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How do you quantify the application of throttle when picking someone up from a deepwater start?

I mean I can drive the boat right down the line but I always wonder. My partner lost the handle twice when picking her up yesterday and I of course ask if I did something wrong, but now ask you guys the above question. We don't seem to talk about driving all that much?
Doug Roberts San Diego, CA ski rating: 2 balls


  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    Driving is a GREAT topic @SDNAH2OSKIER‌. And like any craft, to be any good at it takes knowledge, practice, and experience. You're doing the right thing asking your skier for feedback. You might as well ask for all the feedback you can get, because even if the skiers aren't talking to you about your driving, they're likely talking about it to others back on the dock. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,517 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2014
    I've had people keep a loose line with me so they don't drag me and then hammer the throttle without actually tightening up. I hate that! When I pull someone up I wait for the signal, tighten up, tell them we're going, feed the throttle in gently for a split second, and then once the skier is set, I'll progressively but quickly feed in more and more power until they're up.

    This is of course with cable throttle boats as drive by wire boats figure a lot of that out for the driver.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,335 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Didn't AcuSki cruise control do the pickup?
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • iceboatingiceboating Posts: 31 Baller
    Mercury Marine has launch control with the smart tow cruise. It would be so nice to have this feature on zero off and PP. In our group we have as many pull up preferences as we have skiers. As a driver I feel terrible if I don't get each skier up cleanly. As a skier I have had drivers start out slowly and gas it just when the ski is building pressure popping the handle and straining my back and neck. With so much power at the throttle these days I think launch control should be a safety issue with the ski community.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    It is a bit of a feel thing you can't quantify it. As @Waternut‌ said you need to make sure the line is tight before you do anything. Then I think about rolling the skier out of the water. It is a gradual application of the throttle up to speed. It is different for all skiers based on how much they weigh and how they get out of the water. I always check the mirror and adjust throttle application based on that.

    It is somewhat a feel thing for the driver and attention to the skier and experience will make you better.

    If you are ripping the handle out of the skiers hands either the rope isn't tight when you are starting or you are applying too much throttle too quickly. That assumes the skiers technique is good. If the skier has the ski too vertical in the water then they will struggle with handle pops because they are creating too much drag.
    Mark Shaffer
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,271 Mega Baller
    edited October 2014
    My method has been to tighten up the rope first and notify the skier we are starting. Then, I apply just a little throttle (basically in gear and idling) to "move" the skier slightly (not drag them any significant distance). This does two things: it allows a little of the water pressure to be released from the skier and gives them just a microsecond to make a final adjustment under tension. Then, I apply throttle progressively and firmly without hammering it down quickly. About 25% of the acceleration is used to get the skier on plane and the remaining is applied as they are up. I prefer that the acceleration once I am up is slightly aggressive to "wake me up" and let me get set well before the 55s. I don't want the boat to finish accelerating at the 55s. That's way too late and my tempo suffers.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,861 Mega Baller
    edited October 2014
    Loose line while resting,
    Tighten up before going,
    In gear for a sec, then
    Progressively more throttle until you see the skier on top.

    With a progressive application of the throttle, every skier's pull up starts gentle and if needed gets to very strong. For lighter skiers, the speed at which you sweep the throttle progressively might be a touch slower, and likewise a touch faster for the bigger skiers. Once I see the skier 50% on top of the water, I hold that throttle location until they are 100% up. After that, simply get to the target speed quickly.

    I should add that I have pulled really big skiers up and with the progressive method, I did eventually get to full throttle; but it wasn't harsh on the ski, nor did it drag them. They loved the pull up. With some very light skiers, I may never get the throttle to 25% before they are nearly up. I alway watch in the mirror when pulling a skier up and vary my throttle work based upon how the skier is coming out of the water.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • teammalibuteammalibu Posts: 1,097 Mega Baller
    It aint rocket surgery ya'll
    Mike Erb Cedar Ridge Canton Miss.
    Horton is my hero
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,860 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Depends on the person in my experience. My brother in law and I prefer that the throttle just get dumped, can't stand getting dragged or gradually pulled up. My father in law who is a much smaller guy prefers a slow throttle up.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,316 Mega Baller
    Big difference in pulling lightweight girls out of the water vs. men. For my daughter, I don't think I use 1/4 throttle slowly applied. I watch her in the mirror and apply more as she starts to break the water. I can easily pull her over, whereas pulling my 6'3" 260lb ski partner out, I give more throttle, but still gradual. I always check the mirror to see what the skier is doing. Also, I tighten up the rope in and out of gear, and don't put in final gear until they tell me they are ready. I don't like people dragging me in the water unless I am ready, so I do the same for them.

    Beginning skiers who cant control their ski as well, it is an in and out process to keep them balanced and then go. Just dragging a rookie in gear will usually end up with them leaning to one side or the other.

    @waternut that is exactly what I do. I like to drive and I pride myself on doing it well. I always idle the line out and reverse the boat just as it is drawing tight so the rider doesn't get that huge tug as the line draws tight. She will often give me the nod while it is still in gear so I give it a bit of throttle to set her and then roll the throttle up to about 80% and she is up. I can count on my hands the number off times she has lost the handle in the last two seasons so I am doing a buddy check to make sure I am doing my part. She is not quite as adept at drawing the line out, often gives me a good tug, but does a nice job of pulling me out.
    Doug Roberts San Diego, CA ski rating: 2 balls
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 548 Crazy Baller
    I honestly couldn't care less. As long as the line is tight (in gear or something) before the boat is throttled up I am fine. I haven't not gotten out of the water on the first try in 3-4 years. I guess I just get a lot of practice getting out of the water.

