Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Heavy Metal

After a few years of attempting to use a portable course in our river and it be destroyed by current, frequently changing water levels (changes of 7ft are common), and fishermen we got a group of skiers together to form a club, get proper permits and install a permanent course that will withstand the challenges of our river. I thought I would share some pictures of our installation from yesterday and will dare say we now have one of the most heavy duty slalom courses in existence.

A few details, each buoy is individually anchored by a 2in, 7ft long pipe. There is a steel weight inside the pipe that allows the buoys to move up and down with the changing water levels. The weight is attached to a stainless steel cable which attaches to a steel chain. The chain clips on to our subfloat which we put a machined aluminum plate on each end with a threaded rod through the middle so the sub floats will not get chewed up over the years from rubbing with wave action. The subfloat then goes to another stainless steel cable up to the bouy. If a buoy comes off the weight drops to the bottom of the pipe pulling everything down which we can easily retrieve with a magnet to the steel chain.

The course was installed off a barge using a vibro hammer on a excavator. We used GPS to place markers at the bottom of the river in the correct spot and had a diver place the anchor pipe on that spot so we could get the location correct to drive the pipe.

We began this project back in November and after many hours and countless meeting with the city/DNR to get our permits after that first pass was made I can finally say it was all worth it.

Bruce_Butterfield[Deleted User]MISkierThan_BoganRalph LeebbrannanklindyBill22jcampMichaelGoodman[Deleted User]jedgellm_pagsRAKrodeconjjackkrashThe_MSNandojipster43Bulldoggt2003


  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 866 Crazy Baller
    That's awesome! That has to set the record for the most expensive course ever.
    MISkierRalph Lee9400Texas6
  • skihartskihart Posts: 516 Solid Baller
    WOW! Now that is dedication to the sport! Very impressive. Nice work.
    Than_BoganRalph Lee
  • GarGar Posts: 312 Baller
    Totally bad ass!
    Ralph Lee
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,784 Mega Baller
    Awesome. Post a picture of the finished course and one with someone skiing.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
    Ralph Lee
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,351 Mega Baller
    Whereabouts on the river are you?
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,375 Mega Baller
    Wow! Hugely impressive!!
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • Pat MPat M Posts: 721 Crazy Baller
    And I though us putting in a course through the ice was impressive. This is the mother of all course projects. Should give your number to Dr. Jim Michaels
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,313 Mega Baller
    That's definition of heavy duty right there!
    I don't see a weak link or fuse to release the bouy if a prop would it them only SS cable.
    Is there one ?
  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 65 Baller
    UWSkier, I am in La Crosse, come join us if you are in the neighborhood.

    Andre, yes we put a weak link in to release in case of a major hit. We have a spring clip between the chain and subfloat. I think it is rated at 150lbs, would break away if someone were to really give it a tug.
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,167 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    That is impressive. That engineering! I had the same question on fuse link to protect boats, skiers and your beautiful underwater gear. Do you have one?
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,167 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited June 2017
    If it were me, the fuse would be on top of the sub float and there would be no metal from the sub float up.
  • GarGar Posts: 312 Baller
    Now it's time to surround it as needed to keep the waves out! (If you can!)
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,351 Mega Baller
    Nice. I'll definitely hit you up if I'm over that way. I'm in SE WI.

    How much of the poles is above the river bed? Wondering how high you keep them to prevent sediment from building up over time.
  • WIRiverRatWIRiverRat Posts: 65 Baller
    The poles are just a few inches off the river bed. I don't have a good picture but we machined up some brass inserts the neck down the hole on the top considerably. We also flared the edges of that insert so the cable would not wear on it. The gentleman who helped me design this does work in bridges and dams for a living and was confident we would not have sediment issues. His bigger concern was getting minnows in the pipes. He said they have pulled up 12in pipes before that have full grown catfish living inside them that must have gotten in when they were small.
Sign In or Register to comment.