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GoldschlagerVT

Certified Driver

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GoldschlagerVT

I've seen some conversations about needing certified Slalom drivers for competitions, and certified wakeboard drivers. How do you become certified? I would think this would be fun. To learn how to drive like the pro's would ride. Skiing and Wakeboarding.

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aneal000

Let me start out by saying I'm not "certified" in any way, however... I've spent many years pulling INT tournaments, pro riders like Murray, Gerry Nunn, and Andrew Atkison, and last year I pulled the entire Midwestcoastsummerfest event. A good driver knows what a good pull is all about. I've learned over the years what makes a good driver by spending a lot of time behind the boat and getting pretty ticked off when my driver did this or that and it really affected my run. I have taken all that and tried to eliminate it from my driving habits.

A good driver IMO:

Holds lines as long and as straight as possible.

Makes necessary and quick turns then regains a straight course.

Gets the boat up to speed as quick as possible without overshooting the desired speed.

Quickly and efficiently brings the rope back to the rider with out the help of a "rope boy" and without making the rider swim for the handle. They also stop forward movement when the slack is out of the line until the rider is ready to go.

Drive in lines that keep the water smooth.

Return to pick up fallen riders the "right way" and don't throw rollers right down the intended course.

When other boats are present pick lines that keep the rider out of their wakes and rollers.

Good drivers constantly watch the "road" and the rider and can anticipate problems. On a few occassions I've been able to save some people from some nasty falls by cutting the throttle at the right time - which allowed them to regain balance and take off again - this is not something you just do, you have to understand the rider and be inside their mind, you have to know they are falling and know that less pull on the handle will save them. Maybe 5 times over the last 10 years I've done it successfully for a rider and every time they were like - wow, you saved my butt on that one whatever... thanks! A little thing that is super cool when it's pulled off.

Speed. I started pulling long before PP or cruise controls were around and consistant speed made a driver, today that element of driving has been removed and most people can give a decent pull. But if you really want to work on your driving skills (and you have a rider that is willing to put up with it) turn off the cruise and see what it takes to give a consistant pull!

As you ride/ski think about what would make your pull better and do that everytime you drive. Sorry, I don't know anything about becoming a "certified" driver. I've never been asked to show my certificate.

Edited by aneal000

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BlastRlxi
Let me start out by saying I'm not "certified" in any way, however... I've spent many years pulling INT tournaments, pro riders like Murray, Gerry Nunn, and Andrew Atkison, and last year I pulled the entire Midwestcoastsummerfest event. A good driver knows what a good pull is all about. I've learned over the years what makes a good driver by spending a lot of time behind the boat and getting pretty ticked off when my driver did this or that and it really affected my run. I have taken all that and tried to eliminate it from my driving habits.

A good driver IMO:

Holds lines as long and as straight as possible.

Makes necessary and quick turns then regains a straight course.

Gets the boat up to speed as quick as possible without overshooting the desired speed.

Quickly and efficiently brings the rope back to the rider with out the help of a "rope boy" and without making the rider swim for the handle. They also stop forward movement when the slack is out of the line until the rider is ready to go.

Drive in lines that keep the water smooth.

Return to pick up fallen riders the "right way" and don't throw rollers right down the intended course.

When other boats are present pick lines that keep the rider out of their wakes and rollers.

Good drivers constantly watch the "road" and the rider and can anticipate problems. On a few occassions I've been able to save some people from some nasty falls by cutting the throttle at the right time - which allowed them to regain balance and take off again - this is not something you just do, you have to understand the rider and be inside their mind, you have to know they are falling and know that less pull on the handle will save them. Maybe 5 times over the last 10 years I've done it successfully for a rider and every time they were like - wow, you saved my butt on that one whatever... thanks! A little thing that is super cool when it's pulled off.

Speed. I started pulling long before PP or cruise controls were around and consistant speed made a driver, today that element of driving has been removed and most people can give a decent pull. But if you really want to work on your driving skills (and you have a rider that is willing to put up with it) turn off the cruise and see what it takes to give a consistant pull!

