To me this is common sense but wanted to get input from the baller crowd. Free skiing is great, but ONLY freeskiing will greatly limit a skiers ability to improve, and eventually likely cause ingrained bad habits. Buoys are necessary to improve ones skiing as it requires you to learn timing, position, and all the list of items that are discussed daily here. Those who spend time in a course by default become much better free skiers, but those who only free ski are immediately humbled on entering a course, no matter how good they thought they were, as they've not been able to learn to do it right. Those little orange guys are essential.