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Big Dawg & Andy Photo Caption


SkiJay
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I love the symbolism in this photo:

- One thinks he's the big dawg, the other knows he's the big dawg.

- It's a sort of youth and exuberance vs. old age and treachery.

- Big Dawg looks like he's saying, "Bring it Andy, any time, any place." Andy looks like he's thinking, "Do I hear yapping ... somewhere behind me?"

- Neither Big Dawg nor Andy is showing the slightest sign of being intimidated by the other.

- And, both of them look like they are thinking, "This is gonna be fun."

It would have made a great pre-event promotional poster.

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When you're the top dog, everyone is trying to take a bite out of you.

He is still young enough, depends on how bad he wants it... and has time to do it.

On a part-time basis, he still scares the Big Dawgs.

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Come on guys. This dude retired almost 10 years ago. You really think he's going to stay anywhere near the same almost a decade after retirement? Sure Slalom in many ways isnt too physically demanding, but the pressure being ladled on that old body at that age? If he were 40 I'd say sure as Im a firm believer in men/athletes being productive until 40, but the man is 49. Julio Franco played baseball until he was 49, and baseball is a really physically forgiving sport. Nobody at 49 is going to do anything like they did at 39. You think if this guy was still productive and competitive for the last 10 years he'd compete?
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uuuhhh, how bout KLaP? Yes, I do believe he'll run into 43 soon. When you get that short, the dif between 34 and 36 becomes less and less--still definitely easier, but closer. He's been traing his rear off and will continue...thanks to Todd.
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@Taelan28 One could argue he is in better shape now than he was 10 years ago. Slalom is not to physically demanding....??right... Andy retired from skiing for a while yes, but took up road biking and was very successful at it. It made him a better athlete and competitor because of it. I heard he even had a chance of riding a day or so on the Tour de France this year. Even at 49 he can keep up on a bike with 20 somethings on the worlds largest road bike stage. There is a reason he is the greatest athlete our sport has ever seen thus far.

 

As liquid d pointed out Kris LaPoint is 59 and his average tournament score is 2@41. He is skiing better these days than he ever did on the pro tour. He ran multiple 39s in the Texas Big Dawg stop to knock out some of the best out there who could possibly be over 20 years younger than him.

Dont ever count these guys out they are still a viable threat to the young guns of the Big Dawg

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@Taelan LOL! LOL! LOL! Not physically demanding LOL! tell that to the pros with thier aching backs and shoulders, I know for a fact, Andy was permantly, breacking vitamin "E" capsules and pouring the contents into the holes in his hands, he suffered daily discomfort in those hands, in a matter of fact, I had a conversation with his parents at a pro event and they said that his body had been ravaged by the sport and he was likely to retire because he was finding it more difficult to recover after events and his hands were constantly hurting and sore.
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Don't forget there's a psychological thing still there too. When Andy's on the dock it effects attitudes. Age doesn't always mean a lot in this sport. Do you have to be fit? Yes, certainly helps! Built like a brick crap house? No, that's usually a handicap. Smart enough to work on technique? Definitely! Lucky enough to ski with better skiers. Gold! I know many skiers in their 50's who are much better now than when they were were 20 somethings. Andy isn't from this planet. I accept that.
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Run 43??? You guys are out of your mind! Don't let the legend of Mapple interfere with the reality of 43. I'm still not 100% sure he will get 41 done. @tbrenchley good to see you finally stopped being a lurker and decided to join the conversation.
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There is Absolutely, no doubt in my mind he will get 41 done, even if he doesn't, it will be a long time before we see someone else reign as long as he did, he is a true champion in every way, and has done so much for the sport, in my eyes he is a LEGEND, as for Andy I,m not sure it,s about running 41 off, I think he is pleased to be amongst like minded people and wishes to continue and enjoy the sport he loves.

 

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Let me be clear about my comment, nobody that is familiar with the sport of slalom will ever argue that Andy Mapple is not a legend and the Michael Jordan of buoys. I grew up watching him dominate the sport and anything he said in an interview or did on a video was the talk of the dock the next time out on the lake but let's let him get through 41 first before we start writing, what would be, the greatest chapter in the book of slalom skiing.

