Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Boys 3 - The progression from 34 to 36 mph

John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 367 Crazy Baller
Do you believe that increasing the maximum speed from 34 to 36 mph, going from B2 to B3 is good for the sport and the skiers?

I have no kids that age any longer but seeing some good B2 skiers making the progression, moving up to B3, I have seen some kids get hurt and wonder if maybe that jump in speed also might be scaring some others that decide to move away from the sport. I would rather see kids excited about the sport. Maybe something like a move/division to 35mph would be a better option or possibly something along the lines of skills based divisions where age does not matter (I realize this is a INT type format, but is that a better option?). Or maybe do we need other choices for divisions, where the skier makes some sort of choice, within certain parameters, on which division they ski in and not have the division strictly tied to age.


  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I always felt that it was about two years too soon to lift kids to 36mph.
    Jim Ross
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    My son got hurt last year skiing 36 mph he went out the front at 22 off and apparently cartwheeled 4 times (it was at a tournament and I was on a different lake) and wound up with a minor concussion. That was just before regionals last year which he missed and he hasn't competed since. He hasn't skied 36 since either I decided to try to get him consistently through 28 off at 34 mph before moving him back to 36 mph. My son had just started to run 34/22 occasionally when he jumped to Boys 3 and had never run it in a tournament.

    In fairness his not competing has nothing to do with getting hurt. My son decided he wants to try and play lacrosse in college which led to a lot of lacrosse this summer which conflicted with the ability to ski tournaments and training and he only has about 10 sets in the course this season.

    When it comes to moving to 36 mph I believe that skiers that can run 28 off and shorter at 34 mph make an easier and safer transition to 36 because they are obviously better skiers with better body position. 36 mph is very unforgiving to errors in body position and the falls can be violent.

    I could see waiting another year or two until the kids are more consistently matured. There can be a wide range in maturity and strength at that age.
    Mark Shaffer
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,843 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    36 should start at B3 and end at M5.
    Shut up and ski
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,589 Mega Baller
    Too soon for most I think. There's that elite group that are ready for it but most I think are not.
  • JohnNJohnN Posts: 129 Baller
    Maybe it shouldn't be mandatory, but it needs to be allowed. One solution could be to allow shortening below max speed with reasonable scoring or allow/encourage skiing up when appropriate? 36 can hurt though, and is the speed where I've seen several concussions. Kids who ski outside of ussa tourneys will likely have to go 36 as well.

    FWIW, the jump to 36 hasn't seemed to impede the three we've had go this year and last. Each has exceeded their 34mph line lengths within a season or two ([email protected] - running [email protected], [email protected]>mid [email protected], [email protected]@34->[email protected]@36). 30 to 34 was a bigger jump, IMO. Finally, big picture wise, sending boys to 36 when they hit M1 and are at risk of quitting anyway would probably hurt the sport more.
  • JohnNJohnN Posts: 129 Baller
    make that usawaterski tournaments :-). Already switching gears. The same discussion is happening in the snow ski world relative to gear requirements.
  • JoeSkier6JoeSkier6 Posts: 7 Baller
    Everyone might as well get a trophy.....!?

  • gregygregy Posts: 2,589 Mega Baller
    Its not about everyone getting a trophy. I've seen some slower developing boys that just weren't ready for 36 in my opinion. Maybe a penalty system could be created to allow 34mph max.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    @JoeSkier6 not sure how this discussion relates to everyone getting a trophy I don't think that was advocated anywhere.

    I don't think my son would have gotten hurt at 34 mph but then again maybe he would have. If he was skiing tournaments this year he would be back at 36 mph. Given that he isn't we decided to take a different path for the season. He is plenty big and strong and was last year as well but I felt he could use some technique improvement and felt he would learn better and safer at 34.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ntxntx Posts: 835 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2015
    If you have poor technique at 34 ... 36 will eat you alive. Way back they started 36 much earlier. Soooo in a sense we have already lowere it. Bruce is correct that international tournaments require 36 at a earlier age. I sure hope Griffin Stange can get acclimated to 36. (Read sarcastic)
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller
    36 was controversial right from the start. In the early 1960's, Mens max. speed was 34. Former
    AWSA President Larry Brown railed against the speed change in the WaterSkier. At that time, he
    was right about boats having trouble getting to 36. I remember the 1963 Easterns, where the
    driver had to have the throttle pegged to pull 36. But, wasn't a very good boat, like a Century or
    twin outboard.
    At the 1964 Nationals, boys still skied 34 mph, as Billy Spencer did while winning the event and
    nearly running 30 off. Those were also the days of the long endgates. Although, the year
    before, at the 1963 Worlds, he won SL at age 14. Pretty sure it's 14, since he was still in
    Jr. Boys in 1962.
    Of course, at the high end, some Boys 3 are running 39.5. Although, at the current Nationals,
    no B3 ran beyond 4 @ 38 off. That seems low; nearly 2 passes behind KC Wilson's record.

