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Start at 15 off or actual long line?

gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
Going to start running the course this coming summer. I've got a sectioned rope but have no idea where to start. Seems to be differing thoughts on long line or 15 off. Doesn't matter to me but what do you think is best? I'll be 46 yrs old by slalom season, last year was my first year of slaloming since...1991 or so... I did a lot of free skiing and am 100% confident crossing wakes and cutting, from what I feel is a "pretty hard" cut. But, I know from my time spent here that I am way far behind where I thought I might be. I also realize I have a LOT of work to do on technique. I've never had any coaching but plan to head to the DFW water ski school this summer. So, just getting thoughts on what rope length to start with.

Also, will I get up quicker with a shorter rope? I'm a big boy and have to fight my "recreational boat" to get up.

2014 HO TX
1996 Malibu Echelon

Comments

  • gregygregy Posts: 2,583 Mega Baller
    edited January 2015
    If you don't have someone to coach you before ski school I'd suggest posting videos here for some help. My middle name is Thomas - Funny
    gt2003
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Great. I'll start at 15 off and get video. It's been just the girlfriend and I in the boat so that's been difficult. But, I've got a while, I'll figure it out.

    So, if the rope is shorter, will the boat pull me out of the water more quickly??
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • DmaxJC_skiDmaxJC_ski Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    @gt2003‌ you may notice a slight difference on the pull up. What are you running for a tow boat?
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Horton , Thanks. I'll start there as soon as it warms up enough to hit the water. I've got so much to work on but I'll start at that length so I'll at least be familiar with it.

    That's part of the problem @DmaxJC_ski‌ . I bought my first boat ever this year. It's a 2007 Tahoe Q6 with the 220 HP 4.3L MPI engine. It will pull me up but at 220 lbs I eat a decent amount of water. I'm in the process of losing about 20 lbs so that should help a little. I know the dedicated ski boats will yank me outta the water MUCH quicker.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,429 Mega Baller
    edited January 2015
    You might want to consider a custom rope length. Get the boat up to whatever speed you intend to ski at and figure out where the wake is nice. 15 off at 32ish on my old Bayliner 195 was a little spooky - it was better at about 10 off. Never tried to run it through the course though, the back of the boat got tugged around too much when I was skiing.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,271 Mega Baller
    If you are free skiing, I would go to -28 and work there. @OTF is a prime example of not chasing buoys but he is always skiing at -28 or shorter. He has come along ways in 2 years. Technique at -28 is different, no sense in learning later.
    Shut up and ski
    Horton
  • DmaxJC_skiDmaxJC_ski Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    @gt2003‌ what are you running for a prop? Pitch? 3 or 5 blade?
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm running an mercury alpha 4, 4 blade, 18 pitch. It hits WOT at about 45ish mph with RPM's about 4850 I believe. It's enough to pull me out of the water.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,619 Crazy Baller
    @gt2003‌ do you have double boots or a RTP on the back?

    Double boots make it harder to get up behind a runabout. Behind an inboard it does not matter but with less horsepower it does. The back boot keeps the tip of the ski up more because your ankle can not bend. With a RTP you can get the ski more flat on the water.
    In gear. Hit It. Thank You!
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Bill22‌ I actually do have double boots. I hadn't thought about that but it makes perfect sense. I'm buying a "guest slalom ski" for the boat with a RTP. I'll run that a couple of times and see what difference it makes.

    Interesting @oldjeep , that's an excellent idea. I've got the adjustable rope now so I can "play" until I find the flattest area in the wake to work.

    Dang @MS , -28??? Honestly, that freaks me out right now. Is @OTF skiing behind and inboard or an I/O? Wow, that's really thinking out of the box!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,619 Crazy Baller
    @gt2003‌ Before I got my RLX I had an I/O with the 4 banger. My friend at 190 lb. could not get up with double boots, put the RTP on and it did ok.