 

Andy was the greatest of his time and could hang with many today but technology has changed, training has become better, and there is a Lebron James or two in the sport today that can't be overlooked.

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I think we can all agree that as the rope gets shorter, we are approaching the limits of physics. I know there are people out there that believe that running 43 is approaching (if not surpassing) physical limitations.

 

So IF that's the case, why not make the next line length be 41.5, or 42, or something longer than 43? Is it possible that the loops of the rope will ever be amended to help truly find what that physical limit is?

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The gap from -41 to -43 is HUGE -- I agree with any implication that the gap is too large.

 

However:

 

1) I can't think of any compelling reason that -43 is impossible. I'm not even the lankiest guy around, and with my reach of about 2.4m, I "only" must achieve 72 degrees at the apex to get around the buoy. Math check: invsin(11.5m / (9.75m + 2.4m)) ~= 71.2 degrees.

 

2) The powers-that-be seem aware of the "mistake" and the next length takes off only 25cm. Things would probably be a touch more interesting if the progression were more like 10.25, 9.85, 9.55, but clearly the rules-makers are pretty attached to everything being a multiple of 1/4 meters, and what we have now isn't THAT far off.

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Standing by my commenta again...

Slalom is stressful on the body in terms of the forced being applied but for the most part the muscles arent contracting at all. A physically demanding sport is rock climbing where it test strength and endurance. Cycling and running are physically demanding too.

 

A 49 year old body is deteriorating and i would put money on someone equally in shape and 10 years younger every time.

 

This debate is also silly. Where are the measurable numbers to show that this guy is better than he was 10 years ago. You guys are voting yes on emotions im voting no based on comparisons to athletes in other sports.

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Water Skiing is explosive, eye, hand co-ordination, and timing, as well as core strength, there is no gym workout to replace water skiing activity, yes we can learn the skills to ski well, but I have only come across several people in my life time, that are natural waterskiers/sports people, the skills they have cannot be gained by any amount of training or practice, they have something others do not, Never Write them off ! they can do things you and I will never be able to do.
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@Taelan28 Ok, let's just assume that you're right about waterskiing NOT being a physically demanding sport. Doesn't this completely negate your argument that Andy is at a major disadvantage bc of his age? I'm not sure I follow your logic, ignoring the fact that I believe you are incorrect.
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Yes @webbdawg99 it would seem that way and I may very well be fudging on my meanings. Its not physically demanding in the sense that it requires the body to do a lot, and its not physically demanding like other sports such as hockey, football, basketball, tennis, raquetball, volleyball, rowing or rock climbing. Those sports require a vast range of movements, strength, speed, agility and endurance.

 

Slalom skiing is a sport, its not golf! Yes you need strength, and some decent cardio (Im suprised how hard I breathe after a 2 km run!). Slalom skiing is like an olympic sport in the sense that its highly repeditive (sprinting, shotput, rowing, swimming, even cycling, and any track and field event.) and for the most part the physical requirements are some above average cardio, super strong grip and an ability to pull hard and withstand the force. As I said before the skier muscles are not contracting and lifting weight so much as they're supporting weight, thus I dont believe skiing is physically demanding. If you disagree with that statement then try to improve your benchpress or squats but just holding the weight up.

 

The training that goes into being a better skier is more physcially demanding than sking. The stretching, agility, lifting and cardio are all done so the body can withstand greater force on the course.

 

Slalom skiing seems to be physically punishing more than it is physically demanding. I exercise a lot and have some strong bicepts. Due likely to some less than perfect technique my body gets jerked by the slack and I have a sore arm the next day. My arm is not getting strong, it is being punished but some unecessarily quick forces. The same goes for the lower back on the pull. I may not pull correctly and crunch my lower back in a way that is not meant to. Strength and training are a means of minimizing injury as much as they are to improve performance.

 

To put what i mean in the most simple terms.

Physically demanding requires strength, speed, stamina, agility and a range of motions.