    Personally I never liked 36, and picked up 2 passes when I went into Sr. Men and back to 34.
  • ntxntx Posts: 835 Crazy Baller
    @GregDavis watch a recent episode of real sports about how we are creating a entire generation. Of entitled kids rewarding them with trophies for participation. Kids in college feel that they deserve a B grade just for attending class. Lets all ski 32 mph. That is real easy. Yes 36 is hard. If it was easy everyone would do it. Many small size kids have made the transition. Mine included. You have to have good form.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,589 Mega Baller
    edited August 2015
    Maybe the boys aren't leaving just because of speed but with all the competition from other sports for boys that age why not make our sport a little more user friendly. We can keep a few more of them interested in skiing why not make some concessions. Give them the option to pick a slower max speed with a penalty. A lot of talk about envolvement in tournaments, we've got to evolve. Think outside the box.

    I really don't see this as an entitlement or give everyone a trophy thing. Just a way to increase envolvement and make things a little safer. Just because "I did it this way" or "my kids did it" doesn't necessarily make the best way.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    Having a Boys 3 skier that competed at Nationals his last year in B2 and hasn't competed the last two years I can share some of the reasons for us. Last year I wouldn't have brought my son he would have needed to top 5 at regionals to qualify to get in he wouldn't have beaten the COA. He was also hurt having suffered a concussion last July.

    This year he has been focused on lacrosse. It is very difficult to focus on a sport a kid wants to play in college and be a serious competitive water skier. I think you lose more kids to other sports as they hit the high school age than leave because of speed. My son continues to ski and we are going to try to work his schedule next summer to get a couple of tournaments in.

    I know of a couple of other eastern region skiers that are in either B3 or G3 that haven't skied much this summer for reasons similar to my son.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    @MattL - what are your thoughts as a new B3 skier?
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 367 Crazy Baller
    I would like to find ways to grow (not shrink) our sport and keep folks safe at the same time. Give the kids the option, stay in B3 at 34 or move to another division at 36, not force them to increase speed just to be able to shorten the rope. Their technique may not be great, but if they don't stay on the water they will not improve, they will not have a water ski addiction (I personally think this addiction is good.) and who will come to the lake to pull us old guys/girls?

    As @gregy mentioned earlier, I believe we need to think outside the old box, find many different ways to allow folks to enjoy the sport, feel the challenges and success and want to bring their friends.

    And how about Master Men or some other named division, to have a group, by those who would like a change, additional challenge, to ski at 35 mph?
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    edited August 2015
    If only there was a way to set divisions by size/strength. Some young men develop at the age of 13, while others don't really fill out until 16. i.e. Over 140 lbs and 14yo+? Then you ski 36 MPH. Call the 36MPH division Boys 4.

    Another idea is to specify Boys 4 by age: 16-17 year olds going 36MPH, and set B3 at 14 & 15 year olds going 34MPH. Thus, have the speed change at B4.

    With either of these proposals for continuity, historic B3 records would be reclassified as B4 records since they were set at 36 MPH and likely be skiers on the top end of the age range anyway. New records would get set for the newly specified B3 division and would stand alone going forward.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    @GregDavis - will the prep for the article include a survey of inactive skiers who left the sport sometime shortly after competing in B2 (i.e. those who competed in B2, B3, or possibly M1, but are no longer active? If not, then I think the article will be missing out on some key info.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,843 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    What about the girl that wins G1 in her last year and then has to go compete against G2 girls 4 years older the following year?
    Shut up and ski
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    @MS the 4 year age gaps apply in both boys and girls. For boys from B1 to B2 you go from 30 mph to 34 mph. In girls it goes 30, 32, then 34.

