As long as water-ski manufacturers continue to bring new innovations and technology to the forefront of ski design, they’ll always have a customer. We’re an easy sell. We’ll give anything for one more buoy. Passionate skiers are driven to extremes in the quest to optimize performance. That’s why it was easy to recruit seven skiers out of Orlando, Florida, to help us review the best slalom skis of 2011. Over a period of one month, we tested skis on three lakes in varying conditions.
Demo the Right Way
1. Be safe. Check all the ski’s removable parts to make sure they’re tight and secure.
2. Start with the factory-recommended fin and binding settings to establish a base feel for how the ski performs.
3. Slow the boat down ½ to 1 mph and free ski your first sets to get comfortable with your stance and learn the ski’s edging characteristics.
4. Fin and binding adjustments can really improve your ski’s performance. Document your tweaks and be as descriptive as possible with any changes you feel. In order to really gauge the result of your adjustments, limit your tweaks to one per set and make only minute tweaks. Here’s an overview of how each adjustment affects the ski’s movement in the water (waterskimag.com/finbasics).
Its acceleration is manageable as it rebounds out of the turn and into the wakes with a confident edge.
Tracks like it’s on a rail cross course, and then it loosens up in the turn for a “carvy” feel that is especially rewarding on the offside.
This fast yet controllable ski is quick, reactive, stable, easy to turn and forgiving when the skier gets in a vulnerable position.
It’s smooth, easy to ride and transitions well from its leaning to turning edge.
We were amazed by the ski’s ability to finish the turn with excellent angle and hold a solid edge with minimal effort.
No wonder so many skiers ride this shape and run stellar buoy counts – it quickly recovers from mistakes.
The S1 is for skiers looking to shorten rope lengths this summer – it’s responsive and is perfect for skiers who are looking to attack the course with a vengeance.
The ski design team at HO Sports took its best-performing high-end slalom ski ever, and with some help from Will Asher, made it even better.
There’s a reason why Radar has had such success converting skiers who test the Strada: you could come screaming into a buoy and still make a good turn.
Our testers were in agreement on the ski’s stable riding characteristics and chatter-free ride in bumpy conditions.
Formerly known as the Fischer, the Razor is back in the game with a new name and a bigger sweet spot – and it’s virtually perfect.
Fast yet controllable. You can be aggressive in the turns with no worries about the ski washing out.