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kengrutza

Acceleration for slalom

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kengrutza

Hi Crew,

This is going to sound like a really dumb question but,, here goes:

When pulling a slalom skier (myself) out of the water, how do you work the throttle?

I have skied and pulled skiers behind outboard boats for years, I bought and rehabbed my Bu last year but, have had no one to take me skiing until this past Labor Day. I kept having the handle completely pull my arms off or so slow I sank or fought the big wall of water. It was a newer driver to this kind of boat.

I have taken my teenagers wakeboarding and slalom but, I am still learning how to do this with inboards.

How do you do this?

Any input/help is appreciated.

Thank you,

Ken

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Baddog

I tell newbies to gently roll the throttle forward to the 1/3 to 1/2 position or about 2,500 RPMs. If coming from an outboard, most people are used to cramming the throttle to WOT. That will rip the handle out of your hands or your arms off your body. But you already know that.

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Sixball

This can be personal, a good skier may like a full throttle start. I am a old chunky fart and I ask people to give me 1/3 throttle for 1 or 2 seconds and then go full throttle. once up come back to the speed you want to ski at.

Just two years ago I just had people hammer the throttle.

The driver can make or brake new skiers or borders being successfully. I think the driver will make 60% of the new skier getting up or not.

I have shown people how to pull by putting them in the drivers seat and running some starts without a skier or boarder.

The size and weight of the skier / boarder has a lot to do with it.

You can not forget what's in front of you but my eyes spend a lot of time in the mirror well starting new skiers.

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CedarLakeSkier

The key words there are "roll the throttle". Just like getting up on a ski or wakeboard it's hard to explain, you need to get the feel of it.

I usually just give it a small bit of throttle until I see the water start to break around the skiers ski in the rear view mirror, once that happens I will start to roll the throttle up at a slow, but regular pace. I will continue this slow pace until I spot the skier out of the water (ski up on top of the water). At that point I will increase the throttle up roll speed to get up to skiing speed. It's much easier for the skier to take the increase in speed once on top of the water. In fact, once out of the water the skier usually wants to get up to speed quickly. The critical point is from the start of the pull until the ski gets to the surface. Too much throttle at this point and there's a good chance you're going to get a recoiled handle in the back of your head if you're the driver.

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davemac

Driving: The size and ability of the skier has alot to do with it. In the case of an experienced skier, I usually ask their preference as to a "hard" or "slow" start. If I forget to ask, or in my 10 yr old daughters case, the thought is to just steadily "roll it on". As the skier, I like to get the start over with and just hold on tight....the faster the better.

If your starting technique as a skier is good, but the handle keeps popping out of your hands, you might try a larger or smaller diameter handle. This also comes down to preference. Most range from .94" up to 1.10" w/ around 1.03" (or circumference of 3 3/8") being the norm. Surprisingly, the different increments make quite a difference.

Edited by davemac

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bobofthenorth

I'll echo the advice to roll the throttle on but for a big guy on a smaller ski you may need to roll it fairly quickly. When I pull my son (280#) out on a shaped slalom ski it takes a max of 3 seconds to roll the throttle from neutral right to the pin. As soon as the boat starts to plane out I pull it back about a third and Perfect Pass takes over from there. For lighter skiers I will let the water start to break on their ski and then bring the power on more slowly. If you hammer the throttle wide open you can rip the rope out of their hands but you can go right into the basement with the throttle if you take it slowly and still not pull the rope away from your skier.

When somebody is pulling me out I first tell them "in gear" and then when I say "hit it" I want a hard pull - all the way to the basement and don't let up until I'm on top of the water. I think slack line more than hard throttle is why the handle gets ripped out of your hands. Starting with "in gear" takes away the threat of slack line. I've had guys who have never skied behind a DD ask "how much slack do I need to take?". I just laugh.

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Baddog
I'll echo the advice to roll the throttle on but for a big guy on a smaller ski you may need to roll it fairly quickly. When I pull my son (280#) out on a shaped slalom ski it takes a max of 3 seconds to roll the throttle from neutral right to the pin. As soon as the boat starts to plane out I pull it back about a third and Perfect Pass takes over from there. For lighter skiers I will let the water start to break on their ski and then bring the power on more slowly. If you hammer the throttle wide open you can rip the rope out of their hands but you can go right into the basement with the throttle if you take it slowly and still not pull the rope away from your skier.

When somebody is pulling me out I first tell them "in gear" and then when I say "hit it" I want a hard pull - all the way to the basement and don't let up until I'm on top of the water. I think slack line more than hard throttle is why the handle gets ripped out of your hands. Starting with "in gear" takes away the threat of slack line. I've had guys who have never skied behind a DD ask "how much slack do I need to take?". I just laugh.

I haven't heard that question in a very long time. Thanks for the nastalgia.

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kengrutza

Thanks for the advice, I am hearing consensus of roll the throttle.

I will try that.

I am from the outboard camp who, with the exception of wakeboards.kneeboards and children, would WOT on hit it command. I was explaining to the driver I was attempting to train to go to about 1/2 way on the throttle but, it was let er rip way instead of roll up to.

I don't think it's my slalom technique as I hadn't skied in 5 years before last year and I skied behind a Centurion Falconwith an experienced driver and popped right up.

I am still learning my boat and have mostly taken my 15 yo slalom and my 14 yo wakeboarding and now I am thinking that I rolled the throttle instead of jamming.

You guys are great!

Ken

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Baddog
Thanks for the advice, I am hearing consensus of roll the throttle.

I will try that.

I am from the outboard camp who, with the exception of wakeboards.kneeboards and children, would WOT on hit it command. I was explaining to the driver I was attempting to train to go to about 1/2 way on the throttle but, it was let er rip way instead of roll up to.

I don't think it's my slalom technique as I hadn't skied in 5 years before last year and I skied behind a Centurion Falconwith an experienced driver and popped right up.

I am still learning my boat and have mostly taken my 15 yo slalom and my 14 yo wakeboarding and now I am thinking that I rolled the throttle instead of jamming.

You guys are great!

Ken

You have to get more ski time for you. Do the kids know how to drive the boat safely hen pulling a skier?

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bobofthenorth
You have to get more ski time for you. Do the kids know how to drive the boat safely hen pulling a skier?

Amen to that. My twins were 10 and my oldest was 12 when they all got their boating licenses. By the time any of them were 14 they were as competent drivers as my wife who is my regular driver. When we were on the water with the kids I got my time in the rotation equal with the kids.

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Sunsetter95

I totally agree with the rolling of the throttle. I was hurt twice last year by hitting the throttle to fast (inexperienced driver). Granted I am in much better shape this year and 35 lbs lighter, but the steady push on the gas works for me.

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