    When the water warms up and you get the RTP on your Synchro, bring that back foot up as close as you can to you rear end. You will see a BIG difference in how fast you come out of the water.
    In gear. Hit It. Thank You!
    gt2003
  • DmaxJC_skiDmaxJC_ski Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    A 17 or 19 pitch high 5 will probably make a considerable difference, another old school we used to use was starting the boat at a 45 degree or more angle and as soon as the driver hits, straighten the boat to the skier, trust me it will snap you out in a wicked hurry
    gt2003
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,606 Mega Baller
    @DmaxJC_ski, I've used the boat angled to the skier method long ago with my 135HP Bayliner I/O. One skier was 225+ pounds. We would start the boat nearly 90 degrees to the skier, keep the rope tight (tension, no pulling) as we accelerated, and they snapped out of the water just as easy as could be.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
    gt2003
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,822 Mega Baller
    Start w -15. LL does give a skier more rope to get to the buoy, but more rope means more problems with slack. Slack means a hit from the boat at the finish of the turn which can destroy form and build bad habits.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    gt2003
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,271 Mega Baller
    @gt2003 Don't think of it that way. You are not running 6 buoys at -28, you are skiing and working on form, The boat will give you the help you need without you having to pull and push to gain speed. Ski in control and don't worry about orange.
    Shut up and ski
    gt2003crashmanZmanSkoot1123
  • OTFOTF Posts: 325 Crazy Baller
    @gt2003 we currently run a 2009 196 w ZO. I had only free skied until moving in next door to @ms and started skiing with him in 2012. I've found it to be easier to work on technique at -28 or -32. I pretty much stay at 34mph unless @ms says to do something different. Watch Seth Stishers whips drills on you tube, I spent a lot of time doing that. Sometimes we play the let the driver pick the speed and rope length game and I just focus on rhythm( not as much anymore since the crashing has pretty much stopped but @ms sure did get his laughs, and I got a user name). I do not ski tournaments and don't plan to so going around all 6 doesn't matter to me. Usually it's gates w 3-4 balls somewhere. This yr we will have more focused ski time. I'm pretty sure I could run -32 and possibly -35 with a little timing. I'm betting you didn't start skiing to chase orange things.......don't forget that while your progressing it's ok to have fun. Sometimes for fun I start at -41 and lengthen for each pass. Those are the sets I enjoy the most.
    happy skiing
    The_MS
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    For what it's worth, I ran long line before I got on here to find out that was the wrong thing to do. I'm still not fully convinced that I should have done it otherwise. I take many skiers through the course for the first time in the range of 26 mph. I let them all try it at -15 and at long line, and they all have more fun at long line (probably because they are making more balls). I tell them that the pros recommend going to -15 and they all say "I don't care, give me the rope."

    To me, learning to run the course for the first time has everything to do with learning to get stacked. I've never really understood the supposed correlation between a short rope and me learning to get stacked.
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Thank you all so much! I'm going to really focus on stack, stack, stack! When the weather warms, I will get behind the boat, slow it down to a speed where I'm just sitting nicely on top of the water then figure out where the wake is the calmest. I'll work on stack first and will do that at the rope length that has the "calmest" water behind my big V-hull boat. If that happens to be 28 off or 15 off, doesn't matter to me, I'll do it. Once I get the chance to do all of the above, I'll post video and we'll go from there. The next step will be scheduling ski school days after I get video coaching from you all. Thanks again in advance. Looking forward to this "next" physical challenge in my life!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
    OTF
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 566 Crazy Baller
    GT2003 stated: "I've never had any coaching but plan to head to the DFW water ski school this summer. So, just getting thoughts on what rope length to start with."

    FYI, I used to be a club member at Alan Hendricks' lake. He is a great coach and he's also task master. He is going to tell you what rope length to use and how fast to go, so don't worry about making these types of decisions. Just make sure you are in shape, because you are going to get a work-out in. :smile:

  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    That is 100% in the cards @jjackrash . I'll be at my best "fighting" weight when I head to ski school and will have sufficient ski time behind me. I can get extremely motivated for situations like this. I'd hate to waste his time, much less mine! I want to be able to concentrate 100% on learning and not be held back by my poor planning or lack of physical conditioning.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 566 Crazy Baller
    You have the right attitude, for sure. Get lean and mean and enjoy yourself! I'm cutting weight right now for ski season and I know how much it sucks, but its gotta get done. I'm 215 right now, down from 228 in December, but I need to get to 195 to 200 to ski my best and not get too winded. I should be 200 by March, April at the latest.
  • mikeymikey Posts: 67 Baller
    I've been to DFW ski school. Alan is a very good coach. Tom Brantely may be there too. It's fun to ride in the boat and watch Tom ski.. Anyway, i plan on going there this summer too. We always go to this hole in the wall Mexican place for lunch... Good times..
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,591 Mega Baller
    I have nothing but good things to say about Alan. Best bang for the buck anywhere!!!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    I started running the course in 1985-1986 with a 75' rope since that was all I had. I first learned by trial an error, and I got a couple of books by Tony Krupa, and Joel McClintock which I still have. 15 off was actually easier once I got a rope with the loops. I got up to 36 MPH on the 75' rope. I skied at 34 MPH for a couple of years then I decided I wanted to try tournaments so I started skiing 36 MPH. I was able to get into 32 off at 34 MPH, but initially I could not clear 15 off at 36 MPH consistently. I was essentially self taught in the beginning since there was no one else on the lake crazy enough to ski at 36 MPH. I did that behind a 1985 Ski Nautique. I would start at 15 off if I was just learning today. If you free ski, always go faster than you do in the course.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
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