This Saturday it's Do or Quit! Advice please!!

DaveinPaDaveinPa Posts: 36 Baller
First off, if there was a school or instructor not far, I would go. I learned to slalom (free ski) by dropping a ski 40+ years ago. have not been on one ski for over two years, last time I tried dropping one I fell before I could get back foot in, pulled hamstring. I then made attempts to get up with both feet "in" (1990 heavy Obrien Combos 67/68 inch) and could not, handle pops out or over the front I go. So it has been two skis since.
Started fitness/core/weight training this winter; thanks to Travis @ Radar I now have a 69 inch Butterknife, gloves, and a vest that "floats" me higher. Have been out twice this year on TWO skis and feel strength and balance much better than before. So this Saturday we are going, I turn 69 on Friday (ironic?) 15 off with 150 HP outboard that is enough. So I am thinking I should do this the first ski when I am fresh; but my BIG question is do I put rear foot in RTP or leave it out and try dragging the leg?
I have read a lot on this site and am undecided at this point what to try? Not sure how many attempts I have in me. I am 6'2'" and weigh 186 lbs. Once I am up one ski is not an issue, just don't know how to get there and if it does not happen this year I will probably give it all up. I ski LFF and that is the leg that got the hamstring pulled 3 years ago; wondering if it can handle the ski if I drag my right leg. Sorry this is long, just hoping for comments that may help me put this in the "History Book" !! Thanks, Dave


  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,199 Mega Baller
    Bigger ski and bouyant vest were my two first tjoughts and you have those.covered. 150 hp? I know first hand more hp will help. If you could figure the getup out behind a boat with more grunt you could probably then transition to your boat with better success. My 0.02.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • pregompregom Posts: 355 Solid Baller
    Which start are you more comfortable with? Putting your back foot in the RTP or dragging your right leg? For me, dragging the back leg never worked. I am LFF and use RTP. I get in a ball, press my left toes down (like on a gas pedal) and after the boat starts pulling, I wait patiently for the ski to plane over the water.
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 1,030 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 2018
    150hp outboard or I/O? big difference. The outboard should have no problem getting you up. The I/O will struggle and make it harder on you with your back foot in. I like @ski6jones recommendation to find a stronger boat to learn.

    Make sure your driver has some experience pulling up skiers too. They may be causing some of your problems.
  • whitecapswhitecaps Posts: 35 Baller
    Deep V rope handle can make it happen for you. Seems to be the ticket to teach deep water slalom starts
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,705 Mega Baller
    If outboard,150 is plenty with a big 69'' Butterknife.
    I'm a rtp guy and prefer both feet in.If you choose both feet in,stay small with knees to your chest and arms extends and...wait.Don't get up until after 3 seconds and you'll be planing in no time!
    That 69 should really help!
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 481 Baller
    i agree about the deep v handle - huge help for learning. Masterline makes a 15" version that will fit that ski well. You might be able to get one sent to you by this weekend.

    I know it's a preference but I feel more balanced getting up with both feet in.

    my last boat was a 19' with 125 HP outboard and no issues getting up - so 150 should be easy enough. You got this !!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    The 69” Butterknife at your current weight is plenty of ski. I got up on a 67” Katana today with no problem and I weigh 205. It was behind a Prostar so there was plenty of juice but I am sure they were only using a fraction.

    I find it much easier to drag my free leg. Keep your knee into your your chest and your back leg trailing behind. Make sure the ski is on an angle not straight up and down plowing the water.

    When you are up on the water don’t look down for the rear toe just feel for it. If you have to just put your foot down on top of the RTP until you get stable.

    Good luck.
    Mark Shaffer
  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 192 Baller
    edited July 2018
    What's worked for me, is staying in a "ball" as others haven mentioned.
    Knee tucked tight to chest. Arms straight always. And stay in that ball forever.
    Both feet in give you better water dynamics and you can cut through it better. One leg out gives you better balance.
    I prefer both feet in.
    And maybe you could practice it?
    Next time you are up on one and having fun skiing, have the driver at the end of your set just slow down the boat back to idle.
    Get in a ball and hang on as long as you can, of course without stressing yourself.

