Average minimum skiier speed

marktueffersmarktueffers Posts: 8 New Baller
If it takes 16.95 seconds for the boat to complete a straight line 34 mph pass, the skier, who travels a much greater distance during that time must be carrying an average speed considerably higher than that. Any thoughts on what that average skier speed would be, approximately?
I realize that different skier paths would result in different required average speed as those paths would vary in distance.
If I am reaching an ideal turning speed of 33-34 at the turn apex, what is the minimum cross course speed I will need to get to the next turn in the required time and still be slowed back down to that 33-34 mph average turning speed?
Just working on eliminating excessive speed at different line lengths by lightening skier delivered inputs & loads.


  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,273 Mega Baller
    If you just ski point to point from buoy to buoy, you travel about 964 feet in 16.95 seconds. That is an average speed of just over 39 mph. The average speed of the skier at at a boat speed of 36 mph is just about 41 mph.

    Of course, we aren't skiing point to point and likely are covering a distance greater than 964 feet to run the pass. So, another mph or two on that average speed is probably needed.

    I have no idea what speed you need to reach cross course in order to turn at 33-34, but it seems that peak speeds across course have been measured in the past at near 50 mph for 34 mph boat speed by those who seem to have it fairly well dialed in.

    Others on BOS have better numbers, I'm sure.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • marktueffersmarktueffers Posts: 8 New Baller
    So there is an minimum required average skier speed to correspond with each boat speed AND that speed would not vary as the rope length shortens.

    The shortening rope, changes my position relative to the boat pylon and clearly tends to MAGNIFY the cross course speed gain generated by any input/load I add usually generating an excessive speed at the buoy at my final line length.

    The demon seems to be changing the rope load (UP), unintentionally as we work in the different position relative to the boat.
    Now we are pulling to long (wrong duration), adding to much load by not decreasing what wee add as skiers (wrong amount), adding load at the (wrong place), excessively leveraged body position, or some combination, then needing to quickly unload the excessive speed to maintain ideal turning speeds.

    leaves me thinking that skiing as close to the average speed required, no faster, by attempting reasonably consistent rope loads would be the key.

    Agree or disagree?

  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,273 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    The issue with trying to maintain some lower speed close to the minimum average is that you can only generate that speed while you are pulling (however slightly or greatly) against the boat. If you aren't pulling cross course, you aren't traveling cross course and your speed will not exceed that of the boat, as it must to achieve the required minimum average speed.

    Since you can't pull all the way to the buoy, because the boat will stand you up and you must eventually change edges for the turn, you have to use the speed you can build to carry you through when you cannot build (or maintain) speed. Therefore, you must build more speed than just the minimum average to carry you out when you can no longer pull against the boat.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★

    This video seems somewhat relevant to the conversation.
  • taptap Posts: 72 Solid Baller
    @marktueffers I have the data and would be happy to run the numbers for you if you're curious. I don't have my laptop with me at the moment, so it will be a day or two.

    For the sake of discussion however, I can't say I agree with the premise. To start with, lets say you're absolutely right, how would knowing the minimum average load help you ski better? Unless you typically ski with a load cell hooked up you would have no idea whether you are currently above or below your target.

    Secondly, and more importantly, here's a counter premise for you. The more load you can sustain the better. I'm not a believer of "light on the line". The faster you are cross course the more time and margin you have at the ball. I've measured a few skiers now, most of which are way better than me, and i can tell you most load the line harder than I do. The trick is they are able to sustain the loads without getting pulled up or breaking form. My belief is to be fast cross course you have to have good exit speed out of the turns and have good enough body position in the pull to be able to sustain the loads necessary to be early to the next ball. This all said, there is a difference between pulling efficiently and pulling against the boat. This line of thought assumes you are already more towards the efficient side of life.

    The better body position you have the more load you can sustain, the faster you are cross course, the more time and margin you have at the ball, the better position you can establish for the next pull, repeat...

    I suspect the 'light on the line' concept has more to do with good exit speed out of the turns so that the line load builds progressively as opposed to a slam and go style. Just a guess though, would love to hear the meaning from whoever started the concept.
  • marktueffersmarktueffers Posts: 8 New Baller
    Thanks video clip is very illuminating. Appears that if avg speed is 39 ish, we see a max behind the boat about 50, and a slow speed at the back of the ball still carrying high 20s.
    I would have to agree that the load input is earyly & precise, ist its what goes on after the 2nd wake once the speed is up at 50 that makes the difference. I think you good skiers stay connected to the boat and stay stacked, It also appears that past the second wake there is little attempt to carry as wide as possible, but rather a willingness to use the speed to get up course & up on the boat (slowly turning in on the boat) while slowing to the complete the turn speed.

    This will help next set out. Light on the line wasn't helping me as much as having a more consistant load. I will not add aggressively & then will maintain better load ) (connection to the boat through the pre turn & apex.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    edited July 2017
    @escmanaze the data from the tool is not right. The speed data and the video do not accurately sync.

    @marktueffers These speeds are likely close but the timing is off. The GPS puck in on my head so the slow speed is exaggerated at the end of the turn. I was sure this tech would happen but it turns out water skiing is sort of extreme.

    Speed off the second wake is critical to catch the boat but the boat must be again pulling away as the skier turns the ball. The more speed created before the wakes the more time the skier has to do what he needs to do at the next ball.

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  • marktueffersmarktueffers Posts: 8 New Baller
    So when you say slow speed is exaggerated do you mean you are going slower than the tape clip shows or Faster than tape shows?
  • marktueffersmarktueffers Posts: 8 New Baller
    I found the video clips attached to this dialogue very helpful. We have skiiers hitting 50 mph behind the boat and finishing turns about 25 mph and lets say averaging about 40 mph.

    I am sure that the faster your max speed obtained (say 55 or 60) , you would need to run a much slower speed than 25 to stay on time. And I am sure different skiiers put up a fair range of maximum-minimum speeds that work for them. Well the fact is my ski can go excessivly fast and at max speed does not brake well or turn well. So eliminating excess-unnecessary speed helps solve my "control" issues. Side benefit being less extreme loads on the body as well.

    It seems at longer lines I have many alternate viable paths some longer than others. I Can run those long paths at the higher required speed, the shorter paths at somewhat slower speeds. I have plenty of options that will either lengthen or shorten the path considerably and thus require different speeds.

    Shorten the line enough and the ski path options seem far more limited. How many of you experts out there try to run your longer line passes on the same path that will be required of your final pass? Seems to me that practicing paths that work at long line but wont work at shorter lengths (because the physics & geometry change) would cause lots of skier frustration. The visual cues would change dramatically, different (slower) avg speed perhaps, etc.

    An overhead view of this, path variance between long line vs short (Marcus?) would paint the picture. Any thoughts on required paths at 41, 39 & 38?
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
    @marktueffers : set your clock back 15 yrs or so and search for Schnitz, Michaels, rossi, light on the line, and coordinates.
    Instead of trying to go slow through the wake, think about how you can carry proper speed through the turn.
    On paper, it kinda makes sense, just go 41 mph throughout. On water, no bueno.
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    edited July 2017
    @marktueffers where the puck is changes the speed data a lot. Your ski is travelling a lot faster than your head at Apex.

    More importantly speed is your friend. Get more. Keep more.

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  • marktueffersmarktueffers Posts: 8 New Baller
    A couple of follow up Questions for Mr. Horton. What Line lenghths were used in shooting the video clips showing skier speeds through the pass?

    At extreme short line 38 39.5 41 will the skier need to go faster behind the boat and therefore slower through the turn or will the speeds used at 28-35 still suffice?
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