- Category: Ski Company Videos
- Published on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 20:55
To say that the 2014 BigDawg finals did not happen as planned would be an understatement. Until the last paring of the final 4, it was perhaps the most enjoyable webcast I have ever seen. Kudos to the great guys at WebCast-TV.
After a morning on the phone with officials, skiers, and spectators, I understand the details of last night’s BigDawg final as follows:
It was pretty dark, and visibility was a factor.
Another factor is that the officials were asked to keep things moving for the WebCast and spectators on site.
The pairing was Miller vs. Rogers. They both ran opening passes.
When it was Miller’s turn to run 39, he ran it without issue.
As Rogers was getting ready to make his deep water start and head down the lake for his 39, a VW Jetta was driving along the berm between the lakes. On the bumpy road the car’s headlights were essentially creating a strobe effect. The bouncing headlights were reported by one source to be bad enough to distract the boat driver and impact the boat path. Others on site strongly disagree that the distraction was no more than the other skiers encountered.
The G5 is O’Brien’s flagship ski for their 50th anniversary in the water ski business. The green and black graphics pay tribute to the great O’Brien skis of the 60s and 70s. The difference is that the O’Brien skis from past decades were never nearly this fast or generated this much angle.
The G5 is best suited to a skier who approaches slalom skiing with more finesse than muscle. A skier who strives to exert less physical effort and rides the center of the ski will find an extremely fast and smooth ski. A skier who is used to getting around 6 balls with aggression and strength will find more angle and load then they can practically manage.
Off Side Turns:
Off Side turns on the G5 are almost guaranteed to result in massive amounts of angle. Tempered and calm skiing will result in a fast but smooth change in direction and a controllable amount of angle. Abrupt or aggressive moves by the skier to initiate the finish of turn will result in a radical change in direction.
On Side Turns:
On Side Turns are on the G5 as good as any ski tested to date. With the skier’s shoulders high off the water and at least moderate front foot pressure, the G5 seems to automatically backside the ball every time. More than any ski tested to date, the G5 gives the feeling of apexing early, arcing to the ball, and then finishing the turn early. The G5 makes it easy to carry considerable speed back to the center of the course.
As with Off Side turns, calm technical skiing is handsomely rewarded, and clumsy skiing is poorly tolerated. Back foot heavy or impatient On Side turns will result in a stall with the tip high. The ski will still acquire more than enough angle, but the skier will find the resulting rope load to be challenging.
From the wakes to the ball
The G5 is almost guaranteed to draw a path wide and early in front of the ball. Slalom skiing fundamentals, like controlling rope tension from the wakes to the ball, are the key to better skiing, but the G5 will get out wide and early even when those skills are poorly executed. The G5 is legitimately a very fast ski.
From the ball to the wakes
The G5 needs a skier who can take the angle achieved in the turn and then resist the temptation be overly aggressive to the wakes. If the skier simply maintains their stack, the G5 will create more than enough speed to get wide on the other side. For the skier who cannot resist the temptation to be overly aggressive, the G5 may create more than optimal load, which makes the skier vulnerable to mistakes at the next ball.
Over the course of the review period, I rode the G5 up to my personal all time practice PB numerous times. In addition, I ran passes near my limit that were as smooth as any I have ever run. On days where I was not well rested or not skiing my best, I found the G5 to be challenging.
For the technical skier who can regulate their aggression, the G5 is one of the best skis available today. For the skier guilty of depending on brute strength to run the course, the G5 may work at longer line lengths but will require an attitude change past 35 off.
“The disabled life is all I know.” To some, Mark Turner may just look like a man in a wheel chair, but he is far from that. In fact, he is far from being anything ordinary. He is an extreme athlete. Despite having to do things differently than others, being a paraplegic has never stopped him.
Shortly after birth, Turner was injured which left him immobilized from the waist down. Unlike other paraplegics, Turner’s injury is considered incomplete, meaning that he can use his legs for things like maintaining balance. Thus, when Turner was twelve years old his mother persuaded him to try waterskiing.
“I initially hated it,” Turner said. “I was a punk, the water was cold and nothing my mom could suggest would be cool.”
Though Turner was opposed to it at first, he was soon captivated by the rush and thrill of skiing. By age 14, he competed in his first tournament, and from there Turner’s career took off, and he began to make history.
In 1999, Turner won the slalom title in the MP3 division at worlds in England. He also set a slalom world record in that same year and went on to set another world record in 2000. In 2001, Turner won the overall medal at worlds in Australia.
While world titles and records are indeed an incredible feat, Turner’s hunger for more took him to new and greater heights.
According to Turner, prior to 1999 paraplegic skiers used a smaller version of the full course. Yet, slaloming through the mini-course was not enough for Turner, and he soon became the first paraplegic male to win the disabled worlds on a full slalom course.
Turner’s passion to push paraplegic skiing to new levels and his continuous vigor on the water is contagious everywhere he trains.
