New Skier Ambassador Program?

HortonHorton Posts: 26,940 Administrator
edited February 2017 in Other Stuff
I think it is backwards to try to build AWSA with skiers who are not interested in competition. Our sport is compelling but how does anyone get started?

There are a couple of things going on.
  1. Skiers who run balls think they are not good enough to ski USAWS tournaments
  2. Skiers do not know there are local tournaments or anything about it
  3. Skiers want access to a slalom course but don’t know where to find one
  4. Skiers who ski at a semi high level but still don’t ski tournaments (I have no idea what to do about these folks)
I propose that we should make an organized effort to be found by these skiers and to make effort to welcome them. I propose we develop an Ambassador Program. When someone stumbles on USAWaterski.org or BallOfSpray we direct them to the local Ambassador in their area.

The local Ambassador takes the new skier for a ride and directs them to the local club or what ever. Basically the Ambassador writes off a few hours, a few gallons of gas and encourages the new skier to get involved.

Los Angeles & Orange County is likely the biggest population center in the US without any economical assess so perhaps my impression is skewed.

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Comments

  • mjumpmjump Posts: 55 Baller
    I am all for it.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,305 Crazy Baller
    edited February 2017
    I like the idea! So, I volunteer. Put me on the list.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,530 Mega Baller
    edited February 2017
    @ToddL along with a few others here have put countless hours in doing pretty much this as Tuesday even ski school. There was some folks in Austin area teaching under-privileged kids also, not sure if that is still active.

    I also remember a video from a news cast in Tulsa OK area of a guy that looked to be a hell of a ambassador.
    ToddLRazorRoss3
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,940 Administrator

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  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,305 Crazy Baller
    That sounds good @RichardDoane.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • luckyoneluckyone Posts: 67 Baller
    We all have been ambassador's I am always talking about skiing and things related to it ,maybe to much.Been sking for over 20 yrs and I began with an old ski club GWWSC,gone now but old timers will know that club.The club practiced on sat & ran a club tourney as close to awsa as possible,thats what hooked me was working my way up the speeds.One weeked a month in the summer and that was enough for me then.Best part was that this was at a private lake and local owners would join in and that was cool.Club went from 30 -40 people in the 90's to a hand full of skiers soon after.All my kids came with me so I killed the rotation sometimes but at the end they were calling me sat am looking for skiers.Start a club ? I think u know about GWWSC your dad was in the boat when I broke my knee cap on a ski weekend years ago.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,940 Administrator
    edited February 2017
    @luckyone that's not what I mean. We all talk and encourage waterskiing to the people we know. What I'm advocating here is organized outreach to people that don't know where to find a slalom course or don't know anyone who skis balls. I'm suggesting being available to people that we don't know.

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    Bill22ski6jones
  • kingshreddkingshredd Posts: 174 Baller
    i like it, and will talk to some people here in NorCal. to get their thoughts and help get this going in our area.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,773 Mega Baller
    That's a great idea @Horton
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,767 Mega Baller
    Go to Google. Put in "water ski" and the city you live in or the nearest metro area. What comes up? What is on the top?

    How hard would it be to make a Web page and subdomain on usawterski.org for every major city? i.e. Austin.usawaterski.org

    That page could contain a welcome message and basic info about how to get connected and started. Each page would have the webmaster email on it with a note to submit updates of content. Invite local clubs to submit content. Fill the bottom of that page and the meta tags with key words galore about skiing and our sports product, etc.

    Make it so that these pages are the first result in Google when our sport is searched.

    Start with the biggest population areas first and work down the census list. Use current membership geography, too. Cover those locations first.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    burntPiston
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    @horton how about a link like this on ballofspray?
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,940 Administrator
    @dchristman just a link back to usawaterski doesn't get us anywhere. New people need to be shown as long course and a little bit of hospitality.

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  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    edited February 2017
    Every little bit helps! A link is noticeably absent. Consider it part of your ambassadorship!

    When I first joined, there was no Internet. I was lucky enough to happen upon that Water Skier magazine that everyone is so intent on abandoning now, that lead to AWSA membership and all the connections that solidified the addiction.

