Slalom Course Set up

GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
edited February 2010 in Skis Fins Bindings
What kind of slalom course set-up does everyone have? On Lake Latonka we use an Accufloat permanent. We use brass clips and mason string to protect it from tubers and jet skis. Better to have the buoys get broken off than have the whole course ripped out if someone snags it. We submerge it during the winter months with half-filled antifreeze jugs and wire ties. I have a custom made grappling hook(all edges are rounded and smooth) for pulling it back up in the spring. It is out in the middle of the lake in about 15-20 feet of water.
Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
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Comments

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,791 Mega Baller
    Broho has a floating ccourse, with a stainless mainline. It works great due to fluctuating water levels. Recently, when we went to the 1/2 water filled bouys, we had to remove some counterweights so that the balls would be at the right height.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,374 Mega Baller
    I have an accu-sink type course. Built the floating course myself with a few parts from Ed. Stainless steel mainline.Added the accu-sink a year later. I sink it every fall until spring. Going strong now into the 10th year.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    <p>
    I think ours has been in place for 15 years. Some sections of the mainline have been replaced periodically. This is the second one that has been installed. The original was ripped out by a pontoon boat that decided to throw its anchor in the middle of it on a very windy day, and an I/O went through it and got the mainline tangled in its prop. For a few years we took the whole thing out, pipes and all. It took 10 people and half a day to do the job. Now we submerge it. I can submerge it by myself in about an hour , and it takes me two and a half hours to bring it up by myself. I am able to do everything from my canoe. I would love to hook up one of those systems where you can surface and submerge it with and air compressor, but we would need a 1/8  mile of hose just to reach the course. Just got done making 28 new buoy lines. My next project is to attach them to the buoys that are piled up in my boat garage.
    </p>
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • TuneyTuney Posts: 244 Baller
    My public lake doesn't have a course but I have been throwing around the idea of putting something together for it. For those of you that have experience with it what kind of investment/maintenance does it take and do you have tips to avoid headaches?
  • DekeDeke Posts: 408 Baller
    We install a floating course for 4 months each season on public water. The floating course is essential for changing water levels. It's nothing special other than the 1/2 filled with water turn balls. We need a USFS permit, insurance, etc. Maintenance is more like repair, such as replacing buoys, buoy lines, replacing mainline sections and even damaged pvc sections. Although much of the damage is caused by wally's, a good bit of it actually comes from our own club members too!
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,311 Mega Baller
    I'm looking at getting a course. What kind do y'all like or think is the best made or needs less up keep?
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,791 Mega Baller
    stainless mainline, and heavy duty PVC piping is the key. Remember your BOS advertizers !
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • DWDW Posts: 2,403 Mega Baller
    In addition to the efforts of course installation and maintenance, there will be lots of other entertaining frustrations.  On the public waterways, you will constantly be battling with the fishermen for usage and right of way, along with all the other boating traffic that feels a course is a great playground for their jetski "racing", kids tubing, pontoon floating, swimming resting buoys . . . . .  You will never cease to be amazed at what usage your course will endure and will soon realize the course owner and skiing the course ranks at the bottom of the list in terms of rights relative to others.  Contact EZ Ed Obermeier, he makes/sells courses and supports the site.
  • kstateskierkstateskier Posts: 524 Solid Baller
    edited February 2010
    <p>
    <a href="http://www.ez-slalom.com">www.ez-slalom.com</a>
    </p>
    KStateSkier
    Bradley Beach - Lone Rock Ski Club, Missouri
    2004 Malibu Response LXI, 2014 D3 Helix 66"
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,311 Mega Baller
    Thanks I'll give him a call
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    The floating type is the easiest to work with. Lake Latonka is a private lake of about 700 homes. It is 2  1/2  miles long and about a half mile wide. If you are lucky enough to have a sheltered place to put your course you can use the anchor weight specified by the manufacturer. The course on Lake Latonka is anchored by a 200-300 diesel block at one end and a camshaft at the other. I don't recommend using your boat to tug on the mainline to put tension on the cable after the initial set up. We have broken a cable or two over the years doing that.  One of the guys on the lake put a comalong at one end. If the course starts to bend we just tighten the ratchet. Our anchors are settled in pretty good. We used 1 inch thick poly rope as the anchor lines, and a 3/8'' snap hook to attach the anchorlines to the mainline. We have not had to do much to maintain it other than replacing tuber and jet ski divots, and submerging it for the winter.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,000 Infinite Pandas
    <p>
    There is the old school option - cinderblocks, bungee (or innertubes) and buoys (or clorox bottles).
    </p>
    <p>
    My course is rebar surveyed in when dry. Bungees hold down the watered down buoys. It is very accurate and does not move.
    </p>
    <p>
    The rebar does rot away after a few years. Dig down a bit and I can find fresh steel to hook the bungee. In the old lake, I put a cinderblock on the totally rotted rebar. That has been working for several years.