  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,821 Mega Baller
    I've always felt dragging a leg gave me an easier start as the second leg is kindof like a second planing surface that also keeps you going straight. It will require a bit more front leg strength though. Can you do a one legged squat on your front leg on dry land? If not, maybe both feet in is the way to go.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    @UWSkier if you mean a pistol squat I can’t come close to doing a pistol but I get out of the water no problem with one leg. I would say if you can do a deep lunge with no problem or a step up on to a 20” Bos without pushing off the foot in the floor you should have enough strength to do a deep water start with one leg in.

    One foot vs two is definitely a bit of a religious conversation. I am a 1 foot guy and always have been. Peo0le that have always been 2 footers will frequently say that is easier. I would say try both one will seem easier.
    Mark Shaffer
  • DanoDano Posts: 195 Baller
    like @whitecaps said get yourself a deep V handle. Used one to teach my nephew and my wife this year. Both were able to get up first try. My wife has since tried using a regular handle and found it much more difficult. So there's the science behind my statement.
  • JASJAS Posts: 322 Crazy Baller
    Have mental picture of what your trying to accomplish. Both you and driver watch this video. A team effort Engineering&qft=+filterui:userpage-sharkgts&FORM=VQCHNL

    150 outboard plenty with right prop

    Letting boat pull you up is important. This does not mean to let it bend you forward. Get in start position and tense all core muscles that you've been working on.

    Hold handle so it draws a line to your stomach. Mine often 6 inches under water

    Stay strong with core!!!!!!!

  • BRYBRY Posts: 593 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2018
    Tip 1: For LFF have rope to the right of ski
    Tip 2: Make sure the tip of ski is just out of the water, couple inches. Never let it sink below the surface throughout the start. More is not better though, just a couple inches out.
    Tip 3: Keep ski flat as possible. So as said before have ski as up under your butt as you can, with tip out of water.
    Tip 4: If two feet in keep back knee tucked in behind front knee, legs together. This is critical and very easy. If legs come apart drag goes way up and you don't get up.
    Tip 5: Have outboard trimmed in as far as possible until your up. Also have riders forward. Depending on boat 150 is not as much as you think for beginner. The less it drags you the better.
    Tip 6: Wait for boat to pull you up. You don't get up, it pulls you up. If you stand up too soon you just sink the ski (see Tip 2).

    I can get up either way. At 6-1 220 I used to get up behind a 17 ft Glasstron with a 60HP outboard. That thing drug me forever to get me up. I find two feet in technically easier but takes more effort/strength. One foot out is less drag but more skill required, particularly once up for a beginner.

    Tip 7, 8, 9, and 10. Don't quit! It seems impossible but then it happens and it's easy. Once you do it a couple times you will have it, like riding a bike but easier. You've got a good 10-20 years skiing in you yet!
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    I like @BRY 's advice. I was an old out board skier too, and ended up behind an old Glastron (new at the time) for a long time. I was one leg out, LFF. But, my daughter just learned on a wider ski, using the deep vee handle. Once she got it a time or two, she was fine with the regular handle. So I think you should consider the deep v handle if you can find one. If not, go with what is comfortable to you with regard to rear foot in or out, and follow the post directly above.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,384 Mega Baller
    Stretch and warm up.
  • RINLERINLE Posts: 62 Baller
    The other variables to consider are the prop and if the boat has tabs of some sort. $100 on a lower pitch 4 blade prop will make a huge difference if the bow tends to raise and the boat takes a while to plane.

    Those old glastrons were likeky pitched for all around performance and the 2 strokes made more low end torque.

