In the world of competitive stand up Jet Ski racing, there is little room for error. While many have moved on to the more safe or easier world of sit down sea-doo type vehicles, the purists out there still prefer the older model stand up ones, for their performance response, agility and the ability to trick them out. It is much like the difference between the performance of a classic motorcycle and that of the ATV or Can Am variants: one is created for everyone to drive, it is more stable, easier to relax in, and the other is meant for speed, response and ability to push the edges of power and performance a bit further. For Kuwaiti local Fahad Al-Musullam, his passion lies in the latter, and he is currently proving that in competition, one race at a time.
Tell us how you got into the sport?
Back in summer 2010, my brother and I went to watch our cousin practice in Kuwait around buoys for the Jet Ski World finals held in Arizona, Lake Havasu. The fact that there is a world finals for such sports combined with my love for extreme sports encouraged me to give the sport a try. My first practice was in that same summer, and it was love at first trial.
What is training like for Jet Ski racing?
It is a combination of fun with lots of work and commitment; it mainly depends on what skill you need to improve to be 100% prepared for the race. There is, for example, the skill of keeping balance: without it you would fall off at the first wave. Second would be how to regain your 1st place position during a race, after it is lost. Third, and most important, would be breathing. These are all of the physical aspects of training; then comes the actual practice for the race. Creating different courses, some with sharp turns and some with smooth turns, and calculating how much time it takes to finish one round all adds up to whether you are prepared enough for the race.
What is your favorite part of Jet Ski racing?
Nothing beats the feeling of adrenaline rush when I pull on the throttle at the start of the race.
What team are you racing under recently?
Titanium Motorsports, as a racing team, is one that I created myself back in 2011 when I first started racing here in Kuwait. Our current team sponsors are K&S Kuwait, IPD graphics, Quest Nutrition, Rider Zone, and Al-Masar.
What is your greatest achievement or trick/greatest contribution to the sport?
My greatest achievement until today was winning 1st place in the beginners open class in the 2nd round of Kuwait’s Jet Ski Championship. (Note: since the time we originally met, he will have gone back to win this same event a second time-see photo!)
How is the sport perceived in Kuwait? Do you do any international competitions?
The sport is definitely growing in Kuwait. Even in the last year, the number of people who have started getting into stand up Jet Ski racing has increased tremendously. My personal hope is that one day, Kuwait will host the Jet Ski World Finals. This would be a tremendous boost for the sport locally. I have myself, raced twice in Qatar’s Aqua Bike Championship. It was my first race outside Kuwait, and was therefore an experience to remember.
If you would like our readers to know one thing about your sport, what would it be?
Jet Ski racing is one of the safest sports that runs on fuel. Falling off on water is always better than falling on the ground!
What is next on your calendar (upcoming competitions, races, public events)?
Currently I am racing in the Kuwait Jet Ski Championship, a total of four rounds. I aim to work hard in my performance in order to be selected by the Kuwait Jet Ski club to compete in the world finals around October. The race will be hosted by IJSBA (International Jet Sports Boating Association) in Arizona US.
Although we do not yet know if Fahad will go on to represent Kuwait in this years world championship, his strong showing at our local event, where he again took first in his division, is a strong sign that he is on the upswing. Keep an eye out for him at future events as well as for more Jet Ski racing overall.
Fahad Al-Massallam is currently racing for Ti-22. Follow his progress online at the teams website: www.ti-22.com.