What's wrong with competitive skiing?



  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,983 Mega Baller
    @OB ( Sister Gramataica )
    I fixed some of it just for you!!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • thagerthager Posts: 5,603 Mega Baller
    @scuppers Sad but true!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,352 Mega Baller
    @Jody_Seal I've been advocating some sort of points system for Nationals qualification for years. It just falls on deaf ears. I am passionate about the sport and participate and help with officiating/promoting in a large number of tournaments, but can't quite get the qualifying scores to ski nationals.

    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas

  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    edited June 2015
    I think moving to ability based divisions rather than age group would be a good place to start. In my opinion this would have the quickest and biggest impact. I'm guessing that the rest of things are politically charged and may take decades to work out. A change to ability based could happen next year.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 3,022 Mega Baller
    So, would one ability-based method be to make the divisions like our current Levels?
    Men's Level 9 Division Champ
    Women's Level 9 Division Champ
    Boy's Level 9 Division Champ
    Girl's Level 9 Division Champ
    etc. similar for Level 8, then Level 7, down to Level 3
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • GKGK Posts: 142 Baller
    In Ohio, we've been doing exactly what Todd Leach described with Class C tournaments for about 6 or 7 years now. Fun format events, running orders are seeded, skiing against ranking list average, any ability level can win on any given day, and all scores go towards ranking lists. We call it the Buckeye Buoy Tour, it's 5 or 6 Tour Stops each year and your Top 3 event scores are added to determine who wins the overall season. Our tour champions have ranged from a guy in his 40's running into 38 off to a 7 year old girl running into 21 mph. It's sponsored by D3 and the Tour Champion has won a brand new D3 slalom ski the past 4 years, not to mention other prizes such as "gold" Fin Firkins to each tour stop winner, beach towels, ski togs, gloves, and an array of other prizes. It works great, our tournament numbers have been up, collegiate participation is up, and over all good times had by all are up. I've posted the details on this forum multiple times and it typically gets very little comments because most people want to talk but they don't want to step up and make the change.

    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH

  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    @GK that's really good stuff! Keep up the good work making the locals happy. I think the change needs to be on a national, organizational level so that everyone knows what's happening.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    edited June 2015
    @ToddL yes something like that. Your ability is your average tourney score in the prior few tourneys, or where you say it is in your first tourney.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 3,022 Mega Baller
    With 7 levels (Level 3 through Level 9) times 4 (M/W/B/G), that is 28 divisions. Probably too many...

    So, currently we have 6 youth divisions (3 boys, 3 girl), and 22 adult divisions (11 men, 11 women). That's 28 divisions, too! Then, there is Open Men, Open Women, and MM.

    Here is another ability-based grouping idea, using only 17 total divisions:
    41 and shorter Men's Division
    38 off and 39.5 off Men's Division
    32 off and 35 off Men's Division
    max speed through 28 off Men's Division
    below max speed Men's Division

    38 off shorter Women's Division
    32 off and 35 off Women's Division
    max speed through 28 off Women's Division
    below max speed Women's Division

    38 off shorter Boy's Division
    32 off and 35 off Boys's Division
    max speed through 28 off Boy's Division
    below max speed Boy's Division

    38 off shorter Girl's Division
    32 off and 35 off Girl's Division
    max speed through 28 off Girl's Division
    below max speed Girl's Division

    There would need to be some sort of rule that if you ski out of your division, you are bumped up for future competitions. Divisions are established based upon last year's average scores. New skiers without an average are asked to declare their practice average and can be bumped up if significantly out-skiing their declared division.

    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • skihardskihard Posts: 566 Crazy Baller
    @scuppers I'm sorry but I disagree that our sport suffers only because "IT'S TOO HARD"
    What's too hard is to change the mind set of the governing bodies! Without that change the sport will never see growth. @Jody_Seal hit the nail hard on the head with a lot of his points and so does @Kelvin.
    How pathetic is a system and it's organizers or controllers that stop growth.
    Wake boarding is hard to get good at yet look at the growth in that sport last 10 years! Hell they don't even need boats anymore to play.
    And golf is harder yet to become good without practice and being able to get involved.
    I'm new to the USA and really new to the sport of skiing when it comes to chasing buoys vs skiing in open water. But I'm getting involved and I'm learning.
    One thing I've learned is it is difficult when ideas and thoughts can't change or if minds that run the sport can't adapt and change to allow growth and participation.
    People talk about the amount of money it costs? My family spent less on our first ski boat than people today pay for small fishing boats with 9.9 horse power motors on them at Bass Pro Shop, and yet we went out and ski'd. As we grew with the sport we upgraded when & where we could afford too.
    It can change and get better if the minds at the top listen to the ones who really love the game!
    Life's about working hard and then having fun on the water!
    I am - are you?
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,522 Mega Baller
    @ToddL, this is what we use in the Michigan Water Ski Association Ability Series. The groupings are purely ability-based. Men, Women, kids, adults all ski against each other according to where they fall in these rankings. And, when you exceed the range of your current ranking, you are moved up to compete in the next ranking. There are points for each place and, I believe, 1 point just for skiing in the tournament.

