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Making it easier for Novice Skiers to start getting up on one

DangerBoyDangerBoy Posts: 338 Crazy Baller
I've got a pair of O'Brien Celebrity Combo skis at my cabin for whenever guests who are at the beginner/novice level want to ski. What quite often happens is that they will be at the point where they can ski on one but have to drop a ski because they can't yet successfully do a deep water start on a single ski. This exact thing happened this year where a guest was determined to get to where he could get up on one but just couldn't do it despite the fact that the Celebrity is a mid-width ski so should be at least a little easier to get up on than a standard width ski and he was really stable skiing on one ski when he was on it.

This has got me thinking that maybe what I need to have on hand is a widebody slalom ski like a Connelly Big Daddy or Jobe Hemi or the like for just this sort of thing. I have no experience with these skis, however, so I have a couple questions:

1. Do these widebody skis actually make it a lot easier for learning skiers to get out of the water on one ski? Do they significantly help shortcut that learning process?

2. Once people really get the hang of getting up on the single widebody ski, do they then tend to make the leap to getting up on a single regular width ski quite easily? Or do they usually/often end up back at the same place they were struggling with getting up on a single regular width ski anyways?
I can take anything apart


  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 573 Crazy Baller
    Looks more like a wakeboard to me.
  • dnewtondnewton Posts: 94 Baller
    I have a wide body ski for that purpose. I decided to ride it one night freeskiing. It was awful and I felt like it was harder than getting up on my brothers senate. Also once I got up, the boot was so uncomfortable and loose that I was nervous to attempt any kind of a cut across the wakes. Just my opinion though.
  • DangerBoyDangerBoy Posts: 338 Crazy Baller
    @Tom351 The Deep V handle looks interesting. I've never tried one or seen anyone use one before. Do they work well?
    I can take anything apart
  • Tom351Tom351 Posts: 120 Baller
    @DangerBoy yes, the deep V handle is great for someone learning to deep water start...or for people that are rusty at it. Not only does keep the ski centered, but it seems to make people realize that they need to be a bit forward and "ride" the ski up instead of leaning back and fighting...maybe because it makes them feel like the rope will keep the ski tip up for them- and they dont try to keep the ski at a super steep angle like many people often do right before they pop the handle.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    Definitely a deep V handle. I have a Radar Katana that I find super easy to get up on.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ShererSkierShererSkier Posts: 139 Baller
    One of the things I see most when teaching people how to get up on one is they have a hard time keeping the ski centered when getting pulled up. I have wide body O’Brien combos that I’ve tried to have people use and every person I’ve tried to have get up on one has even more trouble keeping the ski straight. Usually they end up pointing it to one direction or another and get pulled sideways. I think it might have something to do with the ski wanting to come out of the water faster than normal because of the increased buoyancy of the ski, at least it feels like that when I’ve tried it. Even if the person has both feet in when getting up they still have trouble keeping the ski headed straight when the pull starts. My family has taught a lot of people to ski and we always use normal sized skis. A friend got up on one over the summer and she did it fine after a few tries and helpful pointers.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 432 Baller
    deep V handle will pop them right up on just about any ski. If you want a better wide body ski look at Radar P6 or Butterknife, HO TX or Connelly Outlaw. Those are all super easy to get up on.
  • scorban2scorban2 Posts: 92 Baller
    edited September 2018
    Along with the deep v handle, we've got an old 71" HO freeride (2011 I think) that we've had great luck with. I found it easier to get up on than the old Conelly Mid S wide tip ski we had around. I think the better binding has a lot to do with it.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    The Mid-S can be a little hard to get up on because it is short my daughter struggled on the Mid-S a little and when we put her on a longer ski it got easier for her. I like one of the bigger skis like a Freeride, Butter Knife or an older P6 for super easy starts when combined with a deep V or easy up handle.
    Mark Shaffer
  • savaiusinisavaiusini Posts: 356 Water Ski Industry Professional
    edited September 2018
    We designed the Hovercraft to be as easy to get up on as a Wakeboard...turns out it's probably easier. I've personally witnessed 6 complete first timers get up on their first or second tug. It's also a really fun ski for more experienced skiers to play around on. Have a look! At the 1:30 mark, you'll even see some raw footage of @MarcusBrown cruising some easy -28 passes.

