|Bro, your city got into my ski lake! (credit @Biebert)|
There is a certain monotony / rhythm to a ski tournament that does not lend it self always well to a, say, party type atmosphere. Its more of a lifestyle event, then an event event. If that makes sense.
The rhythmic consistency of skiers going up and down the lake, going a few feet further in a jump, getting a few more buoys, etc, is not the style that makes for a "must see" type situation, but, yet...if you know skiing at all and maybe even in passing know some of the skiers, the last say 45 minutes of the Malibu Open was as much see of an event as you can really have in this particular sport.
|Shit will go DOWN! (credit @mcclintocks)|
Lets start, however at the beginning. For those who don't know, the Malibu Open is a pro ski event held in Milwaukee, WI, at a lagoon on the shores of Lake Michigan, maybe....just maybe...its not the most perfect site, but, given what we all have to work with, we would venture a guess that Veterans Park in Milwaukee is the most scenic site that our sport has to offer.
Why? You will not ever see (that we are aware of, other then maybe the Moomba which we haven't been to in person) see a picture of say, Freddy rocking a 237 foot jump against the backdrop of 30 floor tall buildings.
For those of you who have been to Moomba, is it similar? We don't know, our CRBudget doesn't allow for that sort of expense.
But, and if rumors are true that this is the last year of Malibu in Milwaukee, that is very sad. It is a wonderful site, a ski hungry state and the support of the local community. We don't want to hear, oh, the county asked for more or any of the political non-sense, we allready know it all. Its wrong. So, we will move on.
There was a annoying as shit 45 minute or so rain shower that interrupted activities for a while, but, otherwise, it was a gorgeous afternoon to sit around and drink beers and watch waterskiing.
Our point earlier about the rhythmic arc of a ski tour was in full effect on friday, we were able to catch a bit of the early morning on webcast and the remainder of the day in person. WHAT??? CRB IN PERSON AT A SKI EVENT? yes, it happened and we drank beers and got to much sun. It was GLORIOUS. Besides, is there a LA Night Jam this year?
|A ski tourney in a big city??? (credit @shembiebert)|
There was, also, a pretty decent crowd as well. Not huge by any means, but, decent. We would guess maybe 1/2? 1/3? of the people were just joggers or park go-ers that saw a bunch of rad shit going on and stopped down.
For those curious, Friday was ODBF and Dig Dug at the event, and ODBF had, we guess, met someone the night before and had to bail, leaving DIG DUG by themselves to specatate.
AND SPECTATE WE DID.
Oddly the most gratifying or interesting aspect was a crash by Damian Sharman crashed pretty hard, not injury hard, but, yard sale ish. He broke his helmet and one of his skis. The helmet part was sort of interesting, because he floated up after the crash and was looking around, and one would think he was knocked loopy, but, his helmet got (we think) spun around on his head and parts of it were floating around.
Eventually he found all the pieces and saw his ski was broken and we figured that was it.
NOPE. Waterski people are god damn awesome.
Damien. Otb. Damages ski and helmet. Miranda's to the rescue. Loaning damo skis and helmet. Very cool stuff. Great sportsmanship.He did not, in hollywood fashion, break out out a 200 some foot jump and advance, he passed on his jump. But, the sportsmanship and camaraderie displayed were appreciated by us.
— The Pro Ski Tour (@theproskitour) August 1, 2014
Other then that, it was a well done affair and Freddy just squeaked in with a low 190s jump and we all knew that bro was playing possum and nothing to worry about.
Again, rhythm and skiing went on. Slalom is a tough sport to get super invested in, because you aren't "really" going head to head against someone, you are putting up a score and seeing if someone beats you.
As is the case with most tournaments, there isn't a big scoreboard to help you out and remember where people are and their scores. But, really, you need a board to update scores instantly, otherwise you are just living the event, your are really just watching.
This is something that needs to be addressed as our sport moves forward...
Tadd is a god damn miracle worker on the mic. No idea how he does it, but, bro just talks and talks and talks and makes everything interesting and fun and great to listen to. Either on web cast or in person, dude is really the voice of our sport.
For real...If it wasn't for him, we imagine that 50% of our interest would fade. We loved the Tadd / Tony combo, but, Tadd on his own with various people chipping in to help, this weekend was Dano The Mano, to ok results. Its not a jump "score" its a distance, but, otherwise your legit.
But, serious you guys, is it really a major event if Tadd isn't on the mic? He really is good and from the CRB headquarters we salute you and the incredible work you do.
The skiing, as it always is was great. We watched in various degrees of in-personness. Either on the webcast or actually physically there. And, whomever runs the tournament needs to be commended for running THE SHIT OUT of this tournament.
It ran FAST. KUDOS.
BLAH BLAH BLAH.
lets get to the meet of things.
FREDDY VS. DODD
Everything else is wonderful and all the skiers are incredible and if you follow them on twitter or instagram or wherever, you know that they WORK their ass off to be good.
So, we don't want to discount their accomplishments, but, as much love as we have for Poochie, or Ellis, or Nate, Whitney or whomever, it really came down to the Titans of Jump...Freddy and Dodd.
We knew that Freddy wasn't and/or isn't a 193 jumper, this is a big tourney and dude is going to hulk up and kill it.
And, its strange to see him so early in the rundown of skiiers, "yo! thats Fred!?!?, what gives?" "don't worry bro," says strangely evesdropping neighbor. "He will be ok"
Phew, with that off our chest, Freddy goes out in the finals and ..... passes??
Done, shit is closed down kids its all over.
N O P E!!!!!!
Nor if Ryan Mother Fucking Dodd has anything to say about it.
I AM THE FATHER OF DRAGONS!!
You are not going to see this in Waterski Magazine, but, this, right here, is the head-to-head of our decade.
Freddy Vs. Dodd. Science versus power, brains versus brawn, or is it vice versa??? Two bad ass jumpers that beat the shit out of a ski ramp like it owes them money.
THIS IS WHAT MAKES A SKI TOURNAMENT!!!!!
This is the last 45 minutes of the Malibu Open, god damn excitement!!
But, its not over!
Slalom is back on the water!
"wait," you say. "you are slalom haters, and think its boring"
NOT AT ALL!
The rhythm of a slalom event is dull. A head to head with great skiiers give you ALL THE BONERS!! #manyboners
Nate Smith Vs. KC Wilson, Whitney Vs. April, etc, etc, etc.
Look, you know how this all played out, we aren't a news org...but, yo...shit was tight. It was, serious, put down the beer, stop talking to the pretty girl and clapclapclapclap. It was exciting as hell. and GOD DAMN Nate Smith can slalom like a BOSS.
Head to head, bracket style skiing is the tits y'all.
If this is the last year of the Malibu in Milwaukee. Lets give hella thanks for like 5 years of great skiing and a great location and other then LA Night Jam the most fun we have had at a ski event in something we weren't competing in.
As a sport, events like this and the location they are at, need to be nurtured and expanded on. A Major-ish city, a prime location and support from the community.
We need to get our sport into the public eye and get people invested, invited and intrigued by our sport.
We have a beautiful sport, its sexy, its hard, its painful, but, ultimatly, its fucking awesome.
Lets not push it to secluded locations were only the skiers are present, we...and by we I mean y'all, are the best this sport has ever offered and y'all should be taken care of.
Its the rest of us that help run/promote/organize these events that need to work harder to both A. get you rich and B. get our sport in front of ALL the eyeballs.
After this weekend we are more excited for what we can do as a sport moving forward then ever before.
Our sport is great and full of great people who work hard, lets make it become something huge!!!!