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Symmetrical course : : : : : :

ParxxxParxxx Posts: 3 Legendary Water Skier
edited August 8 in News & Other Stuff

Symmetrical Course

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 waterskiing! Thanks everyone for the time. Ttys

-Parks Bonifay : : : : : :


  • jimskijimski Posts: 406 Solid Baller
    Any thing you do or are involved in @parks looks like a riot
    I’m it
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,205 Mega Baller
    I love this idea. Would be a challenge to pull off at many three event lakes but it'd be cool if you could somehow master both gates.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,303 Mega Baller
    A similar idea would be a 5 buoy course. Literally the same course as today with one buoy removed and the gates repositioned.

    The advantages would be compelling first by making a lot of marginal lakes long enough for slalom. For judging purposes you could feasibly put both gate cameras on the same pole on the same side of the lake. That same location would be the idea judges tower so no need to run cables all over the lake just have everything in one place.

    As a skier you'd get a gate from both sides depending on what pass you were on. Which would really present some interesting strategies depending on your dominate turn, wind, etc.

    So similar, a bit different with some interesting potential.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • ParxxxParxxx Posts: 3 Legendary Water Skier
    Klindy , interesting concept . But I feel once you go to a 5 ball course it makes all new records set will be in a different category by having a course that is not a traditional 6 ball course. Symmetrical course is the same dimensions as a normal course just on the other side . Very Important I feel not to change past records for any divisions by having new course dimensions .
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,866 Administrator
    I vote for a 7 ball course.

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  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,962 Mega Baller
    Didn’t we have a thread on this recently. You wouldn’t need any more length to put buoys on each side of the boat gates then the skier could pick which side to start from. Frankly I am surprised Lucky Lowe doesn’t have a course like that.
    Mark Shaffer
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 317 Crazy Baller
    I think that this is a really good idea and wonder why it has not happened already.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,801 Mega Baller
    @Chef23 doesn't require more length though on many lakes there are natural obstructions such as banks that interfere between turn balls, and on 3 event lakes it is usually the jump ramp smack dab between turn balls where the counter side side ball would/could be.

    Meaning any lake with slalom/jump overlay would need to pull the jump to run slalom also brings up complexity with portables having to decide do you install it rff or lff to ski today.

    Anyone who wants to try it can flip flop their portable course in no added time
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 987 Mega Baller
    You could do this as lake conditions permit since there are obvious safety consideration on some lakes. Wouldn't need to be every lake. Run it when you can, not when you can't. The real tell of whether it's being well received would be tournament attendance at sites with vs without.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,308 Mega Baller
    Gordon has had a symmetrical course several times at Ski Paradise in Acapulco. After so many years of going right through the gate, going left (even as a LFF) skier was really weird. Fun, but weird.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,899 Mega Baller
    Great idea Parks and congratulations on your induction into the WSHOF!!!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,962 Mega Baller
    @BraceMaker that is a good point on many smaller lakes and lakes with a jump. Our courses are on a more sizable body of water and all we would needs would be the longer arms on each side of the gates and 6 extra turn balls.
    Mark Shaffer
  • marknmarkn Posts: 216 Solid Baller
    Guess I am in the minority. Not a fan.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,801 Mega Baller
    @Chef23 brings up the question. Once you introduce the option it is no longer fair if it isn't available.

    I personally like the idea/see no reason not to implement it. But also wonder if maybe some events should just be reverse mirrored.

    Maybe some sites would be better with a left hand 1 ball
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,766 Mega Baller
    Did we not discus this a few months ago?
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,588 Mega Baller
    5-ball or 7 ball get my vote. Would be weird to drive too
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • CBR51CBR51 Posts: 86 Baller
    Great idea Parks. Thanks for your input
  • Mateo_VargasMateo_Vargas Posts: 853 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm sure @rico would be in favor of a 5 ball course.
    Success is failure that just hasn't happened yet
    liquid dDragoAndre
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,032 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    For me it would have to be a 7 ball course, but that would rule out a lot of lakes, if it was a 5 ball just wouldn,t bother putting my ski on

    When The Going Gets Tough, Get Stoked !

  • Chris RossiChris Rossi Posts: 286 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Parxxx thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. We have talked about doing this in the past but nothing was done. You and I have had multiple talks about it and I agree with your points. I think the important part is that the next generation would not be limited to our constraints and may give them more options to get to the end of the pass. Other than specific sites where this would not be safe, I am fully on board. I do not see one drawback to what you have proposed. How many of you out there have a course and would be willing to test this out? I will get my course set up for this and do some testing this fall. Thanks again for being such a visionary.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 276 Solid Baller
    I think it would be great fun to alternate end to end "right one ball, "left one ball". Do a thousand passes and see what's best for you!
  • S1PittsS1Pitts Posts: 180 Baller
    It would be nicer for those with a river course too. Adapter wise and current that influences turns at balls.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 851 Crazy Baller
    edited August 11
    It would be fun to figure out which way works better for you having the option to go with onside or offside gate (and how many offside turns you get in the course.) But I'm thinking that once you figure one way or the other to be better for you, most people would probably stay with that direction instead of changing. Not sure that conditions would alter that much. Gates are a pain enough adapting to various conditions without having throwing in another variable.
  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 17 Baller
    @Jody_Seal I brought this up in Mostly Slalom about March 13, 2019 to mixed review.
    I think it would add some strategy and it wouldn't take up anymore space than traditional.
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