Ski Info. ( Ski Tips Choosing a Slalom Ski )

Slalom Skis Sizing:
Slalom skis are available in various sizes and should be selected to compliment a skiers weight, skiing speed and ability. Most water ski manufacturers provide charts suggesting correct ski length. These suggestions usually assume the skier is reasonably proficient. A ski that is one size longer will be more stable, easier to start on,require less effort to ride and will be more forgiving, but will therefore be equally less responsive.

Waterskis have progressed from original wood construction to modern lightweight composites. Modern ski are manufactured using a combination of materials that can include fiberglass, ABS plastics, carbon fibre, kevlar and aluminium wrapped around a foam core with or without stiffening rods. Materials, design and construction methods determine a skis flex or stiffness, rebound and dampening characteristics and ultimately the price.

Edge-to-Edge Concave
A ski with this base design is suited for advanced to tournament level skiers. As there is no flat area on the base of the ski, it is constantly seeking an edge. This design makes the ski extremely responsive, less forgiving, and less predictable. Its function is to facilitate the more aggressive style of skiing necessary in competition slalom skiing.

Modified Concave Tunnel
This design brings together the best of both worlds providing a more forgiving ride yet allowing for smooth deceleration into the turn and fast acceleration out of the turn. The design incorporates a tunnel through the mid-section becoming a full concave in the tail section.

The bevel of a water ski is that area between the side wall and the base of a ski. It can be 4 degrees, modified 45 degrees, rounded or flat. The bevel is normally sharper towards the mid to front of the ski and more rounded form the back foot to the tail. The bevel determines the skis attitude through the water and also the rate of slip and grip through the turn. A round bevel will roll well onto edge, while a sharper bevel will both drop harder onto edge and hold its edge better.

The rocker is the amount and shape of curvature in the ski from tip to tail. It can be easily seen and measured when the ski is placed on a flat surface. A larger flat area under the bindings creates a more stable ski whilst a lesser flat area or constant rocker creates a ski that will quickly initiate an edge change and turn.

There are many shapes and sizes of fins. Most higher performance skis come with adjustable fins which further add to this complexity. The fin depth, front and backward movement and shape will affect a skis performance immensely. It is highly recommended to keep the fin setup as per factory specifications unless you rally understand this complex subject.
Fin Foil / Wing / Spoiler:
The fin foil is a fin attachment that primarily aids the skis deceleration prior to turning. It also reduces tail twitching (from poor body position) on some skis through the wakes. Factory settings will be between 5 and 10 degrees depending on the ski. For recreational or social skiing, the fin foil provides only a relatively small benefit and can be removed.

Shapes Slalom Ski They are the Standard shape we are all familiar with, the Wide Body and the Hybrid. Wide Body Slalom Skis These are the widest skis and are designed to bring the best out of beginners. These skis allow you to ride at much slower speeds suiting lower powered boats and PWCs,larger water skiers and anyone wanting a less tiring ride.

Hybrid Slalom Skis:
The newest innovation in ski design, these skis combine the easier starts of having a wider tip like wide body skis with the performance characteristics of the narrow tail section associated with traditional shaped skis. They offer riders a higher level of performance than wide body skis with less tiring ride than conventional skis.

Shaped Skis:
Shaped is the term used for skis which are wider in the tip and tail than 'traditional' skis. Wider skis will use their greater surface area to come up out of the water on a deep water start with less pressure on the skier and boat. They also let the skier ride at a slower speed and with less strain on the skiers body therefore less sore mussels at the start of a season or with someone carrying an injury. Unlike their predecessors the current breed of shaped skis will both turn very well and cross the wash easily. Many of these skis have the ability to negotiate a slalom course with ease. The characteristic of there skis is their inability to slow down as quickly when coming into a turn (owing to an increased surface area) which may cause slack rope for a moment. Another feature found on many shaped skis  towards the tip underneath is a 'V' shape which helps hold the ski in straight line
on starts.
Many of these shaped skis suit skies that are learning, averaged recreational skies, or past skiers that just think they are to old or to fat to now enjoy themselves water-skiing. Think again.