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Ndawg12

Slalom Course Etiquette??

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Ndawg12

Last weekend I noticed that someone put in a slalom course a few hundred yards away from the ramp I use. I don't know who's it is (kinda late in the season but I know it was just installed in the last week or so). It is just off the shore of a bunch of million dollar homes so I would imagine some one there owns it. But my question is this, is it fair game for anybody to use it? Or should I find out who's it is and ask permission first? I have no idea what the etiquett is on something like this.

I always wanted to drive through one of them to see how hard it is.........so I did. No one was around and I only made it through the first 2 sets of bouys before I pulled out, the boat started getting squirly!! I only set the PP at 26 so maybe I wasn't going fast enough, and maybe filling my midship would have helped my tracking, but that's besides the point.

So what do you think, was I wrong, do the owners essentially own that section of the lake since their course is their or is it fair game for anyone who will use it respectfully?

Edited by nemire12

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Brian M.

Here in Canada, public waterways are viewed as just that, public waterways. Anyone can use the course because it's on a public waterway. The course itself is viewed as private property so if anyone tampers with your private property intentionally, they could be charged (with vandalism I believe).

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wienrdog

Public water, no restrictive signage - fair game... Be sure to repair any damage you do to it.

It would be nice to find out who owns it & talk with them, but sometimes that isn't possible.

Boat shouldn't have gotten squirrelly on you.

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RTS

Fair game...no question. You didn't do anything wrong.

If you happen to damage a bouy, rather than trying to fix it yourself, I would put my contact info in a zip lock bag and attach it to a bouy, offering to pay for the damage. Unless you know how to work on a course.

I would also consider leaving the contact info if you are going to be a regular user of the course...again maybe offering to pitch in a bouy or two per season for the maintenance that will be required on the course from year to year.

Edited by rts

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BlastRlxi

Maybe they installed an anti-V-drive device in the course to make it go squirrely. Tease2.gif:)

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jkendallmsce
Last weekend I noticed that someone put in a slalom course a few hundred yards away from the ramp I use. I don't know who's it is (kinda late in the season but I know it was just installed in the last week or so). It is just off the shore of a bunch of million dollar homes so I would imagine some one there owns it. But my question is this, is it fair game for anybody to use it? Or should I find out who's it is and ask permission first? I have no idea what the etiquett is on something like this.

I always wanted to drive through one of them to see how hard it is.........so I did. No one was around and I only made it through the first 2 sets of bouys before I pulled out, the boat started getting squirly!! I only set the PP at 26 so maybe I wasn't going fast enough, and maybe filling my midship would have helped my tracking, but that's besides the point.

So what do you think, was I wrong, do the owners essentially own that section of the lake since their course is their or is it fair game for anyone who will use it respectfully?

Public water is just that. You can use the course. If it is a Corp of Engineer approved (permitted) course, and this one does not sound like it. Then the club has to allow you access, same as its members. It is the club's responsisbilty to teach you the club's rules, (rotation, # of falls, etc)

BUT, to be a good neighbor, it is always nice to ask. THey have time and money invested in the course. And an offer to help pay is always appreciated. Enjoy the course and maybe make some new boating buddies???

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Toby

speed does play a factor in keeping it straight in the course, but going slow can really show a course noob how tricky it can really be. Also how much more the boat moves laterally than you think it does when towing someone.

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Ndawg12
Maybe they installed an anti-V-drive device in the course to make it go squirrely. Tease2.gif:)

USC Whistling.gif

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Sixball

In Mich. if its on a public lake its a public course.

I agree with the previous statements, if you can find the owners I would talk with them and offer help or some cash.

It does get easer after driving the course more but I remember the first time I drove a course. I think my eyes were as big as the course balls!

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CedarLakeSkier
In Mich. if its on a public lake its a public course.

I agree with the previous statements, if you can find the owners I would talk with them and offer help or some cash.

It does get easer after driving the course more but I remember the first time I drove a course. I think my eyes were as big as the course balls!

