Following four days of outstanding performances in near perfect conditions, the eyes of the Waterski world were all on Ukraine this weekend. With Finals in Slalom, Tricks and Jump just concluded, the very best U21 athletes from 22 countries fought hard to capture the coveted titles of world champion in all three disciplines of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF). Excellent TV and online coverage throughout shared the thrills with a global audience.
All events were pulled by the Ski Nautique 200 boat which already has 25 world records to its credit. Including the Overall, with eight gold medals at stake, four went to the USA, two to Ukraine and one each to Canada and Great Britain.
In Ladies Slalom, ten of the twelve finalists scored on the 11.25m line with four achieving three or more buoys at this length. Only Allie Nicholson (USA) reached the gold medal fourth buoy just ahead of Bailey Austin (USA) and Pernelle Grobet (SUI). Twenty year-old Nicholson also took the 2016 U21 Slalom title at the Malibu Open and at the 2015 Jr US Open. In Men Slalom, hot favourite Robert Pigozzi (DOM) picked up an arm injury when crashing out at 3.5 buoys on the 10.75m line, enough for fourth place. However, nineteen year-old Taylor Garcia (USA) was in a league of his own. On the water since the age of seven, he holds no less than seven USA records in Jump and Overall and is the current Jr US Open Slalom, Jump and Overall champion. With a score here of 1 buoy on the 10.25m line and the only athlete to reach that rope length, he is now the IWWF U21 World Slalom Champion. Close behind were Enzo Vigezzi (FRA) and Brando Caruso (ITA) who took Silver and Bronze.
Matteo Luzzeri, joins me live from Spain! We discuss his San Gervasio ProAm, which took place this past weekend for the 4th year in a row.
We also talk about beginning level skiers and some of the important tips for skiers getting started, as well as answering some questions from viewers.
Also, Olympics and Water Skiing, as well as teens being badass skiers/athletes and things they may need to pay attention to as they become the best in the world.
Can’t remember what else we talked about, so maybe quit reading and just go have a listen??…
The tournament started today with two rounds of Amateurs, who slalomed behind our brand new 2017 Malibu TXi.
For 2017 we are excited to have the Water Ski Broadcasting Company webcasting the event in HD for everyone to enjoy.
The qualifying rounds for Pro Women and Men will start at (Italian time), with the nerve-wracking Head to Head Finals taking place at 12pm on Sunday.
The Raptor is the best high end ski you have never seen. Designed by many time German National champion and coach, Willi Ellermeier, the Raptor is different. It is fast. It turns very sharp. It is not for the faint of heart.
The ski is available in 65.75” and 67.5”. The below review reflects the 67.5”.
General Feel: The Raptor wants to follow an early line as opposed to other skis that work best with a less aggressive path from ball to ball. The ski turns extremely hard and makes a lot of speed, but it is also relatively forgiving to skier mistakes.
Many of the best skis on the market in the last 10 years require the skier to temper aggression. Conversely, the Raptor will accommodate skiers who ski with a style that is more “hammer down”. The ski will accommodate calm technical skiers as well.
Toe Side (Off Side) Turn: Off Side Turns on the Raptor are extraordinary. When the skier is in the center of the ski and rolls the ski in at apex, the Raptor feels like no other ski. The ski turns hard and fast but without the feeling of tail slide. The tip stays down and the ski carries more speed than expected back toward the wakes. These turns are dependable and consistent. The ski is relatively forgiving to skier weight distribution. If this ski has one trademark attribute it is the Off Side turn.
Heel Side (On Side) Turn: Heel side turns on the Raptor are also sharp and fast. Much of the review period was spent searching for fin settings to make the On Side turns as good as the Off Side. With the final settings used for this review, as the rope got shorter On Side turns became less flowing and often resulted in a moderate amount of slack at the hookup. I am hesitant to further criticize the On Side turns because I suspect better settings could make a world of difference. At just less than 185 pounds, I am at the bottom of the practical weight chart for this ski.
From Ball to Second Wake: The Raptor seems to always leave the ball with a lot of angle and hold it to the wakes. This ski makes as much speed toward the wakes as any ski on the market.
From Second Wake to the ball: The caveats noted above about how the ski performs at On Side should perhaps be addressed as how the ski casts out and then slows down. This ski carries a lot of speed all the way to the ball. At Off Side this extra speed is manageable and even to the skiers advantage. At On Side this means it takes a little more finesse to get the ski to arc back in on the ball. As noted above this may simply be a matter of fin settings or perhaps the ski is best for skiers weighing in at 190 pounds or more.
Conclusion: This ski is marketed as a 67.5”, but with the front binding at 30.5”, I would find it comparable to a full 68 inch ski. It is a big fast ski that turns on a rail. If this was the ski I was to ride for the rest of the year, I feel confident I would find better settings and put up scores equal to my best.
Best Settings as of the end of this review 30.5 / 2.515 / 6.895 / .830
The San Marcos River Ranch in Martindale, Texas, is excited to announce it will host the 2017 San Marcos River Ranch Pro Night Jump Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 12, as it puts a wrap on hosting the 75th GOODE Water Ski National Championships. Some of the top men’s jumpers from across the country, including Freddy Krueger, Scot Ellis, Taylor Garcia, Mark Lane and Zack Worden, will be invited to battle it out in an exciting head-to-head, sudden-elimination format. Live music, food and the Junior Development and Tournament Officials awards parties will coincide with the night jump event.
Competitors and families are encouraged to extend their stay at the Nationals to take in what will surely be an unforgettable event under the bright stars of Texas. More information, including the final field of competitors, will be posted here as it becomes available.
For more information on the 75th GOODE Water Ski National Championships, which will be held Aug. 9-12, visit www.waterskinationals.com.
The world’s finest water skiers are at the JBSki Arena at Thorpe Lakes, London, UK on to compete in honour of one of the UK’s greatest ever exports - often regarded as the greatest slalom skier of all time - ANDY MAPPLE OBE.
With some cracking prizes on offer thanks to local sponsor MJC Commercial Refurbishment - 3 days of Pro-Am competition climax in head to head Pro finals. Nate Smith, Will Asher, TGas and our very own Freddie Winter will all be taking part. Those of you with longer memories will also enjoy seeing the welcome return to the water of Mike Hazelwood MBE and John Battleday - both of whom skied with Andy Mapple in Team GB - most notably in the legendary 1986 World Cup Finals.
The immaculate Hilltop Lake in Arlington, Washington was the stage of a beautiful blue-bird weekend of skiing and fun that saw skiers of all ages push themselves to new heights. This 4 round class R event had beginner and intermediate skiers sharing the dock with some of the world’s top professional slalom skiers. To kick it off, and evenings, skiers took the opportunity to get a first look at the new Syndicate PRO ski and even had a chance to ride the all new model in a 66” for themselves. , 3 of the world’s top skiers would face-off on the new design giving spectators one heck of a show.
Jaimee Bull is one of the most promising new skiers on the horizon. I don’t say that lightly. Yes, she is the current Jr Masters Slalom Champion, and yes, she does hold the Canadian Jr National Record with 3 @ 39.5 off (10.75m). And yes, she is just barely 17 yrs old.
However, I use the word promising for a different reason than you would think. What impresses me is that she doesn’t think, act or react like a 17 yr old with a lot of talent. She is humble, grateful, dedicated, passionate, smart….basically she is a role model. She is exactly what we would hope a great skier would be.