    </p>
    <p>
    San Diego uses fixed anchors on the bottom. They have a pulley and weight system that handles the tidal swings quite well. Subfloats stay in place quite well even when the Wallys chop up the buoys. San Diego Mission Bay Boat and Ski Club has the details (I didn't do the design - I've just skied the results).
    </p>
    <p>
    Eric
    </p>
  • kdeupserkdeupser Posts: 51 Baller
    <p>
    I am in the Atlanta Waterski club and we use a few different types of courses.  Our Primary course is on Lake Allatoona, here in Atlanta, Ga.  We get an insane amount of boat traffic, however our course is very reselient.  It's been there longer than I have been a member ( 11 or 12 years).  Plus you can go to our website (www.awsc.net) to see how we maintain our buoys.  Since the Army Corps of Engineer's manages the lake so wonderfully..... our course is dry 3 months out of the year.  So the course has been survey'ed in, and all the buoy's have the large galvanized screw anchors.  Then we have a rope tied from screw anchor to screw anchor so you can find the course if the public tear's it up to bad(they usually do, morons).  We use crap trap sub-buoy's, then the brick counter weight system with plastic clips.  This system works so well we have incorporated it in many of the private sites around Atlanta.  This course is in usually 6 to 15 feet of water, depending on whatever they crazy corps does to us....  We use a slip system on the crab traps, and long brick ropes, so we can easily handle what the corps throw's at us.  They can drop the lake a foot a day, so the swings can be amazing to deal with.
    </p>
    <p>
    We also do the floating course deal at two other sites.  Nothing good to say about a floating course.  Period!  We have to use one on a bigger lake, and when the wind blow's, what a pain.  We have put in so many counter anchors for every type of wind direction that when the public tear's part's of this course out, we have to sink new counters.  It's a real pain in the but.  This course is in 2 to 10 feet of water.
    </p>
    <p>
    Our Winter course is another floating course, but no counter weights to help with the wind.  So we stretch it as tight as possible.
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Good Luck,
    </p>
    <p>
    Ken
    </p>
  • 19skier19skier Posts: 112 Baller
    <p>
    GA, we have been using a submersible course in water that is some distance from shore and fairly deep. I use a hook on a line to retrieve a 70 length of the air line that is weighted to sink. Just have to remember about where it is and have a small compressor and tank in the boat. It can be made to work and sure beats daily repairs and liability of leaving it floating.  I have 22 very lightly used WallySinker bouys and all the hoses/fittings for a second submersible course for sale ($500?) if anyone is interested.
    </p>
  • Thomas WayneThomas Wayne Posts: 550 New Baller
    <p>
    The best method we've found for keeping tension on a floating course - where there <strong>aren't</strong> big swings in water level - is a bungee system I came up with many years ago.  Wind, ball deflection (due to skier crash), etc.  are all quickly corrected by the constant elastic nature of this set up:
    </p>
    <p>
    <img src="http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n293/ThomasWayne_2006/coursebungy.jpg" border="0" width="663" height="178" />
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    TW
    </p>
  • StevenSteven Posts: 307 Baller
    We have a floating course at our site. We use the same bungee method as TW has illustrated above (works great!). Our site has a lot of wakeboard traffic passing thru and also boarding there when there aren't any skiers to claim the site. To eliminate pvc breakage on the arms, they put 6" sch 80 pipe sections (kind of expensive, but durable and no flex), although they get broken periodically. On one private site i've skied, they use 2" pvc that has been placed vertically into a concrete block, then surveyed into place prior to filling the lake. Then they made up some 10-12"x 1.5" brass weights that slide up and down in the pvc tubes. So if a rope hooks a buoy, the brass weight comes out of the pvc pipe. Then all you have to do is find the location of the pipe and drop the weight back into the pipe and you're back in business! At another private site, we made up concrete anchors using stainless eyebolts, surveyed prior to filling the lake, then used a section of 1/8" stainless wire rope, added a 2" chunk of the hard foam cylinder boat guides as a sub buoy (placed below prop level), then attached a drop line with a brass hook and a sliding tent rope adjuster so the buoy level can easily be adjusted according to water level. This system worked real well also!
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    There is a guy in Minn that uses fire hose inside the aluminum tubes. The course is blown up with a compresser tank. It is the best system I have seen for a permanant aquafloat.
  • StevenSteven Posts: 307 Baller
    That's a good idea! has he ever had anyone hook a buoy and end up bending one of the aluminum tubes? It's hard to believe that anyone could break sch 80 6" dia PVC, but they do it once a year! Maybe you're wakeboarders aren't as hard core as ours.  <img src="http://ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif" border="0" alt="Tongue out" title="Tongue out" />
  • Bill GladdingBill Gladding Posts: 109 Baller
    Some of the guys at our club came up with installing the course buoys attached to weights in PVC tubes.  We still use longline clips to hold the buoys onto the line attached to the weight.  It has sure been nice since the buoys are always at the right height unless the water goes way up or down.  In addition, the weighted buoys move out of the way better when you hit them since the weight helps pull them down versus a regular type on a bungee or tire tube that loses tension when the buoy is depressed.