No need to worry about this rule in Michigan though, you'll never get a permit to get a course on a public lake (unless you already have one, if they could they would probably take those away too)

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Ndawg12

Ok, so I'm ok to use it, I just need to leave them a little love letter, got it. Now I just need to get a dd boat and a slalom ski and I'll be all set Clap.gif

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DONTW8

I belong to the local Sundance ski club and we have a course set up at Lake Billy Chinook. Lake Billy is the most popular lake in Oregon for water sports.

Legally, anyone can use the course. The prevailing opinion is that anyone is welcome (even encouraged) to use the course as long as they are skiing in it. There are moans any time a jetski or wakeboarder goes through the course, however. This is because the buoys do become dislodged from contact with a boat. Each week I would guess that there is an hour or so of work replacing the buoys, a frequent occurrence.

Nobody likes a course hog. Make your runs and get out of the way for the next crew makes lots of brownie points. Drive right down the middle and make your P Turns the same way the local guys do if the course is crowded.

A good part of the fun is meeting other skiers from other places no matter the skill level. I've found it doesn't matter whether you ski the yellows or can catch 6 at 22 off, everybody is friendly. Twice this summer I went to the course without my crew because they had golf dates (whatever) and had no trouble catching a tow from strangers hanging at the course. I reciprocated of course.

Edited by DONTW8

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bretski75

Your not doing anything illegal, however having been on both sides of the equation it would be really great if you could find out who's it is and introduce yourself. Ask if he minds if you use it even though he can't really say no. And offer assistance, most likely he won't take you up on it.

And Since most slalom skier's are type A, you're probably better off asking him to help with the repairs if you damage it, or at least ask him to show you how.

Oh yes, and FYI, sending a roller down the whole course is a BIG party foul.

Edited by bretski75

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Green_Giant

And watch out for the boat guides, some of them may have a big burley magnet at just about prop level, I've heard they can leave a nice dinger.

As for squirley, do the v-drives come with some load on the rudder or are they pretty nuetral? Do they have the adjustable tab?

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Bill_AirJunky
And watch out for the boat guides, some of them may have a big burley magnet at just about prop level, I've heard they can leave a nice dinger.

As for squirley, do the v-drives come with some load on the rudder or are they pretty nuetral? Do they have the adjustable tab?

Yea, mine has the tab, but it still drives pretty neutral. I imagine if we were using a course we'd want it loaded one way or the other.

We rode yesterday & both courses were left up on the surface. I wish I knew who owned them to ask if they would sink them when their not using them.

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Ndawg12
And watch out for the boat guides, some of them may have a big burley magnet at just about prop level, I've heard they can leave a nice dinger.

As for squirley, do the v-drives come with some load on the rudder or are they pretty nuetral? Do they have the adjustable tab?

Mine is pretty neutral and the tab has never been adjusted but yes the vrides have the adjustable rudder tab. It was pretty choppy (wind) that day also.

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Green_Giant

I don't have a tab but the previous owner of my boat did some serious grinding on mine, private lake boat.

You better be holding on if someone lets go of the wheel... But, it's very responsive and holds a line nicely through the course.

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Soon2BV

My Sunscape had a slight pull at 36 MPH, but just enough to let me feel the tension on the wheel. At slower speeds (<25) i can release the wheel completely and stay on a straight course.

I ran the course several times this summer pulling my son (about 150 pounds, 34 MPH, 15 off) and found the boat tracked well.

I know not as good as the DD he skis behind at school, but it was a good pull.

As far as using a course, public water = public course and the USACE only allows people to put a course on their waters if it is available for others to use. If you are on a private lake, there could be different rules. Maybe check the hoeowners association? But I do agree with others, see if you can find the owner, ask if it is OK, give contact info and offer to help with install / removal / repairs. That is probably better than money if they are living on the water....

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Baddog

Try driving through it a couple of times with no skier just to understand how precise you have to be. I agree with an earlier point: The skier does pull the boat a lot more than I ever thought. Sure, it is far, far less than a bayliner gets pulled around, but that boat path quickly becomes a single track trail doesn't it?

