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Michigan boarder

Advice needed for slalom ski

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Michigan boarder

I started skiing when I was about 12 and did it for 20 years behind an old 85hp outboard, and then a few different I/O's.  I gave it up when we started wakeboarding because my older, tired Four Winns liked 20mph way better than 34mph.  I've gotten with a group of guys that are my age (I'm 49 now) or a little older that are good skiers, been strictly slalom for 30 years, ran lots of courses, etc.  They are impressive open water skiers, looks like they are skiing a course.  The boat we use is a '92 Prostar w/power slot, and I could certainly see us using my Echelon.  I took my first run a couple of days ago and by the time I felt comfortable I was running out of strength, so we'll see how I do the next few times.  After my first pass I was told that I am way outskiing my ski (Mach 2 Ebonite??) and need something different.  I'll probably try a few of the ones that they have laying around, who knows maybe they'll sell me one, but I'd like the input from the crew on what would be a good ski for me.  I'm 5'9.5" and vary between 185 and 195lbs.

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ahopkinsVTX

If you can find a used radar senate 67” that would be the best option imo. Not sure what new model options are.

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oldjeep
34 minutes ago, ahopkinsTXi said:

If you can find a used radar senate 67” that would be the best option imo. Not sure what new model options are.

67 Senate or vapor, I'm 6ft 180lbs 48 yo and they are both plenty of ski.  I've got both and even though the vapor is a little skinnier they ski about the same at 32 mph @ 15off 

Edited by oldjeep

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oldjeep
23 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

Yeah.  The only comment on that one is that the new senate alloy has a fixed sliding fin, rather than a fully adjustable fin block.  That front boot is comfortable, it is what i have on my vapor.  If you want a fully adjustable fin in a senate you need to move up to the graphite. 

Edited by oldjeep

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Michigan boarder
32 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Yeah.  The only comment on that one is that the new senate alloy has a fixed sliding fin, rather than a fully adjustable fin block.  That front boot is comfortable, it is what i have on my vapor.  If you want a fully adjustable fin in a senate you need to move up to the graphite. 

OK.  What advantage does the fully adjustable fin provide over the sliding fin?

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oldjeep
Just now, Michigan boarder said:

OK.  What advantage does the fully adjustable fin provide over the sliding fin?

None if you are not a person who messes with your fin.  

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ahopkinsVTX

I wouldn’t worry  about the fin type. Make sure the settings are stock and Ski it!

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Woodski

@Michigan boarder:  You will get lots of good suggestions on what ski you should give a try.  My advice, try several because what feels good to you may and probably does not necessarily feel good to someone else.  A slalom ski is very much a personal preference thing, and if you don't try several you may miss out on the one that works well for you.  Personally, I am on (several) Goode skis, they work great for me and you would have to pry my favorite one out of my cold, dead fingers.  At the same time, I would actually never recommend it to most any skier and only would I suggest it after I saw (you) actually ski and observed you style.  It happens to be wicked fast, very nervous, somewhat fragile, small but very high performance window but one awesome course machine.  For me, most skis break down in to two categories, or general characteristics, ones that flow and ones that tend to drop and stop at the apex of the turn.  For me, the key criteria is buoy count so I will give up a lot of stability and 'comfort' to achieve that end.  You may have a totally different set of criteria but be careful, once your buddies get you in the course, let the addiction begin because you will go to great lengths to (snort, LOL) that extra buoy and ultimately beat them:)

Many companies have a pretty good demo program, the other alternative is to 'shop' for a used ski on ski-it-again, that could allow you to actually buy or rifle through several if you get one you don't like as you can just resell it.  I do suggest you go to ballofspray.com and read Mr. Hortons ski reviews, that may give you insight on the characteristics of different skis.  As for fins, that is a whole science and most current skis have a fully adjustable fin, I suggest you don't even consider a ski that does not have one.  I will respectfully disagree with the comments disregarding the value of one, as I was able to tune a ski for an intermediate skier from a ski that had annoying characteristics to one that she would gladly replace me with on that side of the bed (my wife):)  Of course I did get the kiss for fixing it.  Fins and their position make a huge difference on how a ski handles, but like any tuning option, you can also really mess it up, so get expert advice before you tinker.  Do I adjust my fin, of course and in pretty small increments so I use a caliper and record all the data (I adjust for water temp mainly once I hit the sweet spot).  Just as important as the fin is binding type and binding position.  Also, make sure you get the correct size ski, use the manufacturer suggestions for your weight.

