What should a good driver do in your opinion?

BulldogBulldog Posts: 996 Crazy Baller
edited February 2012 in Skis Fins Bindings
With all of the discussions lately about qualifications and ratings and sanctions for drivers around BOS, my question for everyone is: What do you think a good driver should do for you from the skier perspective? (I don't really care about the politics of this sport, it is sad how bad it is getting.)

My things are:

1. Do not yank the handle on me when idling out.
2. Be smooth in the when turning a button hook.
3. Hit the throttle the way THE SKIER wants it, not the driver.
4. Turn the F*#$@$g engine off when you can, gas is expensive.
5. A cold beer and a dry towel is a nice touch as well (I think only my beautiful wife does that one for me…)

Thanks for your opinions.
Mike
Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
«1

Comments

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,009 Mega Baller
    putting gas in the boat is a nice touch !
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
    [Deleted User]
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,358 Administrator
    Beer is a plus

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly • D3 • DBSkis • Goode • Hobe Lake • HO Syndicate • MasterCraft 

    Masterline • O'Brien • Performance Ski and Surf • Reflex • Radar • Stokes

  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,013 Mega Baller
    I guess it's because I am getting old and set in my ways, BUT I do no like it when someone gets the rope tight too soon and drags me towards the course before I am ready to go.. Maybe it comes from skiing in my 2kft lake. I like as long a run up as possible.

    To dove tail into that, when you are dropping me at the end, don't turn left too soon where I need to pull my butt off to get down to the end of the lake. A gently turn to the left at a decent speed is all I need, don't cut over too soon, don't decelerate and then gas it...

    That about does it...
    [Deleted User]
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,945 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    It's a golden rule thing for me when I'm driving. Give the skier the experience I would like to have myself.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    show up on time with the boat- have it gassed enough that we can ski as many sets as we want but not too much to add extra weight. Make sure the heater is working properly if it's cold outside. A banana and some peanuts are a plus if it's morning, if it's evening I'll take a fat tire in a can. Have the rope ready to go at my length- don't make me add all the rope back myself that makes me feel lame.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • PT MikePT Mike Posts: 163 Baller
    Slack in the line before the pullup is key. I hate to feel rushed. I just love dropping and having the boat next to me. Say anything, I'm great, I suck, I'm ugly, it doesn't matter. I'm the one behind the boat, it's all about me.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,358 Administrator
    edited February 2012
    joking aside,
    in terms of short line slalom I would never claim to be a great driver.

    Besides that - for me the key is always keeping on eye on the skier. When they're in the water - are they resting or is it time to tighten up? I almost never pull someone up if I cannot see them. If I do not know the skier I will always keep them in sight around the island and close to the dock.

    If this skier is not a shoreline skier it is my responsibility to keep them safe. All those years of ski school taught me that I can put a skier on the island or keep them off. the driver has more control than the skier

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly • D3 • DBSkis • Goode • Hobe Lake • HO Syndicate • MasterCraft 

    Masterline • O'Brien • Performance Ski and Surf • Reflex • Radar • Stokes

  • Chuck_DickeyChuck_Dickey Posts: 1,459 Crazy Baller
    1-Slack in the line until I'm ready to go.
    2-Consistant giddy-up, hard or soft doesn't matter as long as I know what's coming.
    3-Drive a straight line right down the middle.
    4-Keep the boat close to the skier when idling at the drop area.
    5-It's all about the skier, give them every consideration.
    6-No chit chat with the observer unless it's directly related to what the skier is doing.
    7-Positive/constructive feedback from the boat
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,407 Crazy Baller
    All the above, plus-
    *Don't bump it into gear when I am standing on the deck putting in my second foot.
    *Dont slam the throttle down hard and fast without a small bit of drag.
    *Don't pull me up if I am at a 45 deg angle to the boat. That happened to me at a tourney and I pulled a hamstring trying to get up while my ski was getting swamped by the wake.
    *Don't throttle back long before turning the boat to drop me.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,718 Infinite Pandas
    OB, if you are "checking the prop" in my lake, I will take off on you. Pee before you get in my lake!

