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Is this the most exciting season in slalom equipment yet?


jhughes
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My problems in slalom are not equipment-rooted so I'm not speaking for myself here, but just this year we have seen:

Two hot aftermarket fin designs

New ZO setting(s)/programming

New miracle rope from ML

What seems like damn good skis from everybody

 

With all this new seemingly materially better stuff out there, will we see some records fall?

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Do records for money spent on ski gear count!? :)

 

I am very excited about all this tech, because it's just plain fun. But, as you rightly point out in your intro sentence, equipment is usually a tiny fraction of the puzzle. The ski I'm on right now was literally Caldwell's for quite a while, and I love it, but for some reason I can't ski quite as well as Caldwell on it...

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I posted the following on another thread but I think it's appropriate to repost it here with some edits:

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I've skied for over 40 years and have not once ever gone through a slalom course. I ski open water but am still as passionate and in love with skiing as I was back when I was a boy absolutely determined to get up on one ski for the first time. I don't know if I'll ever get to run a course or ski on a Denali or try a CG or Whisperfin but I can feel and can't help but get caught up in everyone's excitement and anticipation over all the changes these great innovators are bringing about. It seems as though we're on the cusp of an entirely new era where just about everything is about to undergo rapid and significant change.

 

If you think about snow skis, they went for decades with the old straight skinny ski design and year-to-year changes finally got to where advances were generally always microscopic and incremental. Then, all of a sudden, shaped skis hit the market and boom EVERYTHING changed. The pace at which advances were made and changes ocurred was incredibly fast after that.

 

It seems like we're just on the cusp of something like that in water skiing and innovators like @AdamCord, @adamhcaldwell and @SkiJay are leading the way with radically new fin and ski designs. It seems like this is going to be a really important period in the history of the sport. It should be quite an adventure. :)

 

Thank you, @AdamCord, @adamhcaldwell and @SkiJay for what you're doing for the sport and for all of us who will ultimately benefit from your pioneering spirit, drive, passion, curiousity and determination.

 

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Edit: I would add to this that I predict that we're going to not only see a number of records fall to skiers using the Whisperfin and the Denali C-75/CG/Fin combo and the CG Fin on other skis this year and over the next few years, we'll also see a lot of other skiers achieving new PBs and higher averages, etc., using the revolutionary new equipment these remarkable innovators are just beginning to get to market.

 

My gut feeling is that this new equipment is so new and so different, it'll take those who start using it a fair while to really get used to it and get their skiing and settings dialed in to the point where the full potential of these innovations will be fully realized and understood. While there are lots of favorable reports coming in on the new gear right now, it's still early, early days and the true impact of all these amazing innovations is still a long ways off from being known.

 

And even though I'm just a 31 - 33 mph open water skier with far more passion than ability and may never have the opportunity or occasion to try any of this new gear (or even run a slalom course), I'm very much caught up in the excitement over what changes and achievements these new innovations will bring.

 

With all that said, I would totally agree, this is a VERY exciting and probably historically important time for the sport. I can't wait to see what happens. :)

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