Back in June, a new record was established in the competitive world of slalom skiing. Didn’t hear about it, did you? There was once was a time a record run like this likely would have aired on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. These days, it’s on … YouTube. Here’s what happened.
On June 12 at a tournament at Ski Ranch in Covington, La., Chris Parrish tied the previous world record, which he already held. Later that day, Parrish became the first skier to round two buoys at 43 off.
To bring you up to speed on slalom lexicon, here’s what that means. A tournament ski rope is 75 feet long, and “43 off” refers to the number in feet the rope has been shortened. Simply put, Parrish’s rope was 32 feet long, which makes it insanely difficult not only to ski around the first of six buoys, which lie 38 feet outside the centerline of the boat, but also next to impossible to cross back behind the boat and get around the next one, which is 154 feet away. Oh, and the boat is traveling at 36 mph, which means you have less than three seconds to get there. So, yes, at 43 off, rounding two of six buoys is a big deal.
“This is the best feeling in the world!” Parrish gushed.
What is interesting is that he set the record behind Correct Craft’s new Ski Nautique 200, which debuted in late 2009, and is one of the first real new tournament boats introduced in years.
“I’ve trained so hard for this record and could not have done this with out the support of Nautique and its extraordinary new Ski Nautique 200,” Parrish said. “The 200 is the best boat out there hands down, with the softness of the wake and lack of spray allowing me more visibility going through the course.”
Obviously, Parrish is sponsored by Nautique. He also is sponsored by Goode skis, which he credited for his success.
“Chris has been knocking on the door ever since he switched to Goode Skis,” said Dave Goode, president and founder of Goode Ski Technologies. “The weekend after he joined Team Goode in September 2009, he tied his previous World Record twice in back-to-back days. And, just yesterday he tied his previous record twice, again, in the same day! His 39-1/2' offs look like 32' offs and his 41' offs look like 35' offs! This was the first World Record that I got to personally witness.”
Although water skiing couldn’t even charitably be called a growth industry anymore, it is nice to see that innovation continues and the boundaries are still being pushed. Parrish’s record run shows what a core group of people in an industry driven by passion can accomplish—even if it wasn’t on the Wide World of Sports.
“The new Ski Nautique 200 has been incredible,” said Bill Yeargin, Nautique president and CEO. “We have seen new jump records, new trick records and now a new slalom record behind this great boat. The Ski Nautique 200 was introduced with an incredible amount of buzz and has clearly delivered all that was expected from it, plus some.”
You can see the record run on
Editor's Note: Brett Becker is a freelance writer based in Ventura, CA. He covers the marine, automotive and racing industries for various print and web titles.