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Does less weight equal more buoys?

JC McCavitJC McCavit Posts: 503
edited May 2012 in Technique & Theory
This question is for guys like Shane Hill who have been on serious work out plans over the winter or anyone who lost 15 or more pounds. Are you finding that less weight equals more buoys?
JC McCavit


  • markchilcuttmarkchilcutt Posts: 947 Crazy Baller
    I can say this, i havnt lost weight but have turned fat into muscle and yes i am running more bouys.
    Ski it if you can!!!!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,808 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    Keep in mind the peak load on the rope is proportional to skier mass, if all other things are held equal (e.g. speed. rope length, technique, etc. are the same). Speaking VERY roughly, at short lines the load is about 3x the skier mass, so every lb dropped from the body equals 3 lbs dropped from the peak load.

    Because of this, even a scrawny dude like me can run more buoys by being a bit more weight conscious at this time of year.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Steven_HainesSteven_Haines Posts: 1,064 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm going to find out. Since I skied last I've lost 20#. I'm not expecting more buoys since it's been since early Feb since I skied but it should feel different. I'll find out probably tomorrow.
  • Brian_MBrian_M Posts: 54 Baller
    I would think less weight = less gas = less cost? ;-)

    Brent, the dimensions of "6'5" & 130lbs" isn't that almost Nate Smith from what everyone says on this board?

    BTW, Nate gives us thin guys hope!
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,216 Mega Baller
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    I picked up 2 buoys immediately after having been off the water for 5 months. Corresponds to the 10 lbs I lost. I feel stronger behind the boat and people tell me I look stronger behind the boat.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    Not sure if I'd say more buoys, but I would say easier buoys (which should translate to more at some point). I used to ski around 200lbs. Last year I was 185 and all I can say is that skiing was easier and my endurance was better. I'd say you notice it everywhere, including just getting pulled out of the water. Ski runs lighter and is less loaded, which seems to translate to faster with less effort.
    Jim Ross
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    As I sit now I have lost 25 pounds since the fall. I skied a few times in FL in April and felt great and ran the first three 28 offs I tried of the year. This pass was by no means automatic for me previously and I had never run the first 28 of the year. I definitely think losing weight will help. My PB before was [email protected] off and there were definitely times that I felt like I couldn't hold the load as the line got shorter. I am looking forward to this year.
    Mark Shaffer
  • bmiller3536bmiller3536 Posts: 298 Baller
    Surprisingly, I can feel a substantial difference in my skiing from 178 lbs to 172 lbs
    Brad Miller
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,247 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★

    It also allows you to practice better and longer.

    More balls with more energy in practice kills less balls and being gassed half way though your second pass.

    Trust me, tried it both ways.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    The lighter you are, the more leeway you have to move around on a given ski, without adverse effects.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • jwroblewjwroblew Posts: 143 Baller
    Yes, started skiing the course when I was 270 lbs, could maybe squeak out a couple at 22 off. 10 years later I'm 177 lbs and can ski into 39 on a good day. I'm sure the 10 years helped, but I think the 100 lbs helped more. I dropped 15 lbs last year and noticed a big difference and almost a full pass better on average. Lost another 8 this past winter and my skiing is already back to mid season form. So yes, less weight is always better.
  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    My skiing mostly doesn't reflect it, but I can easily tell a difference of 5 pounds in how the ski 'behaves'. i think if you are close to the 'line' between recommended ski lengths, you notice it most.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    I've been racing cars and superbikes for 35 years. Absolutely, positively, less weight = quicker acceleration, quicker deceleration and higher cornering speeds. What could be better for your ball-count than carrying higher cornering speed around and out of the ball, followed by quicker acceleration? Everything else being equal, it can only make you wider and earlier. Wide and early = time to shorten the rope.

    If a skier including gear weighs 200 lbs. then loses 20 lbs., that is a 10% weight reduction. The engine in a light formula car is about 10% of the overall weight. Make a spec race car THAT much lighter and you'd slaughter the competition ... then get disqualified cause weight is the first thing tech checks at the end of every race. Weight is THAT important to speed and cornering, and slalom sking = speed & cornering.

