Surf Skiing--Sport Of The Future?
I'm unconvinced that surf skiing is a necessary addition to wave sports, but I'm sure its inventor Vermont-based Jason Starr would vehemently disagree. Starr has been working for years on building stand-up paddleboards based on skis. He received a patent in February for the process of wave-propelled skiing and is now working toward a patent on the ski/binding system.
Starr's work began with a belief that the sports of skiing and surfing share a rich history in the world of natural, outdoor pursuits. Starr is a former competitive skiier, so certainly more at home on skis than boards--whether that be on snow or in water. In addition to using large, floating skis, surf skiing diverges from paddleboarding in using a double-sided kayak-style paddle rather than a one-sided paddle.
To me, skis don't seem like they'd add anything to surfing/paddleboarding experience except instability--I'd rather paddle one board than two skis. Then again, I'm sure the same thing was said when other spin-off sports like snowboarding came out, so I guess you'd have to try it to truly know. I just can't get the image of doing a mid-wave split that results in the rare, but not-to-be-underestimated ball flop. Ouch.
Starr's company, Starr Surf Skis LLC has a product launch in the works, so if this one sounds like something you'd like to try, it might not be much longer before paddle skis start showing up on lakes, beaches and rivers. Word to the wise: you'd best avoid dropping in on surfers with your big, floating skis--that's going to be grounds for an ass-whoomping like you've never imagined.