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Canadian skiers let's talk!!


jayski
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First off to quickly introduce myself My name is Jay Kolewaski and I am a newly elected Board member of Waterski and Wakeboard Canada (WSWC).

 

One of my ambitions is to open a greater communication and transparency between WSWC and the membership that participates in all aspects of towed water sports. Please consider expending what ever little amount of time you can to let me know your views, thoughts and desires in regards to our organization, the disciplines, the competitions, the culture or any aspect relating to towed water sports. Even if you are not a member of WSWC please reach out, be great to hear why you are not a member and what would help for you to consider becoming a member.

 

Your input is important and needs to be considered and I am here to listen, discuss and convey. You can PM me here or email me at jay39_5@hotmail.com. I look forward to any and all input!!

 

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Good to know you are on here! One thing I have seen so far is the lack of public courses. I think the sport would be a lot better off if more lakes had a slalom course, or it access to private lakes was better. Being in Calgary really the only place to ski is predator bay, but the cost is very high. Would be great to see some 'learn the course' or 'learn about course skiing' days for non members.

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This is excellent, I'm glad to hear others are interested in the grassroots stuff too! Brandon, Manitoba has a great member-run club on the river that I think could be a model for accessible and affordable skiing in Canada. It would be great if WSWC could provide support for others looking to start clubs like that (even if it was just support in the form of info and guidance on how to get started and fight the inevitable political battles about putting a course or jump on public water.)

 

@daryl anything to add? You're the master-mind so I suspect we can all learn a thing or two from you B)

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Thanks to all of you for reaching out and a big thanks to @Horton for allowing the use of this site as a portal to help improve communication for our national organization.

 

@Glydon there is no program that I know of nationally for that. I know Alberta, where I am, has donated buoys (at the minimum) to a public lake with high course use and also fiscally helped out with the clubs in Calgary and Edmonton in different ways over the years. Nationally I am unaware of of any programs but will see...

 

@OKSkier sent you a PM with my # so we can chat...

 

@apskier I agree public view ability is an asset to any towed water sport, easy access helps introduce people to that side of the sport. In regards to PB not sure if you know any members there but non members can ski under their card. It's one way they use to get people involved, it is a big club with near 100 members and a waiting list so it is a fine balance to keep the membership happy and carry out other programs, like tournaments, coaching weeks and junior development. They do a really good job for that size of club to try and keep all parties happy. Send me a PM with your contact info and we can talk about it further and try to get you hooked up with someone there.

 

@Kroeks Can you PM me with the info in regards to that club? Be great to talk to them and see what they do and have done in the past to reach where they are at today.

 

I will share all of your comments with the rest of the board and see what programs currently exist and see what the consensus is in the future to grow the sport further. I am the new guy on the board and full of energy and drive but lacking in knowledge of what currently exists but will dig into find out for you all!

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Very cool to see you do this Jay. As it seems to me, as a long time member, the only reason to join your provincial association and thus wswc is to get a competitive license or access to the tow smart insurance program.

 

Unless you are running a school or club not much to the insurance and I've found better service and rates elsewhere.

 

My suggestion is to focus on member benefits and to get the various clubs and schools to opt in and thus enrol their members in the association, enticing people to become active members so we are able to communicate the various disidiscipl and competitive side of the sport.

 

Lastly, a universal need, not specific to Canada is we need to make tournaments more fun and easier to attend for both participants and spectators.

 

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@jayski I know @Horton has made some efforts down in the states, but I'd love to see some kind of flexible database of public courses. At least in Ontario & Quebec, we have such a strong public-lake/cottage culture. I've been fortunate to find a lake with a course and informal club, but over the years as I looked to rent or buy a cottage, there was no where I could go to find out which lakes have courses or active, passionate skiers (and who the 'ambassadors' might be). I suspect wakeboarders would also love to know which lakes have a wakeboard-friendly culture, and who to connect with.
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In the line of idea of @aspski, I have 2 slalom courses on a huge public waterway in Ontario and Quebec. I need both courses for me but I am also very happy to let others use it (very few maybe because of @andjules point) but it also exposes me to potential lawsuits. Maybe some kind of support/insurance from WSWC, appart from the towsmart insurance which requires a club or school, to those who offer their slalom courses to the public.
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Ok. I'll say something. I don't know if anyone is aware of this but next Wednesday the 17th it will no longer be a CRIME to tow someone without a spotter. Yeah...that 17th. It still remains a regulatory offense though. I'd like to see that changed to like what many jurisdictions in the states have as allowing a mirror OR a spotter. As it is now we need a spotter.
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@FLeboeuf : There were 2 crimes. Towing without a spotter and towing after dark. Both have been removed (as of the 17th). The spotter one still exists in Transport Canada regulations. But it's not a crime there. I didn't look for the after dark one in Transport Canada. I'm fine with it if it's still there. But neither are a crime as of the 17th.