    I'm convinced weight is Nate's advantage. Sure his technique is great, but he's not the only guy with great technique. I'd bet that his advantage is the best reach-to-weigh ratio on tour. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • BbrandauBbrandau Posts: 43 Baller
    60 pounds has equaled ~12 bouys for me ... 2 years ago skiing @ ~250lbs and barely getting into 28'off ... 184 now and PB is now 1 @35. Consistency has significantly improved and I attribute that to being able to take longer practice sets.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,243 Mega Baller
    To SkiJay, on an average road course lap of about 1-1/2 minutes, 50# reduction in weight was a .25-.50 second reduction in lap time. This was both validated on the track and computed via lap simulation programs.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    DW, what would have been interesting would be a comparison of tire temps between the heavier and lighter laps.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • KlundellKlundell Posts: 432 Open or Level 9 Skier
    I think it depends on the weight. Any excess fat is an absolute killer to turning buoys. The year after high school I put on the freshman 15 (skiing at 190lbs) and had by far the worst ski season of my life. Last year I was the lightest I have ever been 6'0" 158lbs and had my best season by far. This off season I have put on about 7-8lbs of lean weight my strength to weight ratio is up as measured by pull-ups and muscle-ups so we will have to wait and see what it does for my skiing.
  • scuppersscuppers Posts: 458 Baller
    Ok guys -I have to "weigh in" (pun intended) on this one. I'm fatter than ever and skiing worse than ever. I'm strong and can go forever but stopping, starting, and changing direction with an extra 20 pounds just hurts performance.
    Chuck Link, Deland Florida
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,975 Infinite Pandas
    A lightweight ski doesn't require any dieting...
  • DWDW Posts: 2,243 Mega Baller
    Shane, Always a tough one to sort out the "white noise" effect and I tend to not trust data unless the difference is more than 25 degrees, but with that, the heavier car had higher temps but at 50# it was right on the threashold of the white noise. There certainly was more tire slip with the heavier car.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    @DW Great info! So assuming the car you were measuring is at least 2,000 lbs., your were finding a measurable performance improvement at a 2.5% weight reduction. That's equivalent to a 200 lb. skier losing only 5 lbs to net a measurable improvement. The same skier losing 20 lbs. is achieving a ~10% weight reduction implying an improvement in performance well beyond any white noise doubts.

    The only "tests of speed" where higher weight can be an advantage are gravity powered sports like bobsled, soaring, downhill skiing and the like (where penetration and momentum trump acceleration). Anything that requires energy input for acceleration or changes of direction will benefit from weight reduction.

    Even aerodynamics play into this. We've all felt how significantly more work a headwind is to a tailwind. All else being equal, a skinny skier in a Speedo should accelerate faster than a broad skier in boardies. But this is where I draw the line. I'll train hard and diet, but if have to wear a Speedo for one more ball, I'm happy to come in second in my ballooning boardies! Haha ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • Steven_HainesSteven_Haines Posts: 1,064 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Well I skied today after losing 20 #. The only variables were my weight, water temp and my boots were closer together. Today the ski felt significantly faster (could be water temp) and it felt easier to keep the handle in during the pre turn. I'm not sure if this is the best assessment since its been since february (or maybe it is) since I last skied. The last time i skied I ran one nice 32, today I ran 3 nice 32's and 3 @ 35 which I'm pretty certain that after I settle down, I should be running that again soon. So...My final assessment is that weight reduction is huge!
  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    A friend reminded me of a cost/benefit issue re" weight loss. Ski companies spend big dollars in R and D to lighten a ski 5%, and get more buoys. You can spend $30? a month for gym membership, lose 10 pounds and do the same thing. $100,000 v. $360= easy choice for more buoys. Saves money for ski trips, coaching and beer.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,975 Infinite Pandas
    @Skijay, I hope I compete with you. Because I will kick your ass! I will ski naked and beat you by 2 buoys. Take every competitive advantage you can get!

    Despite my being a weight fanatic, a significant amount of the benefit from light weight equipment and bodies is mental. The confidence and attitude that having the best equipment (and body) will translate to better scores. Regardless of (or despite) the physics.

  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    @eleeski, you speak the truth. A LOT can be overcome with confidence and attitude. I saw Andy Mapple run back to back 41s then 3.5 @ -43 in Mexico at his maximum retirement weight; and Bob LaPoint won tournaments at 240 pounds. But ... both of them have said they ski best when they are lighter. Why fight the physics? ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,975 Infinite Pandas
    I am the original weight fanatic - so I agree.

    But Spandex rocks!

  • ScaredOfCorbetsScaredOfCorbets Posts: 87 Baller
    I'd think if you're 5' 10", 130lb, that gaining 30 will get you more buoys.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    ... and if you're 5'10', a 130lbs. and a girl, you can get all the boys you want! ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
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