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jah81592jah81592 Posts: 14 Baller
I would feel confident this question has been asked but here it goes...What is going on within the waterskiing sport? By sport I mean in general. It seems to me that if you can find a direct drive boat now you are lucky. I agree you still have SN, MC and Malibu along with a few other ones. It seems to me that everything revolves around big wakes and even bigger boats! I am a bare footer and it seems to me the ability to find a worth a crap barefoot boat is next to impossible (the lone ranger-Sanger) let along a good outboard BF boat. I was away from boating for around 8 years and darn it-$100k direct drives now and the lack of them was appalling to me. I am a barefooter but still mess around with slalom on days the water is a bit too choppy for my bare feet. Where does this stop (big wakes and even bigger boats)? Are that many people actually not skiing anymore? I go to a river/lake many times a week and rarely see anyone even free skiing anymore. Any explanation would be greatly appreciated.


  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,356 Mega Baller
    The big boats can hold a teenager and 10 of his friends and pull sports that are easy to pick up. Wakesurfing is so close to the boat you can talk to the person doing it.

    Waterskiing/footing have smaller boats, are higher skill, and you want few people in the boat for wake reasons.

    The pigs are simply better party barges. Not to mention the average ski walks into the dealer and doesn’t know what they want but all the dealer has on the floor are pigs so it’s easy to sell one to them. You don’t always even get to see the slalom boats anymore.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 446 Baller
    i agree with what you are saying - it seems that all these wake boats have appeared in the last 15 years. At the local MC dealer they had one prostar and like 10 wake boats.

    And the prices are ridiculous to me. 15 years ago you could get an awesome new slalom boat for 40k - those days are no more it seems. The good news skiing is alive and well - we have 9 skiers in our immediate family.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,229 Mega Baller
    Skiing tricking skurfers wakeboard wakeskate kiteboarding wakesurfing....

    These days even wakeboarding is a flat market compared to surf.

    I've never felt as if a ton of ski boats were sold, I just feel as if the companies that make them are now busy with other things and need to be bigger/more prosperous.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,716 Mega Baller
    @DW Coming soon: combine your iPhone and your water ski!
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,975 Infinite Pandas
    Tony was at the blimp T-Mobile Samsung 9 ad. So he had to ski on a Samsung, not an iPhone.

  • RINLERINLE Posts: 62 Baller
    Kids today grow up seeing Shawn White and Tony Hawk. A board whether surf skate wake or snow fits their identity more. A lot of their fashion revokves around boarding and surfing. They have never seen A Coors Light ski tournament but have seen Red Bull sponsored X-games.

    And .... surfing is easy.
  • ISP6ballISP6ball Posts: 183 Baller
    @RINLE your last comment hit the nail on the head.

    Tubing and surfing......unfortunately
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    If you are new to water sports, and someone takes you on the lake and you see a big beautiful 23 foot MasterCraft with a huge tower on it, some guy surfing doing 11 mph, with 10 of their buddies drinking beer having fun. Then there’s us, our ski boats can’t fit more than 3 people comfortably, we worry about .002 of an inch on a fin, worry about the boat path, if the rope stretched, is the ZO on the right setting? Is the boat mapped correctly? Asking our buddies to shift around so the boat is weighted properly... oh and by the way, if you want to become a really good skier it takes years to learn how to do. I get it, one of my buddies has one of the 23 foot MasterCrafts, and when we go out on it I absolutely love it... not enough to quit skiing and start surfing, but I understand why people moved that way
  • DWDW Posts: 2,130 Mega Baller
    The speed and challenge of slalom (and all my other vices) are a main attraction and slow is simply not in my vocabulary. @Live2ski - the videos posted on the MSU (see the Michigan State waterski team thread on this site) might be a great tool to attract the very people you note and steer them to 3 event, the videos certainly provide footage that shows people having a great time...thanks to Marcus Brown and Flowpoint for creating the collegiate piece. Agree with @jah81592 finding a combo slalom / barefoot boat is harder than in past decades, Malibu SV23 hull is still one of the best DD combo footing/slalom hulls.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,805 Mega Baller
    Regarding skiing: “we choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard” and doing them “will measure our skills and energies”.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,229 Mega Baller
    @braindamage - but there is nothing that compares to ripping a nice morning ski session on big open water - the falls usually only hurt a few times a season ;)
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 176 Baller
    @BraceMaker totally agree!!! Not much better than a sunrise set on glass with nobody around to make wakes other than a stray duck.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,130 Mega Baller
    My favorite motto - If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,107 Mega Baller
    edited April 2018
    @skibrain is the CG Fin app integrated with the FinDB app to self-adjust?
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,372 Mega Baller
    True that surfing is easy ,friendly and no hard fall but...what do they get their adrenalin rush from ?
    I need a sport that give me a challenge not one ''...on the water activity...'' that you can do with a beer in one hand and a fat one in the other!
  • jah81592jah81592 Posts: 14 Baller
    edited April 2018
    I appreciate all the responses in this thread. The statements have merely confirmed my suspicions. I told my wife the other day people are wimpy. I understand that this is primarily a slalom site but my heart is with footing. I foot 90% of the time. Footing hurts, falls hurt, learning hurts, the thought hurts and the speed? know how that is with footing. I have taken no less than 20 people on my boat in the last few years and all are in awe when they see me do it but NONE are willing to put in the time to learn. The first time I saw Tim foot (the guy who taught me) I knew it was me. I put in the time and learned all the tricks (without shoe skis and at full speed). The falls and pain were worth it. I am 44 and to this day it is my waterski of choice. I look for glass water and well the drinks come afterwards when the boat is anchored down. I really wish I could find a bare foot site as active as this site is. Oh well, thank you guys so much for the responses and I will continue lurking in the background.