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Rednucleus

What are your slalom goals? Do you have regular access to a course - is so you will probably develop a severe ball chasing addiction and maybe want a different ski vs if you are going to spend your time free skiing.  Some shops have demo programs so you can try several brands/models. Besides the ski, bindings are a huge personal preference item that should be demo-ed as well. 

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Sixball

We lost our course years ago. But with that I still enjoy a very robust hard open water ski. I have been skiing Goode and D3 the last 20 years. I have skied many HO and some connelly also over the last ten years or so.  I like trying new and different ski's .  I have found my older Goode 9500 to be one of my favorite but they like calm water. I am still on an old D3 Z7 and love it. Fast in its day but still a very fun open water ski that is amazingly forgivable. As for fin adjustment, if you are not pushing for the last little bit as said most factory settings are very good for most people. And like my Goode and D3 A very small adjustment can change the ski significantly. So if you are going to play with a Hi end ski and fins you need to have good measuring tools. (vernier's) And keep notes to go back to what works. Open water skiing the only time I change my fin is for very warm water and the factory setting is fine over water mid 80's to low 40's  Go out and try ski's and bindings. Don't know if you are A rear tow plate or doable boot guy and maybe you don't ether at this point. Do you deep water start two foot in or a foot bragger?   So speed will make some choice in ski also. Many skies made to cover a large speed range and some like a small area say 34 - 36 MPH. Most of us will never out ski a good mid / upper end ski like the Senate.

 

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UWSkier

Radar Senate of HO Syndicate Omni would both be great places to start.  They're both skis that you can just ride around on to get the feel of slalom skiing or take deep into the slalom course.  Check ski-it-again.com or perfski.com to get some ideas.

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braindamage

I hve the HO CX which is the predecessor of the Omni and I couldn’t be happier!!

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ahopkinsVTX

D3 also makes an awesome ski. Very capable of tight angle and speed, but very stable too.

Here is an option, 68" might be a hair big, but at your weight and speed it would be fine. http://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=47614

If this is still available, buy it. He says $50 plus shipping in the comments: http://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=47520

Edited by ahopkinsTXi

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oldjeep
4 minutes ago, ahopkinsTXi said:

D3 also makes an awesome ski. Very capable of tight angle and speed, but very stable too.

Here is an option, 68" might be a hair big, but at your weight and speed it would be fine. http://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=47614

If this is still available, buy it. He says $50 plus shipping in the comments: http://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=47520

That senate C says $50 shipping - so $200 + 50 = $250

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ahopkinsVTX
2 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

That senate C says $50 shipping - so $200 + 50 = $250

Ah, well still a good deal.

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oldjeep
7 minutes ago, ahopkinsTXi said:

Ah, well still a good deal.

eh, maybe.  That is about what I paid for my 2010 senate brand new

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Brodie

FYI, that Senate C is the "carbon" version, so it is stiffer and less forgiving than the regular Senate.  Still a great ski, but it is built for a more aggressive/powerful skier.   I have turned many people on to the regular Senate that are similar skiers as the OP, and they all love it.  I love D3 skis and I've ridden them for years, but I would not recommend them to new course skiers.  They like to dive into the offside (one of the things I like best), but you have to be ready for it.  They like to be on edge and will hunt for it.  For the OP, I would stick to a mid-range ski that is softer and more forgiving.  When you get in trouble on a softer ski, it is easier to recover.  67"-68" would be ideal 

Edited by Brodie

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Michigan boarder
On 7/28/2018 at 10:31 AM, Rednucleus said:

What are your slalom goals? Do you have regular access to a course - is so you will probably develop a severe ball chasing addiction and maybe want a different ski vs if you are going to spend your time free skiing.  Some shops have demo programs so you can try several brands/models. Besides the ski, bindings are a huge personal preference item that should be demo-ed as well. 

Unfortunately, no access to a course, and no real goals.  Which is partially why I've steered away from it (boredom), but watching what those guys can do has me excited about it again, even without buoys.

