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

Help choosing a new slalom ski for a 27' boat

thalthal Posts: 2 New Baller
Hi guys,

My folks recently retired down to Florida and bought a boat so I've been doing a bunch of skiing down there on the slalom ski from a set of combos (67 or 68"). Issue is that their boat is fairly large (27' sea-ray, 350 hp) so my hole shots have been fairly long (5-10 seconds) and I get pretty tired early on. I am looking for a slalom ski that will be a bit easier to get up on, but still fun to coast in and out of the wake.

A few other details:
1) Ski conditions - intracoastal south Florida - it's quite calm on mornings but obviously nowhere near as glassy as a lake
2) My size - 6'2", 215 pounds (I was thinking I probably need a larger ski - 71")
3) Ski speed - ~30 mph

I was thinking about buying the HO Carbon Evo 71" ( , but am open to whatever you all think best.

Also, any tips/ tricks on skiing behind a big boat? Rope length, etc.?



  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,378 Mega Baller
    Best thing you can do for the pull up is keep your knees bent to your chest/stay tucked in a ball until the ski starts to level out, that should keep the strain to a minimum. When skiing, your knees are your shock absorbers, keep some bend to avoid being airborne through the wakes.
  • aspskiaspski Posts: 227 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I picked up a 69'' Ho Triumph about 10 years ago that was a ski both my Dad and I could ski. He is 6'1'' and about 220lbs. It is easy to get up on but can still turn on a dime when I ski it and push it hard. They call it a TX now, great 'best of both worlds ski' for easier starts but still performs well.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,798 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'd consider a Radar Katana or ButterKnife. One of them seems to be the new P6. I used to ski behind a 19ft I/O on a senate and it was fine, I'm imagining a 27ft boat has a bit more wake and might want a little more forgiving ski.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,626 Mega Baller
    edited December 2017
    +1 on the Katana or Butterknife. You should watch @Horton video of the Katana. I think a lot of people skiing longer lines, and new to the course could learn a lot by watching his timing of edge change and how that casts him wide. That Katana looks like a great ski.
    The HO Evo looks to be every bit as good a ski, but having no experience on either, I’m going by what I’ve seen the ski do in capable hands (feet).
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,063 Mega Baller
    I would agree with something like the Katana or Butterknife. I think an Omni might be more Ski than you need.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Mike GileMike Gile Posts: 382 Crazy Baller
    +1 on Katana or Butterknife. I'd pick the Katana as I feel the performance is a bit higher. Good surface area for deep water starts too.
  • riplashriplash Posts: 26 Baller
    Hey Mike,

    I am about your size and I have some 10 and 15 year old skis that are the biggest they made at their time. If your parents place is near Melbourne, let me know and I will let you try them.

    Also how is the boat propped? A lot of bigger sterndrives are propped for top speed and they take a while to get up on plane without a skier. If you can change the prop to a lower pitch and add a blade it will help you alot. (Of course if the boat is a Bravo 2or3 with 2 props that would cost a lot). You just won't have as high of a top speed, and you may have to limit your throttle at speed to keep from overreving the motor.

    One of my wakeboarding friends has a 20 foot sterndrive that came with a 23" pitch prop and it was terrible getting out of the hole, and getting on plane. We changed the pitch down to 19" or so. And it is so much easier with the lower pitch prop. I can easily get up on my fiance's tiny 66" slalom ski from a combo.

    New skis are always cool too, and the new types of bindings are great too. I had old rubber bindings on some of my skis, and I was always exhausted after getting my feet in the bindings before trying to start. Adding dish soap or Astroglide helped a little bit. But the new bindings by almost all the brands are so much better than the old style too.

  • shansen345shansen345 Posts: 181 Baller
    HO Freeride or Radar Katana/Butterknife
    Keep it slow
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 883 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Hmmm...I would initially think 71" butterknife all the way but with that ski I think it's likely you might feel like 30 mph is pretty fast. If you're willing to slow down to 28 I think you would probably be pretty happy.

    Comparable competitors to consider might be the freeride from HO and the Outlaw from Connelly.

    I bought my dad a 69" P6 a few years ago and I'm amazed at how awesome it is with so much range for such a variety of people to have a really good time on it. Where the Katana and butterknife seem to be the replacement for the P6, that would be where I would start my search if I were in your shoes.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,631 Mega Baller
    Yikes...I'd buy whatever ski you like, then play around on one side of the wake til you are tired of it, then gently cross the VW beetle that is in the center, and then go have fun on the others side. I know that's not a direct answer but that wake is going to be big.
    Barefooting, wakeboarding, maybe surfing etc may be the better way to go.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,435 Mega Baller
    Jmo go for a new freestyle ski like the Freeride or Katana. And also consider the rope length. A short while back some ski company promo folks were playing with a 100ft rope and taking long cuts and long turns at slower speeds behind recreation type boats. Looked really fun. Think it was an HO video?
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,620 Mega Baller
    @6balls ironically wakeboarding is even worse behind an inboard than skiing, speed control with an I/O off plane is a terrible time. And you really can't/shouldn't surf an I/O.

    Stay away from the old generation wide skis, the fat boys and amigo's were just sluggish poorly designed skis.

    @ALPJr is exactly right, even longer get two slalom mainlines connected together and check out 150 feet back, play around with 100-150 feet of rope and you'll find a few things, many boats the wakes back there will become softer and rounder, I/O's often have a steep curl off the hull that will collapse.

    Also it gets quiet back that far.

    Your pull angle on the boat is more straight back so you won't pull the boat all over the place, and finally you can get so much further outside of the wakes since the angle of the line to the boat is shallower for the same width, so instead of pulling out ~38 feet from the centerline of the boat you can get out 80 feet, then you can set a nice long cut towards the wakes and even turn back out and "surf" the wake.

    Way more fun than trying to rip through steep rollers.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,798 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Be careful hooking ropes together. Check your local laws for max tow length, typically it is 100 ft or less
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,620 Mega Baller
    @oldjeep - possibly -its worth it though, behind big boats it is a heck more fun.
  • thalthal Posts: 2 New Baller
    Thanks guys for all of the help. I think based on your feedback, I'm going to go for the Katana.

    Dumb question - if I buy the ski + boots as a package from an online retailer, will they be preattached or do I need to hook them together? And if I need to hook them together, will it be obvious how to? Or is there a guide/ tools that I will need?

    Interesting suggestions about rope length. I think for now, I'm going to stick with a standard rope size - I'd rather not be quite so far behind the boat in an active channel in the ICW.

    Thanks again!

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,620 Mega Baller
    @oldjeep - possibly -its worth it though, behind big boats it is a heck more fun.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,620 Mega Baller
    @thal depends on the company, most come attached however I've also seen them dismantled and shipped separately.

    Most skis it is as simple as taking a measuring tape and positioning the front boot the distance from the back of the ski specified in the booklet.

    HO has some weird ones -

Sign In or Register to comment.