Need some tips on the perfect shaped lake...

epyscsepyscs Posts: 73 Baller
Guys, just trying to mock something out on a site that might be coming up for sale near here. What I need is to get a Google Earth view of a really well shaped 3-event ski site. I.e. something that is tight on both length and width, but works perfectly for tournament skiing.

We potentially have length and width restrictions so this must to be fairly well 'contoured' (sp?) to the courses.

I am thinking a site such as Hazelwoods in the UK, however that doesnt work well as due to trees I an finding it hard to get the true size and shape of the lake to overlay onto the potential site.

Any other thoughts?



  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,378 Historical Baller
    For slalom, about 200 feet width is a minimum, with the course running down the center.
    If you are going to have jumping, you should have about 300 feet of width in the
    jumping area. IWWF recommends 40 meters clearance ramp to shore. I have witnessed
    some close ones in my time, whether losing it on the countercut or nearly landing "dry"
    on shore on a very late pass/fall at the ramp.

    For length, I have seen sites down around 1400 feet, with overlapping courses, but
    more like 1800 or 1900 feet is about a minimum. And, getting over 2,000 feet starts
    to become sort of comfortable for skier and driver.

    Turn islands: previous discussions have covered this, with the plus and minus factors.

    Shoreline slope is also important, and 8 to 1 or flatter seems to be the recommendation.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,295 Mega Baller
    edited July 2014
    Look at Tivoli Gardens in Gaines, MI or Lake Jepawhit in Gaines, MI (near the intersection of Baldwin and Seymour Rds). They are about a mile apart. Both very good 3 event lakes. Roughly 2200 feet in length each. You could probably scale down a little on the length of each. Jepawhit is narrower than Tivoli and only expands where needed at the jump.

    Tivoli runs northeast to southwest. Jepawhit runs due north to due south. Direction is important. If you are running due east to due west, expect to ski into the sun during the prime low-wind hours of early morning and late evening. That can make things difficult to see.

    Regarding slope, I had heard that nature seeks a 16 to 1 slope (don't recall where I heard that). So, that might be the target to minimize erosion and maximize wave dispersal. As Ed mentioned, the more flat and gradual, the better.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • kstateskierkstateskier Posts: 524 Solid Baller
    Radar is pretty well shaped!
    Bradley Beach - Lone Rock Ski Club, Missouri
    2004 Malibu Response LXI, 2014 D3 Helix 66"
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,677 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    No stinkin turn islands makes more options for a short site. My lakes at 1800' with no islands but a bit of dogleg are very comfortable.

    AWSA once published a 15m or 50 foot clearance. That makes the minimum slalom width about 175'. Of course, to make this clearance work you could get away with a narrower lake and scallop the shoreline in the vicinity of the buoys (110' plus the 37' cutout at each buoy) . I did that at one of my lakes on one side and it is quite comfortable. But we like to trick on the wider side.

    Narrow short lakes offer superior water conditions. There is less fetch for wind and any boat or skier rollers dissipate faster because they hit a shoreline faster.

    The shoreline will erode to its natural slope depending on the soil type. My clay makes walls no matter what the starting slope. Anything flatter than about 8:1 is not noticeable on water and 5:1 will give reasonable water. My walls suck - I need to figure out something (pipes floating?).

    Turn islands suck. And kill people (with the resultant liability issues). And make the lake much less comfortable for tricks and wakeboards.

  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
    edited July 2014
    I know it is not feasible or even probably wise, but when Utah Lake Course one is operational, it is the best lake in the Country. Doesn't matter how windy, it is always smooth. As for width, about 10 feet past the balls on each side you will end up in the reeds! But, if you don't mind hiking out on a bad otf, nothing beats it! This is @Scotchipman s wife Kelly. So, @epyscs, make your lake just like this one, and you will have the perfect shaped lake.....Oh, as a side note, you don't have to worry about the ratio when the deepest spot is at most 4 feet! :)

    I ski, therefore I am
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 4,051 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 2014
    In my opinion the best size is 2200' long x 240' wide x 7' deep with as close as you can get to 16 to 1 shore lines until you are two feet deep, no less than 12 to 1 shore lines. SanTan in AZ is as close to perfect as I have seen, it has 15 to 1 shore lines and turn islands. Turn islands are great as long as you have the width in the property to allow for plenty of room (100'+) for the skier as you go around the island, if you can't allow 100'+ for the skier around the turn islands you may want to leave them out for safety reasons.

    The Utah Water Ski Club course on Utah Lake that @Brady talks about is very nice since it is only about 120' wide but it would be very hard to duplicate when making a man-made lake. If you fall out-the-front near the turn buoys Bulrush will break your fall rather than a bank of hard dirt.
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - Owner at Still Water Lake Estates
  • epyscsepyscs Posts: 73 Baller
    @OB where is the ranch?

    Are all these sites 3-event sites? Just going through them on Google. Cheers for all the tips guys!
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,744 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Just throwing this out. Mine is 2150' long and a "straight in" lake. Were I to do it again I would put a turn island at the far end. I did not want islands for the hassle of upkeep, but now wish I had more time to get comfortable in the set up. Ski Ranch in Covington is 2150' long, but with turn islands on both ends. It seems like you have forever to set up...
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,930
    Not to mention, the water seems to be 200' wide around the islands at Ski Ranch. Miles of room.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

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