On 7/28/2018 at 11:12 AM, Sixball said:

 Don't know if you are A rear tow plate or doable boot guy and maybe you don't ether at this point. Do you deep water start two foot in or a foot bragger?   So speed will make some choice in ski also. Many skies made to cover a large speed range and some like a small area say 34 - 36 MPH. Most of us will never out ski a good mid / upper end ski like the Senate.

 

Deep water two foot in.  I've always been toe plate, but then I've never tried a double boot.

I recall seeing Goode ski's in the collection, and some other ones but can't recall what they were (it was getting dark fast).  I like the idea of adjustability.  I really appreciate the opinions guys!  I'm going to take the data and have some good discussions on skis tomorrow.  I've heard to much about the Senate everywhere, makes me think that I should plan on one of those.  I mentioned it to one of the guys and he'd never heard of it, and looking at the graphics on the skis I think they settled in on their equipment in the 90's and stuck with it.

Two additional compliments that I did get: "It feels REALLY good to get a pull from someone that knows how to drive a boat" and after my first sloppy start and fall and request for more throttle next time "holy cow, you do like a hard start, I've never pulled anyone out of a hole like that".

We are heading out again tomorrow at 8, hope the water is flat!  I'm bringing my barefoot suit too.

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oldjeep
26 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

Two additional compliments that I did get: "It feels REALLY good to get a pull from someone that knows how to drive a boat" and after my first sloppy start and fall and request for more throttle next time "holy cow, you do like a hard start, I've never pulled anyone out of a hole like that".

We are heading out again tomorrow at 8, hope the water is flat!  I'm bringing my barefoot suit too.

Yeah, I'm the same way.  I come out with only 1 foot in but my form is terrible.  I get people who try to feather the throttle out, which results in me sucking water.  I always ask the driver of a new boat how many HP it has, and then request they use all of them immediately.  I've trained my wife to use the throttle like an on/off switch, which is always funny on the rare occasion that she pulls someone other than me.

Edited by oldjeep

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Michigan boarder
37 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Yeah, I'm the same way.  I come out with only 1 foot in but my form is terrible.  I get people who try to feather the throttle out, which results in me sucking water.  I always ask the driver of a new boat how many HP it has, and then request they use all of them immediately.  I've trained my wife to use the throttle like an on/off switch, which is always funny on the rare occasion that she pulls someone other than me.

I gotta say, I really liked that boat.  It's only rated at 240hp, but it has a 14.5" prop.  He bought it new, still with the original upholstery ('92 Prostar).  He also said I lean really far back out of the hole, whereas he tends to stay in a ball all the way up.  Andy he's probably right, I'm just wasting strength getting up that I should reserve for skiing.

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UWSkier
10 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

I gotta say, I really liked that boat.  It's only rated at 240hp, but it has a 14.5" prop.  He bought it new, still with the original upholstery ('92 Prostar).  He also said I lean really far back out of the hole, whereas he tends to stay in a ball all the way up.  Andy he's probably right, I'm just wasting strength getting up that I should reserve for skiing.

If you're going to stick with a rear kicker instead of boot, do your back a favor and learn to get up with one leg dragging behind you.  Definitely less effort required to start out that way.

The 91-94 MC PS hull was a fantastic hull.  Known for a bit of spray at short line lengths but just sweet sweet slalom wakes at pretty much all line lengths.

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Michigan boarder
14 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

If you're going to stick with a rear kicker instead of boot, do your back a favor and learn to get up with one leg dragging behind you.  Definitely less effort required to start out that way.

 

Yeah, I used to do that, but mostly it was to help the boat plane out on the old crap we rode behind.  If I have one leg out now, it's probably gonna stay that way and I'll just start signaling for more speed....

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solorex

I got a Radar Senate Alloy last year 67"; I am 5'9" 170lbs.  Love the ski, puts a smile on my face everytime I am out.  I have been slaloming since I was 7yrs old.  Never on a course, I just open water ski.

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mackie12

@Woodski has the most accurate advice, demo, demo, demo.....

Plus, you need to look at budget too, a few skis listed above are around the $1500 blank, no bindings.....

I am fairly new to skiing, about 6 years in now and I took the advise of demoing skis until I found one I liked, also have to remember though, they do not make a ski that will correct your body position......find one that feels good and work on form from there.

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