Water Ski Setup Matters to Skiers of All Abilities
Moving the fin on a slalom ski by the width of one human hair can change the ski’s behavior enough to be noticed by most avid skiers. And while this tiny .003″ fin move won’t likely affect a novice skier’s performance, most fins are out of place by 10x, 100x, or even substantially more than this amount—enough to reduce the potential of any ski for any level of skier.
It’s an unfortunate fact that the vast majority of brand new skis don’t come out of the box with accurately mounted fins. Then most recreational skiers go on to mount their bindings and wing improperly, further undermining ski behavior. Even if everything is properly set up when new, a simple bump on the fin can change the ski’s personality and potential. A slalom ski’s setup is a very precise thing, and it’s not just important for experts; it matters for novices too.
A novice’s ski needs an accurate factory-recommended setup so it is safe and easy to ski on. Avid novices need to spend their time on skis that encourage the development of good technique built around proper ski behavior. Advanced skiers need to put an accurate factory setup on every ski they demo, or an otherwise fabulous ski may get unfairly misjudged and rejected. And any serious skier should understand why skis behave the way they do and how to adjust individual ski behaviors so they can fine-tune their skis’ behavior to match their existing technique.
So regardless of ability, all skiers should take a proactive interest their slalom ski’s setup. Of course technique should always be of the utmost importance; but wouldn’t you rather work on your technique with a dance partner than with a wrestling opponent?