  • east tx skiereast tx skier Posts: 598 Solid Baller
    <p>
    We have two club courses, both with individually anchored buoys. 
    </p>
    <p>
     I put one in on a cove near our family's place a few years ago with cinder blocks and surgical latex for buoy lines.  Measured it out with premeasured nonstretch rope lengths and line of sight.  We weren't too worried about records.  It's only about 4--5 feet with a mud bottom, so the suction on the blocks held them really well.  Buoys clip onto subs.  Short setup (about 1,850 total).  The falling water levels ultimately did us in by summer's end, but it was fun while it lasted.  I have a portable course in the attic for that rainy day where I'm without a ready to go course again.
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Here's the one I set up.  The lilypads were a real PIA.  But it sure was private for something on a public lake.
    </p>
    <p>
    <img src="http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=1454&stc=1&d=1124747516" border="0" alt="Buzzard Buoy" width="600" height="450" />
    </p>
    Perpetual Longline Baller and curvy ski boat owner.
    My real name is in my profile.

  • StevenSteven Posts: 307 Baller
    There was a place we skied in Kalispell Mt. called "The Slough" , by the end of the season we had to harvest lily pads around the turn balls and in the course. It got real bad! The only places without lily pads was in the skier and boat path. In those areas the roots (???) were just under the surface. So when you fell, you were immersed in lily pad. It was a great place to ski though!
  • LazLaz Posts: 353 Solid Baller
    We've had an EZ-Salom course for 2 seasons now, always on public water. About 35 minutes to put in and about 20 to take out. We have it down to an art. Just ordered the 55m gates for this year. The whole system works very well.
  • skiepskiep Posts: 363 Crazy Baller
    This is what Bill Gladding was talking about. Keith
  • skiepskiep Posts: 363 Crazy Baller
    one more picture. Keith
  • slalom frogslalom frog Posts: 108 Baller
    I purchased a stainless steel mainline from EZ Slalom and made the rest myself using 2" pvc.  I found some stainless steel spring clips to be able to quickly couple the sections together.  It has been very durable for me over the last 4 years.  It is a bit of a pain to get it tensioned properly but overall I am very happy with it.  If anyone is interested I think that I have the plans that I used to cut the pvc and related parts.
  • east tx skiereast tx skier Posts: 598 Solid Baller
    <p>
    Steven, that picture was taken in March 2005, a particularly low water year.
    </p>
    <p>
     By summer, the water was low enough that we had to harvest lilies to ski.  We would go deep and cut the roots/stems pretty low.  There was a fair amount of hydrilla at the far end as well.  Good incentive to make two back to back passes and drop on the deep end.
    </p>
    <p>
     This picture shows how bad the lilies can get (see the background where we hadn't harvested).
    </p>
    <p>
     <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_1gl9obJSimU/S3rB_ezBlZI/AAAAAAAACtE/ZEcIHXzIOBA/Buzzard%20Buoy%20MC%20Picture%20%28Web%29.jpg" border="0" alt="Buzzard Buoy Ski Picture" width="593" height="400" />
    </p>
    Perpetual Longline Baller and curvy ski boat owner.
    My real name is in my profile.

  • StevenSteven Posts: 307 Baller
    That's awesome! It looks like a chunk of lilly is trying to get air born there about mid spray. Those lilly's work well to settle the water. Wish we had some at our site in Canyon Lake!!!!!!!!!! It's terrible right now! We're at full pool right now, the west shore has a steep shore line that creates some pretty busy water. After your third pass you'd better have some soft knees and a strong core or you'll end up kissing the tip. Oh well, at least I'm able to get some rides in.  <img src="http://ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-foot-in-mouth.gif" border="0" alt="Foot in mouth" title="Foot in mouth" />
  • DekeDeke Posts: 408 Baller
    I'd be interested in some feedback from folks that have floating courses with 55's. Does all the extra length cause additional problems with tension and keeping the the course straight? We have a prevailing cross-wind at our public water site.
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    Put them in manually not attached to the course.  
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    What MS said.  If you have a permanently installed course you can add the 55's by individually anchoring a couple of buoys 180.4 feet from the end gates using concrete blocks etc for anchors.  Cheap and easy to do.
    </p>
    <p>
    A properly tensioned floating course with 55's will have little or no bowing in a crossing breeze.  Assuming that it's a reasonably light breeze.  However with high enough cross wind you will likely get some bowing; just one of the shortcomings of any floating course design.  Properly tensioning the mainline will go a long ways towards negating that issue.  You can also fix that by anchoring the centerline (mainline) at various points within the course.  I.e. anchor below the end gates and somewhere around the center of the course in addition of course to outside the ends of the course (outside the 55's) and bowing will be a non-issue.  A fairly easy fix to accomplish.
    </p>
    <p>
    Ed    
    </p>
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
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