tricks and jumping are the three events of traditional water skiing that make up the
oldest and most original discipline of water skiing.
The slalom event is performed on one ski by an athlete
attempting to negotiate his way around the outside of six buoys in a zigzag course without
falling or missing a buoy in consecutive passes.
An athlete receives one point for each
buoy that he successfully rounds. The athlete who skis around the most buoys and scores
the most points, wins the event.
Each athlete begins with a 23-meter
(75-foot) slalom rope at the minimum boat speed for his age/gender division. Once an
athlete has run enough passes to reach maximum boat speed for his division, the rope is
shortened in pre-measured lengths until he misses a buoy or falls.
The tricks event has been described as
the most technical of the three events. Beginners
perform this event on two short skis, and intermediate to elite athletes perform on one
An athlete attempts to perform as many tricks as he can during two 20-second
passes. Each trick has a assigned point value and an athlete may perform each trick
only once. The athlete who earns the most points wins the event.
Tricks are performed either with an
athlete's foot slipped into a strap attached to the handle, called toehold tricks, or with
the handle held in the athlete's hands.
The object of the jumping event is
for an athlete to jump as far as he can. There are no style points just pop off of the
ramp and fly!
Each athlete has three attempts to
jump as far as he can. In each age/gender division, there is a set boat speed and the ramp
height is set at five feet (1.5 meters) in most divisions. However, elite women jump at a
ramp height of 5-1/2 feet (1.6 meters) and elite men jump at six feet (1.8 meters).
Although most jump distances for the
average male and female range between 80 and 170 feet (24 and 52 meters), the Men's world
record is 236 feet (71.9 meters), which is equivalent to jumping as far as someone kicking
a 78-yard field goal in football!
(description and pictures courtesy of USAWaterski)
International water ski competitions have been held since 1949 with the first
World Championships in Jaun-Les-Pins, France. The World Championships are held
every two years. Over the years Cash Prize tournaments have been held. There
have been various professional tours as well as many long term stand alone
premiere events such as the Masters (USA since 1958) and Moomba (AUS since 1961).
The World Cup designation was first used as an intenational team style tournament
with tournaments in Tahiti and Bordeux, France. Most recently, the World Cup was
a yearly set of tournaments sponsored by Cafe de Colombia between 1996 and 2000.
This year, the IWSF has decided to re-establish the World Cup with both traditional
three event skiing and wakeboarding as separate/combined tours. The focus this time
is to incorporate some established events as well as showcase the tournaments in
major cities of the world and present the results as a syndicated TV package.
It looks like an exciting year for the world of competition water skiing.
For a reference to the past, here are the World Cup results from 1996-2005
Click here to see all World Cup Event Winners. 1996-date