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New slalom course can't run North-South. When can we ski on sunny days ?

swbcaswbca Posts: 126 Baller
edited December 2020 in Technique & Theory
I will be installing a new course in January through the ice in front of our house. There are many factors that limit the location and orientation - nothing I can do about it.

This lake is a circus of boats and personal water craft in the afternoon, so this course will be submerged except when we are using it.

Anybody have any idea what time in the morning we can ski ?
I remember a couple tournaments where the course was running East-West. In mid-summer, slalom couldn't be run until later in the morning because of the sun. Sometimes they would start at 7:30 then have to quit for a while until the sun was high enough to not create bad glare off the water. It was 40 years ago so my memory isn't too fresh on the details.

The image shows where the sun will be a 9:45 am on July 1 . . . Its 4 hours, 15 minutes after sunrise.

600 feet out from this shoreline


  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,214 Administrator
    East-West lakes are not ideal but I think you just have to learn to work around it. on the other hand East-West lakes make for insanely beautiful water ski photography. my suggestion is if you have to go East-West you learn to live with it and you understand that you're just not going to ski after a certain hour in the evening .

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  • swbcaswbca Posts: 126 Baller
    @Horton Mornings are our best shot for having the lake to ourselves. I am trying to recall how much time after sunrise the sun is high enough to not be a problem. Maybe that also depends on how the breeze is affecting the reflection of off the water surface . .
  • CraigCraig Posts: 115 Baller
    Our main lake is E-W. The short answer is, you get used to it. The window of time that it is unskiable is very small. It doesn't even occur to me anymore and I don't plan around it at all.

    If you want some mitigation, I purchased a set of SeaSpecs four years ago and it helps a ton when the glare if bad. If I think the glare may be a problem I'll throw them in the boat and have the boat crew pass them to me if I need them.
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,252 Mega Baller
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • BobFBobF Posts: 196 Solid Baller
    One of the courses we ski on is E/W, also. Depending on the time of year, the timing for blindness varies pretty widely. While the skier can adjust somewhat like @thager says, it can also be brutal for the driver. Thinking of putting some welding goggles in the boat.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,068 Mega Baller
    It all varies to time of year etc. We have some mostly N/S course that can be tough in the winter. Going cross course for the skier is different than driving straight down the course for the driver. There will be times that are better for one than the other. N/S courses can also be effected by tree line shadows, creating some balls in shadows while all around is sunny, and the inverse.... and it changes by the minute. there is no perfect situation. worse case, you will have certain times of some days that maybe you only run one direction.
  • skialexskialex Posts: 1,167 Crazy Baller
    The prevailing winds in Greece are north and south so I take EW courses any day, so you learn to ski with the glare. Usually the worst glare doesn’t last for long..
  • JoepruncJoeprunc Posts: 308 Baller
    Our course is E/W. The only time we have glare problems is when the sun is low 20-40 min before sunset, or 20-40 min after sunrise. I'd guess by the time the sun is inline with your course it will be high enough to not cause an issue.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 581 Crazy Baller
    Agree with @Joeprunc - E-W is only a factor for a relatively small window. Plan B- buy some Bombers
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 627 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    We are east/west. Makes for constant glass with the soutwest prevailing winds and the jumpers LOVE it. For the half hour or so in the evening that it is really bad (driving and skiing), I just spin at the east end and ride back to the west without skiing. Some of my skiers prefer to ski both ways with the sun glare, but my Sure-Path numbers suffer along with my eyes:)
  • scuppersscuppers Posts: 469 Baller
    Even a north / south course has an issue at certain times of the year
    At least in Florida going into the gate and 1 from the north in the late fall
    Chuck Link, Deland Florida
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,075 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Put a floater on an old pair of polarized sun glasses.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,877 Mega Baller
    One thing not mentioned yet is that the effect varies a little by the skier, depending on exactly where you look during the run. Overall, I am more sensitive to glare that most people I ski with, but there are still certain times that I have no problem and others struggle.

    But like everyone said, it usually doesn't last very long.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • skiboynyskiboyny Posts: 260 Baller
    We have an east west and about 8:15 AM is about the earliest in the morning. The evening is a constant moving target thru the summer. Not sure how much good this infor will do you different locations and all.
  • Our course is E-W.

    Get a pair of these:

    The bigger issue is when the glare inhibits the driver's ability to see through the glare.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,371 Mega Baller
    I grew up skiing east-west at sunrise. Going east into the sun you had to learn to spot 2,4,6 from the wakes because you’d lose them in glare moments later. You learn to live with it and I think it makes you a better skier because it forces you to learn to spot the ball early but not stare at it too long.
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 210 Solid Baller
    We ran our course E/W this year in southern Alberta. There was typically 1hr in the evening when it was not skiable due to glare, the time shifted from June to August as the setting sun moved across the horizon. Being farther from the equator means the sun set will travel more. The worst seemed to be mid July to end of August when the sun was straight in line with the course from 7pm to 8pm which is prime-time.
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,211 Open or Level 9 Skier
    My guess is you will have more glare in the afternoon, but you generally plan to use it in the morning only. We ski in some glare and as others said you get used to it.

    I find the glare is much worse with some wind. Instead of one bright spot there are thousands of sparkles. I find that in glass and full glare I can still find the buoy at some point in the turn. In some chop, it can be really hard. The worst of it is 20min for the driver and then 20min for the skier. As the skier, you go from not able to see the gates to not able to see one side of the turn balls as the glare shifts.

    I find it fun to adjust. As @Than_Bogan said, depends on where you look and I will change my vision to work around the glare.
  • jayskijayski Posts: 997 Mega Baller
    As @drew has told me numerous times, when I even slightly commented about morning glare in the winter months at his lake, he would just look at me outta the drivers seat and say "get wider"
  • 75Tique75Tique Posts: 153 Solid Baller
    edited December 2020
    Interesting discussion. Never really occurred to me that course orientation was a factor or variable to think about, despite the fact that I have an E-W course and mornings/sun up can be a real pain. (I guess mainly because we rarely have a choice) Given the fact I have to tighten the course each deployment/use and the leader is on the west end, it is often impossible to see if the course is straight. And then, when skiing its tough for the driver to get lined up with the course when heading east. Actual skiing doesnt seem to be much of a problem. I am thinking of more a SW-NE orientation for next year, but it will be tight at the ends. ( the yellow line marks the "no-wake" perimeter of the lake) As rookies, we really appreciate having the set up distance we have now. Not sure I can get adequate room at each end. Thinking of sacrificing being able to turn at one end. As far as what Horton said about one plus of an E-W lake being the views, yes.

    “So, how was your weekend?”
    “Well, let me see…sun burn, stiff neck, screwed up back, assorted aches and pains….yup, my weekend was great, thanks for asking.”
  • JoepruncJoeprunc Posts: 308 Baller
    @75Tique if the setup is too tight, have the boat driver exit the course then dog leg to the right when you drop. Then coming into the course dog leg left (you can drop a temporary buoy to identify when or where to turn to line up the course nicely). Also if you are using PP GPS ZBox, don't engage PP until after the turn, otherwise #1 ball will probably be hot.
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