For many years our ski club in Ohio has used a public river for skiing. It's a very small river, where a small section is dammed for boating. 1 mile long, slow moving current, 10 feet deep, no tubing, no jet skis. Used for skiing, wake boarding, and fishing.
Our course is traditional set up, anchored north and south for gates, with mainline and river adopters at turn balls holding course in position.
It's a little tough to keep in good shape (ball height, slight course bow from time to time, balls getting knocked off, etc.). But all and all, it's OK. Certainly not record capable, but good enough.
Recently, a new club member has been encouraging us to make the course much better. More precise, straighter, safer, less maintenance. His solution is to individually anchor gates and turn balls to the bottom of the river. Placement via a surveyor. this would require a diver, special anchors, etc. We've recently used a diver to survey the bottom of the river - and there appears to be enough sediment to drive rebar through the anchors to hold them in place. The gentleman has loads of experience installing courses in this manner.
Nevertheless, we have concerns:
- stuff moves down river (logs, etc.). What if the anchors get moved - this would be very hard to fix on the fly (i.e. today's set canceled)
- river freezes in the winter, if sub-buoys are gone in the spring, how do we find anchors without a diver (river is murky).
In general, we'd like a better, stronger, safer course. But we're wondering about the maintenance issues surrounding this approach.
Anyone have any experience with a course like this in a river / public water way? Any advice?
Thanks in advance for the input, truly valued.