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I have reached middle age, and want to slalom ski again...

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  • I have reached middle age, and want to slalom ski again...

    I caught boat fever big time this summer.

    My daughter and son in law invited us out to the lake this year (older Rinker Captiva), and I got out several times with my nephew on his Malibu. Yep, I got the sickness bad.

    In my day, I was a decent slalom skier, mostly behind a 74 Silverline with a 150 Evinrude. I could deep water start all day with no problem and have lots of fun. Ten years ago, I was able to get up with some struggle behind a smallish Glastron, and once up, had a great time. Fast forward to today - Im 54, 5'11" and 220 (20 lbs heavier than 10 years ago). Over the past couple of years, I have tried to get up on a slalom ski on at least 6-8 trips and have failed miserably.

    Yes, Im in shape, ROUND is a shape. (actually not as bad as that sounds, I do work out regularly, and am dropping weight, just not fast enough. I can ski on two behind seemingly anything, but have not been able to deep water start on a slalom yet.

    Behind the Rinker, I drag forever, can start to get up on plane, but then sink a bit, and go over the tip. Behind the Malibu, I just could not hold on to the handle to save my life. I would go 3-4 tries, then was ready to just throw me the other ski.

    I think the ski is part of the problem... a little research tells me I should have a 69" ski... neither of them were that long.

    Im determined to get this done. I WILL lose more weight (if for no other reason than the work of getting on the lake more). Im now looking for a boat myself. Im eyeing a couple of Crownlines (used), one with a 18' 5.7 Alpha, or another 20' 5.0 Volvo Penta.

    Would appreciate thoughts on boats, equipment, or technique for an older guy determined to have a little fun on one ski again.

    jc
    1997 Crownline 182 BR
    5.7L Mercruiser Alpha 1

  • #2
    69 ski wouldn't be a bad idea, you are definitely topping out the weight for a 67.

    Technique - make sure you are pointing the ski (toes) at the boat in the water not at the sky. Keep your shoulders back so you don't get bent over at the waist. If the rope is pulling out of your hands then your position is likely bad and you are plowing with either the ski or bent over and plowing with your midsection. (SkBrain will have a much better explanation of the position you should be in)

    Any V8 boat should be fine for a pull. If you are going to be cutting hard the 18 will probably get pulled around more than the 20
    2012 Malibu VTX 5.7 Monsoon 350
    2009 Ram CC 5.7 Hemi

    www.oldjeep.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oldjeep View Post
      69 ski wouldn't be a bad idea, you are definitely topping out the weight for a 67.

      Technique - make sure you are pointing the ski (toes) at the boat in the water not at the sky. Keep your shoulders back so you don't get bent over at the waist. If the rope is pulling out of your hands then your position is likely bad and you are plowing with either the ski or bent over and plowing with your midsection. (SkBrain will have a much better explanation of the position you should be in)

      Any V8 boat should be fine for a pull. If you are going to be cutting hard the 18 will probably get pulled around more than the 20
      I think there is HIGH likelihood that Im plowing at the midsection. I feel like a water sail on take off. Its maddening - I used to pop up like a cork, but I weighed 170 in those days. I believe the Malibu has way more than enough power to get me out of the water, so it has to be equipment and/or technique - clearly Im rusty, or always had bad technique and got away with it in my younger days on raw strength. Ive always rested my back foot on the ski behind the binding until I was up on plane, I suspect that is opening my knees up and making me plow even more.

      Makes me want to get out and try again today... alas, no boat.


      1997 Crownline 182 BR
      5.7L Mercruiser Alpha 1

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by milehighjc View Post

        Ive always rested my back foot on the ski behind the binding until I was up on plane, I suspect that is opening my knees up and making me plow even more.
        That is one of those personal preference things. When skiing behind an I/O I usually drag my back foot until the boat planes and the water cleans up. Behind my Malibu, the foot is not touching the ski coming up but almost immediately in once I pop up. My wife pretty much drops the throttle on take off and the only time I notice it is if I get bent forward coming up, then there is no holding on.

        2012 Malibu VTX 5.7 Monsoon 350
        2009 Ram CC 5.7 Hemi

        www.oldjeep.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Lots of topics. Fitness, ski choice, boat, technique.....maybe even wardrobe.

          Bigger ski = more planing surface. There are some truly fat ones out there - Connelly Big Daddy or Connelly Pilot but those are really better cruising in a straight line. O'Brien Sychro, HO Triumph, Radar Theory or Radar P6, are .5 to.75" wider than typical slalom and will still carve a turn.

