Jump to content

 

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

Sign in to follow this  
kbtheboz

Hard Core Slalom Boats

Recommended Posts

kbtheboz

I just now got my copy of the WS boat test. I counted only 11 of the 88 boats tested as tournament slalom boats, and if you get real literal, there is probably only 3. What gives? Have tuna boats with headache racks taken over for good? Maybe I'm showing my age, but I can't believe that most of the boat mfg's have either dropped their slalom boats, or watered them down to be a mini-van type of boat. I have a SLXI, so I'm guilty of buying a mini-van too, but Malibu has watered down that model too. Should I put my stick in the closet, buy fat sacks for my boat and get some tatoo's for my fat bod?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
88Skier

Only if you're comfortable riding in that awqward stance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlastRlxi

I know what you mean. I looked through the magazine to find the slalom direct drive boats and found the same thing. I went from a direct drive boat to a VLX in 2000. It was a nice boat for the family but it wasn't very exciting (your minivan analogy is excellent). In 2005, I went back to a Response Lxi and love it. It was so nice to be back in the direct drive boat again. It felt like trading in the minivan for a Corvette. The handling and acceleration were outstanding compared to the VLX. Don't put away your stick and remember, direct drives rule!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shpower
I just now got my copy of the WS boat test. I counted only 11 of the 88 boats tested as tournament slalom boats, and if you get real literal, there is probably only 3. What gives? Have tuna boats with headache racks taken over for good? Maybe I'm showing my age, but I can't believe that most of the boat mfg's have either dropped their slalom boats, or watered them down to be a mini-van type of boat. I have a SLXI, so I'm guilty of buying a mini-van too, but Malibu has watered down that model too. Should I put my stick in the closet, buy fat sacks for my boat and get some tatoo's for my fat bod?

I love my 2000Slxi and it has almost no wake. I don't consider it my other mini van. Though I must admit I love my Odyssey too :blush: If all I ever did on the water was run a course, I'd get the pure slalom pull. But with friends and family I have more than one passenger and need some room. Don't spoil my mental picture of my bu being my corvette on the water!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chaabo
I just now got my copy of the WS boat test. I counted only 11 of the 88 boats tested as tournament slalom boats, and if you get real literal, there is probably only 3. What gives? Have tuna boats with headache racks taken over for good? Maybe I'm showing my age, but I can't believe that most of the boat mfg's have either dropped their slalom boats, or watered them down to be a mini-van type of boat. I have a SLXI, so I'm guilty of buying a mini-van too, but Malibu has watered down that model too. Should I put my stick in the closet, buy fat sacks for my boat and get some tatoo's for my fat bod?

This is a nice post!

I don't like the direction that watersports seems to turn either.

Wakeboarding is just more fashionable. Slalom is oldschool, out of fashion, something for the elderly, retro people. At least that is what all these kids are thinking. :(

It's a shame that they even did not review the Response!

Okay, to admit it, our Response came w/ the Wedge and from time to time I strap myself onto the wakeboard too. But no way I would do that when the water is glass - which is not too often over here (Because of all the WB-boats around).

I have a friend who runs a small graphic/print/layout business.

He can produce stickers as well. I designed the following to put it on our SKIboat for the next season.

Biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember where I read it but there was an article that was slalom was on the rise. I don't know whether I believe that but that's what the artice said.

There are enough slalom boats out there. To add any more would hurt I think. There's a very small market for a slalom boat, even the open bow version, and to add another player would further dilute the market and probably knock somone out.

I'm not defending wakeboarding but when I go out to flail about on my WB it's a great leg workout! For the same amount of water time as my slalom sets I come back from wakeboarding and my legs are screaming.

I'm not crossing over any time soon, but I do get a great leg workout from my wakeboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
88Skier

I like reading about the Gekkos more than most of the Malibus in this year's BBG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl

Before this turns into an us vs. them kind of thread (maybe it was from the outset), I want to remind you guys of a few things. It's very easy to sit in the cheap seats & make judgements about what you think a company should do & where you think they're screwing up when you aren't making the decisions that are responsible for the direction of the company & its financial health down the road that results from those decisions. This has absolutely nothing to do with doing "what's easy", that's the "easy" way of thinking about it. Like it or not, this is a business & flat wake sports represents a very small percentage of that market. This is about supply & demand, & to stay successful a business must change to accomodate & fill that supply & demand. Did you know that Malibu is now selling more 21' boats than anyone in the industry, including Bayliner? Does it suck that there aren't more choices? Absolutely. Is it too bad that slalom seems to be fading away? Of course. But be happy that Malibu makes a couple of boats as fine as the Response LX & LXI, & that they'll continue to develop their flat wake program. I hope that skisix is right about slalom being on the rise.

