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A glimpse at the future of water skiing

MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,787 Mega Baller
edited June 2017 in News & Other Stuff
Over the last month, I've been involved with tournaments and a clinic that has shown a little of the future of water skiing (at least in my area).

At the beginning of June, there was the well-attended Spartan Buoy Bash tournament of primarily collegiate skiers (35 skiers total). The tournament director was the Men's captain of the Michigan State University Water Ski team and several of the collegiate skiers were drivers, judges, scorers, and a safety. He did an impressive job. It was very well-run and successful. I enjoyed participating as both an official and a skier and found only positive experiences throughout the day. Great attitudes, great skiing, and actual fun.

In mid-June, Michigan Water Ski Association held a drivers' clinic and some collegiate skiers attended to get their driver's ratings in 3 event. They were very capable and were focused on the importance of safety, good driving, and the responsibility of being an official. It's important to note that they were already multi-discipline judges and weren't just pursuing a driver rating first, but adding to their versatility as an official.

Just over the weekend, the water ski portion of the State Games of America tournament was held. 35 skiers attended. 11 were collegiate and 7 were younger than collegiate. As I mentioned in another thread, several of the collegiate skiers were performing practical requirements to pursue their judging. A lot of great skiing occurred, even as the wind conditions deteriorated for Slalom. The collegiate Women were the most impressive to me. They had the poorest conditions in both rounds and put up very good scores when many veterans were missing their openers. Across the board, I saw a great enthusiasm for the sport and the willingness to take on the challenge for the fun of it - everyone who attended knew the forecast would be less than stellar and they came to throw down and see what they could do.

One item of note: both the Spartan Buoy Bash and State Games of America had more than just Slalom. They both had the Trick event and the State Games of America also had Jump. When I was commenting to another official on the turnout of younger skiers, he said that the 3 event format was a better draw for them than just Slalom. I hadn't given that much thought until then. I think the format of the competition, part of a larger multi-sport convention for the summer, may also have had some influence. Medals for the State Games were awarded. Either way, there was good participation.

Water Skiing still has a bright future. I've met some of the leaders. Let's help them when we can.
The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
9400bbrannan[Deleted User]MickeyThompsonMateo_VargasbojansBruce_ButterfieldUWSkierspartanskier10ErikBerghillersaracondraDaveDDWJohn Brooksbassfooter


  • msuwsmsuws Posts: 41 Baller
    edited June 2017
    +1 on these tournaments being a whole lot of fun. As a collegiate skier, I agree that the biggest draw to a tournament is multi round, multi event, as it's the biggest bang for your buck. We are dirt poor after all! See link below for the Q&A article on Spartan Buoy Bash. Thank you to all the veterans who are helping us develop as skiers, officials, and tournament directors!

    Spartan Buoy Bash/
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,787 Mega Baller
    I encourage everyone to read that article linked by @msuws.

    @JeffSurdej, please note the number of new water skiers in the first AWSA event at the Buoy Bash.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • spartanskier10spartanskier10 Posts: 38 Baller
    edited June 2017
    +2 on what's been posted. Helping all skiers, beginners especially, feel equally comfortable/ less-intimidated skiing against those older getting many many buoys is a big factor. Spartan Buoy Bash and State Games did an great job incorporating all age groups and levels alike.

    At State Games last weekend, I paid just $60 for 6 sets (2 in each event). That was awesome and commented on positively by much of the younger, broke crew. Most college kids get to jump only ~5 times ALL YEAR so tournaments with a ramp are a huge draw to the M1/W1 age groups imo.

    Thanks to all putting in the effort to crank out some awesome tournaments!
  • BrentOvermireBrentOvermire Posts: 2 Baller
    Just to the State Games of America 2017, there were 42 skiers and 26 of those skied more than 1 event. It was a great tournament.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,588 Mega Baller
    FUN!? Kids these days...

    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Mateo_VargasMateo_Vargas Posts: 875 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @BrentOvermire but was Chunk there?
    Success is failure that just hasn't happened yet
  • BrentOvermireBrentOvermire Posts: 2 Baller
    @Mateo Vargas , yes all 3 brothers were together this past weekend at the tournament plus Scott D!
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,328 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @bishop I skied collegiate in those days as well...I always hoped for bad conditions it was the only way I had a shot at @JeffSurdej
    Graduated '95 skied for Iowa
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,386 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @bishop8950 I was around those days too. Never skied collegiate but certainly attended more than a few collegiate tournaments!

    I remember being asked to CJ my first collegiate tournament at the Spartan Open on the Grand River. Beautiful weekend but there were exactly 2 rated judges/scorers and 2 drivers at the tournament. There were like 8-9 full teams and several nearly full teams. I think there were at least 3 or 4 rerides caused by ducks - at the bout, landing between the boat and the trick skier, in the chest either in slalom or jump, on the ramp and the poor guy who was flipped by the jump rope trying to take off when the skier was wide of the boat just before turning to the ramp.

    Oh ... and a raft regatta right in the middle of the tournament.

    We had a blast!!
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,167 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @klindy I was the tournament director and remember that well. Thanks again for your help!
  • kurtkurt Posts: 102 Baller
    Sunday night at the state games after everyone was done and gone . We were just finishing paperwork up, it was said that not only was it a good tournament but it was enjoyable/fun to work at and ski and just hang out with everyone from g2 to m8.
    Everyone had a great time, and the college kids are really good skiers.
    One of the trick judges said to me while in the boat , I used to win mens 1 5 yrs ago with 500 points now it would not even make the top 5.
    Lots of energy and great to be a part of.
    billy's puddle swerving around the frogs
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