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mainekneeboarder

Insta slalom Portable course

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mainekneeboarder

Anyone have one of these and set it up on a normal basis? I have play slalom skied since I was 16-17 but have never tried a course and would really like to. Never really even skied across the wake real aggressively, we more slalom ski with multiple people, trying to soak each other. I have only ever seen one course, and it is about 3 hours from us on a lake we visit a couple times a year. I have never seen anyone using it and didn't want to just go for it without permission. I have found a 1999 Insta slalom Portable course for sale somewhat close to me, that the seller doesn't want to ship, and thought about trying to deal with him. It says its poly mainline? Are these really as easy to set up as they say? Our pond is very small and one other camp owner may go in with me on buying it, but we are unsure if we could leave it set up all summer without someone else saying something. We was thinking we may have to set up and take down often.

I have also been paying close attention to the other thread about slalom skis and didn't want to hijack that thread. I have been looking at slalom skis for over a year now, I have never skied a double boot ski, ( the friend of mine that has one, has too small of a boot on it ) and I'm being cheap when looking at them. I don't see me getting real serous at it and don't see the sense in spending a ton of money on one, but would like to try a real, double boot slalom ski. I am 6ft 215lb in fairly good shape, free ski ok, not real aggressive at crossing the wake, I ski an old Obrien ski from a combo set I got when I was 19, (now 41) so anything is going to be a big upgrade I'm sure. I have seen a few older slalom skis on Ski-it-again, or ebay pretty cheap ($50-$150). Is this the best idea to try, or should I stop being so cheap and spend a couple hundred on a newer model, used ski? Just how much different is a real slalom ski going to be, and how much have they improved over the years, any era where there was a big improvement, or when they were all about the same? Thanks for any info.

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davemac

I ski an old Obrien ski from a combo set I got when I was 19, (now 41) so anything is going to be a big upgrade I'm sure. I have seen a few older slalom skis on Ski-it-again, or ebay pretty cheap ($50-$150). Is this the best idea to try, or should I stop being so cheap and spend a couple hundred on a newer model, used ski? Just how much different is a real slalom ski going to be, and how much have they improved over the years, any era where there was a big improvement, or when they were all about the same?

YES, YES, YES....almost anything will be a huge upgrade from a 20+ year old combo slalom, and will bring you much more enjoyment and stability. Depending on the speed you ski, likely 68 or 69" for most models.

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davemac

If you decide to splurge and buy yourself a $399 Christmas Gift....I stumbled across this deal for someone looking for a bigger ski. This is some GREAT bang for the buck 69"Senate w/ boots

Unfortunately for others, it looks like it only is available in 69" length.

update 12/20/11....apparently this item is "sold out"

Edited by davemac

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DWhynot

Agree with Davemac; Real skis do make real skiers :) , and that Senate sounds like a good deal.

Double wraps is a preference, tho'. I've always had two sets of plates; The open rear toe for those cold water beach starts and landings, and the double wraps once the course is in. Like anything, if you have a chance to demo, do it... You will notice the differences.

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mainekneeboarder

Not sure I want to spend quit that much rite off the bat on the ski alone. I am assuming something like that in the used market should be what I look for, actually I think I saw some same model used ones going for more then that?

Demoing is going to be very hard, the one water sports store near by is an Obrien dealer and IF he had a nice slalom ski in stock, I know he would let us demo it, he would have to order in anything that's not very basic thou, and then would have a hard time selling if we didn't buy it. They are very good to us, but very limited on inventory. We have had to order in any higher end kneeboards, and even had to order a very basic surf board. The one big lake we do visit south of us a bit, does have a nice selection of skis, but not sure if we can demo there and didn't really want to wait till mid summer this year to get one. I am guessing that being a heavier rider I'm going to need a 68-69in ski? Not sure if the same basic changes apply in slalom skis that do in combo skis, but I hate slaloming on the wide combo ski we have, would much rather a skinny ski.