As you ride/ski think about what would make your pull better and do that everytime you drive. Sorry, I don't know anything about becoming a "certified" driver. I've never been asked to show my certificate.

This is the reason I have never gotten PP on my boat. This is a great post!!

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Pistol Pete

Not to go way off topic.

But, I've never had a boat with P.P. and to tell you the truth, I'm not really crazy about a boat making decisions for me.

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aneal000
Not to go way off topic.

But, I've never had a boat with P.P. and to tell you the truth, I'm not really crazy about a boat making decisions for me.

It's not for "you", it's for "you".

Perfect pass turns the worst driver into a managable driver. You set the speed before you get in the water and point them in the direction you want to go and you can get a "decent" pull.

If you give PP a chance you won't be dissapointed, you still have the ability to input your throttle bumps and let-offs as needed during a pull. It allows you to concentrate on other aspects of the pull such as your boat path.

Remember when the professional race car dirvers didn't want computers making decision for them with regards to ABS brakes?

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UWSkier

Even for the best driver, PP is a godsend in the course.

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JohnDoe

USA Water Ski certifies drivers. To be certified, you have to attend classes, take tests, and pull a certain number fo tourneys. There are different levels of certification. See usawaterski.com. I don't know anything about being a certified wake driver, but for traditional 3 event, you have to be certified to pull a USAWS sanctioned tourney.

To add to aneal's post, there are other tricks that "good" drivers do...like give riders a slight turn away to harden up the wake on some moves like 'crows. Pulling proper double-ups are essential. Nothin is more annoying than a driver who over-turns DUs, with too small a radius, and going too fast! Lastly and perhaps most importantly, claiming to have low oil pressure if anyone suggests doing something like kneeboarding. His reputation as a driver could be ruined!

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LS-One

Not to go way off topic.

But, I've never had a boat with P.P. and to tell you the truth, I'm not really crazy about a boat making decisions for me.

It's not for "you", it's for "you".

Perfect pass turns the worst driver into a managable driver. You set the speed before you get in the water and point them in the direction you want to go and you can get a "decent" pull.

If you give PP a chance you won't be dissapointed, you still have the ability to input your throttle bumps and let-offs as needed during a pull. It allows you to concentrate on other aspects of the pull such as your boat path.

Remember when the professional race car dirvers didn't want computers making decision for them with regards to ABS brakes?

Taking off topic a step further, I was also skeptical of perfest pass and I am now a believer. :)

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Pistol Pete

I feel I should clarify.

I've only pull boarders. In a comp. slalom ski situation, I can see that P.P. would be essential.

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LS-One
I feel I should clarify.

I've only pull boarders. In a comp. slalom ski situation, I can see that P.P. would be essential.

Dude, you gotta drive a fully loaded wakeboard boat, with a big guy on the end of the rope, I'm am convinced you would be blown away. There is no way in all my years of driving I could come close to duplicating the minor speed compensations that PP will accomplish.

Edited by LS-One

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I am a certified driver and I drive at every tournaments I go to, so, big deal. I went and still go to clinics and I have to drive a certain number a tournys every summer to retain my status. I'm also a skier and a competitive one at that( not saying I'm good just stating my mental outlook) and I can tell you the one thing that makes a driver is how the driver works with the skier and most of that takes place out of course. How a driver picks me up out of the water and then turns around islands and how they drop me at the other end may have a bigger impact on my set then what they are doing in course. If a driver drops the throttle to pick me up and then goes racing at full throttle around the turn island I am already thinking to myself "what's he going to do in course?" , If the driver slings me out at full speed to drop me and then drags me through the water when picking me back up I'm not able to concentrate on why I'm there to begin with.

PP is great in that it delivers a constant pull for everyone. For newer driver it frees up some concentration from times to allow for concentration on steering- that still makes a big difference! When I drive I want whoever's behind me to be undisturbed by me. I don't even want to be a thought in thier head. I will do my job- get actual times, and try for them to not even notice that I'm doing a job.

A lot of what Aneal stated are good things that allow the skier to put their energy into skiing, not disturbing their concentration.

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