So if jayski is all gung ho on things, maybe he could add lobbying to his list.

I will be sending something to the Minister of Transport suggesting my idea after the 17th.

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Thanks for the comments guys, great to see engagement!

 

@Killer your perception of benefits to the average skier is pretty much accurate. What things do you feel would make joining the association more enticing?

 

@andjules good thought about sites. From a personal point I have put my sites on the ambassador list here but I used to have my 'club' listed on our provincial website, but, as @Killer mentioned the club members dwindled and I saw no reason to pay for club membership hence no listing...there are LOTS of skiers and courses on many lakes but I am not sure how to engage those to 'register' their sites. If you have any ideas of how to achieve this I'm all ears!

 

@FLeboeuf good point about general insurance, I will share that and see if there is something available.

 

@96SNEFI that is great news about it changing status, as it sits currently I do not think we do much if any lobbying or waterways advocacy. We have one full time and a part time person 'in the office'. The rest is volunteers, just folks like you and me with jobs, kids, and the rest. I will ask though and see if we can send a letter or something to aid in the situation. If you can PM me your contact info so I can get more info about this and bring it up to the board.

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Hi I joined WSWC last year on line however I did not get a response after they took my money and the later I sent to the listed address came back. So I think the WSWC need some big changes or it will not get new members.

 

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I ski with my sons on the Okanagan lake, Skaha lake or Osoyoos Lake all have courses on them installed by private people. Several times a year we ski on a private lake in Washington State. There is no support from WSWC for any type of water sport here it would be nice to see some.
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Interesting that What I read is that people have interest in skiing and adding buoy's to their skiing but do not know where to ski. Or how about getting a course set up and be OK to ski legally. Maybe a database with each Province's laws and requirements to legally drop a course would be helpful? And maybe WSWC could underwrite a reasonable cost insurance for course's on public water?
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@FLeboeuf @96SNEFI

Funny story about the 'crime' of towing without a spotter. A good family friend is a Provincial Judge and a few years ago had a case come in front of him where a defendant was charged with the crime of towing without a spotter. Our Judge friend owns a seadoo and pulled his kids on it all the time without a spotter, had no idea it was 'illegal'. Needless to say he excused the case and let the defendant off with a warning.

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I just wrote to WSWC about this so they can confirm but it seems that driving with no spotter and after dark is no longer criminal! The article (250 criminal code of canada) is repealed and not replaced it seems. I can’t find any article about this. It is still an infraction under the canada shipping act 2001 but that would only be a ticket if you get caught. @96SNEFI you were right it seems!
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Just updating the website would help.

 

Unless im doing something wrong (very possible)... there are only 2 events listed for 2019 on the waterski canada website.

 

Im fairly certain there are more than 2 events in canada. And you can see how this would be a problem for someone looking to compete.

 

 

 

 

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I ski on Shuswap Lake, B.C. Is it possible to make it a law that says that NOBODY but waterskiers (not even commuters and ESPECIALLY not wakeboarders or wake surfers) are allowed to use the lake before 9:00 a.m. from beginning of July to end of August each year? We just want the lake calm for a few short hours after sunrise for just 2 months a year. That's all we ask. After that, the aircraft carriers and other boaters can have the whole lake and make as many tidal waves as they want for the rest of the entire day and we won't even try to waterski. That's not TOO much to ask is it?

 

I imagine there would be a lot of other skiers on a lot of other lakes that would support this law too. ;)

 

Edit: I suppose the law could allow for fisherman (as long as they just troll), kayakers, paddle boarders and canoers to use the lake in those early hours as long as they don't try to go too fast. I hate those annoying kayak waves on my otherwise mirror smooth lake. ;)

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I have given up on our home lake here in BC during July and August. I will apologize in advance but those damned surf boats (sorry but 99% Albertans) are now out all night and well into the early hrs of the morning with massive led lighting and stereos cranked playing crap music. OK some of them are blasting country music but hey it's freakin 2am!

 

No longer is there decent skiable water let alone glass in the am for us skiers. Makes me long for the days of tubers.

The local lake preservation society is looking into the legalities of banning these wake generating monsters. Look what happened in Colorado!

 

Lucky for me I have gained access to a body of water that seldom sees another boat. Unfortunately it is visible from the highway and it will be a matter of time before they arrive there too.

 

To sum up I agree with @DangerBoy that we need regulations for protecting and for sharing public waters from these monsters before they kill off all the other disciplines.

Skiing is already moving to an elitist sport for only those that can afford a private lake and this is not helping.

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@aspski I'm in Wild Rose Bay right across the lake from St. Ives. If you've gone straight across the lake into the bay on the other side from St. Ives then you've no doubt seen my cabin. Yes, we're lucky there and get good calm water most mornings or we can find it pretty close by. I usually take my holidays the last week of July and first two of August but this year I think I will shift them one week earlier. If you've been out there during the same weeks I'm out there then you've likely seen us out there skiing in the mornings. I never miss a morning of skiing unless it's pouring rain and whitecaps but that hardly ever happens during the weeks I'm out there.