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DWhynot

69" sounds about right for you; at what speed are you skiing? When in open water, it's good to work on form: wake crossings on edge, smooth transitions, pre-turn, a nice smooth turn, pull like crazy across the wake, and repeat 5 more times. Rythm is important (I like to put a good tune in my head - Livin On Edge (Aerosmith) perhaps?)

When you get into the course, things happen really quickly...A real slalom ski is designed to handle the quick edge changes and accelleration/deceleration...the combo skis are not.

To answer the first question, Insta slaloms are ok for their intended purpose (on a calm day)...put it in and take it out, but the nylon mainlines do stretch (you need to keep tension on them or the boat path is a sweeping turn if a cross-breeze kicks up), and the smaller diameter pvc, although good for portability is not rigid enough for the bouys to keep from moving around during chop or waves.

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mainekneeboarder

Thanks for the info. Rite now I ski at 32mph, normally when we ski it has started to chop up just a bit and there are usually a few people in the boat making the wake a bit big for aggressive crossings. Up until this summer slalom skiing has been something we did just for fun, after the wind started to pickup a little. I have gone a couple of times with the boat lite, and tried crossing the wake on edge but am a little intimidated still, If the boat is set up for it so the wake is small I can do ok, but with any incress in wake size I usually chicken out and flatten out some. I have not figured out what the best length is for the easiest wake crossings is yet ether, and have just been going at 75ft assuming if I ever did get to try a course this would be the easiest.

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DWhynot

Do yourself a favor and take that first 15' off the rope (works great for tying up the rowboat). You will feel more connected to the boat, and will help minimize slackline BUT, slackline (or lack there-of) is a direct correlation to body position and more specifically shoulder position (can't really explain it here)... Then you can work on your form and your wake crossings (don't be afraid), just ignore it and it will go away (and don't look at ithe wake - look beyond it)

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PURDUEskier

Just thought I would add a few thoughts. First, you don't have to have a double boot to be a good slalom skier. I do like the double boots. I feel more connected to the ski, but I have always gotten up with both feet in the bindings. There is a big difference in the feeling of a double boot. I would not try to change everything at once. If you have a rear toe plate now, I would stick with that until you get comfortable with the other changes. Some of the best slalom skiers in the world still use a rear toe plate. YES, a "real" slalom ski is a world apart from a combo slalom ski. Yes, there have been huge changes in technology, but some of that is just hype and some won't be noticable until you get more comfortable in the course. Finding the correct size and level of ski is more important than the year. I would look for a 68" or 69"intermediate slalom ski. Ski-It-Again.com is a great place to look. I do not have a ton of experience with pulling portable courses. Ours is similar to an Insta-Slalom, but we leave it in all summer. It does take some time to put in and pull out. With that said, skiing the course is addicting and great fun. Whatever you do, I would recommend adding a mini course. This is a set of skier balls that are placed between the normal couse ski balls and the boat guides. This makes the course narrow to help learn timing and technique. Learning the course can be frustrating for first timers, so find someone that knows how to ski it to give you some instruction. I love to hear new people getting into course skiing. Good Luck.

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davemac

Great point, Boilermaker. I've tried three times to convert to double boot....all unsuccessfully. It is a significant adjustment if you've become accustomed to a toe plate. I'm resided to a toe plate at this point. No worries, the slalom skier currently considered best in the world, Nate Smith, uses a toe plate, as does Will Asher, as does Andy Mapple....

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mainekneeboarder
Just thought I would add a few thoughts. First, you don't have to have a double boot to be a good slalom skier. I do like the double boots. I feel more connected to the ski, but I have always gotten up with both feet in the bindings.

That is exactly what I was thinking, I tend to find myself pulling my heel off the ski with just the combo toe hold. But I have always dragged one foot getting up and was a bit worried about having both feet in. I taught my son to drag one foot to get up, then tried the same with my girlfriends son, and he has to have both feet on the ski? Just something some people do different I guess.

