Wow! It’s March already. If you haven’t been down to your nearest dam or river for a ski, now is the perfect time when the weather really plays its part. With numerous public holidays and long weekends coming up at the end of March and early in April, it’s time to gather your friends and family and head on down to the water for some thrilling riding.
There are numerous tournaments taking place in and around South Africa in the month of March, so come on out, whether you participate or spectate at the events listed below, you’re bound to have some fun in the sun. You will also get to see South Africa’s top water skiers battle it out to take home top honours.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MARCH?
Skiworld Nautiques Invitation – Skiworld Benoni – 19 to 21 March 2016 – four rounds of slalom skiing and two rounds of trick skiing.
South African National Championships – Lake Grappa – Kakamas – 24 and 25 March.
All African Championships – Lake Grappa – Kakamas – 26 and 27 March.
HOW GOOD AM I AT SLALOM SKIING?
Often, as “free skiers” or open water slalom skiers, we carve turns, throwing large walls of white spray as we go up and down the dam and we tend to think we are good water skiers. But how can we accurately measure how good we really are?
In slalom skiing, there is a set course with very strict tolerances that are standard throughout the world. Below is the diagram of a typical slalom course.
As the boat travels down a fixed path, (illustrated by the solid black line) the skier carves around six buoys (illustrated as orange circles).
In the diagram the skier is the purple line. In order for the skier to make a complete pass, they need to enter through the red buoys commonly known as the “entrance gates” before making six turns around the orange buoys and then finally exiting through the “exit gates”, which are the two red buoys at the other end of the course.