To all drivers and aspiring drivers,
As part of the effort to simplify driver testing and assessment, the drivers’ committee has announced that data from Surepath can be submitted as replacement for the current practical exam. This puts more definitive information in the hands of the assessment process and removes some of the stress of a one time, all, or nothing process. A senior driver panel will still be required to sign off on the outside the course expectations such as picking up the skier, movement around docks and patterns outside the course will still be assessed, but the assessment can come from multiple driving experiences. The age of end course video is slowly going away, which adds to this conversation especially when truly quantitative data is made available. This change in policy is a benefit to drivers that spend time using the Surepath system, even when used in non-record events.
Based on these new criteria, it is recommended that tournaments utilize the Surepath system as often as possible. This ability to collect data at a variety of locations as well as various events will allow drivers to select a broader range of experiences as part of their review for upgrade or renewal of certification. This can ensure that the level of driving experiences include skiers that test the ability of the driver and will help confirm those drivers reaching a higher level of quality that may not have been identified by using the current single event testing process. The use of Surepath for non-record events in jump also benefits various committees as they review potential technical and rule changes both nationally and internationally.
For drivers working toward upgrade, requesting scorers to integrate WaterSkiConnect and Surepath at all events even if it is not required by class becomes a benefit for a variety of reasons. This will allow the drivers' committee to collect and review driving data in such a way that the upgrade process becomes simplified. If questions or concerns arise from this expectation, feel free to reach out to the LOC of events to make sure that data integration into the Surepath database is available. Obviously not all sites have the technology needed to operate the system.
The traditional practical testing will still be available using 3 senior drivers at an event doing the review, but this new option allows drivers to work with a broad range of sites, boats, skiers and weather conditions that previously could impact the assessment results.
We look forward to seeing more high-quality drivers being part of our community of people available to work locat, regional, national, and international events.
For more information do not hesitate to contact the drivers’ committee representative in your region. Keep focused on being the best you can be!
Chris Eller – East / Chair
Will Bush – West / Consultant
Scott Greenwood – South Central
Al Harris – East
Eric Kelly – South
Chris Kodiak – Midwest
Mark Roske - West