    Now with a search, someone may end up here as they first start looking for information about waterskiing ... make it easy for them! There's a lot of not-too-positive talk about the organization here - a simple link would show that you support it.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 906 Crazy Baller
    I think this idea is fantastic and would make organized skiing much more approachable for new skiers. When I look down the road to meeting and discussing skiing with new skiers I'm sure one question that will come up is "Where can I get on a coarse?". Clearly you can (and I would) accommodate new skiers at private sites but there are no public or paid membership sites in my area. Access was mentioned in another thread and this ambassador idea shines a light on the absence of ready access in many areas.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • nleuthnleuth Posts: 45 Baller
    Great Idea! Usually try my best to do this in my area anyways. I think accessibility to the sport is an issue for many. Though it is still great to see the "camp
    skiers out occasionally!
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,186
    @ski6jones - I completely agree on all fronts. The ambassador program idea is great, and I'd be more than willing to be one of the supporters down here, as would many of you. But the access issue shines a bright light on one of the areas USAWS can provide air cover to aspiring members. I see this as an obvious value add to the general water sports community
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,007 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Sign me up.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • skihardskihard Posts: 549 Crazy Baller
    I'm still a firm believer in handicapping skiers abilities so they ski against ability based competition. It then becomes just that a competition that is both challenging and fun.
    There are so many great minds involved in this sport both competitively and recreationaly and what I see is everyone so based on the current format and forcing people to this or you're not taking part.

    To quote OB1 and yes I copy/pasted from another thread:


    I didn't enjoy skiing against guys running 32' every tournament round when I wasn't running 28'. If I wasn't so passionate about the sport, that may have intimidated me enough to stop skiing tournaments...and I know those who did stop for that exact reason.

    I know plenty of skiers who don't ski tournaments because they aren't competitive. I ski with 2 skiers that run 38' in practice and don't ski Regionals or Nationals because they know on their best day 1 or [email protected] won't even get them on a podium and maybe not in the Top 10.

    If AWSA wants to grow, and it seems they do, why institute this only at the top level of skiing. It seems they realize this will group the elite skiers together and if that's the goal, why not separate all level of skiers in order to instill competition at every level as well as grow the sport at every level.

    Old school wants age divisions. Old school is failing miserably.

    I can see age divisions for juniors, but if AWSA wants to grow or even just survive, they better jump out of the old school box and go the ability based route so skiers can compete against other skiers working on running the same loop.

    Thanks OB1 and now back to my comments -

    When are the people that run this sport going to actually wake up and pull their heads out of their A***S and realize this? Lots of skiers have passion for the sport but it's hard to follow OB1's model when 98.78653% of the population are intimidated and won't ever come back after having being thoroughly killed on the water by the current model and division they are forced to ski in.

    I'm 50 years old, fairly new to course skiing, and love this sport, the camaraderie, and even the support I see at tournaments from great skiers to hacks like me while giving it my useless best out there.
    But I will be damned if I will drive even 20 minutes away to the next lake and pay $50 - $75 plus travel costs and expenses to ski a few passes when it's me vs Bruce Dodd coming off the dock.

    Guess what just happened in that comment..............support and sponsorship just left and won't be showing back up again. I'm only one guy saying this but apparently my single numbers are growing and that growth is showing decline in the numbers.

    No thanks I will stay at home and ski my site with my ability based friends and we will have our own tournament and enjoy our beers at the end of the day on my dock with lots of laughs. Because really .... it was a true tournament because we all ski to somewhat the same ability. And we also challenge each other based on the speeds we ski. We don't all ski at 30, 32, or 34 mph.

    Oh and I forgot - WE HAVE FUN!!!

    I keep my membership active for reasons other than tournament skiing. I ski in my community held sanctioned tournaments to show support for the sport but I won't be going down the road to show support there isn't any reason for me because I will never challenge anyone in the top 300 in the country based on the bracket I am placed in because of my age and not my ability.

    Ok my two cents worth and rant over!