    When teaching new people how to slalom I will keep the line loose while they are resting. Then I tell them to give me a "in gear" when they want to tighten it up and get ready. Then they tell me when they are good to go. Then I give it a slow acceleration up to speed taking about 3-5 seconds to be at about 26 MPH. I have found out it is mostly about how your stance is. If you are getting the handle pulled out of your hands it is most likely the skiers fault, not the drivers - unless the driver is just gunning it.
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller

    No matter what the level of ability that the skier is, I want to keep the boat fully square to the
    line and the skier. And be able to view the skier in the mirror. Not driving much any more,
    but was a Sr. Driver at one time, and even drove the 1977 Nationals, plus about 7 Eastern
    Regionals. And, some records, although nothing major. Well before Speed Control and
    when drivers had to really drive.

    For youngsters and Oldies (like me), the throttle application is very important. Not too little
    (drag--gagg) or too much (handle jerker). And also wait for the "in gear" response before the
    "hit it". The "in gear" is very important for those rare times when the skier might have the
    rope/handle wrapped around their hand.

    My 2 cents here. You always need to be careful because on rare occasions, rare things will
    happen, and they can have very bad and painful consequences.
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 816 Crazy Baller
    Personally I try to:
    Secure that the rope is tight before start.
    The skier must be straight behind the boat.
    Pull the skiier a few feets in gear before start. But not to long.
    Resting should be with slake line.

    Then the tricky question. How quick acceleration?
    Try to start just a little bit to slow.
    It is better for the skiers body and especially the skiers ego if the skier can ask for more power rather than reduced power.

    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,085 Mega Baller
    edited October 2014
    I quantify it by how much I like them!!! Stay on my good side or you might get a rope burn, or better yet a roller!! :).

    I think however this is a great topic. I think it should morph into how a person pula one thru the course. I could really care less how I get pulled up. Hard, soft, etc, but I really care how the pull is once I am up. Here are a few pointers for going thru the course.
    1. Please Don't watch me.
    2. Please Don't make adjustments at the wrong time in my run.
    3. Please have me lined up before the 55's.
    4. Please have me up to speed before the 55's.
    5. Please keep the line straight!

    And finally, don't beat yourself up when one of the above don't happen!!! I am grateful for the pull!!!
    I ski, therefore I am
  • SiouxcitysmittySiouxcitysmitty Posts: 48 Baller
    I think the biggest key for the driver is to be cognizant enough of what they're doing, so that on subsequent attempts, they can take the skier feedback, and, actually adjust in the direction/quantity desired.
  • RAWSkiRAWSki Posts: 880 Mega Baller
    Accuski did have a really nice 'auto pull up' that could be adjusted for 10 unique saved skiers, it really spoiled you as a driver, all you had to do was engage and drive straight.
    Agree that directly behind the boat.... smooth and progressive is the way to go unless you know the skiers really well, some guys like a hard 'hammer' pull up and others want a bit slower and softer get up... (most guys are way more picky then the ladies! haha) I also find that most of the women I pull almost feel like a wakeboarder get-out. They pop up so quick and easy, damn those extra 100lbs I carry!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,782 Mega Baller
    I've had a number of people express different preferences - I've rarely had complaints if i take up slack - in gear the boat, and give it a nice firm press to 2K rpm - then gradual from there.

    This might not be every boat - but the 2K rpm mark seems to be where most boats will pull a skier up and once they are in groove I get the boat to speed up.

    Below 2K is a drag, above tends to rip handles. It gives me some feed back too, and it doesn't feel too jerky.

    Nor do people who hate gradual pulls dislike it.

    When I'm the skier I like seeing the side of the boat and getting a hard pull- being offside means the boat doesn't pull so hard right away - but then I pop up... But I can take most types of pull.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,646 Mega Baller
    @Wish‌ accski did have throttle up with settings.1-10 if I remember correctly. Pretty cool feature, then you held the foot pedal down and released it to disengage
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • RAWSkiRAWSki Posts: 880 Mega Baller
    Actually Drago the Accuski you described was the first version 6-7 I believe. I still have version 8 on my old boat and it works well, it only requires the foot pedal to be pressed for 1 full second to engage the pull up, it then locks in and runs until you either tap the pedal again or pull back on the throttle. A lot of people didn't like the using their feet so they created version 9 that did the same thing without a pedal but Perfect Pass had a lock on the industry by then. (I do miss the AS dash display, 4-6 lines of info easy to read.... I have to keep a set of cheaters in the boat for some of the sub menus on ZO! ha)
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,387 Mega Baller
    My take is its always gradual. Tight line, then feed slowly at first and build progressively. You'll speed up slowly through the beginning and quicker as the skier starts cloning out of the water. Iny experience I've found that a 140 lb double boot feels a lot like a 190 lb single boot on the pull up because of how the ski rests. I give a little more a little sooner to heavier skiers or skiers with a double and a little less to single boots and light weights. And of course I always ask what they like first. The key is no sudden changes, go from 0-speed smoothly not hammer down.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,375 Mega Baller
    If you go to the tow boat test it's hang on! WOT!!!!
    Dopes on Ropes!!!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,646 Mega Baller
    Ah, yes @RAWSki‌ , I remember v.8. Don't remember v. 9... Like you said--pp
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
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