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O'Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski Review

O’Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski Review

Slalom skiing is a demanding discipline that requires extreme precision. The O’Brien Impulse is designed for women and has a great profile with a flexible but durable structure. Let us take a closer look at this slalom ski in more detail:

O’Brien 2021 Impulse Slalom Ski

O'Brien 2021 Impulse Slalom Ski

Heavy rocker

Carved fin for added stability

For beginner-intermediate skill range

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A good learning slalom ski for both beginners and intermediate female riders. Lateral curves at the ski’s tail and a heavy rocker help with dispersing the water as you carve through the wake. This ski has worked on small details like an angled bevel configuration and carved fins that make a difference.


Fin: Carve | Bindings: Z-9 XS/STD Bindings | Bevels: 45 degree | Tunnel: Narrow | Color: Blue | Material: Fiberglass | Length: 64”, 66″

Key Features

  • Build Quality
PVC Core and carbon fiber layup produce a slalom ski that only weighs 15 pounds (6.8kg). There are very few slalom skis with the weight of the O’Brien Impulse. These skis ensure durability and performance for all female riders.
  • Design
An unmistakable ski. The O’Brien Impulse is the sum of all unique design details. A wide tip with an elongated body that narrows towards the tail. All these aspects contribute to easier water starts. A heavy rocker and 45º degree bevel reduce water splash while running the slalom course at top speed. Crossing maneuvers at water skiing tournaments imply quick reactions. Loss in traction is caused by tunnel mismatching and affects a skier’s time response. The O’Brien team has noticed that. The deeper tunnel helps to manage speed in a friendly and timely way. In 2017 the fin was changed to an adjustable aluminum fin. The effect, being a smoother carve when placing the ski on edge. Lastly, the wave pattern, along with diagonal stripe graphics and high contrast colors, enhance the sporty but feminine touch of this slalom ski.
  • Bindings
The O’Brien Impulse is best matched with Z-9 XS and Z-9 STD binding configurations. A front-open back binding adjustment helps gain more comfort and control for turns. If you prefer to use other bindings, all the “X-9”, “Aqua,” “Eva” bindings have compatibility with the O’Brien Impulse.


  • 45º Degree Bevel
  • Z-9 XS/STD Bindings
  • Special sport flex
  • Narrow tunnel

Final thoughts / Conclusion

A lighter rocker profile can increase the skiing difficulty of the slalom ski. However, the O’Brien Impulse had a successful approach from the beginning, and the updated 2021 version has a unique and harmonious combination of structure and design. This is not a plain adaptation of a slalom ski with a few improvements. The Impulse helps to strengthen the skills of female skiers. 45 º degree bevel, adjustable fin, and heavier rocker allow for slalom ski beginners to become comfortable on a mono ski. It’s a great slalom ski for women looking to push their skiing to the next level.