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Improve your slalom water skiing with these tips.

Watersports Warehouse, Cape Town

What size slalom ski should I use?

When choosing a slalom ski, the ski length should be based on your weight, skiing speed, and skill level. For faster speeds and lighter skiers, a shorter ski is recommended, while heavier skiers and slower speeds require a longer ski. In the slalom course, a ski that’s too long can make it difficult to turn, while a ski that’s too short can slow you down or cause you to sink in turns.

Beginner skiers should opt for a larger, forgiving ski with a softer flex, such as the KD Redline. This will help them maintain stability and enjoy a smoother ride at slower speeds. For deep-water starts, a slightly larger ski is also helpful. Intermediate skiers who ski faster and more aggressively should choose a moderately stiff and responsive ski like the KD Krypton that’s appropriate for their weight.

Overall, choosing the right size slalom ski is important for a fun and safe skiing experience. By considering your weight, skiing speed, and skill level, you can find the perfect ski length and flex to suit your needs on the slalom course.

Many charts are available suggesting ski length based upon height, but its best to choose a ski according to your weight. Below are the most common suggested ski lengths.

Slalom Water Ski Sizing Chart

Which Foot to Put Forward in Slalom Skiing?

One of the most important aspects of slalom skiing is determining which foot to place in front. To find your balance foot, try lifting one ski while skiing on two skis or stepping up onto a stable chair to see which foot you use first to balance yourself. You can also have someone push you unexpectedly from behind and see which foot you step forward with. Your balance foot is the foot that should be placed in front when slalom skiing.

For beginner open-water skiers, it’s important to start at a comfortable speed in the slalom course. The recommended speed is the slowest speed that you can cross the wakes and make turns without sinking. For men, the ideal speed range is between 42kph and 52kph, while women should aim for speeds between 39kph and 46kph. Advanced skiers can gradually increase their speed, but it’s important to stay within the top speed limit of 58kph for men and 55kph for women in the slalom course.

By using these tips and finding your balance foot, you can enjoy a safe and fun experience in skiing. Remember to start at a comfortable speed and gradually increase your speed as you gain more experience and confidence on the water.

Tips for Success in the Slalom Course

Learning the proper technique for skiing in the course, including body positioning and avoiding bad habits. Improve your slalom skiing skills and succeed on the water.

The proper technique is crucial to succeed in the slalom course. Try avoid counterproductive habits that can hinder your progress. Bad habits to watch out for include leaning back too much at the end of the turn, closing off and leaning with your shoulders across the wakes, pulling in on the rope with your arms, breaking over at the waist in the turns, and exerting the most effort just after the turn or before crossing the wakes.

To achieve the correct body position whilst in the course, try following these tips:

  • Keep your shoulders back and chest out as in military attention
  • Bend your ankles and knees slightly
  • Push your hips forward and lock them in place, distributing your weight evenly on both feet or with slightly more on the front foot
  • Keep your head up and look at the horizon, not down at the water
  • Extend your arms straight as an extension of the rope

By following these tips and avoiding bad habits, you can improve your slalom skiing skills and succeed on the water.

The Slalom Course

If you’re interested in slalom skiing, it’s essential to understand the structure of the ski course. The course consists of six turn buoys, with three on each side, which the skier must ski around to complete a pass. At the beginning and end of the course, there are entrance and exit gates. To start each pass, the skier must ski through the entrance gates on the way to the first turn buoy. The gate buoys are also aligned with a series of centerline buoys that help guide the boat’s path. Knowing the course layout is crucial to a successful run, and practicing on the course can help improve your technique and speed. So, if you’re ready to take your slalom skiing to the next level, start by mastering the course’s structure and layout.

Slalom Waterski Course Diagram

How is the event scored?

Slalom skiing is a competitive sport that involves skiing around six turn buoys, and it is scored based on the number of successfully rounded buoys without missing a turn or falling. Skiers must pass through entrance and exit gates at the beginning and end of the course and must follow a series of centerline buoys as a guide for the boat’s path. After successfully completing a pass through the course, the skier is brought back through the course at a higher speed, and the ski rope is shortened to increase the difficulty of the pass. The KD Titanium is an example of an advanced slalom ski that is suitable for use in the slalom course. When skiing in the slalom course, it is important to use proper technique and body position and avoid common bad habits such as leaning back too much, pulling in on the rope with your arms, and exerting the most effort at the wrong times. Judges may award partial buoys for certain scenarios, such as falling near a turn buoy or rounding the buoy but not making it back to the centerline buoys. By skiing with proper technique and equipment, skiers can maximize their score and succeed in the slalom course.

If you are unsure about anything, give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll assist you.

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2 thoughts on “Improve your slalom water skiing with these tips.

  1. Great article.

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. Hi Trev.
      Im glad that you liked it and hopefully some of the tips in there will help you out.


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