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Senior drivers

Double7sDouble7s Posts: 37 Baller
edited July 2012 in Rules/Politics/Issues
I believe that when I practice all summer and ski an event, that I want to ski my best and all competitors to do the same. With ZO, it has taken part of the human factor out but still leaves how to manage the wheel. I would expect if I had a senior driver, I have the eliminated one reason for me not to preform at my best.
To be a good driver , like skiing you need to practice. If you have not been practicing pulling a skier short line than how can you expect to be a good driver? Just because you have been a senior driver since before perfect pass and you pulled Dick Pope Jr. doesn't make you a good driver today.
I appreciate all the years of dedication and current involvement, but some drivers before they offer to get in the boat they need to ask themselves am I prepared to give every skier an opportunity to ski a PB?
This does not apply to all seniors!


  • jRoejRoe Posts: 34 Baller
    I totally agree. Would be nice if there was a way to rate drivers...... say if we could track the best driver's based on their driving bouy count! That's the guy I want to ski behind
  • jdarwinjdarwin Posts: 1,381 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @jRoe - actually, there is a review procedure in place. As a senior (and, I believe regular), we have to submit boat path video to our regional driver's rep each year. It's up to the regional rep to "police" the quality of drivers. If you have an issue with the driving you receive, I would encourage you to voice those concerns to your regional representative.
    Joe Darwin
  • Double7sDouble7s Posts: 37 Baller
    For state, regionals, and nationals, a driver should qualify basted on tournaments they have driven that year. It should be a privilege to drive the higher level events.
    I have had assistant drivers steer better that a senior.
  • gjohnsongjohnson Posts: 330 Solid Baller
    I think most skiers know who the good drivers are in their own region. But I know the best drivers don't necessarily pull Regionals. Last year one of the best drivers, @BradB - slalom only, sat on his dock and watched while a few less skilled drivers pulled skiers in his backyard. Since he only has a slalom rating, he can't drive in the Regional Tournament. What a bunch of bureaucratic BS that rule is.
    Greg Johnson ~ Team Beer
  • Mrs_MSMrs_MS Posts: 336 Crazy Baller
    I ski for fun, just the wife!
    [Deleted User]
  • clemsondaveclemsondave Posts: 369 Baller
    @jdarwin I have been a senior for a few years and have never heard of that. Great idea though.

    I know several Senior drivers that NEVER pull anyone shorter than -22 except at 2-3 tournaments a year. Doesn't mean they can't do it, but it sure doesn't provide a lot of confidence!

    At the tournaments where I am the Chief, I choose the drivers based on how good they are, not their rating.
    Dave Satterfield - Richmond Water Ski Club
  • Double7sDouble7s Posts: 37 Baller
    It's hard to tell someone that there skills are not good enough. That's why there should be a ranking for drivers. As a skier, I can judge how good I am by looking at my ranking. I don't need anyone to tell me. If a senior driver never gets a chance to pull short line there are enough around to get the opportunity.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,536 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    New boat path video program to be used a MW regionals this year. I have seen it and it looks like it will be a good tool. You can look at your boat path from your I phone after each pass.
    Shut up and ski
  • T8skierT8skier Posts: 82 Baller
    I have been to class c tourneys and know the level of driving might not be the best. If I can go short behind them, I can do it from anyone. When it gets to regionals/nationals I don't care if they are an assistant driver, I just want a good pull!
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    At our tournaments, we put the most capable drivers pulling the groups who need the most capable drivers. We've had a Sr driver show up needing to get a credit and we put him pulling kids becauce our feeling is that if you can't put yourself behind the wheel enough to easily keep your rating, then we don't want you behind the wheel for our shortline skiers who are paying us to provide them a good pull. Driving isn't a right, it's something you have to practice.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • Double7sDouble7s Posts: 37 Baller
    It's hard to do, but the way to weed out bad drivers is don't let the drive a tourney. No credits no rating.
  • jRoejRoe Posts: 34 Baller
    Real sad when we are having SR drivers pulling kids and LL skiers just to keep their rating ...yea Sr. have to send a video in each year to stay current but driving is a skill developed by driving short liners...not by a fuzzy video sent in. Again it would be nice to have rating for drivers based on results.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    @jRoe It absolutely is sad. I'm a regular now and I drove 16 tournaments in ski year 2011 as an asst. So why are seniors struggling to get credits? I would have gladly let someone take a few of those rounds had they shown up at the lake.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,786 Mega Baller
    By far I think the biggest mistake is not allowing single event drivers to pull Regionals/Nationals. I understand that it is nice to reward drivers who give the time and effort to travel to and pull 3 event tournaments to get their ratings, but it is definitely cutting a lot of the really high end drivers out of slalom.

