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Level of Skiing at NCWSA Nationals??


MDB1056
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Don't want to offend anyone here but have to ask why the level of skiing at NCWSA Nationals seems so poor. Slalom speeds of 28, 30, 32 mph? Longline? Many many skiers still wobbly using two handed turns? I saw skiers on TWO SKIS in the slalom course? More than half the skiers not even making a full pass. They just announced that what won Womens slalom was 22 off. That's it? I'm watching Mens slalom and seeing starting speeds of 28 mph?? It's the same for jumping and tricks. At least 50% of the trick riders I saw didn't make a pass. Many fell before first move. Large number of jumpers simply skiing straight at the ramp, and BARELY get over. No cut, no pull, nothing. OK there are a few that are jumping ok but again SO many for all three events look like they started last month.

 

Guess for NATIONALS at the college level I expected to see some pretty impressive skiing, but have been disappointed. And these are supposed to be Team Skiers from schools all over that traveled to TX to compete? I don't think Will Ashers NCSWA Nationals 2003 record is at all at risk, but I did expect to see slalom runs in the 35-38 off range.

 

Again not trying to offend anyone but for a tournament that has NATIONALS in the name I expected to see better. Has the level of skiing really fallen off this much?

 

 

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@MDB1056 since you are at least posing your comments as questions I'm going to assume you aren’t purposefully trying to be an ass, but your post comes off pretty rant-y and it's evident you are very naive about college skiing.

 

First things first, there are two divisions in collegiate skiing. D1 and D2. If you saw a slalom score of 22 off that won, then that was in D2. The top five teams in D1 are home to some of the most talented skiers on the planet... including the current women’s world record holder for tricks (no, not the college record, the world record). There is more talent at those lakes in Texas than you can imagine.

 

Now, outside those 5 teams things do drop off pretty fast and the fact of the matter is that skiing is an extremely small sport. A tiny percent of college kids have ever skied competitively before college so yeah, a lot of these kids probably did start skiing last month! By the time they’re seniors they’ll be respectable skiers, even for an AWSA tournament.

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I've coached so many skiers who struggled to get up their first few sets but showed potential. We'd send them to Nationals to get experience. By senior year they were contenders in traditional Regionals and top collegiate skiers. College skiing is a development experience far more than an exhibition. That's its beauty.

 

Eric

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@skispray - you're right. I don't follow collegiate skiing, and haven't really followed the tournament circuit in years, but I did expect that to get to nationals (at any level) there would be some level of qualifying requirements. Based on the level shown by a very large number of participants I would struggle to see how they could have "qualified", but I'm probably wrong here as well. Yes out of any group of 100+ the top tier will always dominate but again at a Nationals level event don't expect the variance to be so extreme from top to bottom. Was expecting warm up passes at 22-28. Glad to hear there is amazing talent out there. We all know the sport needs it . Personally I'm just not convinced that showing dozens and dozens of the much lower level skiers presents the right picture for a Nationals level event for a sport already in decline. Did not intent to strike a nerve here and no intent to put down anyone skiing at any level. Love the sport, have been skiing over 55 years, and hope to get another 20.
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Wow. Where to start with this one.....

 

Women’s slalom there were 3 or 4 that ran 38off

Men’s slalom winner was 3@39

Men’s jump is underway with leader around 160. Probably will take over 180 to win - and that’s at 31.7mph 5’ ramp and a 20mph headwind.

Women’s trick winner was around 5500. Thats for one pass

Yeah those are pretty piss poor performances.

 

What is harder to get from the webcast, that is huge when you see it in person, is the tremendous enthusiasm even from the d2 skiers not making a pass or scoring 2 side slides in a trick run. All the teams are cheering like they are in the World Series for each and every team member, no matter what their performance.

 

Each and every waterskier starts somewhere and the positive experiences like collegiate nationals are huge to get and keep people interested in competing waterskiing.

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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@Bruce_Butterfield and @eleeski . Thank you for your insight. Great to hear of the performances and enthusiasm. I'm a huge fan of anyone at any level skiing. That obviously didn't come through. I expected this to get some blow back. My concern was more from a marketing standpoint. How it looked. If tuning in during the majority of the hours of webcast someone sees falling on 2 side slides or not making a pass or jumping 50 ft as more the norm than the exception, what is their perception of this sport at the National Level? If we're broadcasting and catering only to our own introspective audience of existing skiers who know and appreciate the comments you have both made then that's great. As a sport in decline however my expectation is everything we do should also be seen as a marketing opportunity to the rest of the world to promote skiing and and recruit new skiers. The posts in this thread validate this as they're all in defense of the skiers. I agree - we love them. But I would encourage us all to ask ourselves if the majority of the NCWSA Nationals webcast would be a good promo for the sport? Sports enthusiasts just like businesses get myopic in their views which risks losing perspective. If the NCWSA webcast were limited to AWSA members then great, but if pushing it to the non skiing world to hopefully gain interest is a goal, then taking it up a notch may be more effective towards that end.

 

So grateful we have a forum where we can agree to disagree, and politely call other an ass. I'm out............

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@MDB1056 there are 20 teams at collegiate nationals and all of them qualified based on performance at collegiate tournaments this semester.