    Just FYI-we purchased my daughter her first slalom and hopefully she will rock out. She has been two skiing for the last two seasons and I told her it is past time to learn to slalom. I feel she will thank me once she gets up and learns. I almost cannot tolerate two skiing-if I am going to be on a board it will be a slalom.
  • Tbone71857Tbone71857 Posts: 22 Baller
    We just purchased our new "used" bowrider 19 Chaparral earlier this summer - I'm a long-time slalom skier and have echoed the exact same sentiments to my wife and kids this summer...about the loss of the sport and the huge $150K wake-surfing boats. We own combo skis, three slalom skis and two wakeboards. I will not entertain the thought of wake surfing (because my boat can't do it and I purchased it for a reason). The huge boats are "ruining" the lake with the 3' rollers and creates a dangerous skiing environment and boating environment. I feel like a teenager when I see another boat pulling a slalom skier- chasing it down just to watch. Our lake is oftentimes too rough (wind and boats) to slalom but I really enjoy the challenge and opportunity to improve.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    My thought reading through this. skiing for me was always a 3 person max thing if done the way I wanted to. Ever since starting years ago. We were a little self absorbed and obsessive, and skiers are. BUT, skiers always watched out for their impact on other skiers (boat path, access to our public course, wake thrown when coming in around moored boats on public water, etc.). By comparison, the self absorption today seems to be social media, selfie, phone based, "Hey, look at me with my buddies cranking tunes drinking beer on a big boat! Aren't I at a great party?" Without regard to impact on others. Boat paths, massive wakes possibly damaging floating docks and piers, or banging up boats moored in a harbor or bay, massive speakers blaring whatever tunes so that anyone around is subjected to whatever musical taste the driver has, etc. And it is easier, I suppose. Though I have not done it.

    Other sports have moved more to an amusement park/artificial environment model as well. Surf boats create artificial waves. Mountain biking has moved to bike parks and prepared runs at resorts that have lifts to do the climbing for you, rather than billy goating up a steep trail in the backcountry or woods to get your downhill. Snowskiing struggled at first when snowboarding came along as it was easier to pick up, until shaped and wider skis make skiing physically easier. And now we have human made features in a "park" taking up lots of real estate rather than people getting further out on the mountain to explore. Seems to be part of an overall trend. (In fairness as I read before posting, waterski slalom has moved further over the years to artificial lakes that can sometimes be like private parks as well, somewhat excluding more general participants.)

    BUT, the there seems to be some hope with younger people starting to be interested in slalom skiing, based on things I have seen at grassroots tournaments, etc. Can't say I have seen much about barefooting though. So, those are my thoughts.
  • h2onhkh2onhk Posts: 305 Crazy Baller
    @jah81592 many of us here feel your pain. Surfing is easy. People have fun showing off how big of a wave they can make with 100,000lbs of ballast, surf gates, wedges, brackets, widgets, and gizmos even though 90% of the ones in our area still apparently need a rope to surf with.... a.k.a training wheels. The only thing more boring that surfing is watching someone surf - especially with a rope. That's why these boats have mega loud speakers and 9 million cup holders. So the rest of the 15 people on the boat don't get bored out of their mind and can be entertained by something else. Go to any of the big 3 boat companys forums on the web and all you will read is, prop it this way, list it that way, bag it here, put lead there.....The surfing fad will eventually pass just as wakeboarding has started to. The unfortunate piece is the large boats will still remain in the used market.

    The other item that I'm not sure if anyone has touched on is the boom of the super-pontoon. Tritoons especially. Huge floating living rooms with large outboards capable of taking 15 people while still pulling Johnny and his buddies on a tube at high speeds. Thank god they haven't figured out a way to surf behind them yet...

    Water skiing has always withstood the test of time. The more of us that promote it, engage our kids and our kids friends in skiing, tricking, barefooting, etc the better.

    Surf and Tube are 4 letter bad words in our house!

  • aspskiaspski Posts: 211 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    In my opinion, waterskiing will always be alive and well. Everything is cyclical, just look at the rise and 'fall' of wake boarding. For a few years that was all you saw. There are still a lot of people that do it, but its not nearly as prevalent as it used to be. Water skiing may be the next big thing in water sports once surfing starts to die down, who knows. Just look at the saying "Whats old is new again!"
    I think in terms of difficulty it goes (from hardest to easiest) Slalom, wakeboard, surf. This is why we saw the rise of wake boarding 10-15 years ago and now surfing in the last few years.
    I think getting people out on the water and experiencing behind a boat doing whatever activity they want is the most important thing. I still have memories of first getting up on skis, first time cutting hard on a slalom, first time jumping the wake on a board, first time surfing rope-less. People will gradually work their way up in terms of difficulty and I would not be surprised if a lot of these people surfing right now find themselves on a slalom ski in a few years time!
  • PacManPacMan Posts: 75 Baller
    edited July 2018
    There are just so so many reasons but I agree that a big one is that the dealers just don't bother stocking the slalom boats, my local mc dealer hasn't had I prostar in easily 10 years. That combined with lazyness and the fact everyone wants to drink all day everyday and sleep late kinda makes slalom not even an option. People just don't care enough to even try learning to ski at all it's too hard or skiing is boring is what I hear from many people.

    My big thing against those boats aside from everything already said is the impact on the shoreline! I live on a 256 acre lake and I want it to stay that size. I have spoken to people on other lakes in the area and some of the shoreline have expanded More that 50 feet in the last 15 years! Cue DNR!!!

    On the bright side I have seen more people skiing or learning to ski on my lake this year than i have in the last 5 years combined. That has me excited! Hopefully this trend continues.
    If your not having fun your not doing it right.
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