    A senior driver (slalom only) at Cedar Ridge pulled more 39s/41s in two days than a lot of guys will see in a year. Even so between rounds he was talking with the open and MM skiers about what they feel and need from him to make very short line feel better. That guy should be behind the wheel for the divisions (at Reg/Nats) that have skiers going into those line lengths.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    Also, the problem with requiring 3 event at Reg/Nats is that there are just not very many 3 event tournaments any longer. It's one thing to keep your sr rating in slalom. Keeping it in jump is tough in some regions.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,328 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    The term senior made me think AARP. I only ski 12 or so tourney rounds/year and most often the drivers are great. There are a few older drivers, though, with LONG history's and contributions to the sport that are deserving of respect who jump in the driver's seat and eat the right hand or left hand gate balls.
    Considering all they have given in terms of time/effort/driving/coaching over many, many years how do you deal with them when they want in the seat and some serious slalom skiing is about to happen? An entire round went disaster last year when the rope went purple due to the fact that one buoy was 36.5 off and the two was 39.5.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    edited July 2012
    @6balls Our chief driver handles that. He's taken drivers aside who wanted to drive, have asked them who they've been driving in practice and such, and then politely told them he needs them to get some good shortline practice before he puts them into a tournament situation with deep shortline skiers. A tournament is not the place for a driver to get 38 and shorter practice. Most understand that when presented in that way.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,328 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @shaneH it just takes the guts to address it. I'm not one to criticize anyone putting on a tourney as I'm very grateful for the effort and I realize it's not me. It's probably a tough conversation to have if these drivers have a long history and have pulled short-line for most of their lives. I'm sure it can be done with respect and I admire all who can pull it off for the betterment of the skiers.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,803 Administrator
    3 event? I was once that guy. It is a bummer but it is not where we are in 2012.
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  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    At our state tourney a couple years ago, I watched the Chief Driver jump in the boat between skiers to monitor this driver that was consistently getting bad times with Zero Off. 1 skier later, he pulled him out of the driver's seat and got behind the wheel himself. Long story short, the guy had never driven a Zero Off boat. I dont know if he wasn't engaging the system or wasn't setting the speed correctly.....but I was glad to see the Chief Driver take such swift action to correct the problem!
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,202 Mega Baller
    gotta love skiing in Southern Region MM...great drivers every time I go to a tourney! Really gives you a positive attitude knowing you could pb every set out
  • Double7sDouble7s Posts: 37 Baller
    Of course they are going to put a good driver behind the wheel for MM.
  • jdarwinjdarwin Posts: 1,381 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Check out the front page of BOS - this guy makes or breaks drivers.
    Joe Darwin
  • sunperchsunperch Posts: 248 Crazy Baller
    I don't want a poor driver for the kids either. Driving with 75 ft of rope behind you at the ends of the lake and around turn islands is not as easy as driving with 40 of rope. Not to mention the impulsivity and forgetfulness of 5-6 y.o. can create a real safety concern. I have seen one of my kids being pulled into the rocks (she was the first kid being pulled following the driver pulling M4)and the other plant a fin in the mud and sommersault OTF when the driver sat him down too close to shore. The driver really has to pay attention to the kids as they are at times not as reliable as their parents wish they would be.
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,847 Mega Baller
    I agree with comments above but It has to be pretty hard to tell a Senior he's not driving if he brought the Promo boat. Good luck there.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • Double7sDouble7s Posts: 37 Baller
    That's why Regional/National driving should be performance based. Not a vote.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    @thager Do I expect to drive every tournament I take a boat to? Not at all. If I take a boat, I don't expect that I'm going to get to drive open and mm rated skiers(even though I do at times). Maybe it's that we have plenty of promo's around here(3 200s, 2 TXIs, 1 Carbon Pro, and 3 197s) so if someone pitched a bitch, we'd just invite someone else the next time.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • teammalibuteammalibu Posts: 904 Mega Baller
    When you drive for the dawg you better pay attention. He can pull you out of the course on his gate pullout.
    Mike Erb Cedar Ridge Canton Miss.
    Horton is my hero
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    I needed rehab on left shoulder after driving the dawg through 39 at our lake.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,433 Crazy Baller
    We're extremely blessed to have such awesome drivers in this relatively small community in Montana. But getting any type of driving credentials is nearly impossible.
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