Let me start off by saying that I have been a waterskier and a fan of waterskiing literally for all of my life. Even though I became a Wakeboarder, I feel my induction to the Waterski Hall of Fame this past April was because of my Overall love, passion, and dedication for all aspect of water sports. Even though I may not ski as much now, I still watch the live webcast from Masters and Moomba every year, and love to talk sking anytime I’m around my old three event friends.
I am always thinking ways I can possibly make Wakeboarding better or different and I have been thinking about slalom and talked with many skiers over the past year.
Now, let me add, one of the coolest things about waterskiing is that they protect and keep the past relevant by keeping rules and variables the same through the years to protect past champions. With that said, this idea I’m thinking of would not change any records from the past. In my mind, this will just allow skiers more strategy to get the score they need.
Symmetrical Slalom Course.
The skier has the option to go through the gates in either direction, for choice of an onside one ball or for an offside one ball. It’s undeniable in slalom, you have a good side and a bad side. That’s just the way it is when you have a sport with a left or right foot forward stance. I’ve talked to skiers and they’d roughly say that 80% of professional men’s slalom events are decided between 2-4 buoys at 41 Off. I feel having a symmetrical course will give the skier the option to strategize the conditions for the score needed and very very critical moments at slalom tournaments.
Traditionally thinking, I know this sounds crazy, going through the course the other way. But if ya think about it, really on any ski level, not just professionals, this can help. When you only need 3 or so buoys on a run you often have trouble with having 2 out of 3 on your good side as opposed to bad side, that could possibly be the difference between a podium or not. Maybe some people would never try it, just because of what they are used to, and that’s ok. But for people getting into the sport or kids learning, It would be amazing if they only knew a slalom course as a symmetrical course. I think announcing events having this course will be easier and more compelling as they are explaining to the crowd why the skier is opting to run the course this way. Is it cause of bounce back rollers on 2 and 4. That their avoiding an offside? Is it the 15 mph cross wind why they opted to go the other way @ 39 1/2. It will really add a level of strategy to the sport or than just opting up a run due to head and tail winds. There will be many variables why I feel skiers would sometimes (maybe not always) but sometimes would want to go the other way. Conditions depending.
All in all, I feel this could be a great addition to competitive slalom skiing, while still protecting all the old records from years past. Give it a thought, I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it. I’m sure this is not the first time someone had this idea. But I think it would be cool to watch as a spectator and a fan of Slalom skiing ! Thanks everyone for the time.
-Parks Bonifay : : : : : :