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msuwaterski

As a home owner on a public lake who also maintains a slalom course I would like to commend you on being a responsible boater (not a surprise coming from a crew member). The biggest problem my buddies and I have is when someone damages the course and doesn't tell us. Nothing irritates us more than heading out on a Monday morning before work to catch a couple passes only to see the gates are missing and 3 ball is gone. Ranting.gif I know it has been said already but make an effort to get to know the course owner. Try leaving a note on one of the docks that is near the course. Before issuing a permit the DNR (or other local agency) will ask the home owners who will be affected by the course if they object; they will also disclose the name of the person that is applying for the course.

More than likely the course owners will not ask for money or help with maintenance, instead they will ask for your phone number and when you're free to ski Thumbup.gif

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Woodski

Where was the course you ran, I assume it is not the one next to I-77 north of Charlotte since that one has been in the water a long time? As mentioned, if you want to play in it, volunteer to help with it. A course can take a fair amount of work to keep up and anybody that has one will really appreciate any help. If you want to learn to go through it, a wise move would be to try to meet the people that ski it regularly and they probably would offer really good tips. Good call on thinking about a dd?

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Ndawg12
Where was the course you ran, I assume it is not the one next to I-77 north of Charlotte since that one has been in the water a long time? As mentioned, if you want to play in it, volunteer to help with it. A course can take a fair amount of work to keep up and anybody that has one will really appreciate any help. If you want to learn to go through it, a wise move would be to try to meet the people that ski it regularly and they probably would offer really good tips. Good call on thinking about a dd?

Nope, but I love to watch people get pulled through that course as I travel North (as a passenger of course!) This one is right by Blythe Landing.

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mlange

Everyone's saying it's fair game and I would agree. And offering to pay is a nice gesture.

But more importantly, drop some money on some boat guides and skier balls that match what they are using and keep them in the boat as a spare so you can replace anything you take out on the spot. Take a look at how they have the balls and guides attached and make sure you have the right parts for that as well. At the very least keeping zip ties around should do the trick. Having a magnet in the boat wouldn't hurt, although the chances of trashing a magnet are pretty small.

Mike

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Sixball
Everyone's saying it's fair game and I would agree. And offering to pay is a nice gesture.

But more importantly, drop some money on some boat guides and skier balls that match what they are using and keep them in the boat as a spare so you can replace anything you take out on the spot. Take a look at how they have the balls and guides attached and make sure you have the right parts for that as well. At the very least keeping zip ties around should do the trick. Having a magnet in the boat wouldn't hurt, although the chances of trashing a magnet are pretty small.

Mike

Thumbup.gif Best answer yet..... If the course is ready to ski it would be much better than money. I still would try to get in touch with the course owner.

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Deke
As a home owner on a public lake who also maintains a slalom course I would like to commend you on being a responsible boater (not a surprise coming from a crew member). The biggest problem my buddies and I have is when someone damages the course and doesn't tell us. Nothing irritates us more than heading out on a Monday morning before work to catch a couple passes only to see the gates are missing and 3 ball is gone. Ranting.gif I know it has been said already but make an effort to get to know the course owner. Try leaving a note on one of the docks that is near the course. Before issuing a permit the DNR (or other local agency) will ask the home owners who will be affected by the course if they object; they will also disclose the name of the person that is applying for the course.

More than likely the course owners will not ask for money or help with maintenance, instead they will ask for your phone number and when you're free to ski Thumbup.gif

Ditto on the above! I maintain a permitted course in Southwest Colorado on public water. It is irritating when the course is damaged and not repaired, or when people are just playing in the course (pwc's, or people actually trying to slalom their boats) which inevitably ends up damaging it. I greatly appreciated when people ask first and I get to explain what's involved, like who pays for it, permits, driving patterns, what's underwater, maintenance, ettiquete, etc. I have ended up recruiting new members this way!

We had an incident this summer where a boat full of women that wanted to ski our course were SCREAMING "get out of here" at one of our club members who was in the process of doing maintenance. I guess they figured the course just magically appeared on the lake for the sole benefit of themselves? Dontknow.gif

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