View Full Version : Ski Progression

08-12-2007, 09:07 PM
With the purchase of my Connelly Carbon Course, I felt motivated to document and share the progression of water skis that have gotten me to this point:

From left to right:
1) O'Brien Imperial Combo 170mm- this is the combo that I learned to ski on and progress to slalom. These skis have been in my family for as long as I can remember and have taught countless people how to ski. I spent eleven years riding this single ski, granted it was usually one weekend out of the year, but it is where most of my fundamentals were developed. You have to fight to put it on edge and you wobble forward, back, left, and right the entire time. Note the flimsy overstretched zero support binding.

2) The Big Monster. This is Dad's ski of choice. It's wood, it's heavy, skinny, and old. I never got the hang of it -- to me, it was more of a "hang on" point-and-go type of ride. I preferred the cheap O'Brien 90% of the time.

3) HO Charger 69" (2004 model) -- This was my first shaped ski and the first modern ski that I ever rode. I purchased this one as a means to get off of the O'brien. It took me to a whole new level of skiing. It's surface area is considerable, and while it allowed me to raise my performance, it also put a cap on it. Managing slack was the name of the game on this ski. The best contribution: a REAL binding and RTP!!!

4) Kidder Graphite Supreme 66" -- After realizing that the HO was causing me to develop some bad habits, I picked up this Kidder at Play-It-Again for $45. That's the best $45 I ever spent on equipment. As the first "competition" ski that I had the chance to ride, it taught me a lot about the art of slalom. There was no going back to the HO after getting a taste of the acceleration of this ski. Note that the HO bindings quickly made their way onto the Kidder!

5) Connelly Carbon Course Millennium 67" -- "Holy crap" were my words after my first outing on this stick. Take everything that I learned from each of the previous progressions above and multiply them by ten -- that was the experience on this ski. Finally, everything that I had been reading about was making sense to me. No longer do I have to work on telling the ski want to do: this thing is already designed to do it! This bad boy wants to be on edge and when you let it go there, it's like flipping on a switch that none of my previous skis were equipped with. My form and motions are now simply an extension of this ski's natural built in capabilities. Granted, if I hadn't worked so hard on the HO and Kidder to this point, I would have no clue of what I was doing on the Connelly. I assume this holds true with any high end tournament ski. I now have a lot more to learn and a long way to go!

Feel free to expand this and share your own ski evolution here.[/img]

08-13-2007, 07:38 PM
I started skiing in 1965. I started slalom in 1971. The first skis were flat skis from combos with 1 inch fins. After getting to where I could float through turns like a trick ski I started borrowing skis.

The first one I tried was the first 'real' ski, an OBrien World Team, blue with a red bottom. If you turned just right it would whistle while you accelerated.

After that experience a friend had a couple of skis that he let me use off/on. Mostly an OBrien 6/38. That would have been around 1977 or so. This is the ski I first skied the course on.

I finally broke down and bought my own ski, an OBrien Freestyle. It was green. Possibly the worst ski ever made. I sold it after about a month - to a guy who still uses - unbelievable.

Back to used skis. I bought an old yellow bottom / wood deck / foam core 66 OBrien from a cousin and ski that for a while.

Then I bought my first real ski that I actually test drove before I bought it. It was a 65 inch Jobe Professional. Black with yellow bottom, honeycomb inside foam. This ski had the Variable Textured bottom to aid in deceleration. The next year the wing came out on skis and the variable textured bottom faded. But I will tell you, if got on the front of that ski - it slowed down... that ski now belongs to my wife.

In 1987 I bought my 65 inch Connelly Shortline 2. I skied that for a long time. The fin had no holes, but rather a P shape, and it had a wing. Bindings felt great. Had a custom foot bed, heat formed to my foot. I skied that until about 2000 or 2001. My daughter has that ski now.

The next ski was a 68" Connelly Concept, I think it is a 1999 model. Looks a lot like the Carbon Course in the photo above. Since I have owned this ski I have gone through one front binding and reconstructed the RTP overstrap a couple of times. But I love it. It took me from 15 off at 30mph to 28 off at 34 in rough water , dabbling with 38 off at 34 in glass (open water).

Funny thing is, during one of the binding mishaps with the Concept I tried going back to the Shortline. Made 2 turns and quit. Just was not the same (probably more in my head). I have sold two new Concepts for Connelly in the last year. Friends that skied mine had to get one for themselves.

I have been toying with the idea of going the next step - an F1, or maybe 6AM, Goode or D3. Can't get the nerve to suggest that to the better half unless I get a great deal somewhere. too many other things to spend money on.

Nice to reminisce.

08-13-2007, 07:39 PM
What a cool photo and post! Man I dig this Moomba forum.

08-14-2007, 12:47 AM
Excellent selection of skiis. The only ski I kept was my first competition ski the Cyprus Gardens El Diablo grooved ski. It collects dust in the attic but I do have picture from about the 1970-71 era.


I had a Jobe yellow honeycomb in the 1980's and it was the worst ski I had. I gave it to a friend when I moved some years later and told him he can have it if he skiis on it. I like punishment.

I'm on an older Mach and I need to replace it sometime soon. The bindings are on their last cuts and I've JB Weld the screw holes because the original holes got stripped out. As you know, when you buy a ski it's like buying the bindings and they throw in the blank.

08-15-2007, 09:33 PM
Wow, trying to think back on all the skiis and there traits over the years, some fun. I started out on the old wood combos with the stiff white ankle biter bindings (still in my dads garage today), moved to a wood slalom my dad bought for me and my brother, nice bindings, no tunnel just flat, this ski is singley responsible for more open water enimas than I care to remember. Next I tried a friends Obrien competition, you know the old Green and silver one. I liked it so much I bought the newest version at the time a Black one with If I remember right a yellow bottom 66". This was also my first double high wrap. Good tuning ski but kind of slow. Next was a 64" Kidder Redline DHW, which was a very hot new ski at the time. Wow, wicked fast, but not as sticky in the turns. I forget the next ski but after that was another Obiren 66" called the Rumour Pro with DHW, was the beginning of the cap skiis. Was OK and my wife still rides it today although a little long for her. Next came a 68" Obrien Seige w DHW. Two things here, up to a 68" because I'm no longer a slim 175 and a detuned performance ski because who am I kidding ( although skiing the best I have in a long time). Love this ski @ 36mph I'm really enjoying pushing it hard. Like Dave said earlier would like to try 1 of the new really hot skiis. Tried one of the Connely performance wide bodies last year for a month in FLorida, was OK but not for me. :D