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EZSnow

I need a "safer" slalom line

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EZSnow

Let's start it off here... I'm a big boy. 6'4" and 290# before I hit the diet a couple months ago, so I know I was close to that last summer when I tried skiing. I love slalom skiing, but haven't been able to do it for several years. A few years ago I bought a 72" Kidder and managed to get up behind a 6.0L ProStar, but couldn't get up behind the 'bu with the stock wheel. Not even close. Re-propped the 'bu last summer with an 11.5 ACME and gave it another go. First try sent the handle past the driver on the starboard side, Whistling.gif and second attempt ended with the handle hitting the walk-thru window between my brother and his fiancee... Oops.gif he didn't give me a third chance. Dontknow.gif The line was a lower-end straightline slalom line, and a shock tube was on the line at the pylon.

I've been out of the saddle long enough that I most definitely need to work on my deepwater technique, but I'd prefer to not endanger the lives of my family in the process. I used to make a full pass at 32mph on a 68" ski, then college hit, followed by marriage, each of which were accompanied by an extra 30 pounds. With the new wheel, I'm confident that the boat has the juice to pull me, so what about the line? Is a wakeboard line a good solution? As they are advertised as "no-stretch", is it even possible to pop one back to the boat? I've been out of the game long enough that I don't think I'll notice the lack of stretch while turning, and all I'll be doing is free-skiing for the foreseeable future. Also, I've managed to drop 20# in the last two months, and plan to keep going- I want skiing to be my exercise. Any advice for a 15-off line that won't kill my driver and observer?

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jjackkrash

Having been injured more than once by a handle snap, I appreciate your question. Before there were towers, Mastercraft used to have a fiberglass looking thing like a roll bar with a net between the skier and the driver and observer to prevent handle-snap injury. It worked great. Shock tubes don't do d*ck, in mho. A net system seems like what you need. I have no idea about a wakeboard line, however, maybe someone else will chime in.

Edited by jjackkrash

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colobuskier

The net idea is a neat idea. If you have a tower maybe one of those pick-up bed spider bungee cargo holders could be used? It would be quick and easy to put on and take down.

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NorCaliBu
Shock tubes don't do d*ck, in mho.

Shock Tubes were never meant to keep the handle from coming back in the boat. That is a misconception. They are designed to prevent the loose line from looping over the drivers head/neck and then snapping tight once the handle lands back in the water.

A net system seems like what you need.

That actually sounds like a great idea. You could easily make one out of PVC and some commercial netting. That or stop stretching the rope so much. Don't fight the boat and once you pass that point where you're not being pulled up (you're starting to just drag)...let go.

:unsure: Of course, what do I know...I'm 6' 160...I couldn't stretch a rope if my life depended on it. :lol:

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Bill_AirJunky

I learned to slalom on Lake Sammamish in like 1990, which is the home of more Mastercrafts with the "roll bar" than anywhere I've ever been. We always called them targa bars.

Several times we had situations where the handle would snap out of the skier's hands & the rope would start to fly up into the boat, only to have the rope go up over the targa bar & lasso the driver around the neck. Then as soon as the handle would hit the water, the driver would get a good JOLT around his head or neck.

In the Seattle area there were a ton of the targa bars available for sale around 2000 when everyone was tearing that thing off their boat & installing towers.

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jjackkrash
I learned to slalom on Lake Sammamish in like 1990, which is the home of more Mastercrafts with the "roll bar" than anywhere I've ever been. We always called them targa bars.

Several times we had situations where the handle would snap out of the skier's hands & the rope would start to fly up into the boat, only to have the rope go up over the targa bar & lasso the driver around the neck. Then as soon as the handle would hit the water, the driver would get a good JOLT around his head or neck.

In the Seattle area there were a ton of the targa bars available for sale around 2000 when everyone was tearing that thing off their boat & installing towers.

Touche. That makes sense why you don't see them anymore. Anytime you load a line there is danger, however. I am not sure what the best solution would be. Any safety engineers want to chime in?

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NCH2oSki

I suggest you look for a wider body ski, something a little easier for you to get up on. A connely big daddy or something along those lines would be much less work and get you skiing sooner!!

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EZSnow

I asked my brother tonight how much more weight I'd need to lose before he'd try pulling me again... he said "don't worry about it, I'll just bring my autocross helmet next time!" I'm fairly certain he was kidding. :unsure:

I guess what I'm wanting to know is if a so-called "no-stretch" line is "no-stretch" enough to prevent popping the handle back into the boat, or anywhere near it, for that matter. As for not stretching the line... well, it takes some serious mojo to get 270# out of the water on a skinny-stick, so I don't think it's an option to simply not stretch it, although I appreciate the suggestion!

