Dec 13, 2006

A Very Creaky Xmas


Let me just reach into my sac...

This is a busy time of year for everyone, what with Christmas shopping, drinking and picking out the perfect holiday themed sweater to put on your dog. You twisted psycho.


Yeah, laugh it up now you bastard, I know where you sleep!!

Everyone has gone through it before, the disappointed look on your unsuspecting gift receiver as they unwrap your feeble attempt at gift giving. Cross that with the shame you will feel as you watch your supposedly inferior siblings / family members / friends impress one another with their amazingly original and highly intriguing gifts that seem to fit perfect.

You note this of course as your all-wooden connect-4 erector set kit from the QVC lies in a pile on the floor like your cloths on the floor after a night of booze, cigarettes and bar skanks.

However!!

Never fear as the CRB is here to save you with some last minute gift ideas for that special waterski type on your list, or for yourself or for your favorite blog host...which is of course, this one.

NERD!!!

So, anyways, you find yourself struggling for a last minute gift for that waterski friend and you don't know what or where or how to get that perfect gift. Its simple my friend, a pair of jumpers. New or Used it doesn't matter. What self-respecting skier would look at a pair of jumpers and say, "yea, well, I was really hoping for a blender"

Actually, if your friend said that you would be legally allowed to beat them to death with that jump ski and dump their body....then take their boyfriend/girlfriend our for a nice steak and gratuitous sex.


Cue porn music...bow chica bow wow!!

That never happens though because anyone who is cool enough to be a member of the Creaky Clan already has awesomely cool friends who would never prefer a blender of a pair of jump skis. Even simply for the straight economic aspect. I mean, a new pair of Air Neville's is borderline 3 grand. F-that noise, just sell them and buy about 20 blenders.

So, here is our rundown of jump skis out there that we are aware of, along with availability to purchase and our patented CRB ranking.



D3 Nightmare - $2300
Available online: Performance Ski and Surf

These are pretty cool looking skis, and from everything I have heard pretty awesome to ski on as well. Of special note, Freddy Krueger skis on these and is pretty awesome. So, this would be a fine choice for your waterski friend.

History lesson: most people have at least a cursory attachment to D3, as many people who are over the age of 26 or so were alive and kicking during the Kidder heyday. With Sammy Duvall and Carl Roberge kicking butt and looking badass, as well as bring waterskiing to heights that it hasn't reached since.

But then Kidder went on sabatical and then came back as KD, which is fine and good but not Kidder and then went away again. Dennis Kidder got his Mojo back and is kicking ass now with D3.

Remember when Sammy's 202 foot jump was just SICK! I remember talk that the physics of ever going over 220 were debated and it was determined that no human could ever go farther. Sammy said somewhere or maybe it was urban legend, but, somewhere I remember he would routinly fly another 20 some feet in practice.

Landing 220-225's on 72 inch jumpers. 72 INCHES!!

We all know the story, he went a bit farther, polishing off his amazing career with the world record (220 feet) and retired just before these monster planks made their way to the scene. There were some other guys out there who flew, John Swanson, Bruce Neville, but no one to take the torch that Sammy carried. Maybe its Jimmy Siemers, but right now, in jumping, its Freddy Krueger. D3's big boy, carrying the Dennis Kidder mantle of Jump Dominance forward.

But he isn't what Sammy was, no one is, but no one else has ever been closer.

Points for cool design, cool name, Dennis Kidder, Freddy and world records. Points off for not being Kidder and cost.

CRB Ranking: B+



Stokes Jump Skis - Unknown Price
Available online: N/A

Don't really know much about these at all, matter of fact nothing, other then June Fladborg skis on them and is pretty good. Searching the entire reaches of the web the only mention of these skis anywhere is on her webpage that mentions them as a sponser and gives a link to their site and it goes to one of those stupid squatter sites thats a bunch of crap.

So, points deducted for extreme web confusion and frustration, but bonus points awarded for mystery and having a rad name.

CRB Ranking: B-


Goodman Stiffy Longboards - Unknown Price
Available Online: N/A

This one is the most frustrating for me. These are probably my all time favorite waterskis. I have never skied on them and only seen them in person once, and that was along time ago at a ski school, if the memory serves correct it was the first year or at least beginning stages of this company, the beginning stages of the long board jumping era.

They undeniably the coolest looking skis around. There is alot to be said for not cluttering up or overly graphic-ing a set of planks. Plus, look at the pictures above and even the beat up and worn out pair (taken from skifly.com) look awesome. In fact, I think that they are cooler then the new ones.

Also, this is the company (in my mind anyways) that signified in retrospect the yin-yang world that is pro waterskiing. Making skis that launched people farther then ever, making them stronger and lighter and better looking, but, ultimatly making some of the stars that built the sport fade away to quick and their records seem less impressive. Like Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the early 1990's, but, instead of making Sammy and Carl fade it was Poison and Warrant. So, thats a bad analagy. Sammy and Carl rule, while Poison and Warrant are crappy bands.

So, points deducted again for web frustration and confusion but mega points for cool factor, mystery and having one of the CRB's favorite skiers, Danyelle Bennett, ski on them and for dragging our sport to new heights...for better or worse.

CRB Rank: A



O'Brien Air Neville Pro - $2,999
Available Online: Performance Ski and Surf

The second picture is from the Skifly store and goes to illustrate how uncool the current skis are. This is a shame, because, from what we know at the CRB O'Brien no longer makes shorty skis so this is all they got.

The Performance website says:
"These skis feature aerodynamic Neville tips, hand milled aluminum fins and custom carbon fiber and graphite laminates sandwiching a honeycomb core."
So, they got that going for them, which is nice. I guess. Points for having Neville attached to it and for being, until recent, one of the lone remaining companies to make shorties. Points off for insane cost, lame looks and general "whatever" vibe.

CRB Ranking: C



Connelly LS 300 and HC 300 - $2,899, $2,699 w/ stokes tips and $1,199 for the shorties
Available online: Performance Ski and Surf

What could be considered the lone "Mass" market jump skis. With the sad decline of Kidder/KD and HO not making jumpers anymore and Carbonworx going weird, this is pretty much it if you are looking for jumpers and don't really know where to go.

More specifically, since this is the only company that we know of that makes "normal" size jumpers, odds are you would be looking for a pair of these...the HC 300's. Unless you are a decent to above average jumper and don't show ski and have access to nice jump conditions, then you can look longer and gravitate towards the longer boards.

Not a bad business model really, like General Motors from back in the day. You would start off your life driving a small Chevy, move up to a Buick or Oldsmobile then eventually a Caddy. Same here, you start with a pair of shorties and then get good and move up.

Plus, they are a well known and I guess respected brand, plus its a pretty cool name. Like O'Neil or Goodman or...umm...maybe D3, if that makes sense. HO is a pretty lame name, so is Jobe, and Billabong and Intensity.

Anyways, points for smart business model, pretty neat skis, pretty neat name. Points deducted for expensive shorties....Thats it. Huh. Well, they shouldn't get to comfortable in the shorties market, as I heard that there may be another small company brewing out there in the world.

CRB Ranking: A-

So, after the exhaustive search, here are our final rankings, listed numerically...err...in order.
  1. Goodman Stiffy Longboards (A)
  2. Connelly HC 300 and LS 300 (A-)
  3. D3 Nightmare (B+)
  4. Stokes Jumpers (B-)
  5. O'Brien Air Neville Pro (C)
Happy shopping friends, and happy holidays from the Rowboat.

Links:
Performance Ski and Surf (www.perfski.com)
June Fladborg (www.junefladborg.dk/us/index.htm)
Skibay (skifly.com)

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