On a similar note, I can count on 1 hand how many direct drive boats (outside of the Malibu booth) that I saw at the Portland boat show the other day. This is a large boat show that has good representation by all of the major players, & the only reason that Malibu had a good representation of DD boats was because of the XTI boats.

Edited by WakeGirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
88Skier

Didn't mean to sound so harsh with the Gekko comment. I do like little 3 event boats though and it amazes me to see them disappear from the WSMBBG.

On the other hand, 10 years ago if you went to the Portland, ME boat show, you'd be lucky if someone showed up from out of state with one inboard. Now, because dealers here can finally make a living selling watersports boats, (due to the popularity of VDs) you can see 4 or 5 brands at a small Maine boat show that Maine businesses are actually selling. So, VDs are good for the industry and the rest of us, so long as the manufacturers don't forget where they came from.

Edited by 88Skier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlastRlxi

Sorry WakeGirl, I have to side with GalaxyToad on this one. The big three have realized they can sell a lot more boats if they are "family friendly". There are many people that won't buy a slalom skiboat because it is not family friendly. This is the reason we switched to a VLX in 2000. My wife thought it would be better suited for our growing family. Unfortunetly, she hated the skiing wake and she hardly skied anymore. We went back to the direct drive and she is skiing again.

It is easier to make a large wake making machine. It all comes down to profits. Wakeboard boats are larger and, therefore, more profitable. They are easier to sell to families who care more about comfort than performance. The question is, are skiboat manufacturers going to lose their heritage and start making "family" boats in the same way that Sea Ray, Crownline, etc do? Why does Mastercraft make a Salt Water Series?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aneal000
It's about the 3 easies. It's a lot easier to build a boat that creates wake than it is to build one that tames wake. It's a lot easier on the body to run around on a wakeboard than it is to spend the day on a slalom ski [as testified by my slalom skiing friends who are either doing both or have converted all together]. It's a lot easier on a company that is in this for the all mighty dollar to just drop the engineering struggle associated with keeping up with slalom hull technology now that gains are measured with a micrometer.

Respectfully GalaxyToad, I'd like to disagree with 2.5 of your "3 easies."

First you say that it's a lot easier to build a boat that creates wake than it is to build one that tames wake. While this statement might be true at some level, you have conveniently left out the idea of quality. I mean sure anyone can make a bigger hull and add weight, but that doesn't create a good wakeboard boat or wake. Come on, if manufactures really wanted a small wake they would just create a hydrofoil slalom boat right - that's the same logic your using and it is slightly misleading. A good wakeboarding wake is big yes, but it is also clean, smooth, has a good transition that is not to steep and not to flat, is very solid, and clean back to 90+ feet. Achieving all of these characteristics does not happen by chance.

Secondly you claim that wakeboarding is easier on the body than slalom skiing. I appreciate your accredited source for this data. More than likely these guys, buddies of yours, were/are probably pretty good skiers? I don't know if you agree with this, but the concept is simple. Recreational watersports is a relatively safe activity. Only when we start to push the envelope in any discipline do we start to get ourselves into trouble. Getting beat up on a slalom ski from repeatedly skiing the course at 34mph trying to beat your best pull can be brutal, but compare that to catching the front edge when you're pulling the board back down and under you after doing a Raley. I've never hit anything so hard as I have on some of those falls. The level of the activity can be related to the severity of the injuries and how bad one gets "beat up." Your comment also said "run around on a wakeboard than it is to spend the day on a slalom ski" kinda misleading here as well. Run around on a wakeboard, that to me sounds like a few easy sets, you know just run around, not riding hard, not going big or going home - just running around. But you want to compare that to spending a day on a slalom ski? A nice long summer 12 hour day... I think that would beat anyone up. Heck you throw me on a tube for a day and I'd get beat up so bad that I'd never want to look at one again. One final point, remember, your buddies are trying to sell you on the idea of wakeboarding - remember they enjoy it and have either partially or fully converted, you really think they are going to tell you how it really is?