Thanks for all your input so far.

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radioman

get a good wakeboard line like ronix, or sl they wont stretch enough to pop the handle all the way back to the boat. I have had 280 pound skiers pop the handle at 3/4 up it only flies about 5 feet.

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NorCaliBu

A wide ride ski + a no-stretch rope = a safe driver and observer. :)

Be careful about getting slack in the rope when turning using a no stretch rope though. That pick up could be painful on the elbows and shoulders. Yes.gif

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EZSnow

Alright- I'll be sure to keep a check on the slack.

I'm hoping to get by without another "fat guy" ski... A 72" slalom is a BIG stick- it even surprised me when it showed up. I'll let you guys know how it goes with the no-stretch line.

Thanks again.

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Addictedto6

Is your driver slamming the throttle down to get you out? If so, you should try having him roll into it more gradually. I found that it helps even the big guys get out of the water easier and helps avoid the big handle pop getting out.

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Bill_AirJunky

I have a friend I ride with who used to be every bit of 300 lbs. I never slalom skied with him, but we're riden foils together for probably 10 yrs. He's not only big, but strong as an ox. He also thinks he's about 180 lbs & willing to throw any tricks anyone else will try. He's slimmed down a bit these days, and he lands big wake back rolls & front flips on a SkySki at probably around 275 lbs. If he under-rotates one of those tricks & really tries to hold on to the handle to ride it out, and even with a non-stretch rope, it can pop a little bit.

If your tied off low or on a good strong tower (like a Titan or Illusion) then I've never seen the handle fly back to the boat. But if your tied on an extended pylon or a tower that is not very rigid, then even a non-stretch rope will snap back to the boat when a strong rider tries to hold on.

The other thing is that a real "non-stretch" rope can be tough on the elbows & shoulders. I like to put a 3' - 5' section of poly-e or low stretch in to make those landings a little more forgiving. Not sure how that might come into play on a slalom ski.

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WakeGirl
A wide ride ski + a no-stretch rope = a safe driver and observer. :)

Be careful about getting slack in the rope when turning using a no stretch rope though. That pick up could be painful on the elbows and shoulders. Yes.gif

Is your driver slamming the throttle down to get you out? If so, you should try having him roll into it more gradually. I found that it helps even the big guys get out of the water easier and helps avoid the big handle pop getting out.

Being a driver that's been nailed in the back & head by handles many times, I'd say that there's only one more thing to add to this - form & technique. Do your best to work on it, because IME the flying handle comes from a combination of 1) guys that get back on their ski & try to get up by brute strength, & 2) guys that hang on too long, stretch the rope & then PING!. When you get back on the ski, it takes a lot longer to plane up. Do your best to work on this. It won't happen overnight, but if you take some time & work on your starts specifically, you'll thank yourself. I had to do this with my husband, & after a few practice rounds a few seasons ago I haven't taken a flying handle from him since (he was one of the worst offenders before that). He's not as big as you, but 6'3 & 240 aint exactly small. :)

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BrianM
Mastercrafts with the "roll bar" than anywhere I've ever been. We always called them targa bars.

The official name is a Safe-T-top.

Is your driver slamming the throttle down to get you out? If so, you should try having him roll into it more gradually. I found that it helps even the big guys get out of the water easier and helps avoid the big handle pop getting out.

I have found this to be very good advise. So many big guys think they need the throttle slammed down when it usually works to their advantage to start with a very gradual roll into the throttle. Seems to help steady and plane a bit. Just slamming the throttle seems to work against you.

Edited by BrianM

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JohnDoe

My opinion is get a wide ski to get back into skiing form. A 72 is not really that big, especially for someone your size. Your boat has plenty of oomph to get you up, just a matter of your technique and throttle control. There's no way that a smooth start and good technique should ever result in a 60' handle pop, even for someone your size.

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CedarLakeSkier

One more vote for the throttle roll.

I'm no lightweight and the only time I've had the handle yanked out of my hand hard enough to stretch and spring back into the boat was when the driver gave me too much throttle.

Contrary to what you think, even as a bigger guy you don't need the full power of these boats to get you out of the water.

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SmoothWaterMan

I'm surprised no one mentioned it specifically, but I would ante up for a 80-strand slalom line in a heartbeat. I'm not sure you want to go totally none-stretch, but the competition standard of an 80-strand should be fine. Technique is everything as others have said, and my guess is you are trying to bull your self up with power. Try letting the boat "pull you" up onto the water on your front foot, still in a starting crouch, before standing up or leaning back. The only resistance you want to give the boat is enough to stop from going out the front.