    Happy skiing friends! :)
    2014 Carbon Pro, Radar Pro Build Lithium Vapor w/ Vapor Carbitex Boa Bindings - life's about working hard and then having fun on the water! I am - are you?
    Andre6ballsJAG
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,122 Mega Baller
    Where do you think golf would be if the only tournaments that mattered to them were the US Open and the US Amateur? They have fully embraced the handicap format using a complete honor system. I see no reason ASWS can't do the same.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
    BoneHeadjjackkrash
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,122 Mega Baller
    @skihard We are working on a ability/handicap based format for our tournaments this year. I hope you will make the short drive up the road to join us for some FUN!!
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
    ski6jonesWishTexas6Bill22
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 722 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I hear two things. On BOS I hear "we need/want more AWSA members". In the real world, it seems like this should equate to welcoming more people into the sport, having lake days to promote skiing, having a liberal but not abusive guest program at private lakes as well as the ambassador program. What I see happening in the real world (that I've been exposed to) is, well, I know u like to ski but you need to join first, well, we prefer you have a boat, well, when you join you can only bring 1 guest per month (Skeet club used to charge more per round for non-members which encouraged joining), well, well, well. So, I hear "we need more members" in one ear and in the other ear I hear "but not necessarily from our site". This isn't meant to piss anyone off. However, if we are really in it for the growth of the sport, maybe it's time to have some tough conversations on the dock or in the clubhouse.

    Don't get me wrong, I've had some very positive, welcoming experiences (maybe just because I bring beer :smile: ). However, there are those that want THEIR water and THEIR site and THEIR privacy. It's hard to grow the sport if one outweighs the other. Just an observation.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
    Than_Boganwalleye
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,122 Mega Baller
    @gt2003 I have seen the same thing. I hope the people with that attitude realize that when the sport dies, the value of their investment dies with it. I try to be as accommodating as I can be with guests, collegiate skiers and recent grads. We need to keep them in the sport. I'm going to need to sell my place to one of them in a couple of decades.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
    gt2003MattP
  • skihardskihard Posts: 549 Crazy Baller
    @Kelvin if you can pull it off I will be more than happy to come have some fun!!!
    2014 Carbon Pro, Radar Pro Build Lithium Vapor w/ Vapor Carbitex Boa Bindings - life's about working hard and then having fun on the water! I am - are you?
  • luckyoneluckyone Posts: 67 Baller
    Last time I approached a group of skiers [you were there] it was a tourney and you didn't even say hi.I did find a friendly face,. one of my old boat driver/skier/ friend.It seems to me that the sport needs a bunch of skiers running - 15 @ 32mph looking to improve.We need beginners' not rippers.Dont forget all is great until they hit a wall @ 34.I had a lot of fun with the whole ski game when I began skiing years ago.At that point they will get it and hopefully get hooked like me ,a lifer.Put them all in my division lol.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 1,874 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Horton, Ambassadors, Fantastic initiative, looks like people are willing to support the process, you have hit the nail right on the head, water ski associations around the world, should adopt the Ambassador program and get fully behind it, encourage people to get involved, share our enthusiasm for the sport.
    I like it a lot.

    "Another Ball Bites The Dust”

  • skihardskihard Posts: 549 Crazy Baller
    @luckyone - Last time I approached a group of skiers [you were there] it was a tourney and you didn't even say hi.

    Are you generalizing something or speaking personally to someone who posted in this thread?
    2014 Carbon Pro, Radar Pro Build Lithium Vapor w/ Vapor Carbitex Boa Bindings - life's about working hard and then having fun on the water! I am - are you?
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,183 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    This is a great idea @Horton I'd be happy to bring my boat to our ambassador's lake, as well as libation.
    Scott Calderwood
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,305 Crazy Baller
    I commented earlier that I would gladly be such an ambassador, however I've lost count of the number of people who have found me and/or our site from the intrernet. and called me. After offering free pulls and answering questions about membership, I could count on half a hand how many showed up. I mean if I had been offered free pulls to try out a private site, when I didn't have such access, I would have jumped at the offer. Whether I would have joined or not, I don't know, but I would have skied the free offer.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 332 Baller
    This is a great idea and initiative, and I feel like there are plenty of people out there who have been doing such a thing. The problem is with the expectations, not many people either get what it takes, or they just don't care (act oblivious). It's an odd situation, as one has to have the initiative and drive to advance their skiing, but also the follow-up of responsibilities that come with this type of skiing. Too many people, top level skiers included, don't respect the overall game. They show up, ski and leave. Bring little to no gas, leave instead of observing others ski, no help wiping down, putting the boat up etc. This has burned too many good people willing to help out, that it's not worth their time and effort. I can only point towards a generation that was never taught or made to do the dirty work, they just got to ski. This is also why college clubs are so attractive to new skiers, there's a few that know what it takes on the team, and they do the majority of the heavy lifting. Half the time that's alumni or a "coach". Just my 2cents.
    web4uinc
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