    Sam Avaiusini - Operations Manager, HO Sports Company, Snoqualmie, WA
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,975 Infinite Pandas
    Trick ski! Might take some balance but easy on the body to start.

  • WishWish Posts: 7,974 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Getting a skier up is less about the ski and way more about how it's taught and the boat driving. I have 3 sets of diff sized wide body skis...little kids, teens and adults. To answer your questions, yes and yes. Tips. 1. Weight the back of the ski so they are not floppy buoyant. 2. get better bindings then what comes on them (lot of used deals on SIA) 3. Put a real fin on it and ditch the plastic fin if it has it. Ive taken the adult Connelly wide body set up with good boots and real fin through the course at 22mph 35 off. They do perform (turn on a dime actually) if you go the appropriate speed. An awful lot of proper technique and concepts can be taught going that slow.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    @savaiusini - I just saw that on your website for the first time the other night, when did it get launched? This could be a heck of a fun thing to have around.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,974 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @savaiusini sent u a PM.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • jepskijepski Posts: 39 Baller
    @savaiusini - I'm with @BraceMaker. I could see adding a Hovercraft, looks like a lot of fun, especially when the water is less than ideal for skiing. Can you provide some more details: looks like it might be a good ride in choppy water? preferred speed(s), sizing, etc?
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    Same thoughts jepski - when we were young and riding combo skis we'd go out in the choppy water at dusk during the summer and circle the whole lake switching skiers. Haven't done that in years. This summer I went to an Omni and now I noticed I'll ski my set, someone else will ski, people will be done for the AM and I'll throw the ski on and ski home (3-4 miles) Just way less tiring and way more skiing!

  • sodbuster88sodbuster88 Posts: 132 Baller
    A 60’ Crutch rope (with deep v) and an old HO burner with rtp is a good combination for beginners
  • jepskijepski Posts: 39 Baller
    @BraceMaker I know what you mean. As a kid we would combo ski behind a 13' Boston Whaler w/ 35hp Johnson for HOURS. I'm currently on a 2012 Radar Theory and find it be a good do-everything ski for me. But I have a wakeboard for those times it's too choppy to ski but I still want to be behind the boat at a slower speed. I'm not much of a wakeboarder, have taken lessons from Adam Fields at AFWake on Lake Gaston and he preaches learning to ride switch and do basic Ollies, etc rather than become a heelside hero. But, my body is just programmed into that slalom position I guess and while I can ride switch all day, I'm just back there goofing off. I'd much rather goof off in a slalom stance. I showed the video to my wife and daughter and they all agreed...we NEED a Hovercraft!
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,096 Mega Baller
    edited September 2018
    Hovercraft looks cool. I want to try one B)
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,320 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Barefoot boom is the bomb for teaching most beginner things water skiing.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • ChasingOldDreamsChasingOldDreams Posts: 16 Baller
    Katana or Butter Knife. I have one in the garage but have yet to put bindings on it... others can speak to their effectiveness. They are on sale everywhere right now, just get a 2017 model.
  • GlydonGlydon Posts: 229 Baller
    @DangerBoy my girlfriend rips on my old KD AFTER dropping a drop ski (just happens to be a celebrity) ... she struggles with two foot deeps and we have been looking for a solution , was thinking of getting a Connelly Mid sx or like you stated Jobe hemi . @savaiusini just saw the hovercraft on IG the other day , perhaps worthy of looking into BUT she really is adept at longline freeskis with nice symetrical turns with tight line ... she just gets frustrated on the deep starts . Perhaps after 40 plus years on slalom I am not teaching her right , she did however get out on the slalom with the barefoot boom attached.
  • rosspulliamrosspulliam Posts: 6 Baller
    As someone who has spent the last 2 months and probably 100 attempts learning how not to deep water start, I can say that I never could figure out how to get up on a big shaped ski. I'll give an overview of my experience and what I thought helped and hurt during the process of learning the deep start. For reference, I'm big and old (6'3", 260 lbs, 34). I learned at DFW Ski behind a 2007 Nautique 196 on a 69" 2017 HO Freeride.

