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In the Curl: Healthy Debate


Our sport has always had interesting characters – people that have left a real mark on us – and ones that continue to do so for a myriad of reasons. One of the more disappointing parts of this is the minority few that revel in controversy, and generally for the wrong reasons.

The latest example concerns the reride/rerunning of the elite trick event in Waco. It’s featuring on many social network pages with plenty of comments and opinions. 3 event Barefooting has always had challenges to present an even playing field for a division. It’s really nice to think we can put 10-15 skiers out for two passes in identical conditions but reality says that just won’t happen – there are way too many variables for that, most prominently, conditions that officials cannot control. Is the current system that wrong? Are the wrong skiers winning?  What’s wrong with skiers capable of 5-7000 point passes getting the best possible conditions? Would you rather see them fall? It appears some would.

It goes both ways, and someone will always get something a little better than another, but in the elite event, I expect to see the very best conditions offered. These are the skiers that put the years of training in, that have a skill and talent well above the norm and have done the time to be in a position to compete at the very highest level. Sure all competitors work hard, no question about that, but when you hit this elite level, the stakes are a lot higher and you deserve to get the best possible conditions. We want to see the best skier on the day get the prize, not the lucky guy with the calm run.

So the fact that some just love to push a barrow, embellish a comment, twist something to suit an agenda, is very sad. At the end of the day, the officials do a fantastic job, and do the right thing by the skiers. I salute them all for putting in the effort knowing that there will probably be negative comments and ill-considered, emotional  feedback thrown at them – generally from the people with the least ability to receive feedback and the ones that are rarely participating in a helpful position. With social media, this toxic activity goes rampant and gets a heap of kneejerk reaction.

So if you have some suggestions, feed them forward in a positive and collaborative way – don’t take the political way out and bag the current system. We would all be a lot better debating potential suggestions to improve things, than wasting energy and effort on agendas that are not productive nor tournament focused.


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