Thursday, August 21, 2008

Your Expectations, and Riding the SkySki for the First Time

Your Expectations are Everything
Riding the SkySki for the First Time

(pictured, Ron "The Carvefather" Maita, founder of the American Carving Association, on his SkySki)

Yesterday I tried something kind of wild and new. I was with my Wednesdays Off crew on the lake, and after my wakeboard run I had a chance to ride a thing that doesn’t even have a generic name yet. But it’s a water ski with a chair on top and a hydrofoil on the bottom. The hydrofoil is like the one you might have seen Laird Hamilton ride under his surfboard in the awesome movie Riding Giants.

Two companies make this thing, that I know of, the brands are SkySki and Air Chair (Both great names btw and I should know cause I’m in the business of product naming in my other life. The name Air Chair rhymes and is easier for me to remember.)

The idea of the chairboard (let’s call it that) is that you can rise up and down like a merry go round horse on the hydrofoil, using the height that you hold the handle as the controller. Before you learn the up and down motion, you work on smoothly crossing the wake, back and forth. They tell me the chairboard crosses the wake like a hot knife through butter, but I wasn’t quite at that point yet. My friends do it, and even fly up in the air, landing jumps on the surface of the water smoothly. Amazing to watch!

But the point I want to make is that I tried a brand new sport that I had little background info on. I had seen 2 people ride it, both riding like champs. They made it look easy, so I tried riding it with the expectation that I could do it, and guess what! I had very good success from the first try!

On the other hand, my friend had seen these same 2 guys try to teach 15 people before me, on the thing, and most of them had not succeeded easily. She had a different experience set to make her judgment from, and her judgment was that it was hard to learn and would be hard for her.

By the way, I suspect the chairboard is a little easier for women to learn, because our center of gravity is right over the chair, whereas men’s is in their shoulders, making them top heavy.

Do you see how profoundly your expectations can influence your outcome?
Be aware and present when you think about your expectations. Expect the best! You deserve it! And when things go well for you, there is a pleasant ripple effect all around you!

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