    Maximum Speed Group:
    A1 Entry Level - 4 passes total buoy count at any speed

    A2 .25 @ 26 MPH (43 kph) to 6 @ 28 MPH (46 kph)
A3 .25 @ 30 MPH (49 kph) to 6 @ 30 MPH

    A4 .25 @ 32 MPH (52 kph) to 6 @ 32 MPH

    A5 .25 @ 34 MPH (55 kph) to 1 @ -22 34 MPH
A6 .25 @ 36 MPH (55 kph) to 1 @ -22 36 MPH (B3, M1, M2 skiers)

    Shortline Group
    B1 1.25 @ -22 max speed t0 6 @ -22

    B2 .25 @ -28 max speed to 3 @ -28
B3 3.25 @ -28 max speed to 6 @ -28

    B4 .25 @ -32 max speed to 3 @ -32
B5 3.25 @ -32 max speed to 6 @ -32
B6 .25 @ -35 max speed to 3 @ -35

    Super Shortline Group
    C1 3.25 @ -35 max speed to 5 @ -35
C2 5.25 @ -35 max speed to 2 @ -38
C3 2.25 @ -38 max speed to 5 @ -38
C4 5.25 @ -38 max speed to shorter

    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    @ToddL yes something like that.
  • scuppersscuppers Posts: 599 Crazy Baller
    @skihard - Love your enthusiasm! If you can fix things and prove me wrong it's a win for both of us.

    Chuck Link, Deland Florida

    [Deleted User]
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    @MISkier good stuff!
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    The Michigan Ability Series is outstanding. If this were coupled with "F" scores being accepted for qualifications for Regionals, you would have enough incentive for more LOC to get going - the staffing of the tournaments would be much easier. It would allow for older boats - even PP boats - to be used again. It would also allow beginners to compete against other beginners and progress rapidly. That is something the INT always did well. @Jody_Seal is dead on right, as is the others who have commented on how the casual skier, the recreational skier, and the politically incorrect (sport internal politics) gets marginalized. In any sport or activity - grow or die. You cannot successfully "manage" a decline.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • GKGK Posts: 142 Baller
    @OB, why shouldn't every skier, regardless of age or ability, have a shot at winning on any given day or year if they ski well enough to do so? Our format is setup to reward consistency and improvement. The skier running 2 @ 39 off would never meet that 21 mph skier until the finals on any given day and skiers averages are increased to their highest score of the day to push EVERY skier to the top of their game by the final round. In other words, if that novice started with an average of [email protected] mph and ran [email protected] in round 2, then her average for round 3 would be [email protected] So by the 3rd or 4th round (finals), it may be just as difficult for them to match that score of [email protected] as it would be for the advanced skier to match his average of [email protected]

    P.S. Met a buddy of yours at Lake Cumberland last weekend.

    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH

  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,818 Mega Baller
    edited June 2015
    Lately I've been struggling to see how the sport shrinking is hurting me. It's not. I have a $1,500 ski, $700 boots, $125 vest, $65 gloves, don't remember what my top-of-the-line rope, or handle cost last time. I've got a nice pretty boat, and a private lake and a public river course. I could care less if the sport is shrinking.

