polls are awesome, please vote.

(O'Brien "Pro Trac" trick skis)

("Old School Trick Skis")

Trick Skiing 101 31 votes

Buy low-end O'Brien "Pro Trac" combo trick skis
BulldogjayskiRazorRoss3Nick Zee 4 votes
Buy an "old-school" pair of trick skis off eBay even if you have to swap out the bindings
Buy new - I'll spend the same amount on a 2 trick skis that I would on 1 slalom ski
kfennellBrennanKMN 2 votes
Search within my network of skiers for anyone who might have a used pair
PatmasterE_T 2 votes
You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
HortonDaveDChuck_DickeyanimalChef23Bruce_ButterfieldMrJonesjhughesMattPJody_SealTylerRchris_loganandjulesakale15InthedaytfriessBMG73BCMJWebSkidchristman 21 votes
ScarletArroweleeski 2 votes
Anthony Warren


  • gregygregy Posts: 2,400 Mega Baller
    I'm not much of a tricker so consider the source. I picked up an old HO trick a few years ago. Got rid of it when I found a used Goode ski. The Goode was much easier to ski on and didn't seem to catch edges as easy. I was just about ready to order a new Radar trick when I got hurt a few weeks ago. I've seen several used pairs on craigslist. I got my HO off craigslist. The Goode came from ski-it-again. I sold the Goode last year because I wanted to go up a size in length.

    Years ago when I first start tricking I would do a 2 ski run and then a single ski just so I could fill 2 runs. I remember we started people out on 2 ski in college seemed like it was easier.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,400 Mega Baller
    just a quick look in Houston area with reflex binding
  • HortonHorton Posts: 24,617 Administrator
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    that price and that description I wonder if it is stolen.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Babes / Barts / Connelly / D3 / DBSkis / Goode / HO Syndicate

    MasterCraft / Masterline / O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf

    Reflex / Radar /Stokes

  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,269 Mega Baller
    Buy low-end O'Brien "Pro Trac" combo trick skis
    I learned on 2 skis which was helpful for getting used to the rotation without the slickness of a single. From there you can move to using one of the two. Only problem is that soon you'll need to buy a regular single and by the time that's done you're out for combos and singles. If it's you and kids learning then rubber edge singles might be best. Depending on what you end up getting for singles (if they're similar sizes) you can use them as combos short term.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 989 Mega Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    My vote is go with one from the start, but if you really want to try a pair I would get an old school pair that's narrow like this:

    I hate to divulge that link but I haven't had enough beer yet to hit the "buy it now!" :-) Early '70's first generation fiberglass tricks with binders that match that old O'brien Mach 1 I bought over the long hard winter.

    Better yet would be an old pair of narrow, rubber edge EP's or Saucier's.

    I think "modern" trick ski pairs are just too wide to be used used effectively. They are unwieldy ankle bangers. They are also going to come with adjustable bindings that provide little support or control.

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 989 Mega Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    @ScarletArrow‌ I just looked at your reference links. Those aren't "old school" in my opinion. They are only old school in the sense that two tricks is old school. They are representative of modern, too wide, trick pairs. Thinking that you could use one of these as you advance would be a mistake.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • akale15akale15 Posts: 137 Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    Get full points for 1 trick at tourneys! If I wanted to ski at nationals I had to learn 1 trick. Still trick to the day, can't do much besides some basic surface tricks but love it!
  • ShortstackShortstack Posts: 6 Baller
    Out of curiosity, does knowing how to wakeboard make trick skiing any easier? The two look similar, so I was wondering what the difference was (apart from the obvious, like the RTP on trick skis and no fins on trick skis).
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,038 Baller
    Start with two trick skis to learn the basics, such as rope control, balance, proper handle position, and rotation. Once you are able to do the basics on two then switch to one. As far as equipment goes, the poly-e trick line will do the job. At this point don't spend the extra on the Kevlar rope. I still use the poly-e trick rope. Don't use a slalom rope, it will get all twisted, and it is too much like a bungee cord. The O'Brien Pro Tracs are a good starting point. I learned on a pair of EP ST360's. I used them for 5 years until I bought a Kidder Redline single trick. I was self taught, and only had a couple of books. Come on out to Lake Latonka. I can help you get started.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,208 Crazy Baller
    @shortstack - I was wondering more about those wake skis - narrow enough to ride near each other, rockered, two tips. Don't know if they have removable fins?
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,171 Mega Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    @ScarletArrow‌ , you are 2 for 2! It is really cool and it is really difficult!

