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Why water skiing is not on ESPN



  • robmollysilverlakerobmollysilverlake Posts: 96 Baller
    In my experience in MN we have many more lakes than we have ski slopes and I would guess that more people participate in water sport activities than down hill skiing, tubing, or snowboarding. Obviously not all of the people choose to ski, but I believe they have easier access to water skiing, even if that is with two skis in choppy water, at least in MN.
  • kurtis500kurtis500 Posts: 76 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited October 2020
    Snow skiing is WAY easier than anything on the water.. Not only is it cheaper but these two for starters:

    1-you go at your own speed, not the boats
    2-your not pulling against anything and you can stay on the skis all day

    theres no way people go 6-7 hours a day on a waterski...for a week
  • robmollysilverlakerobmollysilverlake Posts: 96 Baller
    Water skiing is so easy to learn, if you have a pair of wide combo skis and someone who knows how to teach a beginner. My 30 year old co-worker who came to visit one weekend up at the lake this summer had never water skied her in her entire life. She was able to get up and have a blast skiing, I think it took her 2 or 3 tries.

    Obviously skiing faster and on a slalom ski, especially if you're running a course, is harder, but a double black diamond run is harder than the bunny hill.

    We even had my cousins' kids who were 4 and 5 skiing behind the boat, (and a 2 year old on the easy ski) you don't have to go fast to ski. No they didn't ski 6-7 hours a day, but when they go snow skiing they don't last very long on the bunny hill either.
  • lkblkb Posts: 629 Baller
    For me the part about the of lack wide media coverage that’s really a shame is that the world at large who watch espn or other televised sports is how unknown/under-appreciated Regina J is. Her level of achievement is truly incredible.
  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 767 Mega Baller
    I’m not sure about snow skiing being cheaper than waterskiing . A weekend up in Tahoe for a family of 4 is about $2000 . Not worth it to me.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 217 Crazy Baller
    Snow skiing cheaper than waterskiing? Certainly not for competition skiers.

    Season passes for my family of 3 over $5K. Team membership for my daughter $1800. Price of lodging for minimum of 60 nights per year - minimum $100 per night with advance reservations and staying in a very simple place. Or, buy a place near the mountain which are hard to find for under $500K in Tahoe. Price of lift tickets for my wife and I when she races at an away mountain $70 to $120 each. That's 4 or 5 races per year. Three new pair of skis, minimum , and usually every year - $700 to $1000 per set. Racing poles $150 per set times at least two sets, replaced every time she grows 3 inches. Pair of race boots every year $200 to $500. Race suits $175 and up. Plus Jackets, gloves, training pants, goggles, helmets, ski bags. Race fees that equal or exceed any water ski tournament. Throw in the extra costs of driving 4WD vehicles as well.

    Water skiing, I bought a perfectly good 98 Ski Nautique for 13K. I can join the Berkeley water ski club for about $500 per year, or even a private lake for $2-3K per year. I splurged and bought my daughter a KD Platinum with a reflex and a D3trick. Not even close to what I spend on snow skis - every year. Throw in mid level water ski for the wife and me, and we are still way ahead. Even sending my daughter to lessons with top pro coaches, still cheaper than snow skiing.

    I also agree with loopski. Even a weekend for 4 in Tahoe can cost the new skier $2K - easily.
    Lift tickets are $169; ski rentals are $40; hotel is $200 or more; meals, gas, etc.

  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,004 Administrator
    edited October 2020
    @Hallpass I dropped $250k on a TINY ( un-deeded ) lake house because it was the only ski option within 2 hours. Then I pay $650 monthly HOA dues. That is before my first gallon of gas or a boat.

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  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 767 Mega Baller
    I’m lucky I guess in the cost to fulfill my waterskiing. I have to pay a mortgage and an HOA regardless of where I live. So my cost is just the boat and gas. Living on the lake I don’t spend a lot on gas as my ski buddies typically bring enough gas to cover our use. I would say I spend less than $300 a season . Boat payment and insurance a year equals to 4 weekends of snow skiing. The cost of entry vary obviously. I would love to see skiing on TV. I fell in love with it when I lived on the foster city lagoon and watching the shows at marine world. If we want skiing to be mainstream, it needs to be a show not a tournament. It’s needs to be a business. , but I doubt that is what the skiers want.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 217 Crazy Baller
    @ Horton. Lot of money. Particularly painful when we know the money could go a lot further in other states. Still not as costly as a home or condo anywhere near slopeside.

