Take a moment to identify your skill level, using the descriptions below, and you’ll find it easier to determine the skis best suited to your talents.
Recreational: You’re either new to the sport or you are a weekend athlete who enjoys a wide variety of water-sports, including open-water slalom runs. You like to cruise, cut, and test your turning ability. You need a ski that is easy to start, rides high in the water when kept flat, and is very forgiving of changes in body position. With the right ski, you can cruise in comfort and also start learning to make harder cuts through the wake.
Sport: You know some of slalom’s basic techniques. You want to work on sharpening your turns and getting more angle across the wake. You need a ski that won’t punish you for mistakes but will reward you when everything comes together. A shaped ski will provide you with the surface area and stability needed to master the basics but will also edge and turn aggressively, allowing you to move to the next level.
Performance: You’re either an aggressive, accomplished open-water skier who can link a series of turns or you are working your way through the slalom course. Because you are either on edge or in transition during most of your run, you need a ski that accelerates and decelerates quickly, makes quick edge changes, and is able to hold a strong edge through the wakes. With practice, you will be able to push your ski into shorter line lengths and higher speeds, but you will enjoy a greater degree of stability and forgiveness from what traditional competition skis offer.
Advanced: You are at home in the slalom course, and you are working to perfect the technical elements that will move you into the winner’s circle. You need a ski that will find an edge quickly, allow for maximum acceleration and edge control, and decelerate into a nice, smooth turn. Your ski is capable of shortline skiing – if you are.
KD 2500 Parabolic
O’Brien World Team
O’Brien Siege Comp
O’Brien Jr. Siege
Jobe Axiom II
Jobe 1650 HTP
Connelly Big Easy