    The theory of starting on 2 skis worked back in the dark ages, but now that most of us are older and wiser, its best to start on 1 and use a hardshell right off the bat. The skis are the easy part, but you may have to suck it up and buy the Reflex setup (hard to find small bindings used). You can use a boom for the first few sets, but the kids will be behind the boat in short order.

    How old and how much do your kids weigh? Below 100lbs, a 40" will work great. Above that, go to a 42". For you, get the biggest ski you can find;) Don't listen to anyone trying to sell you on a 38" for the kids - that is the right size for a 60lb kid tricking over 3000 pts.
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 699 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2014
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    Whether one or two skis, managing expectations and enthusiasm is key.
    In other words, the first few sets will be harder and more discouraging if you start on one ski. But it's worth it.
    By the way, spending a little time riding a wakeboard with no fins (if you've got one handy) is probably a better stepping-stone than starting with two skis.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,322 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    All of the recent top juniors around here (and many have qualified for Open as they improved) started on a wakeboard. AWSA regards wakeboards as single trick skis and awards points as such. The fundamentals of weight balance, rope control and edging are the same on a wakeboard. No matter what, your kids will need to spend time on a wakeboard at some point. Might as well start them on it and give them the advantage.

    Find a board (used - cheap) with as flat a bottom as possible. Make sure it meets the 30% rule. Remove all fins. Mount the bindings symmetrical and duck footed. 22 or 28 off and 15 to 16 mph. Learn backs, fronts, Os and wake backs - trick style. Go to B1 or G1 Nationals. Get hooked on competitive waterskiing.

    They will have great fun and learn a lot. At worst, they will end up as teenage wakeboarders. At best, Open tricks!

  • lagdawglagdawg Posts: 41 Baller
    I started out riding a wakeboard in college and I had experience on a wakeboard before my college tournament experience. Mostly because nobody on the team actually had/ or rode a trick ski.

    After I got out of college and bought a boat I finally got an OBrien rubber edged trick ski (44"). I can't exactly remember my progression but eventually I bought a goodman trick ski (45"). I only had enough tricks on one ski for one pass so I started out riding two skis for the first pass and one ski for the second in tournaments, but I think I primarily practice on just one ski when not in tournaments.

    About 2 years ago or so I finally started learning toe tricks and now I only ride one ski with a hand pass and a toe pass in tournaments.

    I am slowly picking up more tricks but really I just don't get enough water time to progress quickly. If you get enough water time you should be able to progress quickly enough to only need one ski. I have learned several tricks just by trying them at the end of my run in a tournament since I don't get a lot of chance to practice especially toe tricks. I only practiced and learned toe wake back and toe wake front in my tournament passes due to not having a pin person available enough to practice it at home.

  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 711 Crazy Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    Enjoy the new challenge. Started in 2009 and I've got about 550pts worth of tricks total. Still fun but just getting to this point took a ton of work. Incredibly difficult sport. I got a "real" ski brand new right off the bat and I'm really glad I did. It'll last forever, too. One-time purchase for most folks.
  • InthedayIntheday Posts: 116 Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    Kids will get one quickly just learn to ride the slippery little suckers then you can work on tricks
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,958 Mega Baller
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    AWSA does not regard a wakeboard as a trick ski.
    8.03 Skis
    A. Maximum ski width shall not exceed 30% of the length.
    Most wakeboards these days do not fit this qualification. You will need to measure and either modify the board or find an older wakeboard that fits the rule.
    In NCWSA you can trick on a wakeboard and get half credit for the tricks completed
  • behindpropellersbehindpropellers Posts: 188 Baller
    Buy a decent set of new combo tricks. Most stuff that is old will have old dried out bindings that are not flexible anymore.
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,693 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    You got bad advice, go with 1 trick ski (new or used) right from the start.
    We started ours on good quality used tricks with decent binding. The caveat on this is that we started on a boom. Super easy to stand up and get the feel of it. Then a short rope, then behind the boat.

    If the ski is oversize it's fine. I talked to Mr. Raley about that when we started.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,400 Mega Baller
    I was out with some friends a few years ago and got on a wakeboard they had. Tricks were so easy on it. I hadn't tricked in years at that time, I was doing basic wake tricks easily.
Sign In or Register to comment.