    The hands down most critical piece of learning was the deep-v training handle. In fact, I haven't even tried starting with a standard handle yet since I went to DFW Ski. I'll transition to it at some point, but for now I have no reason to. It gives me that much less to worry about.

    Second, was lots of quality 2 ski starts. My biggest problem after skiing most of my life self-taught on combo skis was letting my butt go backwards and front knee be straight. It was really counter intuitive to me to let my ankles and knees roll forward to keep my mass forward on the ski. I just couldn't get it for whatever reason. After enough 2 ski starts, I finally figured it out, and that's a critical component of success.

    Third, was getting the rope higher. I am starting from a tower. After a few more starts I'll transition to a lower rope attachment point and see how much difference that really makes, but as I recall from my early attempts it was a big help. Even if the pull angle didn't make any difference, it helped give me a point to really focus on. Look up, get up. That was a hard thing for me to master. I looked down or to the side I don't even know how many times without even realizing it. I had to really put all of my focus on looking at the rope attachment point and let the rest of it kinda happen around me. That was a game changer.

    The problem I had trying the wide shaped ski was that it would want to wiggle during the planing process. Alan told me that's normal for a shaped ski to want to do that, and I never could really figure it out. Honestly, we didn't waste much time trying, but that wiggle, that was weird. My HO Freeride doesn't do that at all at any point during the start even with only 1 foot in the ski.

    Things finally start clicking for me dragging a leg. Honestly, I could probably figure out a 2 feet in start now that I have the feel of letting my body roll forward on the ski and standing up, but dragging a leg is really clicking for me right now. I went 6/6 this morning on deep water starts, and it feels really good to be skiing instead of falling.

    Getting back to your question, a shaped ski might be fine or it might just be awkward like it was for me as it tried to plane out of the water. Maybe it wouldn't do that for someone with better technique or a smaller size than me. What did help was the deep-v handle, practicing quality 2 ski starts (when I get it right, it is a million times easier getting up), high mounting point on the rope if for no other reason than a spot to focus on, and dragging a leg (though that might not be an issue for smaller folks without a gut and 260 lbs to work around).

    I hope this helps. It's a hard thing to master. Much harder than I thought when I decided this summer I was going to learn how to do it :smile:
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    You are right about some of the wide skis, essentially they have so much "tail" that they can sort of squirrel around until you get more speed. People also tend to have the tip way high and the ski vertical in the water which makes it wiggle wiggle wiggle.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 586 Solid Baller
    edited September 2018
    Jobe Hemi lifted up more beginners than all the rest together.
  • DangerBoyDangerBoy Posts: 338 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    With the sales on locally right now, I can get good deals on a Connelly Outlaw, a 2015 Radar P6 or an O'Brien Sequence for pretty close to the same price. These would all be 67s. I could also get a HO Charger 69" REALLY cheap. I'm not buying it for anyone in particular, would just like to have a widebody ski around for guests who are trying to learn how to deep water start on one ski so I want to buy something that will work for the widest range of weights possible knowing there's not one ski that will work for everyone.

    My combi skis are 68" O'Brien Celebritys. I also have a set of youth sized pair skis.

    Oh, and if I want to spend $55 USD more than what I could get the Radar P6 or Connelly Outlaw for, I could get a 2016 Radar Butter Knife 67".

    Which one should I get?
    I can take anything apart
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 383 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Everyone I’ve put on my Butterknife loved it... easy to get up on, very stable straight or carving, wide speed range up to a recommended max of 30. Don’t think you could go wrong with that one...
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