Your third "easier" - "It's a lot easier on a company that is in this for the all mighty dollar to just drop the engineering struggle associated with keeping up with slalom hull technology now that gains are measured with a micrometer." I'd really like to believe in this idea, it's so us against them, the all mighty business world vs. the working man, right? Does this mean that the RLXi is going to be the last ski boat that Malibu puts out? I'll agree that a lot of smaller mfg's might not put the engineering efforts into improving their hull designs, but they never have. You don't think that MC and Malibu have ideas and drawings floating around for the next design? If anything the engineering departments have been expanded due to the increase in revenue from additional sales. But if the slalom boat market is shrinking then the engineering for those projects will be sized accordingly. If it is as you say then it would appear that a huge opportunity awaits a savy engineering based group of slalom skiers. Wait, didn't someone already try that a few years ago?

Sorry for my rant, you must of struck a nerve. Biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John I.

I don't know if it's easier or cheaper to build a "large wake boat" versus a "small wake boat". Certainly gets much more difficult, if not altogether impossible, to build that small wake boat in a 21-25 foot length and that's where the money is at. The 21'+ v-drives have enabled inboard manufacturers to compete for cutomers (including many on this forum) that previously would have looked exclusively at I/O's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl
Sorry WakeGirl, I have to side with GalaxyToad on this one. The big three have realized they can sell a lot more boats if they are "family friendly". There are many people that won't buy a slalom skiboat because it is not family friendly. This is the reason we switched to a VLX in 2000. My wife thought it would be better suited for our growing family. Unfortunetly, she hated the skiing wake and she hardly skied anymore. We went back to the direct drive and she is skiing again.

It is easier to make a large wake making machine. It all comes down to profits. Wakeboard boats are larger and, therefore, more profitable. They are easier to sell to families who care more about comfort than performance. The question is, are skiboat manufacturers going to lose their heritage and start making "family" boats in the same way that Sea Ray, Crownline, etc do? Why does Mastercraft make a Salt Water Series?

We don't disagree, read my post again. It's easier to run a company that's in the black than in the red. The only thing I take issue with is GT's statement that it's easier to make a boat that builds a wake than one that flattens & dissipates it. That isn't the reason that the industry is going the way it is, it's supply & demand as you restated for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kbtheboz

This shows how I don't understand what is going on in the boating world. In about '94 I took a factory tour at the Tige factory and Charlie Pigeon was telling me about the TAPS that they wre coming out with. I argued that it would KILL their sales because they would no longer be considered a static hull and couldn't pass AWSA cert.

Shows what I know, huh? I also saw Shaquille O'Neal play high school ball in San Antonio and declared that he would never make it at a D1 school, I guess I got that one right, come to think of it.

I never thought of it like GT did. It is easier to make a large wake that a flat one. I guess it is like squeezing another .0001 of a second out of a 4 second 1/4 mile car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl

Whether it is easier to design/build or not isn't the point. It's what the market demands that is.

Now, if someone were to tell me that skiing is on the decline because it's both harder to learn & to teach, I might actually buy that argument.

Edited by WakeGirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malibudude

The family style of vdrives is very appealing to the masses regardless if they wb or noth. The demand for VD's is greater than DD's as hard as it is to admit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart
The family style of vdrives is very appealing to the masses regardless if they wb or noth. The demand for VD's is greater than DD's as hard as it is to admit.

And your wife is demanding a VD right now :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl

Heck, I'm a DD lover at heart, but I represent a very small percentage of VD owners in that regard. This market (as most hot markets are) is driven by the consumer & what they want. Ease or difficulty of build has nothing to do with it. Boating manufacturers are giving their customers what they want. Why do you think that the 247 was built? There was a 24' niche that Malibu was missing out on, & not only are they selling every 247 that goes out of the factory, it hasn't cut into their 23' market at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlastRlxi

It's not wakebaord vs slalom, it's family layout vs. traditional hardcore skiboat layout. Wakeboarding is popular. Whether it's more popular than skiing (slalom and recreational, including combos) is questionable. I see more people skiing than wakeboarding on our local lake. If you look at the Malibu lineup, most models are built for family and comfort vs any specific discipline. There are 2 specific slalom boats (Response and Response Lxi) and 2 specific wake boats (Wakesetter VLX and LSV). The rest are more built for multisport or for family comfort. I think the big three are turning more to family boats than the hardcore watersports boats.

If they built boats based on the most popular watersports, than the hardcore TUBING boat is right around the corner!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl
It's not wakebaord vs slalom, it's family layout vs. traditional hardcore skiboat layout. Wakeboarding is popular. Whether it's more popular than skiing (slalom and recreational, including combos) is questionable. I see more people skiing than wakeboarding on our local lake. If you look at the Malibu lineup, most models are built for family and comfort vs any specific discipline. There are 2 specific slalom boats (Response and Response Lxi) and 2 specific wake boats (Wakesetter VLX and LSV). The rest are more built for multisport or for family comfort. I think the big three are turning more to family boats than the hardcore watersports boats.

