In the last few years, D3 has made skis at opposite ends of the spectrum:  so called “fast skis” like the Z7 and then deeper riding skis like the X5 and X7. The fast skis are known for requiring less  physical effort, gaining width with ease and turning aggressively .The deeper riding skis are known for carving smooth arcs around the ball and a more tactual feel.

General Feel:
With the Fusion, D3 set out to combine the best attributes of the Z7 and the X7. From the Z, they wanted the speed and width. Form the X, they wanted the carving turns and stability. The result is brilliant.

Toe Side (Off Side) Turn
Approaching and exiting the off side, the Fusion draws a continuous arc out and around the ball. The ski is very tolerant of skier mistakes and finds the right path with minimum drama. Unless pushed aggressively, the ski blends the finish of the turn and the start of the acceleration stage better than most skis.

Heel Side (On Side) Turn
On Side turns have a tighter radius with more front foot pressure, but the Fusion is reasonably tolerant to extra back foot pressure. With weight centered and head up, this ski turns symmetrically on both sides.

The HO Syndicate A2 is the second of HO’s “A” or “Angle” series. Its predecessor, the A1, is one of the most popular skis in recent history.  Fans of the A1 said the off side turn was ultra-forgiving, and the ski was stable and easy to ride.  Detractors of the A1 said the ski was not overly fast, and it was slow turning at the on side turn.  For the A2, the design team, lead by Bob LaPoint, has taken the proven design of the A1 and refined it into an even better ski.

General Feel:
The A2 is a calm, predictable, and balanced ski. It waits for skier input and then does exactly what it is commanded.  It is easy to ski technically correct on a ski that inspires confidence. The A2 is confidence inspiring. 

Razor slalom water ski review ballofspray john hortonIn 2007, the Fisher #1 stormed the Independent Ski Tests. The test team was enthusiastic and excited about the new ski from Austria. Unfortunately, economic pressures and changes within Fischer took the ski off the market before many were seen in the US. In 2009, an updated version of the ski again became available under the name Razor.

In terms of technology, materials and construction, the Fischer and the Razor are identical. The Razor has a slightly modified flex but is dimensionally the same as the Fischer.

Some additional information about the history of the ski can be found at

General feel:

The Razor is not what my father would call a “babysitter ski”. It is not a calm, relaxed, over-stable ski for the masses. It is a fire - breathing, radical angle generating monster slalom ski. It is different. It is aggressive. It is a fantastic short line slalom ski.


In 2008, when I received my first Digital Slot Calipers from David DiPol, I was perplexed and then amazed with this new method of measuring DFT (distance from tail). Since then, I have come to believe that it is the only consistent method for measuring DFT. For this reason I no longer use my much more expensive and name brand Mitutoyo Calipers. For a quick explanation of how DFT measurement is done with the Digital Slot Calipers, go to







 Having solved the DFT consistency problem, David DiPol then set out to solve the final remaining common measurement problem. Skiers who use the jaws measurement method for fin length will often find discrepancies in their measurements when they change calipers. This is because most calipers have an indentation at the base of the jaws. The indentation is inconsistent from caliper to caliper. David solved this by having calipers made without the indentation. For skiers using the jaws method, the new version of the Digital Slot Calipers is clearly superior.

In the above photograph you can see the new version of the Digital Slot Calipers. The blue arrows show where the measuring surface precisely meets with the leading and trailing edges of the fin.

For More Information
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Calipers on the top are my Mitutoyo. The blue arrow points to the indentation typical of most calipers not specifically manufactured for waterskiing. The calipers on the bottom is the Digital Slot Calipers, the blue arrow is pointing to a perfectly flush measuring surface.



DryCASE is the ONLY Waterproof Case that Actually Vacuum Seals Portable Electronics

Don’t you wish you could bring your iPhone, Droid, or other portable electronic device to the beach or pool without worrying that it might get wet and ruined?  Do you find it difficult to trust those “waterproof bags” that look nothing more like a fancy sandwich bag?  The DryCASE from Dry Corp has developed an ingenious solution: a vacuum-sealed case that allows for full touch screen functionality, including underwater pictures and video.

The DryCASE is a flexible, crystal clear waterproof bag that provides complete use of your phone or camera while keeping it dry and clean. Simply pump out all the air with the easy to use hand pump and the bag will vacuum seal around the contents and become completely waterproof. The air tight seal guarantees that the contents of the bag will stay dry even when submerged underwater. Every DryCASE comes with an extreme activity arm band for water sports, and is crystal clear so pictures can be taken through it while using the other side.

Compared to top of the line skis that cost 3 times as much, the V is stable and predictable.  Compared to other skis in the same price range, the V is remarkably high performance.  The V does a great job filling the gap between ultra high end skis and lower level skis. With a MSRP of only $349 (blank), I think the V is the best ski for the money that I have ever ridden.