Physically punishing is putting the body through excessive stresses that cannot be replicated in a training environment. More simply you cannot train you face to get punched and take punches better. Like wise I cannot train my arm to deal with the forces of the boat pulling slack.

 

Once again Slalom skiing is not very physically demanding because the muscles are not contracting or lifting anything so much as they're supporting excessive weight. The range of motion in slalom skiing is also very limited: stretch left, turn, pull, stretch right, turn, pull. The body's motions dont do much else.

 

Where this fits with Andy Mapples age and him not being able to perform at the level he could, because of the training he needs to do to withstand the forces of slalom skiing. Like I said training for skiing is more physically demanding than skiing itself and at the age of 49, he and everyone else I am aware of has not been able to perform at the level they could have when they were 39.

 

The man himself said in an interview his mind was writing checks his body couldnt cash.

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If ever there was a guy whose body can withstand the forces of slalom skiing, it is Andy Mapple. He once told me that in his entire career, he never missed a single tournament due to injury. How many pro skiers can make that statement? The only reason he isn't the dominator he once was is that he really doesn't care as much about skiing as he used to. He races bicycles now, and is winning at very high level competitions. Nearly all of his training time is now spent on a bike, not behind a boat. If he ever decides to truly go after skiing again, it will be obvious.
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There are guys on this site who have seen Andy run 41 recently. There is vid on this site of Andy running 41 @ 36 mph within the last few years. That's current world record territory. Amazing that he can continue to ski at that level.

I'm sure he has to train less, but smarter, and certainly as he ages his time window is more limited than younger athletes. For now if he is getting thru 41 with some regularity in practice and he skis enough tourneys I would think it falls. How many other 34 mph skiers are running 41 in practice regardless of age?

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@SkiJay I agree with you but, times have changed for him these days. If Andy is not in the office/shop, or testing skis he is with his family. I'm sure he still gets to ride some but nothing like he was the last few years.

 

@crashman I disagree I think Andy can still kill it at 36 if he wanted to.

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I was confused by Taelan28's explanation of how slalom skiing isn't physically demanding until I read his thread about help threading the gates. If you are a free skier, and there is nothing wrong with free skiing, then the physical demand on your body is completely relative. Not to mention if I was skiing behind an outboard with no speed control, well that might barely constitute slalom skiing at all. You get behind a 350 hp malibu with zero off going 36 mph and pull out for the gates at 38 off or shorter and know you're in for the hardest 16.08 seconds of your day and fight for every buoy then tell me it's not physically demanding.

 

I'll even use your definition: Physically demanding requires strength, speed, stamina, agility and a range of motions. If this doesn't define your style of skiing then you might want to stick with rock climbing because you're involved with recreational skiing not competitive slalom skiing.

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@tbrenchley I dont believe Slalom skiing is very physically demanding because IT IS 16.08 seconds. There are only two positions in which one is exercing force. Once again, muscles are not contracting. Come to think of it I'll give you the agility argument because when one botches a turn I gotta find a way to rebalance and get back on track.

 

I don't say Slalom skiing is not physically demanding. It is, but not as much compared to other sports and the physicality required is well within a lot of peoples abilities. Whats important to note is that what I find to be physically demanding is very subjective, there's no way to measure it.

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I believe there is a "Dislike" threshold that causes stuff to stop being displayed. Taelan28 is the world leader in Dislikes. I try really hard to be welcoming and understand that different experiences lead to different views, but I just can't take him seriously any more.
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this is the only part of taelen's comment that shows up on my profile since he mentioned me in it "tbrenchley I dont believe Slalom skiing is very physically demanding because IT IS 16.08 seconds. There are only two positions in which one is exercing force. Once again, muscles are not contracting. Come to think of it I'll give you the agility ar..." I hope someday he finally gets it. This sport is so physically demanding that you couldn't do it for much longer than 16.08 seconds at a time at a maximum line length. Sure I could spin it to win it at 32 or 35 off for 10 passes but I can barely do 38 back to back without being pretty winded
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