 

I've seen the odd course pop up in various places on the lake over the years but I don't know who put them there. There was one set up just a little ways east of St. Ives a few years ago but I only saw it there that one year and haven't seen it since.

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@DangerBoy Awesome! Wildrose bay is beautiful. We often head across the lake and check out the rope swing then cruise along the lake and check out the cabins, I'm sure we have lusted over yours.

 

I own/run the Alberta Boot Company in Calgary so leading up to and during the Calgary Stampede are my busiest days of the year. We don't head to the lake until thats over so we are usually there the last week of July and first week of August.

 

That being said, any ballers want to trade a good slalom ski for Cowboy boots?

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@DangerBoy: I think it would be a regulatory nightmare trying to piece such rules together to satisfy everybody. There's just no way. I have to think that you can't possibly be being realistic on that. It's public water. I wouldn't want some other user group carving out their own preferential times on a public lake so I can't expect it for my own wishes. All users want to carve glass on whatever stick they prefer.

And then there's enforcement. There are laws for towing after dark though. Unless these people are just tooling around out there in the dark not towing with their music blasting. Some people just have no clue nor respect of the existence of the other 8 billion people on the planet.

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@96SNEFI I wasn't being serious. I just think in a fair and just world that puts the needs and wishes of water skiers ahead of all others ;) there ought to be a law that gives us water skiers the lake for the first few hours of the day. It just pains me to see a glass calm lake early in the morning and then see somebody zooming down the lake in a boat just going somewhere and NOT pulling a skier. Aaaargh! :# It's just so wrong on so many levels. There ought to be a law against it I tell ya!

 

But that's nothing compared to how I get when I see somebody out wakeboarding or surfing when we're out for our early morning waterski. I get damn near apoplectic then! :# The horror.... the horror...

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Exactly why private lakes are the only reliable choice. For years I got very upset with public lake skiing. I live on a 18,500 acre clear mountain lake but forget about it on weekends or Memorisl Day - Labor Day.

My solution go to a private lake and ski by arrangement as opposed to fighting a losing effort on public water.

 

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something that is not often known about in Canada is there is exclusion from having a spotter or operating outside the sunrise/sunset regulation is if the vessel is under taking formal training, competition or ski show. Been in there for years. I carry a copy in the boat, along with my WSC ID card...

 

you must meet the requirements of WSC for formal competition/training. Most modern ski boats do.

 

Water Sports

1005 (1) No person shall operate or permit another person to operate a vessel for the purposes of towing a person on the water or in the air

 

(a) unless a person on board other than the operator is keeping watch on every person being towed and is communicating with the operator of the vessel;

 

(b) unless there is seating space on the vessel to accommodate every person being towed;

 

© unless every person being towed is wearing a personal flotation device or lifejacket or the vessel carries on board the personal flotation device or lifejacket that would be required under Parts 2, 4 or 5 if the person was on board; or

 

(d) during periods of restricted visibility or in the period beginning one hour after sunset and ending at sunrise.

 

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a vessel that is operated during formal training, in an official competition or in a skill demonstration if the vessel meets the safety requirements of a governing body respecting that training, competition or demonstration.

 

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2010-91/page-18.html#h-154

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@telko1 it was article 250 of the criminal code. Look it up on google, you will see that it has been repealed. The criminal code of Canada was revised this year including a major reform in the category of crimes related to driving motor vehicles/vessels etc.. driving without a spotter was in that category and is not there anymore. I could not find any article that replaces the infraction. I asked WSWC to confirm it.

 

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@Killer @FLeboeuf Very interesting. I guess it’s a moot point if the law has been removed.

 

I think it would be great if WSWC had more information for the casual skier that would help them get interested in a slalom course or even tournaments. I spent most of my life thinking that a big spray on a public lake was the pinnacle of the sport. I wish I knew then what I know now.

 

In Ontario, there are many slalom courses hidden in little bays all over the province. I believe many would be willing to post their location to a WSWO or WSWC directory. When we had our course up, we would always offer casual skiers an intro to slalom and welcome them to use our course.

 

In Ontario, Jamie and Jason McClintock now have a camp program that parents can just plug their kid into for any number of weeks in the summer. This seems to be having a tremendous effect on grassroots involvement. More like this would be great.

 

Those are my thoughts for now.

 

Thanks to @jayski and @Horton

 

 

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@DangerBoy, it was crime but it at the same time a regulation under the small vessels act, for a long time, so cops had the choice of giving a ticket to a person or accusing that person of a crime. Now there is only one option..well 2 options because if you’re lucky they could let you go with a warning. :D
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