use a shock tube people....

HortonHorton Posts: 32,648 Administrator

Reposted from @vennesavieke If you're a slalom skier that hangs on way too long under way to much load, please read this! Get a shock tube!! Save your boat driver! This happened to Noah today pulling a skier at 38 off (11m) . It could have been fatal but thank GOD it wasn't

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  • adamhcaldwelladamhcaldwell Posts: 842 Open or Level 9 Skier
    edited August 4
    Its been almost a decade since I hung @9100 or any other driver at TL using a ML-Pro rope.

    This spring I was testing some other softer ropes available on the market. I put the rope over the drivers head on my second pass on the first set at 35off coming off 2 ball. That was the last pass I took on it - specifically for that reason alone.

    If your a bigger/stronger skier and fire the handle over the boat on a regular basis be careful of "soft" ropes. You want your driver to be focused on driving, now worried about getting wrapped up in slack!
  • MastercrafterMastercrafter Posts: 441 Crazy Baller
    Happy to report that within the last two weeks I've bought both a shock tube and a handle guard. I got a rope around my driver's head recently and that didn't sit well with me. Also... let go sooner.
  • adamhcaldwelladamhcaldwell Posts: 842 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Pylon tightness is another factor to remember here as well.

    I really am not for sure, but its very possible the correlation between rope stiffness and recoil rate is not as linear as we might think.
  • marknmarkn Posts: 538 Mega Baller
    Ashamed to report I have caused the rope to go around the neck of 3 different drivers over the of whom was my wife. Needless to say, we now ALWAYS use a shock tube. Again, my apologies to those drivers!
  • kckc Posts: 351 Crazy Baller
    Glad you’re okay @NoahVieke!
  • AliAli Posts: 283 Solid Baller
    I am neither one of the stronger or bigger skiers and I put the rope round the neck of my driver with what felt like a standard type fall. He got his hand in between the rope and his neck he rope burns on his skin but nothing worse thankfully. Since then our club always has a shock tube on for every skier. No exceptions. Club provides shock tubes.
  • rfarfa Posts: 311 Solid Baller
    @NoahVieke, glad the injury wasn't more serious. Very scary, I am sure. Similar experience several years back. Spotter reacted fast and I ended up with only some rope burn on my neck. In my case, I was totally unaware of the rope coming until it took me sunglasses off my face. Yes, shock tube on my boat always (since then).
    Rope construction and dynamics beyond my "pay grade", but I agree with @adamhcaldwell that stiffness/elasticity vs. recoil is not likely a linear function.
    Bottom line, glad @NoahVieke is Ok and thank you for the reminder!
    Rui Afonso
  • SlalomSteveSlalomSteve Posts: 197 Baller
    I've never used one, probably not as necessary at 15off, 32-34mph.. but I'm progressing and better to be safe so I'll grab one before too long. I see there's 2-foot and 4-foot versions - which should I get?
  • skiepskiep Posts: 375 Crazy Baller
    Adamhcaldwell is spot on! a loose pylon coupled with any rope will have way more recoil.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 1,056 Crazy Baller
    Longer is better
  • wettek69wettek69 Posts: 181 Baller
    Years ago when I was jumping behind an outboard, I crashed, but hung on a second too long trying to pull myself out of impending doom. The resultant handle pop had enough force that it punched a hole in the outboard cover. In hindsight it was lucky that it hit the cowl, as it could have badly hurt my driver or observer. Started using a shock tube then.
  • brettmainerbrettmainer Posts: 429 Crazy Baller
    I don’t know of anyone seriously injured, but I can see how it is very possible. I do know of two MasterCrafts (about 10yrs apart), both brand new at the time, that went from 36 to full reverse, probably due to rope wrapping around throttle but possibly due to driver panic. Instant submarine, tranny damage and bent shaft. Use a shock tube if there is any chance the skier might put the handle or rope back in the boat.
  • 03RLXi03RLXi Posts: 42 Baller
    I know what a shock tube looks like but not how they work. What's the science?
  • WishWish Posts: 8,562 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Watched my neighbor rap a rope around his driver..wife’s neck early on in my skiing life. Happened so fast. Rope burns around neck. Shock tube was under passenger seat. No ropes allowed in my boat without shock tube.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • mylemskymylemsky Posts: 120 Baller
    @NoahVieke happy to hear you are ok.

