This has been a point of contention in my mind for some time now, this thread is NOT here to flame any AJSBA or club volunteers but discuss a few radical ideas I have had to try to get the sport to move forward.

The recent re-staged surf titles was a real low point for the sport in Australia, obviously there was the issue of having to postpone the event & then changing the proposed location from S.E. QLD back to Cronulla. Once again this is not an attack on anyone, just trying to be pro-active and get some dialog going.

Point #1-
Racing is too expensive.
I don't want to comment on the fiscal management of the AJSBA but there needs to be a plan developed to try to get licence & club costs under control. Race entry fees for national events have more than doubled in the last 8 years with any pro class prize money effectively lost. I understand the strain of the insurance costs, these were over $30K in 2002 though.

The whole point of changing the AJSBA licence fee from $60 to $150 in 2002 was so that the clubs did't have to charge an insurance fee on a race entry, yet they do charge that as well now.

The problem here is lack of race licences issued, there is not a lot of perceived value in a licence any more. With basically zero public communication to the members & industry. The lack of communication also losses some of the "excitement" for competition. I would think it should be the new committee's top priority to increase licences issued to around 200-250 nationally.

Point #2-
The role of the AJSBA
The association as I have suggested many times needs to get out of the business of being an event promoter, no affiliate can be expected to really make inroads into furthering the promotion of events like the nationals without being given control over issues like event promotion & sponsorship. A basic sanctioning fee should be asked for these events (a couple grand) and the fiscal viability should rest with the event promoter for everyones benefit. This eliminates the risk to the AJSBA and gives the promoter a viable ability to turn a profit for a good event. If the event is managed "for profit" by the promoter then evens would be forced to be made attractive to competitors. Racing in rural area's with no scope for event promotion would then become not viable.
The AJSBA is supposed to be the sanctioning body & communication hub, lets have it fulfill those roles well & leave the promotion to the promoters (ie clubs).

Point #3-
Ski's are too fast/dangerous.
Watch any video from the "hey day" of racing & watch comparatively how slow the craft are. At the time I remember thinking they were amazingly fast (50mph standups, 53mph blasters & 60mph runabouts) but by todays standards they are slow to accelerate & slow in speed. The side effect of this was very close racing. Try to "rail" another racer @ 80+ mph on a runabout for a pass & someone is going to hospital.
Also the difference between the "have's" & "mane not's" is greater as the speed & power has increased.

How can we fix this? well there is a pretty straight forward class structure that could be adopted in a "Less is more" approach.

We had a similar problem in the late 1990's, the new "superstock" class had killed standup racing, a decision was made for ALL ski classes to revert to limited (that was a simpler class then) and over a year or so the Amateur & Pro class flourished. Same went for runabouts, although superstock was still offered the "Premier" class was Pro Stock (for a national number) and the racing got stronger again. Anyone who was at the 2003 nationals in spit cove in the rain will remember that 5 guys could have one Pro Stock coming into the final moto.


I could ramble on all day on these issues, I just think an informal discussion could lead to some positive direction, we have a fresh AJSBA executive that I understand wants to move forward. Seems like a prime opportunity to me.

In essence, simpler less modified class structure, AJSBA's role in the sport to be simplified & serious efforts made to make the sport easier & less expensive to compete in & more visible to the public.