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Nick Adams Slalom Driver Questionnaire

ROBOTROBOT Posts: 338 Administrator
edited November 2020 in News & Other Stuff


For some time now I have wanted to provide some form of writing that would provide interest to all levels of skiers. No matter whether you are a pro skier wanting to learn something new, or a big lake/river warrior who is begging their partner to drive for them on a Sunday morning, answers to the following questionnaire should provide all skiers with a deeper insight into the minds and thinking of a selection of our world class tournament waterski drivers.

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santangeloKimbymonBruce_ButterfieldJohnseedSlalomSteveigkyaALPJrballsohardDWscorban2HallpassVernon ReeveBill22


  • SlalomSteveSlalomSteve Posts: 71 Baller
    One of the comments says that "courses without islands may require you to start at an angle, so you don't send bow rollers down every pass." Can someone clarify this for me? I know to not throw a wake perpendicular to the course, but not sure what that comment is referencing.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,569 Mega Baller
    @SlalomSteve The stern roller. When you come out of the hole the boat makes a depression that runs with you...thus if you go straight in it follows. If you have islands, you come out of the hole facing away and thus it doesn't occur.
    All that said...I have never found it to be a big enough deal to worry about...but at the highest level for the best's probably a factor.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • PatMPatM Posts: 788 Crazy Baller
    @SlalomSteve If you have enough room try to pull the skier up from a side pointing towards shore as much as you can. Giving you enough room to get setup straight for the course. This helps with the bow rollers. Unfortunately for us in the Northeast most of the sites are too tight to do this and have to go straight in.
  • SlalomSteveSlalomSteve Posts: 71 Baller
    edited November 2020
    cool, thanks. I didn't realize coming out of the hole throws a wave "forward" from the boat. If the boat comes out angled away from the course though, doesn't that then create a "regular wake" roller that goes from the side of the boat towards/down the course (like what happens if you cut across a course perpendicular to it)?
    so much to learn lol
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 929 Mega Baller
    @AdamCord I must admit that for a bit I thought this was the way to do things because I was taught it at the driver's clinic I attended!
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,589 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @SlalomSteve Not that much of an angle - less than a 45 degree angle. Imagine starting just outside the 1,3,5 (or 2,4,6) buoys and aim to be straight before the green buoys. The goal is to essentially split the difference between a stern roller heading straight down the boat path and the regular wake heading off at just less than perpendicular from the boat path.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,877 Mega Baller
    @AdamCord @jcamp So you mean people are doing that on purpose!? Easy to understand as a subtle error, but "surely" we all know that if you want to whip somebody up on rhe boat (e.g. to drop) that you have to pull AWAY from them!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 179 Baller
    @ROBOT , Thanks so much for sharing! Great article.
  • ProStah_SkiahProStah_Skiah Posts: 19 Baller
    Great article! How about some more thoughts on raising one's driving game from "1) driving a straight boat path through the center of the course [to]; 2) driving it straight and in tolerance, however having a priority on making it feel good for the skier"?
  • DWDW Posts: 2,296 Mega Baller
    Great article, as noted always great to see info pertaining to behind the wheel part of the sport. No matter the level of the skier, having a driver provide a great & safe pull experience, be courteous to the rest of the lake users and water conditions is priceless.
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 697 Crazy Baller
    I thought it would be cool to ride with Chad Scott...after this way! :)
  • Chad_ScottChad_Scott Posts: 568 Open or Level 9 Skier
    @Keith Menard wow what did I say that changed your mind?
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,877 Mega Baller
    I've got 50 cents on country music being the problem. Some folks 'round these parts can't stand it. :)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Keith MenardrawlyThe_MS
  • Chad_ScottChad_Scott Posts: 568 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Haha. I can turn it down lol.
    Than_BoganKeith MenardBroussard
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 697 Crazy Baller
    @Chad_Scott :)

    We shared a lake house for a couple seasons with some friends...Florida Georgia line nearly crushed my will to live.
  • BroussardBroussard Posts: 513 Crazy Baller
    I think @Chad_Scott needs to host a clinic on driving slalom, country music, and whiskey. Register now, it will fill up quickly.
    Andre Broussard | SkiBama Team Captain | SkiBennetts |
  • lkblkb Posts: 629 Baller
    Have some Goode’s to demo too and I’m in
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,865 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Ditch the country music and it will be fun.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 697 Crazy Baller
    @Broussard Mix in some bourbon and maybe even the mysterious in-tow gloves... ;)
  • BroussardBroussard Posts: 513 Crazy Baller
    @Keith Menard Bourbon is just a subset of whisky that is distilled from at least 51% corn, so I don't see why that wouldn't be included.

    As for the in-tow gloves... I can not confirm nor deny if they will be part of the program
    Andre Broussard | SkiBama Team Captain | SkiBennetts |
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,080 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    1. I have attended one driver clinic total that actually involved getting in a boat.
    2. If you really want to improve your driving, get your ski buddies to chip in and buy Sure Path. You will learn a lot about driving in a short amount of time.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • Chad_ScottChad_Scott Posts: 568 Open or Level 9 Skier
    @lpskier You are right about that get in the boat and get one of the boat tracking devices because they sure do not lie, they will let you know how you are doing pretty quickly
  • Mike GileMike Gile Posts: 374 Crazy Baller
    Totally agree with Surepath helping your driving. I had a chance to use it recently and although I was doing most things "right", and it felt good from the boat, it was easy to see that everything was late.

    After just a few passes it was a pretty easy correction.

    I'm in on the clinic on driving slalom, country music, and whiskey.

  • coach3coach3 Posts: 129 Baller
    Drivers should resist a skier from beginning to end, similar to an airplane adjusting for cross wind; but our "cross wind" changes from side to side. A driver should know what foot forward a skier is, feel them in early passes, and watch them from the shore if possible, to gain predictability of the coming "cross winds".

    Pulling Nate vs KLP are two different drives for example. With a GPS tracker on the pylon, we tracked straightness so to speak with KLP twice. Once just trying to keep the boat dead straight, and the other working the skier with predicted pull or "cross wind" and feel. The boat was straighter working with the skier, and it was better for the skier. If a skier pulls long and is late, you have to "wait on them" before the load occurs. This also helps keep the boat straight.

    Just one test but resisting and feeling the skier gives good results for boat path and skier experience in my view.
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