Sure-Path is a new system for tracking the position of a tournament waterski boat within the boat lane of the slalom or jump course, accurately and in real time. The video below compares traditional end-course video with the Sure-Path real time display. Head on end-course video is shown purely because it is easier to see the boat's position relative to the boat lane buoys. Bear in mind however, that the left/right boat movement appears to be opposite to the Sure-Path graphic.
Immediately after the pass, Sure-Path displays a panel showing the boat deviations when the skier is at each buoy together with the cumulative deviations. Positive deviations are towards the buoy, negative deviations are away from the buoy.
Scrolling back through the breadcrumb trail after the pass, one can see that the boat enters the pre-gates fairly central but by the entrance gates is a little left of centre. By buoy 1, the boat is about 15cm left of centre but still within the allowed 20cm tolerance. The boat remains generally left of centre until buoy 5 after which the boat returns to centre and is slightly to the right at the exit gate. Cumulative deviation at buoy 6 is 5.6cm, well within the allowed 49cm for a record to count.
For Slalom & Jump Drivers: The ability to see a graphical representation of the path the boat has just taken is an invaluable aid, both during training and in competition. Every boat is different and rides differently in the water (even two of the same model). Until now, the driver has had to rely on an observer in the boat or judges watching end-course video to provide feedback for fine tuning the boat path. With Sure-Path, the feedback is instantaneous and in real time. For jump, the driver can set the skiers requested split value and know that the line being followed is correct. No more guessing what 1 or 2 feet feels like. Note that we are also working on Autosteer! See here for more information.
For Skiers: Unlike end-course video, it is feasible to have the Sure-Path system running in the boat all the time. This means that during practice, skiers training for competition can be confident that their passes would be valid under tournament conditions, particularly important for elite skiers.
For Judges: During tournament, Sure-Path now allows unprecendented +/- 1cm accuracy in the boat's position in real time. This offers judges the possibility of making quick and confident decisions on re-rides. Up until now, challenges to the boat path have meant that judges have had to replay end-course video which not only takes time but is also difficult to base confident decisions on. Sure-Path gives instant readouts of boat deviation throughout the course in an easily scrollable graphical display making the judges task infinitely easier. The automatic popup panel at the end of every pass gives timing and deviation at each buoy together with cumulative deviations for record validation. The panel border colour also gives an "at-a-glance" indication of whether the pass was "in tolerance" (green), "optional re-ride" (amber) or "mandatory re-ride" (red).