Handle Guards

skisprayskispray Posts: 99 Baller
I have been using a handle guard for probably 10 years. In the last few years I'd say I've seen an increase in the prevelance of handle guards. I think it's a great development.

With my handle guard I've experienced issues with keeping it attached and in the right place. I see the zip ties blow off sometimes and it gets pushed around a lot to where I need to adjust it during sets to ensure I have enough of a gap to grab the handle. Does anyone else have these issues and, if so, what have you done about it? I tend to leave the zip ties a little loose as it seemed to help them from getting ripped off during a fall and it also allows the handle to be adjusted a little easier. Just wondering if anyone has developed any bulletproof methods for dealing with these issues.

I'm also curious why none of the handle manufacturers haven't developed a handle that has a guard built in. That would be a welcome development in my book.

By the way I currently use the fluid motion guard.
jipster43
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Comments

  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,435 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    I have a Masterline with a spectra guard weaved in.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
    dave2ball
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 203 Baller
    I use a screen like plastic mesh tied with zip ties as tight as I can get them. I've been told that tying the guard in place with trot line works even better.
  • skisprayskispray Posts: 99 Baller
    @Dirt are you saying you took spectra line and basically sowed it into your handle? Do you have any pictures of your handle?

    @dbutcher with trotline would the idea to be one line going around both sides of the handle? I can see how that would avoid the issue of zip ties being blown off when you fall but I guess that relies on you tying a knot that'll hold up?

  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 346 Baller
    If your going to do a handle guard Masterline is the way to go. The spectra weave is the best. It keeps your hands out and it's light weight. I'm tow's rope across the bridle does nothing. Too much room for your hand or arm to go into the bridle.
    Dave Macchi / Nautique promo team member
    Centjipster43
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 203 Baller
    @skispray I haven't made one yet using trot line, but when I do it will be individual pieces of trot line - four or five on each side. Knots should hold up just fine if you get them tight, and there will be no sharp edges like zip ties. I dull zip tie ends with a grinder, but they are still a little sharp. I don't like sharp edges even though I've never had any part of my body come in contact with them on a handle guard.
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 646 Crazy Baller
    I tied a handle guard on with some old Radar bungee laces. Two years only had to re-tie it once.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • david_skidavid_ski Posts: 86 Baller
    @skispray I too use an FM guard. I too have been using a guard for ~10 years. I use larger tie warps than what comes with the guard. I drilled out the holes on the FM guard to support slightly larger tie wraps. I use Brenda's handle with plastic tubing over the rope. I cinch down the tie wraps really tight and they never get pushed around and they don't blow off.
  • LanceHCookLanceHCook Posts: 9 Baller
    There's a guy named Thomas Wayne in Anchorage, Alaska who has created a beautiful handle guard. I'm surprised no one on this site has talked about it. I think they are commercially available, I've seen several recently on local ropes. Really first class construction and the design is pretty ingenious.
    Mateo Vargas
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 3,659
    @dave2ball The In Tow cross bar absolutely works, keeps your head from going through. Can you post a picture of the ML guard, I can't find it on their web page.

    I use a MasterLine rope but still like In Tow handles better than anything I have seen from ML.
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - USI Tech pays for my water ski addiction
    WaterSkier12
  • MZitoMZito Posts: 161 Baller
    @LanceHCook I think a lot of skiers would purchase TW guards. The issue is not the product, its getting access to them. I know personally I have sent a number of messages to TW and have not heard back. I have used 2 of his guards over the years and they are great; just don't understand why ballers can not get access to them...
    Matt Zito...Detroit Mi
    Than_BoganWaterSkier12
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 316 Solid Baller
    I'm not sure Masterline makes one, or at least I can't find one either. The Fluid motion was about the only one I could find. I ordered one a few months ago. If you're careful about the installation it looks good, and I haven't had problems popping the ties.
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,362 Crazy Baller
    The best guard is @Brewski noose eliminator. Unfortunately TW threatened him with a patent infringement lawsuit so they are not on the market any longer. From what i've heard, TW has not been filling orders. A good homemade version is to buy a cheap plastic roll up cutting board from Wallfart and cut it to fit. Don't ski without a guard. Not worth it!
    jipster43
  • SivotaSivota Posts: 59 Baller
    Made from a garden trug, holes drilled, zip tied. Having the plastic overhang the handle rope has meant the zip ties have stayed tucked in, just snipped the edges and then sanded down with fine sandpaper. I have had plenty [too many] crashes.








    NandoToddA
  • spicolispicoli Posts: 109 Baller
    Guy try cutting zip ties with toe nail clippers
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 346 Baller
    The pics above are good but not good enough for a handle guard.
    Dave Macchi / Nautique promo team member
  • DekeDeke Posts: 321 Baller
    edited August 14
    I've been using gorilla tape as a guard. Have to replace/repair after some handle "pops" every so often though.

    I used TW's guards for years which worked well except that not only did the zip-ties pop occasionally, but they acted saw teeth on the top bevel of my ski when getting up. Maybe putting zip-ties through the rope instead of around it would prevent that.

    @Marco when you cut up the rollup cutting board material, are you just following the shape of the old TW guard? Could you post a pic?

    @dave2ball would like to see a picture of the Masterline guard that you have please.
  • spicolispicoli Posts: 109 Baller
    I've took that 1/8 rope and a piece of tygon and tied 1 like intow .
  • waterskicoreywaterskicorey Posts: 111 Baller

    Masterline handle guard
    mopowpowToddA
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 346 Baller
    @Deke the three handles you see are 3 different types of rope you can use as handle guards. I would go with spectra.
    The design will protect you from going through the middle far better the a plain peice of rope that in tow uses.
    Dave Macchi / Nautique promo team member
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 433 Baller
    @dave2ball Theoretically I can imagine situation when that "Spider net" can catch skiers arm.
    scotchipmanWaterSkier12
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 346 Baller
    @OldboyII nothing is full prof. But if you take t straight peice of rope VS the Masterline handle guard the Masterline will deflect your hand better.
    Dave Macchi / Nautique promo team member
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 1,861 Mega Baller
    @Texas6, that is my next option for a handle guard. I will be adding another 2" panel above the cross bar to close the gap between the cross bar and the handle. I had asked Brenda if she would move the cross bar closer to the handle, but she won't. It is located there to keep your head out of the bridle.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
    Texas6
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,362 Crazy Baller
    @Deke I'll try to remember to take and post pictures of our handle guards when I get back down to the lake at the end of the week.
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,435 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @skispray sorry im away from my handle for a few days. It has not been cooperative. I am not getting along with my ski either.

    @waterskicorey thanks for posting. Mine looks identical.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 3,659
    @dave2ball or if your hand makes it in it will theoretically now be harder to get out...
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - USI Tech pays for my water ski addiction
    WaterSkier12
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 433 Baller
    @Texas6 thanks, I like your solution. In addition it will add some flotation/visibility to handle: my rope/handle are entirely black and hardly visible when sun goes down ...
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 346 Baller
    @scotchipman you may be right as I said earlier nothing is full proof.
    Dave Macchi / Nautique promo team member
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