National Geographic : 1958 Nov
e Jumper Whirls Like a Top in the 360-degree Helicopter Spin at both snow and water skiing, to explain the difference between the two. "The difference?" he replied. "Let me put it this way. The pull of the rope on the water takes the place of the pull of gravity on the slopes. The basic technique is the same. Both require coordination, plus balance, plus skill, plus judgment." "But the snow skier has much more free dom of movement," I ventured. "When you learn to water ski better, you will see the difference is less than you think. "As I run the slalom course out here," Simon went on to explain, "I travel almost twice as fast as the boat. It goes in a straight line between the two rows of staggered buoys at 34 miles an hour. But I swing back and forth, back and forth"-swishing movements of his hands emphasized his point-"crossing the wake to pass outside each buoy." Earlier in the afternoon we had anchored boats in which to mount the flash units along 710 Few sports rival water skiing in its variety of seemingly impossible stunts. Professional troupes thrill spectators with such acrobatics as the back ward jump, double jump, and swan toehold (page 708). Tournaments award points in three cate the jump path and slalom course. Skiers from the show had volunteered to fire the lights. It would take perfect timing to trip the switches just as Nancie and Simon shot by in the dark, only 25 feet from the boats. The moon rose and cast a soft, helpful light over the whole operation. So clear was the night that about 10:00 we could see the exhaust flame of a rocket from Cape Canav eral, 80 miles away, shoot into the heavens. Four Flashes Catch Perfect Jump Nancie strapped on the light, jammed her feet into the rubber ski bindings, and was towed away from the dock, her light bouncing along behind the boat. Since she had never jumped at night, the crew was tense as she swung around in the darkness and sped toward the 12-foot-wide floating ramp. I opened my shutter. The light shot into my view finder, and one flash isolated Nancie in the darkness.