    Tell us more about the boat and prop.
  • GlydonGlydon Posts: 231 Baller
    Only thing I think NOT mentioned is perhaps allowing the boat to give you a bit of a "glide " before signaling driver to go. FWIW my Dad turned 70 this year and last year was diagnosed with the big C ... he wants to ski this summer but we are unable to find him an "oversize" shaped slalom so he will likely use a drop ski sadly. Good luck!
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 496 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 2018
    Have a 69 Butterknife as well a great ski, but recently upgraded. I prefer RFF both feet in. Let the boat do the work. Maybe some people or ballast in the FRONT of the boat to help it plane out faster. No shame in dropping if need be...if you come up on two you can have a much “softer” pullout that will be much easier on you...we all must remember to have FUN at this sport at ALL levels...
  • DaveinPaDaveinPa Posts: 36 Baller
    @BRY @JAS @ hemlock @DaveD
    And to everyone else that responded, THANKS; Seriously! So I think I have a deep v handle already, it is a 150 2 stroke Ocean Pro on 20 ft. 4 Winns, today a 4 bladed stainless Powequest prop arrived so that will get bolted on too. Lots of great tips and advice, never thought about the slow down and into a ball theory. Yup I think 2 feet in first time or two and also have read about boat driver "easing into it" so we shall try that too. The square inches of surface on the Butterknife are what I am hoping is going to make the difference. Thanks again everyone and I will let you all know what happens. Dave
  • m_pagsm_pags Posts: 96 Baller
    @DaveinPa Stay Relaxed and have Fun!!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    Surface will make a huge difference but make sure not to have it too vertical in the water. Alot of people will get jammed by pushing their back foot and that stands the ski upright and pushes the tip out of the water. Instead you want to keep the tail under you so that the ski is angled in the water.

    I think this is where a lot of the one footers became so insistent on it being better is that if you jam on your back leg you'll stand the ski vertical in the water which means you'll get crushed and dragged into the water. If you don't have a back foot in the ski will always angle in the water as the tail of the ski is a long lever arm.

    I'm a two footer - so I'll always suggest both in, I don't however like the idea of a ball - you don't want to hunch your spine, you do want to bend your knees.
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 827 Crazy Baller
    Warm up. At least twice. :)
    Have fun.
    Don not give up.
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    The key is to have the driver progressively bring the power up. I think about rolling up out of the water.

    We were talking about this on the lake this morning out of the three of us I am the only one who gets up with one foot in. I am the biggest of the three at 200 lbs and @rayn said he uses the same or less throttle to get me out of the water as he does his son who weighs no more than 160.

    Dont get discouraged you are plenty strong to do this. It is about technique from both you and the driver. Last summer I was recovering from a lengthy illness and could barely walk up the stairs and certainly couldn’t do a pull up and I got up on a slalom.
    Mark Shaffer
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 496 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 2018
    Spot on @Chef23
    At your weight you can have a super soft pull on two...
    Friend of mine who has some back issues comes up on two and’s amazing how slow/gentle he can be pulled up...

    Think if you work on coming up on a single you might hit a bit of a wall, then it will all come together and it will become second nature...try a single a few times each session, but would suggest in the mean time come up on two, drop and have fun...
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 481 Baller
    100% agree with @Chef23 about the rolling of the throttle
  • DaveinPaDaveinPa Posts: 36 Baller
    @Jetsetr: So how quickly does your friend drop his ski? I have been wondering if I can drop one BEFORE I even get up to speed; like when I am just barely planed off maybe? Dave
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 548 Crazy Baller
    Agreed on the easy up. Roll that throttle forward every so slowly.
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 548 Crazy Baller
    Also - do you have a good set of gloves?
  • DaveinPaDaveinPa Posts: 36 Baller
    @KRoundy Yes got gloves, am starting to feel like I'm gonna do this thanks to all the advice!!
  • ObrienslalomObrienslalom Posts: 85 Baller
    I don't know the answer, but I will share that my wife pulled her hamstring trying to get up on a slalom the first time last year. This year she put her rear foot in and feels that's the answer for her. That along with a slightly more aggressive idle drag before throwing it in the hole worked great for her.
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