“He is one of the most passionate people I know in the sport,” Marc Austin, a friend of Mark’s, said. “He really gets excited to be out there and doesn't seem to let anything stand in his way. I'm always impressed at his drive and positive attitude towards skiing and improving. Plus his slalom turns are absolutely sick.”
Turner’s drive has recently achieved him possibly one of his greatest successes. After competing in the South Central Regionals in Cypress, Turner took 4th in Men’s 3 overall. This placement guaranteed him a spot in the US Nationals, an accomplishment that has made him the first paraplegic and disabled skier ever to qualify for the US Nationals.
“After I had verified I was qualified for the US Nationals, it felt awesome,” Turner said. “I got a little choked up when I realized it.”
Though some may let such an accomplishment go straight to their head, Turner believes that opportunities like these are not to gain praise for himself, but rather to spread the word to others.
“This is about getting the word out,” Turner said. “I know there are people that got hurt, or will get hurt, and don't know water skiing exists. What better way to spread the word than by skiing at nationals.”
He’s a fierce competitor, and he means business. Watch out M3 skiers! Mark Turner is coming to Texas!
As athletes, we have an obligation to protect, enhance and promote the brand of our sport and the companies and products that sponsor our event. As competitors, we must remove even the perception of cheating of any type from our sport to have fair competition.
As a positive step toward promoting our sport, giving back as well as isolating any suspected users of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) we are organizing a 35+ Skiers Association rooted in the following principals:
As a first step to organizing these athletes, the Following Big Dawg finalists have volunteered and agreed to PED Testing at the Big Dawg Finals in Texas later this week.
The 2014 Canadian Water Ski Championships presented by Nautique are just around the corner! Headlining the world-class Canadian content coming to Spray Lake Watersport and Activity Centre in Newmarket, ON, Aug 13-17 are four-time World Champion Whitney McClintock, her brother and multiple Canadian record-holder Jason of Cambridge, ON, world bronze medal winner Ryan Dodd of Olds, AB, Manitoba’s Kole Magnowski, and Winnipeg, MB’s Taryn Grant, fresh off a gold medal performance at the Pan Am Sports Festival. In all over 150 athletes from a variety of age groups will be competing!
Spray Lake Watersports and Activity Centre is situated on a one-of-a-kind, private lake. The Canadian Championships, the last national-level competition before next year’s Pan American Games in Toronto, is a classic three-event tournament composing of slalom, trick and jump.
“I’m excited to perform so close to home at the Canadian Water Ski Championships,” said Jason McClintock, a Pan Am hopeful and gold medal winner at the 2014 Pan Am Sports Festival in the trick event, and member of the world-famous McClintock water skiing family from Cambridge, ON.
“As a test event for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, the nationals are a great opportunity for people to get a sneak peek at our Canadian national team and future talent,” he continued. “The Games are huge for our sport, and I’m focused on being prepared to make Canada proud on home soil next summer!”
The highlight of the Canadian water ski season, admission is free and includes a vendor village in addition to the competition. A complete competition schedule can be found here.
This year’s Calgary Pro Shoot out has been sporting some monstrous scores from the elite men’s division. Of 23 pro men skiers, 15 took down 39 ½ off in the first round, the most ever posted in a pro event. Over all four rounds, there were 39 total scores into 41 off, two of which were also into 43 off.
Nate Smith, Nick Parsons and Will Asher were the top skiers to qualify for the three person shootout. Smith dominated the event with a massive score of 2@43, a new course record, while Nick Parson and Will Asher followed up with a tied score of 2 @ 41.
Fresh off offering water skiing’s first and only completely customized graphics, GOODE Skis is providing even more ways to customize your skiing with three new additions to the world-record breaking XT lineup: the Nano XTT™, Nano XTM™ and Nano XTW™. Check out the entire XT lineup at store.goode.com.
The three new skis compliment GOODE’s flagship Nano OneXT™ by catering to skiers who prefer either narrower (traditional) or wider skis. See which model is best for you with this ski comparison chart.
“The Nano OneXT has been one of the most well-received skis we’ve ever had,” said Dave Goode, founder and president of GOODE Skis. “But while the XT is going to be the right ski for probably 80 percent of skiers, there is still that 20 percent that likes the narrower or wider skis that we’ve been very successful with before. We are taking the best characteristics of the XT and adding them to these new widths so that no matter your preference, there is a world-class GOODE for you.”
The differences in the new skis are primarily the width, with the second “T” in XTT standing for “traditional” width (narrower than the XT), and the “M” and “W” in XTM and XTW standing for “mid” and “wide” (wider than the XT), respectively. While the new skis have a width and shape unique for each model, all feature the ground-breaking AsymRocker™, an asymmetrical rocker technology that first debuted with the Nano OneXT. AsymRocker creates a longer rocker on the offside, and a shorter rocker on the onside, completely eliminating any differences between on- and off-sides and leading to better, smoother and more consistent turns that build angle and add buoys.