    I love both sports. They have unique experiences and unique challenges. It is what it is.

  • kurtis500kurtis500 Posts: 76 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    The racing version of ANYTHING will be more expensive than the regular every-day user cost. I raced boats for 18 years, if the average skier had to spend racing dollars to be on the water most would drop the sport overnight.

    I live in Park City (still have my home in AZ) and know many involved with the US Ski Team up here from parents to coaches to administrators. If you're spending 60 days on the mountain its no hobby and not comparable to the money most people put in to do a sport for fun or the challenge.
  • cruznskicruznski Posts: 127 Baller
    @ESPNSkier it's a world where USAWS has redirected the sport to the ultra high end distillation of maybe 3 boat manfacturers and 6 ski companies. I get that about 40 athletes maybe 60 worldwide will play at all in a broadcast that TWBC will cover

    Without pull to youth in wider areas (like public water which USAWS has abdicated defending) I really don't want to see 4th gen from private ski lakes or families being the premier athletes in the sport.
    Our club has done learn to ski days for literally decades -- support and media from USAWS ZERO .

  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 537 Crazy Baller
    Cable parks are the ski slopes on the water, and give affordable access to watersports, even offering rental equipment for those that don't have anything.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 217 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2020
    So this did not start out as a Snow ski vs. water ski thread and it should not now. But, to the topic of why not on ESPN vs. why snow skiing is routinely on television: Snow skiing lead sponsors include Audi, Land Rover, Visa, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab. That's some deep pockets, aimed at high income viewers. Proctor and Gamble, Paul Mitchell, Blue Diamond Almonds, Pacifico and xfinity amongst the household names with deep pockets.
    Any one of these companies have more sponsorship firepower than CC, MC, Bu, and all the ski companies combined.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 159 Baller
    trying to get it back to ESPN or similar is small pond thinking, the world is vast (7.8 Billion people) and solely targeting one US network will only aim at a few thousand people. Fee generating platforms like YouTube get pretty much worldwide coverage and is certainly the future of "TV" coverage.
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 946 Mega Baller
    Snow skiing isn't on ESPN either. Mostly, it's on the Olympic Channel and sometimes NBC's sports channel. The only people watching those broadcasts are people into ski racing and people that want to see a good wreck (just like NASCAR).
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 537 Crazy Baller
    Snow skiing is on in the X-games, on ESPN. Snowboarding is often on all the major networks. Although I agree waterskiing will never make nor need to make major television networks.
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 919 Mega Baller
    @Robert_Pigozzi I do not doubt that some of that money is misused and could be put to better uses, but I don't think the amount of money is even close to enough to get water skiing back on live TV or secure the support of big-name sponsors.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,004 Administrator

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  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 85 Baller
    I don't have many answers, but can give you a casual observers point of view regarding watching water skiing on television. I watched two TWBC broadcasts over the Summer. I missed the most recent MasterCraft event. They seemed to do an incredible job, and I'm thankful for their hard work. I do know a lot of the names of the skiers competing, and was very interested. For the first event earlier in the Summer, I actually watched both days. It was great skiing all around. I even watched a lot of the amateurs to see what it looks like when they ski. However, after a while I found myself seeing what line length the skiers were at, and would go do something else if it was a longer line. Watching Manon, Regina, Will, JT, etc. cruise through 32, 35, and 38 off wasn't that interesting after a while. Plus with the breaks after each pass, it felt like a very slow "pace of the game". I definitely was glued to the TV for the short line passes. I completely understand that is how the sport works.

    People have mentioned downhill skiing, and even Formula 1 earlier. I actually have tuned in to watch those events, and I have nothing to do with either one of them. But, they are pretty exciting, and almost non stop. You don't have the downhill skiers taking an easy run down the mountain before finally going for it. It's all out from the start, immediately followed by another skier going all out. Not sure what it is about Formula 1, but it does keep me interested. Those guys seem incredibly talented. I watch less and less NFL every year because the commercials, replays, challenges, etc. have ruined the pace of that game. I do watch some soccer. That sport is an easy target in the US, but it's two hours of almost non stop activity.

    Like I said, I don't have many answers. Maybe it's just the way the competition set up is? But, I don't see how you do it any differently.
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