With that said, skiing the course is addicting and great fun

I'm thinking once I try it, its going to be one of those things that I'm gonna want to do and do, to get better and push myself. One of the other camp owners has gotten into slalom skiing alot more last year, and he stays at camp fairly often. I live 5 minutes from the pond now, so in any situation I can be there in a heart beat. We have talked about trying to do it a few early mornings. We are hoping to atleast be able to leave it in during the week, and maybe have to take it out during the busy weekends.

Learning the course can be frustrating for first timers, so find someone that knows how to ski it to give you some instruction.

This is very hard, we live in a very rural area with short summers, and there just isn't very many people that do this stuff. I have never seen anyone at the one course I have seen in the 4-5 times Ive been to that lake, and that one is 3 hours away. I really envy some of you guys!

Thanks for the interesting info. I have seen a few older skies with a rear foot hold that looks like a sandal kind of, for real reasonable money. I may try that route, (It still has to be a huge improvement over what I have now) and see if I can use the rest of the money to buy the course. Then see if I really do like it, and maybe spend a bit more on a good ski if I do.

Edited by mainekneeboarder

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ibelieve

Ski-it-again.com will have lots of options in all price ranges. You can get something that is 10 years old and still find it a big improvement over what you are on.

/Steve

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85 Barefoot

I've used insta slaloms before and they work well for a portable design. Ed Obermeyer is on this site and he also has a portable course design believe called ez slalom. Onbce our course was permanent we obviously changed design from the portable design because the arm foam will take on water and skew it.

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85 Barefoot

Do yourself a favor and take that first 15' off the rope (works great for tying up the rowboat). You will feel more connected to the boat, and will help minimize slackline BUT, slackline (or lack there-of) is a direct correlation to body position and more specifically shoulder position (can't really explain it here)... Then you can work on your form and your wake crossings (don't be afraid), just ignore it and it will go away (and don't look at ithe wake - look beyond it)

?

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old skool malibu

?

I am picking up what he is puttin down..

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85 Barefoot

Slack line is caused not by body position, but by by moving faster than the boat, which is a function of an inadequate preturn. Shoulders have nothing to do with that.

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DWhynot

Slack line is caused not by body position, but by by moving faster than the boat, which is a function of an inadequate preturn. Shoulders have nothing to do with that.

I'd still call that body position...if you break at the waist, you dip your shoulders, you get slack in the rope; yes, during the edge change (pre-turn).

Hey, I just know how to do it, not explain it...

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85 Barefoot

I'd still call that body position...if you break at the waist, you dip your shoulders, you get slack in the rope; yes, during the edge change (pre-turn).

Hey, I just know how to do it, not explain it...

I could create 20 feet of slack standing completely upright! While it's true that many who don't bleed enough speed in preturn may also dip their shoulder, the two have nothing to do with each other. Sorry to have to make this correction for the OPs understanding but you could ski like gorilla, use a proper preturn and keep the line tight, or stand completely upright and level and create tons of slack. They simply have nothing to do with each other. Is that to say staying balanced isn't a good goal, of course not, but it's not going to fix any slack issues.

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Toby

I could create 20 feet of slack standing completely upright! While it's true that many who don't bleed enough speed in preturn may also dip their shoulder, the two have nothing to do with each other. Sorry to have to make this correction for the OPs understanding but you could ski like gorilla, use a proper preturn and keep the line tight, or stand completely upright and level and create tons of slack. They simply have nothing to do with each other. Is that to say staying balanced isn't a good goal, of course not, but it's not going to fix any slack issues.

this is true.

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Steve B.

Ski-it-again is a great place to find a good used ski !

Watch lots of slalom course type video's. Watch Nate Smith !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6kqh0kY6V4

See if you can get hold of some of the old Bob LaPoint instructional video's.

Count bouy's, take names !

Steve B.

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BFrank

If you decide to splurge and buy yourself a $399 Christmas Gift....I stumbled across this deal for someone looking for a bigger ski. This is some GREAT bang for the buck 69"Senate w/ boots

Unfortunately for others, it looks like it only is available in 69" length.

They are sold out!!

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