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Slalom Course length and speed

SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
edited March 2008 in Skis Fins Bindings
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I know when you guys read what I have to say, you going to think I am plain nuts. With the price of gas going up, we all probably can conclude it will never go down. All other costs are going up as well. I got to thinking of ways to keep enjoying skiing and saving on gas consumption and costs. I was reading the section on INT 30 mph Wide Ride and figured it would have to be way cheaper than running 34 mph all the time. Probably, still just as challenging as well, let alone, a wide ride ski is much cheaper than a top of the line ski. This summer will be the first time trying it. I have skied in Open Men's many many years ago, and I am curious to see if I can really "shorten" the rope at this speed. If for some reason I find that it is not as challenging as say running at 34 mph, I thought maybe I could shorten each section of the slalom course about 10 feet coming up with a course 60 feet shorter. Now I know I will have to figure out the 30 mph times for 60 feet shorter. What are you guy's thoughts on this crazy idea?
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John Goss
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Comments

  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
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    Hi John,
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    I like the outside-the-box thinking, kudos for that.  As far as saving gasoline costs etc I seriously doubt there would be enough savings to be noticable.  My opinion FWIW.  For myself it' going to have to get a lot more out of line cost wise before I quit skiing.  But I understand the thought process.  If you decide you need such a slalom course, we do a lot of custom work...
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    30 mph wide ride skiing is pretty much as challenging as 34 mph is, at least when the rope starts getting shorter anyway.  The difference is that it all happens more slowly so you have some time to think, make adjustments etc, and pull it out where at 34 you might not be able to do that.  It can also allow you to get away with some things at 30 mph you can't at 34 if you allow yourself to get lazy.  But only up to a point.  The same things apply to whatever speed you're going - if your body position, turns etc aren't right you're still only going so far up the rope before you miss.
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    My 30 mph PR is 2 @ 38 off; at 34 it's 5 @ 35.  But I've run 35 wide riding quite a few times, I've not yet done it at 34.  It's a lot of fun but it's not quite the same thing at 30 that it is at 34.  Try it sometime, you may find that you really like it!
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    Ed
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    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
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    Ed,
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    Thanks for your thoughts. As I no longer ski tournaments, I am going to experiment with slalom course length. I have several accufloats so it is no lost to shorten some sections and play around with it. So, for the most part, I am no longer under the pressure of skiing to AWSA specs. I forgot to mention that my daughter skis also. She was 9 last year and could get into 32 off on regulation course and believe me the gas bill was hitting me hard in the wallet. She has no desire to ski competition, she just likes skiing with her Dad. So, we are probably going to play with the lengths and keep the speeds at 30 mph. Just our own little league. No pressure and nothing but good times and fun.
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    John
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  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,770 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
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    Hey John,
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    I love crazy ideas, but I have to agree with Ed that the gas savings would be negligible.
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    If you want to do something fun, try runnning the slalom course on a trick ski. You can try variations of speed and line lengths. I think you'll find that challenging without having to mess with course sections. Your daughter may like it too.
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    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,482 Mega Baller
    A downside to wide ride is the increased "hit" you'll get as the line shortens. I got some tremendous whiplash symptoms from punishing myself through -38. It was alot of fun though, there's nothing like shortening the rope !
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
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    That's why I say I think thechnique wise you have the same issues at 30 mph that you do at 34 or 36.  As the line gets shorter figuring out how to not get a hit is a big issue with me.  Once I get past that the pass becomes doable.  Agreed, nothing is more fun that shortening the rope, even if it is at only 30 mph.
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    Ed
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    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    The INT wide ride is a hoot.  Get a wide ski and slow down.  It is different, it is difficult, and it lets you enjoy skiing another way.  You can apply the rules to an "F" tournament on your own.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • Thomas WayneThomas Wayne Posts: 550 New Baller
    edited April 2008
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    In the early 90's I used to ride my old trick ski in the slalom course now and then - 42" Kidder with Maha double overlays. We had an ' 89 MC and I skied at 18 1/2 mph. I could almost always run the shortest line we had - 39 1/2 off - and it was an extreme hoot.
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    The entire ride consisted of building huge speed and angle toward the wakes, absorbing the wakes without losing too much angle, and then landing the resulting air as much on edge as possible. After that is was basically a high-speed sideslide around the ball and then a patient balancing act until the ski slowed enough for the down edge to get a bite... followed by another huge cut to the wake. It was hairy, but great fun.
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    Because I was the only one in Alaska who could even ride a single trick ski, I had no idea what <em>driving </em>the boat for this effort was like (this was pre-PerfectPass days, of course). One day, out of curiosity, I asked my ski partner about it and he said it was a combination of constant throttle work and massive one-handed steering control. Apparently the boat didn't maintain its pull very well at those slow speeds, and loading up a trick ski from ~40' outside the centerline <em>really</em> pulled the boat around. He said it was a major effort just to keep it inside the boat guides.
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    Today's boats are a much more solid pull, but I still have to think that the driving would be way different than most guys are used to.
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    TW
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