    Well, except I cannot buy a $1,500 ski within a 5 hour drive from me. I had to get my boots in Orlando, a 9 hour drive. And actually, none of my equipment came from anywhere near me. No one sells ski boats near me, not expensive ones, or even "cheap" ones. I go to big cities for work and I find ski shops to get my stuff. Most of these shops can only afford to stock stuff because they are piggy backing off a more profitable sport. The last shop I was in had a 2010 Radar Strada, new on the shelf, and a bunch of other 2 year old top gear. That's bad business. I'm glad they try, but I'm surprised they even bother. Hell, I ordered a ski sock I don't need, just to give them some water ski specific business.
    If we don't get on it, we're gonna be left with Chinese HO and O'Brien in every Walmart, and nothing else. Yeah the boutique ski companies will always exist, but they'll fail like they currently do, but at a higher rate, matching ours.
    I'm gonna be honest, that itself might be crap. Is it a pull-market or a push-market. Do we get the top skiers noticed, creating demand (push), or do we create demand by making the SPORT (not the recreational activity) available to everyone, and create a pull for better equipment? The top level, governing body needs to get that decision made, make it clear to those of us left, and we need to go out and promote, in whatever ways we can. Both can be focused on, but not with a lot of success. Let's do one, if it doesn't work, I'm good with trying the others. I'm betting on the latter.
  • GKGK Posts: 142 Baller
    @OB, those are all good points. Our scoring is based on a percentage of your average, so yes, someone running 3 buoys beyond their average at 28 off would beat someone at 2 buoys over their average at 39 off, however those 2 skiers probably wouldn't compete against each other until the finals and you would probably be looking at a top 3 finish for both of those skiers. On top of that, do you think that the skier who ran 2 beyond his average at 39 off is going to be disappointed? Hell no, he is going to be elated with his skiing for the day so he is not going to be upset with whether he won or not. Also, had both skiers been 1/2 buoy under their average, the 39 off skier would have won because his percentage would be higher, so it goes both ways. There is no great way to account for the "difficulty level" as you get to shorter lines, however it's not really as much about the shortline skier. If you're running into 39 off then everyone at the tournament already knows you're a badass and you probably walk away as top dog at a number of events. It's the other skier who may be in the same division that runs into 28 off that can feel good about the one tournament in his life when he skied his ass off well enough to be crowned "winner" for the day. That kind of opportunity gets people excited and keeps them coming back!

    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH

    [Deleted User]
  • ntxntx Posts: 847 Crazy Baller
    And......everyone gets a prize!!!!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,065 Mega Baller
    @ntx I don't think everyone needs to get a prize but in a competition it is nice to actually be competitive against someone besides yourself. I love to ski tournaments but in general as a mid 35 off skier in Men's 4 (not a hack but not great) I never have a chance to win. The beauty of a golf handicap is a scratch golfer can have a match against a 15 handicap and it is a fair competition.

    I think there is a place for both scratch and handicapped or ability grouped competitions. Right now in water skiing it is mostly scratch type of events. I think you might get more participation in tournaments if people felt they could be competitive. Not everyone feels like I do that trying to beat your best score in a competition environment is reward enough.

    Mark Shaffer

  • GregDavisGregDavis Posts: 283 Solid Baller
    Hat off to Greg K, ( Ohio ) He has done an outstanding job, with the Buckeye Buoy tour. Lots of fun, gives beginners, regular skiers, and kids, a reason to participate, Actually, my wife and I , had a great time at the last Buckeye Buoy tour, more fun than we have had at many regular tournaments. Easy to talk, Not that many people actually step up to the plate and make a difference, and make things happen. THANKS GREG k, FOR MAKINMG A DIFFERENCE.
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I think handicapping isn't a bad idea. As a skier, you know it's a handicapped event going in. So, if you get "beat" by someone in a lower class than you, you knew it could happen to begin with. If you are too emotional to deal with it (aka EGO) then don't enter the dang tournament. And be ready to deal with the smack talk from whoever spanked you :). I'm seeing these more as "fun" tournaments to grow the sport versus the more serious events that happen now. Heck, I'd enter one just to see what happens. Great idea.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    How about straight up divisions based on ability like cycling? Something like this maybe...

    Novice Mini Course-max speed 28mph
    1. Never made a pass
    2. Made full pass
    3. Made a full pass at 28mph (then moves up to full course)

    Novice Full Course-max speed 28
    1. 2. & 3. Same as above
    4. Never made -22
    5. Never made -35
    6. Never made -39

    Shredder Full Coarse max speed 30
    2. Never made 32mph
    3. Never made -22
    4. Never made -35
    5. Never made -39

    Shredder Full Coarse max speed 32
    3. Never made 32mph
    4. Never made -22
    5. Never made -35
    6. Never made - 39

    Baller Never Made 34mph
    2. Never made 34
    3. Never made -22
    4. Never made - 35
    5. Never made - 39

    Baller Never Made 36mph
    1. Never made 36
    2. Never made -22
    3. Never made - 35
    4. Never made - 39
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