 

In the last 12 months there are only 186 people in Mens 1 and Womens 1, combined, that have an average score of 1 at 28 off or higher per the USAWS rankings list. Mens 1 and Womens 1 include people up to age 25 so there are several people in that group of 186 that are already out of college, some of the 18-22 year olds in that group are not going to college or go to schools without ski teams. I'd guess there are maybe 100 people in undergrad that can ski an average of 1 at 28 off or better. In tricks and jump the number of "accomplished" skiers will be even smaller. And you also have to be at a school that can put up a team score good enough to qualify. Meanwhile, there are 20 teams at collegiate nationals. If you assume each team has 10 members (5 men, 5 women), then we're talking 200 participants.

 

As such, you're inevitably going to have people at collegiate nationals that don't perform to that level. The sport is tiny, and not that many people do it at a high level. Unless nationals is going to include just 5 teams, this is what you get. I sure would prefer having a weekend where 200 college-age skiers of all abilities but equal enthusiasm get together to ski than have just 5 teams competing. If you go to collegiate nationals you'll figure out why.

 

Most anyone that has been involved with collegiate skiing, at any ability level, will say that it's the best part of competitive water skiing. For many, it's why they are competitive water skiers at all. If you're worried about presenting the right picture for a sport in decline, you'd do much better looking elsewhere than collegiate skiing.

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@MDB1056,

 

Where do you think these kids are going to develop the skills? On the plethora of public water slalom courses that are so readily allowed by the States and municipalities? At the private sites provided and funded by the universities? I think most are not members of private ski clubs and likely cannot afford to be.

 

I would bet some of them only see a course when they are competing in a collegiate tournament. As a sport, we've been increasingly chased off the lakes and priced out of reach. Until something changes to increase access, the breadth of high performing skiers will probably be much narrower than you expect or that we all hope for.

 

I would also love to see hundreds of kids just tearing it up with extremely close competitions and near record performances. The current support of the sport just isn't facilitating that.

 

To @Bruce_Butterfield point about enthusiasm, I officiated at a collegiate tournament about a month ago. Man, was that loud.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Live video of any event will suck. Even the major sports suffer from that - who watches anything but the last couple minutes of a basketball game?

 

If there is really a market for a broadcast of a waterski event then edit it! Hot Summer Nights was awesome because of skilled editing.

 

Watching the College Nationals webcast was fun because you could see how your friends were doing - not to see spectacular skiing. Any non skiers watching were family of skiers.

 

The hangover effect might be exaggerated. The flags were flapping pretty hard in the parts I watched. Wind will really affect scores.

 

Eric

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D1 has 5 teams that aren’t sponsored, have no scholarships, and on a good day have 1 person who 3 event skied pre-college. They aren’t going to be scoring into 39 off

D2 is entirely those kinds of teams, and they were slaloming in a 20mph head wind off the dock, running an opener in that is an accomplishment for most.

 

Great event, a lot of the kids I coached on the Texas team skied great and they broke there perennial record of last place with 9th this year so I know they are super excited

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Actually, I was amazed at how high the level of skiing was for the kids on the podiums.

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MDB collegiate skiing is the brightest spot in tournament waterskiing right now. Go to the collegiate nationals and you will see it. Fun is why most of us do this and the collegiate skiing is a lot of fun. It has brought a lot of new younger people into the sport. One of my friends drove a tournament in Ohio this Fall and there were so many skiers there was no place to park.
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Watching from here in Switzerland....I wish we had a collegiate waterski tournament here in Europe. the NCWSA is aboslutely the greatest tournament for young skier and IMO doesn't matter the level when you have D1 and D2 and entering D2 looks like one of the best experiences for these youngster. And the crowd goes so wild cheering for anyone ...this is the spirit (thank's to Marcus for the excellent Flowpoint college waterski).

Personnaly I love it and you have one of the greatest skiers in some colleges (ULM to name one).

For marketing purpose just wathc the enthousisme of the crowd and you will get that waterski in more than a sport, it is also about the camaraderie, sharing and tough learning. As we know skiing is hard !!!!

So BRAVO !!!!!

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We tell new students when they arrive in college to join a club and try something new. The fact that they are not all snoflakes and some are willing to stare down a jump ramp shows you to not believe all the media. Great kids learning our great sport.
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I think this is the single greatest driver for growing the sport. Before recently moving, I was coaching a college team and it truly was a rewarding experience and appreciated the enthusiasm and energy of the college kids. And it was D2. Pretty much all beginners starting from scratch.
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Well, after 7 years, my time as a parent of a collegiate skier at Nationals has come to an end. My daughter was able to win a D2 medal one year and has gone on to be chairman of the NCWSA South Central Region. She was never competitive with the top level talent in the SCR during her high school days, but she loved every minute of collegiate skiing. My son just finished his Nationals career with back-to-back D2 Slalom and Jump champion. He was a couple of tricks short of repeating as Overall champ as well. I am a proud father and appreciative of the life lessons collegiate skiing has taught my kids.

 

For the newbies, it was great to see one of my son's teammates finish with with a D2 3rd place overall medal. 3 years ago she hadn't really known what competitive skiing was all about and after working hard for those 3 years, she is an accomplished skier and likely to continue with the sport after college.

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