    Most kids are never going to be competitive their first year or two in a new age division. There is no way a kid who is 9 is going to be competitive with a 13 year old or a 14 year old with a 17 year old.

    My son has never been competitive on a national level but he has qualified for nationals based on both regional placement and beating the cut off average. Generally if he can beat the cut off average I have been willing to bring him to Nationals. In the East we don't have a ton of skiers so if he qualifies just on placement I have been less willing to cover the expense to bring him.

    I am fine with the age gaps (and the speeds) I don't believe in giving everyone a medal. I don't have a problem with a kid having to work for a couple of years to be competitive in a new age group. It is up to the parents to manage the kids expectations, help them develop and keep them safe as they do.

    That said if part of the objective is to get more kids to nationals then having more divisions might help.
    Mark Shaffer
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,843 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    I agree.
    Shut up and ski
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,414 Crazy Baller
    I don't have an answer, but I'd hate to see divisions of only 2 years. We've got a lot as is.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • drewski32drewski32 Posts: 218 Baller
    When I went into B3 i only weighed about 100 pounds and I was fine. At 34 I was running -28 about half the time, and yes I lost a full pass going into B3. The key thing for speed change is good form.
    Our sport isn't by any means easy. Making a division change as a junior isn't meant to be easy. My last year in B2 i placed 4th at southern regionals and 9th at nat's. The next year I got my ass handed to me but that is just part of the sport. I never saw it as unfair; Instead I took it as a challenge as any competitive person would. I worked hard to get through it and pulled my buoy count back to normal by the end of my first year and kept improving from there.
    Yes, I do feel bad for kids who develope a little later (like myself) and have to make the jump, but that doesn't mean they need help. They just have to be smart about it.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    If looking to compress divisions an option might be M1 and M2. There aren't many skiers in those divisions combined and they both ski 36. The younger end of the division shouldn't be at a disadvantage as they skied 36 in B3.
    Mark Shaffer
  • elrelr Posts: 316 Mega Baller
    My son just skied his last B3 Nationals as a very athletically young 18 year old (17 ski years old). There are B2 kids that are more athletically mature than he is. He COA qualified (1 @ -32 @ 36) in slalom for Nationals his last two years of B3. A big reason he stayed engaged in the sport was because his trick skiing allowed him to OA qualify for Nationals his last two years of B2 - which made the trip worthwhile. Looking back at it I believe he would have progressed faster and more safely in slalom if we had slowed down and shortened to get through -28 at 28, 30, 32, 34, and then 36 then we did chasing maximum age division speed @ -15. The kids that are running -28 seem to have no problem upping speed.

    My suggestion is that:
    1) the maximum speed for males B1 to MB be 36 mph, females G1 to WB be 34 mph;
    2) scores from the buoy count table (speed/line length) e.g. LL @ 15.5 = 6, -43 @ 36 = 126
    3) first complete pass not discounted to LL for being under max speed;
    4) no change in speed after shortening from starting line length.

    This schema allows folks to develop skiing skills at a pace that is appropriate for their level of athleticism and maturity. Both World List and JD skiers can plan their skiing appropriately. Results at placement tournaments will not change although records for B1 and B2 may get higher - could be that Griffin may be able to go more than 2.5 @ -38/36.
    Ed Rink - LSF Texas
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    My son went back to 36 mph this morning for the first time since last July. He ran 36/22 on his second attempt after getting 4 the first time. He never got bast 2 ball before.

    We have spent the last year with him running slower speeds and shorter line lengths. He skied 30 mph into 35 off, 32 into 32 off and 34 mph at 22 and 28 off. We have generally been skiing a set that was 30/22, 32/22, 32/28, 34/22 and maybe a look at 34/28 or a couple of 34/22 passes. This morning after running 32/22 we went to 34 and after 34 he asked to try 36.

    I definitely think running slower speeds and shorter line lengths has helped improve his technique. We will keep mixing in some sets like that and I will probably mix some of it into my skiing.
    Mark Shaffer
Sign In or Register to comment.