You can also issue football helmets to the boat crew.... :)

Peter

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EZSnow

OK- I'll add the roll-down throttle to the list. My bro is a great driver- both he and I would rather no have to ski behind anybody but each other. It shouldn't be a problem to get that from him.

I've always tended to plow quite a bit when getting up- kinda holding back until the boat has enough speed for me to plane, then roll it forward and get to skiing. I could probably make it easier on myself with some "technique adjustment"

I'm a double-wrap skier, so unfortunately, I don't have the option of a one-foot or a dropping start. My brother is a one-footer, and he gets up with dry hair, then again, he probably doesn't weigh 180# soaking wet.

Anybody got a used Big Daddy they're willing to part with?

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WakeGirl

Try ski it again, they've got a good classifieds section for slalom. You'll probably find something over there that will work.

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Sixball
I'm surprised no one mentioned it specifically, but I would ante up for a 80-strand slalom line in a heartbeat. I'm not sure you want to go totally none-stretch, but the competition standard of an 80-strand should be fine. Technique is everything as others have said, and my guess is you are trying to bull your self up with power. Try letting the boat "pull you" up onto the water on your front foot, still in a starting crouch, before standing up or leaning back. The only resistance you want to give the boat is enough to stop from going out the front.

You can also issue football helmets to the boat crew.... :)

Peter

Plus1.gif One thing to try is as you start moving push your front foot and push the toes on the front foot down don't try to push the back foot let the back leg fold so you get a good tuck going.

I think it will help with the double hi wraps.

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Malibudude

I’m not a big guy but the getting up technique has everything to do w/ it more than the equipment itself. I’m a double wrapped skier as well, as I do prefer the drop the hammer as opposed to a the gradual, I am getting used to the gradual pull though. I put the rope on the right side of the ski, as I’m RFF this helps to stabilize the ski. Tuck the ski up to your rear, concave your torso area, and put your head down. Don’t stand up too quick let the boat do the work, but remember to plane out the ski as much as possible. If you feel, things aren’t working out to get up just let go, you’ll not only possibly hit the driver, but hurts the upper muscles for no benefit. I wouldn’t try more than 10 times at one shot, just come back later and try again.

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Malibudude
A wide ride ski + a no-stretch rope = a safe driver and observer. :)

Be careful about getting slack in the rope when turning using a no stretch rope though. That pick up could be painful on the elbows and shoulders. Yes.gif

Is your driver slamming the throttle down to get you out? If so, you should try having him roll into it more gradually. I found that it helps even the big guys get out of the water easier and helps avoid the big handle pop getting out.

Being a driver that's been nailed in the back & head by handles many times, I'd say that there's only one more thing to add to this - form & technique. Do your best to work on it, because IME the flying handle comes from a combination of 1) guys that get back on their ski & try to get up by brute strength, & 2) guys that hang on too long, stretch the rope & then PING!. When you get back on the ski, it takes a lot longer to plane up. Do your best to work on this. It won't happen overnight, but if you take some time & work on your starts specifically, you'll thank yourself. I had to do this with my husband, & after a few practice rounds a few seasons ago I haven't taken a flying handle from him since (he was one of the worst offenders before that). He's not as big as you, but 6'3 & 240 aint exactly small. :)

Crazy.gif

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CedarLakeSkier
I’m not a big guy but the getting up technique has everything to do w/ it more than the equipment itself. I’m a double wrapped skier as well, as I do prefer the drop the hammer as opposed to a the gradual, I am getting used to the gradual pull though. I put the rope on the right side of the ski, as I’m RFF this helps to stabilize the ski. Tuck the ski up to your rear, concave your torso area, and put your head down. Don’t stand up too quick let the boat do the work, but remember to plane out the ski as much as possible. If you feel, things aren’t working out to get up just let go, you’ll not only possibly hit the driver, but hurts the upper muscles for no benefit. I wouldn’t try more than 10 times at one shot, just come back later and try again.

I don't think I'd ever get up doing this. I'm a LFF skier and I put the rope on the right side of the ski (just like where the rope would be between your legs if you had two skis).

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Addictedto6
I've always tended to plow quite a bit when getting up- kinda holding back until the boat has enough speed for me to plane, then roll it forward and get to skiing. I could probably make it easier on myself with some "technique adjustment"

Yep, plowing makes it s really hard on you. Get away from the plow and get your weight on that front foot like others have suggested and it should solve your handle problem.

Stay with a slalom rope.

Edited by Addictedto6

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