    With ZO, what is there for the driver to do really? I am the test drone for as many new drivers as I can generate.

    Horton is right, the driver must keep the skier off the shore. (The lake designer keeps them off the islands - by not putting a stinkin island in the water!) Safety is the prime job of the driver.

    Eric
    [Deleted User]
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,191 Mega Baller
    In order:

    1) Do not run me over.
    2) Drive straight with proper speed from greens to greens.

    And that's pretty much it. I don't care if you drag me, pull me up at weird angles, carry on a conversation in the boat, or whatever, so long as the round is as safe as possible and you drive straight in the course.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,358 Administrator
    *Don't bump it into gear when I am standing on the deck putting in my second foot.
    Sometimes this is can be very funny... or not

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly • D3 • DBSkis • Goode • Hobe Lake • HO Syndicate • MasterCraft 

    Masterline • O'Brien • Performance Ski and Surf • Reflex • Radar • Stokes

  • dtm8119dtm8119 Posts: 165 Baller
    Agree with most posted above....biggest thing is drive straight.

    Also, please don't put the boat in and out of reverse a hundred times when trying to pick me up. Just get close to me, I can swim 10 feet if I have to
    Dan Cloutier
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 835 Mega Baller
    I'm with Than on this one- just drive straight and don't kill me. Being picky about any other aspect seems like overkill to me and definitely doesn't sound like much fun. We do a "single phase" start too- signal that you're ready to go (via about 500 different methods/calls that we all recognize), and we'll get you going after taking out the slack. It's assumed that taking slack out before hitting it is just part of driving a skier.
  • thompjsthompjs Posts: 532 Solid Baller
    I like to give a very light squeeze on the throttle to make sure the line is really tight and then push down to what ever amount I think the skier needs to get up.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,517 Mega Baller
    edited February 2012
    Seems unless Chad, Andy Rose or one of the central Florida drivers comes to town or I ski in a tournament rd for the most part all my drivers Suck!
    I ski with a couple of guy's on the public lake that cant seem to find the course nor stay in the middle once they get their (though they do try to do it right). Did not have that great of a year with my drivers last year. My wife does ok just cant seem to be able to get the boat back to me when the set is done, even 10 feet would be good.
    My son (National champion) who is a great driver just does not practice skiing so he is not some one I can count regularly as a ski partner.
    Hopefully I can get Clint down more often as he tries to do good. May have to advertise on Craigs-list for new a local skiboat driver!

    My don't list:
    Don't Drag the skier until he or she is ready to tighten the line and go.
    Don't over accelerate into the slalom course especially with 6 liter boats.
    Don't let Bikini Clad women that are in the boat distract you while driving practice ( this one is very hard to do!).
    Don't run the boat off balanced.
    Don't allow swimmer's around your take off and return area's.
    Don't put your skier or crew or bystanders in a unsafe atmosphere.
    Don't take your out of town ski partner to the Gator hole and expect them to be comfortable on the water.

    Do's:
    Make sure your communication with your skier is clear on all aspects of his or her ski ride
    Be mindful and respectful of site owners wishes and or policy's.
    Be mindful and respect other boat owners property when driving their boats.
    Always create a atmosphere of safety, trust and learning.
    Make every attempt to make your skier comfortable.
    Always ask for guidance from your skier if you feel their may be a problem.
    Always when possible invite Bikini clad women into our boat because it make's you look good!!

    Lastly Always remember as a driver you are their for the skier and not to look good with the bikini clad girl in your boat!


    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,191 Mega Baller
    Hm, I think you meant to say:

    DO let bikini-clad women in the boat distract you, unless that's your ski partner's daughter.