    This was Tuesday, 34-28, I was driving, rope gently grazed my neck and shoulders. Any speed, any rope, any time.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 6,131 Mega Baller
    4 footers are great but I’ve had great luck with 2 footers which are more user friendly with shortening etc. @slalomsteve check the goodies you and Carl got from me shud be a few in there.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • CentCent Posts: 273 Baller
    I have seen a recoiling rope go through a mirror. Went through reflective part and into the black frame. Lots of force there.
  • bkobko Posts: 54 Baller
    I drive ski boats for a living (for the last 38 years) and had the rope around my neck in 3 or four cases, twice I could deflect it with my forearm before it reached my throat, once it happened in a barefoot jump crash. In some cases, the boat took a hard turn to the right while I was defending myself from being strangled.

    And, like in Cent's case, once the rerview mirror got smashed - in a beginner's first attempt on two skis! (the skier not being particular heavy or strong looking and using a certified tournament rope).

    I have to admit, I am still not using a shock tube. The last incident happened at least 15 years ago.
    My ski was built by a girl!
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,224 Mega Baller
    To be clear- the shock tube doesn't prevent the handle from coming back hard, it just makes it maybe slightly less likely to go around the drivers neck, right? If it does prevent the handle from coming back hard into the boat the I just don't understand the physics in that case.
  • MitchellMMitchellM Posts: 156 Solid Baller
    @jhughes I'm also curious about how the shock tube works and how it is supposed to help prevent significant recoil. Anyone have any comments?
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,074 Mega Baller
    edited August 5
    @jhughes Experientially, it is clear that it significantly dampens the energy. I do not have a completely clear explanation of why, but foam is generally excellent at absorbing energy, because you have to push it pretty hard to deform it, but then it doesn't immediately bounce back. Kinetic energy gone. That said, it reduces the snap-back much more than I can easily explain. Something may be happening in the wave propagation along the rope?? Many things that seem instantaneous to us are actually propagating along the medium, and perhaps the tube interrupts that in some way?
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,493 Mega Baller
    It doesn't prevent recoil. You can still pop that handle right into the mirror. But, it should reduce the chance that the portion immediately attached to the pylon will be able to loop around the driver's neck.

    I've had one go around my neck before without a tube. As soon as the skier popped the handle, I threw the boat into neutral (to at least minimize the load that would be incurred on my neck by the momentum of the boat). The observer reacted quickly and got his arm into the loop and deflected it back over my head before it even pulled on me. That was some alert thinking. The handle landed 20 feet in front of the boat just off to the driver's side.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • alex38alex38 Posts: 547 Baller
    edited August 5
    I was always under the impression the shock tube simply made whatever was happening in a massive recoil 4 feet away from the driver and passengers like a buffer, obviously still overall leaving room for potential of danger but 4 feet will help diminish it.
    However, @Than_Bogan makes me think different.
    My best friend won't pull me without one unless its preseason warm ups.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,211 Mega Baller
    edited August 5
    I like a 4' shock tube because it makes it easy to clear the rope from the side or platform from the seats. Grab the tube lift and the rope comes free instead of popping the boat in neutral, pulling out the knob, climbing out of the seat, clambering over the spotter who's all wrapped up in a blanket then climbing back into the seat.

    @alex38 if you watch recoils of ropes you'll see that the rope starts to pile up into the boat and as the loops in the air hit each other the energy starts to dissipate. The shock tube makes that start to happen 4' behind the driver instead of at the pylon.

    Will that matter is someone unleashes a handle into the boat at full load 39 off - nope too little too late. it keeps that last 4' from the pylon stiff and keeps it behind the driver.
  • ironhorseironhorse Posts: 182 Baller
    Picking one up today. I have talked about buying one for a long time, but this post was enough to push me to go pick it up.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,399 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    edited August 5
    I have had one in the back of the head,
    "It Hurt" cut but no stitches.
    Tall Guy, lots of leverage, Clinches with Clincher Handle, known for not letting go, (either that or he can,t,) somebody else can drive him, I am no longer available.
    He,s travelled the world somebody else here, must of come across JC a good 6'8" maybe more.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

  • WishWish Posts: 8,562 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I think there is a redirection process happening as well. As the rope recoils it’s basically heading back to the pylon (fixes point) with energy. The tube (a moving semi fixed point farther away from pylon) redirects that energy left or right of the pylon essentially creating more space away from boat crew as recoil is on a diff path no longer at the pylon. I feel like I’ve seen this kind of rope reaction with tube so many times as I’m in observer's seat prepping to maybe get hit only to see the rope change angle/direction to one side or the other of the boat. My 2 cents.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • MastercrafterMastercrafter Posts: 441 Crazy Baller
    edited August 5
    Skied today with my new Safety Sally gear.

    Shock tube took about 15 extra seconds and I didn’t think about the handle guard once.

    I tried a hard plastic guard last year held on with zip ties, and I hated it until I lost it in the lake 5 sets in. Masterline guard ain’t coming off and doesn’t feel funny.

    Yay safety.

    I actually skied really well today too. Small bonus.

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