If they built boats based on the most popular watersports, than the hardcore TUBING boat is right around the corner!!!

:lol: That's funny! Of all of the sports out there, I think that I see the most of that. I have seen a lot more slalom skiers in the past 2 seasons, so I suspect that it might be on the rise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
88Skier
If they built boats based on the most popular watersports, than the hardcore TUBING boat is right around the corner!!!

You might be onto something. What would this boat look like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlastRlxi

It would probably have a tower with tube racks on the side. Crazy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JohnDoe

No ranting here...just opinions....with all due respect to the opinions of those who have posted above

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but the "Vdrive wave" has to catch up to the number of DDs that have been produced over the years...and they have a long way to go! Right now, there are more DDs than VDs in existence, so, the problem is scarcity, because there really aren't many "old" VDs. IF you want a VD, you have to look at something new or relatively new. Until there are more older VDs we will never know the true percentages of who wants what layout, because the "ripples" won't have settled. There are a lot of people, who are not hard core riders that "need" a VD, who are buying VDs simply because they are a fad and the most expensive. Not everyone...but some, nonetheless. Only time will tell whether these former "Snobs" (an affectionate accronym for Ski Nautique open bow owers" stick with the VD's or whether DDs will see a resurgence. There is no doubt that it is unlikely, but nonetheless, we have to wait and see.

Lets look at the OB barefoot market. Back in the day, Centurion, MC, bu, and some others made outboard barefoot boats. Inboards became increasingly able to provide the speed and wakes for barefooters (not the equivalent, but better than ever before). As a result, because peopel could buy a family friendly inboard, without propellers, noise, and maintenance issues, but still get quality wakes, there was no more market for those boats. (However, they do have a cult-type following). Now, bigger DDs and VDs are able to make at least very recreational ski wakes. Heck, I have said before and stand by my statement that a SSVLX "diamond" skis better than a SV23 DD non-diamond. Thus, people can buy boats that are more family friendly, and frankly, ski as good as any boat in production in the early 90s. As a result, skiability of bigger boats has taken away the true ski boat market, much like the ski boats did to the outboard barefoot boats in the late 90s. I don't see it as much that wakeboard boats are taking over ski boats, but that ski boats can be bigger and more family friendly than ever before, and still give the quality of ride as a SN2001. In essence, the boats today are doing what the inboards of the mid 90s did to barefoot outboards. They simply open up the possibilities and do more things good.

A Vdrive IS more expensive to build than a DD. It IS more difficult to build, takes longer, and more components are needed such as the actual VD. Take the I vs Vride for example.

I have taken some righteous falls off my feet and ski. However, I have gone under the knife from only one thing behind the boat...wakeboarding...3 times. I take nothing away from good skiers pushing it, but c'mon, if you're not getting hurt every day on the board, then you're not pushing it. Not to say that taking it easy on a board is bad, but that mindset is completely not the standard for wakeboarding. Overall, wakeboarders go home bruised and broken much more than swervers. Reason #1, you can progress in slalom without falls. You can't do anything on a wakeboard that does not require crashes to learn. That being said, wakeboarding IS harder on the body, BUT I would say that picking up a new pass is tougher than picking up a new flip. Just more of my rambling incoherent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mrothwell
Respectfully GalaxyToad, I'd like to disagree with 2.5 of your "3 easies."

First you say that it's a lot easier to build a boat that creates wake than it is to build one that tames wake.

......

...... blah, blah, blah

...... yada, yada, yada

......

Sorry for my rant, you must of struck a nerve. Biggrin.gif

This, comming from someone that doesn't even have a Malibu (DD or VD). Tease2.gif

He does have a Neato Silverton tho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aneal000

Respectfully GalaxyToad, I'd like to disagree with 2.5 of your "3 easies."

First you say that it's a lot easier to build a boat that creates wake than it is to build one that tames wake.

......

...... blah, blah, blah

...... yada, yada, yada

......

Sorry for my rant, you must of struck a nerve. Biggrin.gif

This, comming from someone that doesn't even have a Malibu (DD or VD). Tease2.gif

He does have a Neato Silverton tho.

Nice one mrothwell... Shocking.gif I'll let ya have that moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...