I rode this ski under 2 different mindsets.
First, I rode the V as if under INT Wide Ride rules (the 67” V is a little more then 7 ¼” wide). At 30 mph, the V was not only a lot of fun, but it also took me down the line into 39 off.

Second, I treated the V as a normal 34 mph ski and ran into 38 off (within few balls of my normal score on a top of the line ski).

The V turns with smooth arcs until pushed. If pushed, the V will comply with sharp changes in direction. Whereas some high-end skis will punish a skier for not being in perfect position, the V is very forgiving at the ball.

When the V is ridden beyond its limits at 34 mph, it does not hold angle and direction off the ball like a high-end ski. To be fair, I rode the V pretty far past its practical limit to find its bad habits. I think that mid-32 off at 34 mph is the practical limit for this ski. Ridden at 28 off 34 mph or less, the V holds plenty of angle. At 30 mph, I did not reach the ski’s limit.

The real surprise with the V is the width at the ball. The V gets as wide at 34 mph as any ski at any price. Ridden at 34 mph 35 off, the V carries direction from the wakes and out in front of the ball with ease.

For 2011, Connelly has two skis that I highly recommned.  If you are running 32 off 34 mph and beyond, I recommend the Connelly Prophecy. See my 2008 Prophecy review. If you are anywhere between learning to run the course and running 28 off 34 mph, the V is a great choice. If you are skiing INT Wide Ride, the V is the real deal.



Simply put, this is one of my favorite skis in a long time. Marketed under the HO brand as opposed to the more prestigious Syndicate brand, the Coefficient-X may not be on every skiers list of top skis and that is a huge mistake. This is an easy to ride shortline super ski. This ski is distinct from every other high end ski on the market, and it does things I wish every other ski did.

Photo by Gallagher

West Coast Slalom Visualization Take your Slalom training to the next level with focused mental practice. 
Use the power of your mind to change and improve your slalom technique.
Improve your skiing faster and easier through Visualization Training...

This West Coast Slalom Visualization Training is a natural next step to Mike Suyderhoud’s ground breaking West Coast Slalom Advanced DVD. This training features the smooth and fluid West Coast Slalom technique of Terry Winter as a model. The DVD is designed to be a regular part of your weekly training regimen. Based on the psychological concept of modeling and incorporating the Shortcut Method visualization training, the DVD will help you improve your technique through neuromuscular patterning. By following the simple, yet effective outline for focused mental practice your body’s own mechanism for creating movement will help you change and improve your slalom technique. Listening to your favorite music while viewing the visualization sequences makes this an enjoyable process. It also creates an auditory link between the images on the DVD and the music. 



  2010 D3 Z7
General Feel The Z7 is perhaps the most stable and easy to ride ski to date from a ski company known for stable and easy to ride skis. On the Z7, skiing within your comfort zone is just easy. When it is time to go for one last ball, this ski stays with you. Most high end skis have a distinct personality, the Z7 is simply a balanced performer.  The Z7 is clearly one of the very best high end skis on the market. 
Toe Side (Off Side) Turn Ample front foot pressure at the apex helps the Z7 initiate earlier and finish smoother but this ski turns hard and fast no matter what the skier does. It is pretty close to automatic. 
Heel Side (On Side) Turn Heel side is much like Toe Side but less aggressive  - no less dependable. You can pretty much expect this ski to turn at the ball no matter what you do. 
From Second Wake to Ball This ski carves out very wide with amazingly little fuss. It is quite fast without feeling fast. The skis stability (width under the binding) becomes apparent as you approach the ball. It almost makes you wonder if the boat is going slow.
From Ball to Second Wake The tip easily stays down and the ski holds a lot of angle with little effort. 
Quarks The Z7 is extremely stable and easy to ride so much so that it is hard to find the best Set Up. Toe Side turns can finish very aggressively and some skiers will get so much ski in the water at the hook up that the ski will feel stuck for a brief moment. 

  2008 Connelly Prophecy
General Feel Rides Deep in the water. Very stable. Requires a lot of physical strength. Ski seems to be always acquiring more and more angle. Handle control on this ski is much more critical then most. 
Heel Side (On Side) Turn Ski is so forgiving in terms of weight distribution that it almost encourages bad habits. 
Toe Side (Off Side) Turn Tip naturally rides deep in the water. There is never a question if this ski is going to turn and turn hard. Ski is very forgiving to weight distribution.
Quarks Fin settings are very critical. Stock F1 settings are a good starting point.
From Second Wake to Ball Ski carves a wide & early arc in front of the ball. If you do not control the handle well, you will not get wide.
From Ball to Second Wake Ski continues to increase angle all the way back to the first wake. 

When I arrived  home today, I found a UPS box at the front door. Inside was a Digital Slot Caliper made by Dave Dipol. My first reaction was “Well, that is not going to work”. Ten seconds later, I realized that the slot caliper is pure genius!

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