Jun 1, 2011

Another Reason Why Slo-Mo Sucks

Watch this video a couple times. Go ahead, do it. We will wait.

Here is what you are thinking right now.

  1. Thats probably fake
  2. They still make hot-wheels 
  3. Whoever that driver is pretty good. 
Lets take a look at number 1 though.  Its probably fake. 

You know why we think right away that its fake...GAH.  Enough set up for this.  ITS GOD DAMN SLOW MOTION!!!

Let us say this once again and loud enough for everyone to hear it.  




A slalom pass does not look better when its slowed down, a jumper doesn't look better, a wakeboarder doesn't look better, your porn tape does not look better.


Please please for the love of christ stop it!!  

The video above is totally based on the speed of the car and the jump, the driver guy hauling ass and flying like a maniac over, we guess, 4 miles before landing on the ramp on the other side.  Its awesome, its an amazing feat if it is real.  The speed that he hit that ramp and flew is awesome.  

When you slow it down it looks fake.  Which, honestly, this video probably is...but, what the hell???

The most frustrating thing about writting when angry about something is not having the proper ability to convey the level of frustration that comes with a video like this.  

When we did the reviews of some of the waterski videos a year or so ago, one of the biggest complaints was the slo-mo shots.  

Lets revisit that argument for a second.  

Our sport, Waterskiing, is a sport built on speed, timing and strength.  Its built on grace and balance and brains.  Its built on an the extraordinary ability to command various planes of pull required to pull off any motion.  

It is a sport that lends itself to an artistic eye, something that we can view and appreciate, but, its not something that should be appreciated at a pace that doesn't do it justice. 

Watch the Masters webcast and marvel at the various styles of the skiers (granted we only saw the slalom part), but, in slo-mo watching Jon Travers and Will Asher would NOT do either of them justice.  Their styles are uniqely different, their paths to the buoy are different...each individual pass is different, yet with the same results. 

If you were to slo-mo their runs they would look the same.  

Going slowly around a buoy and making a big spray?  NO!!!

That takes away from what it is about each skier that makes them special.  You have to view it at real time.

For example, in our Masters review we thought that both Will and Regina took to much speed into the two-ball, which may be 100% incorrect, but, damnit, thats what it looked like.  

Person: "Oh, but Dig Dug, thats a tournament, you can't have slo-mo there...thats dumb"
Dig Dug: "and?"
Person: "a ski video is showing the cool images of what skiing can look like"
Dig Dug: "you are a fool...and let me explain why"

Slow motion video is useful for a number of reasons.  If a receivers foot is in-bounds on a reception, if a particular pitch is in the strike zone, if Marcus Brown gets the 4-ball on his pass.  

Its something that can be used judicially for specific times and for specific purposes. 

But, we think that its used by people to try an artificially art up some scene without the proper ability to convey the real heart of our sport. 

This is certainly not meant as a barb at the people who have put money into making these videos, simply, this is meant to try and put forth this idiom. 

Our sport is built on speed and power and you have to take it as a whole...you notice the incredible ability of a Will Asher when watching him run a 38 off pass at full speed vs. most of the rest of us trying to get a 15 off pass...you slow us down and we look good.  

The ease that he goes around the buoys, the way he builds for the wake cross, the deceleration, the turn.  

At full speed it is a sight to behold.  

That is the point, our sport needs to be viewed at full speed to really appreciate the incredible artistry that is inherent to our sport.  

We are all lucky in that we happen to waterski and has such a natural beauty to it that doesn't need to be screwed with to properly present it on a screen.  It does that on its own.  

Celebrate what it is that makes this sport so special, celebrate what makes the best skiers we have great.  Its not their spray, its not a slowed down turn, its not a shot of a jumper moving slow into a sunset. 

Its a stunningly powerful turn around a buoy, its a flip-flip-flip combo thingy from a trick skier, its the insane speed and power and grace that a freddy or a dodd or a llewellyn pull into a ramp, its a damn whirlybird!!!

Christ, just STOP WITH THE SLO-MO!  We get it, you have a great digital HD camera.  With great power comes great beer.  Drink and use both wisely!!


  1. AGREED!!

  2. batskier11:46 AM

    not fake. They did this at the indy 500 this weekend.

  3. It's not often that I find myself disagreeing with the holy CRB, but as someone who is at the tip of the spear when it comes to webcasting water ski events, I have to provide some counter perspective...

    Using instant replay is a critical tool for any sport being broadcast that has large chunks of time without some form of action - such as a tricker setting down between passes, a slalomer pulling out to shorten the line or a jumper going back down the lake for the remainder of his/her jumps. Not to mention the time it takes the get the next skier on the water. Instant replay helps fill this time gaps in the broadcast and produces a better end product.

    Also - inevitably a skier falls or does some out of the ordinary so being able to put that under closer examination is helpful too. When it comes to tight buoy calls in slalom, this really comes into it own - in fact, the instant replay on my webcast was used during the Jnr. World's last season to determine a close buoy count:
    Ilya Labkovich - Jnr. Worlds Slalom -

    and take a look at some of these examples:

    Iris Cambray - Slalom at the Jnr. Worlds

    Freddie Winter - Euro U-21 Slalom Final

    Seppi Grosek - Jnr. World's Jump Prelims

    Enough for you to be getting along with - any questions?


  4. Tony,

    We do agree that instant replay is important to a telecast and to scoring. I think Dig Dug was pointing out that slow mo is lame in videos of general skiing.

  5. You had mentioned the webcast this past weekend in a couple of instances, so one could have made that correlation...

  6. you are right, i did mention the webcast and i was worried that i didn't make the distinction clear enough.

    In referencing the webcast i was specifically thinking of watching, at full speed, Will Asher running the course. Then I was moving back over to regular ski videos where that same run would be slowed down.

    I probably could have done a better job in that sense.

    For the replay, etc, aspect of things, it is absolutly important part of an event and shoot, when used correctly in videos, its cool.

    Its just a knee jerk reaction to slo-mo now, like a pavlov dog situation. Drives me crazy.

    But, yes Tony, you are correct.


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