    (purely hypothetical, of course)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 835 Mega Baller
    Jody- great point about balancing the boat- actually that is one totally key thing that does drive me CRAZY. There is nothing more distracting than having a 10ft rooster out one side of the boat because the spotter is totally splayed out in the wrong spot on the seat. And, on our Nautique, just a few inches in each direction makes a huge difference in boat balance. It's hard not to ask the observer to move one way or the other without sounding crazy/offensive, either. Awkward.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,517 Mega Baller
    Fixed it!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 996 Crazy Baller
    How do you warm up the water if no one is allowed to pee?
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,358 Administrator
    If I ever go to the Lee Lakes I will totally pee as much as I can.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly • D3 • DBSkis • Goode • Hobe Lake • HO Syndicate • MasterCraft 

    Masterline • O'Brien • Performance Ski and Surf • Reflex • Radar • Stokes

  • ntxntx Posts: 823 Crazy Baller
    The fish do other things in the lake also. How do they make baby fish????
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,059 Baller
    I make it easy on my driver.. When I am ready to have him take the slack out of the rope I say, in gear, wait a second or two, then tell him to hit it.. Standard practice when I barefoot, carried over to slalom. I can't complain about bad drivers, because I am usually the one who teaches new drivers to drive for the course. I am thankful every time I get to ski. My brother and I taught my sister-in-law to drive us through the course manually(no speed control). She picked it up pretty quick. I can't be distracted by the bikini clad passengers in my boat, they are other guys wives.. I notice the newerboats are more sensitive to weight distribution when it comes to balance. I notice it more when I trick than when I slalom.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,059 Baller
    The only time I would raise my voice is if someone brings alcohol, or smokes on my boat...
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,413 Crazy Baller
    Just make sure you take the slack out of the rope before you pull me up, approach the 55's straight in and keep it straight through the course. After that all I ask is that you don't whistle at the dogs playing on the shore as I'm about to drop. I worry about whether yer gonna' run the boat on shore and I totally lose focus on my previous pass and have to regain my focus all over again before the next.
  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    How about this?
    I try to drive such that I am "invisible" to the skier. So that he/she does not notice anything I am doing Consistent drops, smooth pull-ups and throttle application, no jackrabbiting around the islands, lined up well before the course, with system engaged, and no countersteer EVER if the skier does not have the handle in both hands. Smooth 'unbusy', steering corrections when needed. Never, ever, wrong side. If/when I do- I apologize- really good skiers can tell- I want them to know I know too.
    If I don't know the skier I ask how they want to be pulled up. If I suspect they are unfamiliar with the lake I make sure they know the drop routines, and I watch to make sure they remember. When the skier drops smile, and tell them nice job. The skier should need to think only about skiing not the jackwagon at the wheel,
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,964
    edited February 2012
    *First and foremost, the skier's safety is my responsibility
    * Make sure I know the way I'm supposed to drive a given lake
    * Make sure my skier knows where to drop
    * I try to put the boat at a point where the skier is to the driver side about 6' off the platform, that way if I need to turn the wheel left the tail of the boat doesn't swing towards them.
    * Slack line until first beep, then take up slack
    * Have line up done well before boat reaches 55's
    * too much wheel movement is bad
    * understand the pivot point of the boat I'm in. A Malibu rotates around it's centerpoint different than a Mastercraft or Nautique, thus the counter movements could be different.
    * Do lots of shoulder exercises and bicep curls in case I have to drive Chad Scott's boat with it's rudder off of a Panamax crude tanker.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • thompjsthompjs Posts: 532 Solid Baller
    When dropping skier, never turn bow back toward skier. I'm constantly bitching at drivers (when I'm boat judge) about this.

    I've seen two skiers hit by boat in a tournament. Luckily no serious injuries in either case, but it was close.
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,964
    Jim, I've seen that too and I cringe. And it's one of our drivers thats at all our tournaments! lol That is a perfect example of an accident that happens just because the driver doesn't know not to do it.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

«1
Sign In or Register to comment.