As we banked turns down the mountain for several runs, it was quite evident that I was the weakest link in our group. It was fun nonetheless, and I gave it my best effort on Goode’s Fire skis, which proved to be more confident in the snow than I was. This prompted me to ask Dave something I’d been wondering about. Is it more challenging to build a snow or water ski? “A snow ski only needs to turn right and left while it sits on the snow,” he explained. “A water ski needs to turn right and left too, but it also needs to balance the skier in the correct attitude in the water.” Then he started to talk about the tremendous hydrodynamic pressures on a ski, and how water is about 700 times denser than air, and he kind of lost me. “With skiers approaching 60 to 70 mph behind the boat, the water acts the same as if you’ve stuck your hand outside a car window going 2,000 mph,” he said. “That’s why we adjust our fins to .001 of an inch. Just a little change makes a big difference.”
After listening to Dave’s physics dissertation, I concluded that my snow ski technique needed a little change. Actually, a big change. I studied Nick’s technique from afar as he yodeled down the mountain like Franzl Lang. Whether “the Yedi” (as his friends call him) is on the snow or water, his turns are a perfect blend of technical prowess and power, and he has a style all his own. In Nick’s words, “It’s all about being aligned, staying fluid and not thinking about every little specific movement. Just let it happen.”
Dave and Dawn were letting it happen. As they skied by me, they carved turns in unison, all smiles, and encouraged each other along the way; it was a great moment to witness. It’s interesting how skiing can bring couples together just as easily as it can tear them apart. Dawn’s totally entrenched in both sports, and she’s been a great copilot for Dave for more than a decade.