          Gloves really help grip strength. I used to say they were for posers for my first 15 yrs of skiing. Now I pay $90 for really good pair and burn through them in a season. A shorty wetsuit or anything NOT baggy swim trunks will create less water-dragging "sea anchor" on deep water starts. I have neoprene shorts that I wear and find it much easier to get up.

          I've done many years of starts behind 40 and 90 hp dragging great distance and trying to be "small" and the least amount of drag as the boat builds momentum. Stretched out over ski with arms straight and knee to chest dragging a back foot is probably the best solution if hp challenged. Arms straight knees to chest in a ball is what I tend to do with both feet in boot bindings. Have patience. Oh, and if you have 300 hp to work with, driver doesn't HAVE to rip your arms off. Maybe try 1/2 throttle or a progressive roll-on.

          Boats. I know i/o's are common, but I would pick an outboard rig over an I/o all day long if you want a relatively low-wake ski experience. Better power to weight. Lighter weight = smaller wake. In addition to the Malibu I get to ski behind 5 mornings a week, I regularly slalom behind a 18' Glastron w/ 150 outboard. Works pretty well (we added hydraulic steering). It tracks fine and isn't too squirrelly with an aggressive skier. I like the fish and ski boats with lower deadrise (less deep-V) if your boating doesn't have to include big lakes and rough water.

          Best of luck to you!
          --- Age 54 and still ripping



          Click image for larger version

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          Last edited by skibrain; August 21st, 2014, 05:44 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by skibrain View Post
            Lots of topics. Fitness, ski choice, boat, technique.....maybe even wardrobe.

            Bigger ski = more planing surface. There are some truly fat ones out there - Connelly Big Daddy or Connelly Pilot but those are really better cruising in a straight line. O'Brien Sychro, HO Triumph, Radar Theory or Radar P6, are .5 to.75" wider than typical slalom and will still carve a turn.

            Gloves really help grip strength. I used to say they were for posers for my first 15 yrs of skiing. Now I pay $90 for really good pair and burn through them in a season. A shorty wetsuit or anything NOT baggy swim trunks will create less water-dragging "sea anchor" on deep water starts. I have neoprene shorts that I wear and find it much easier to get up.

            I've done many years of starts behind 40 and 90 hp dragging great distance and trying to be "small" and the least amount of drag as the boat builds momentum. Stretched out over ski with arms straight and knee to chest dragging a back foot is probably the best solution if hp challenged. Arms straight knees to chest in a ball is what I tend to do with both feet in boot bindings. Have patience. Oh, and if you have 300 hp to work with, driver doesn't HAVE to rip your arms off. Maybe try 1/2 throttle or a progressive roll-on.

            Boats. I know i/o's are common, but I would pick an outboard rig over an I/o all day long if you want a relatively low-wake ski experience. Better power to weight. Lighter weight = smaller wake. In addition to the Malibu I get to ski behind 5 mornings a week, I regularly slalom behind a 18' Glastron w/ 150 outboard. Works pretty well (we added hydraulic steering). It tracks fine and isn't too squirrelly with an aggressive skier. I like the fish and ski boats with lower deadrise (less deep-V) if your boating doesn't have to include big lakes and rough water.

            Best of luck to you!
            --- Age 54 and still ripping



            [ATTACH]n8437976[/ATTACH]
            Never thought of the wardrobe thing... Interesting.

            I was looking at the Radar skis yesterday, looked interesting. I also looked at the Big Daddy, but from what I was reading probably not what Im hoping for... Might be able to get up, but the reason I want to Slalom again is the fun AFTER I get up.

            I learned behind a '74 Silverline with a 150 Evinrude. It is still in the family, and I actually thought about trying to restore that boat for myself, but it has been sitting for 14 years in a barn - probably more than I can handle, plus it is 1400 miles away from me.

            RE; boats, I have looked at a BUNCH now, including some inboards. Still have not found what I want in my budget, but Im being patient.

            Nice picture BTW, makes me want to get out there even more. May have to rent a boat this weekend :-)

            jc
            1997 Crownline 182 BR
            5.7L Mercruiser Alpha 1

            Comment


            • #7
              Nice picture? - words fail me. Haven't been on a slalom ski in 25 years. Your picture KILLS ME skibrain.


              Rick
              17 Foot '90 Bluewater
              Alpha 1 3.0 Merc - repowered in 2016
              now - 4.3L Vortec - Alpha 1 GenII
              Honda BF100L kicker
              Engine custom - Transom 0D65328 - Drive 0D648864
              If you ain't fishin, then yer working too much.

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              • #8
                A word of caution here go to the gym and stretch lose weight a do some heavy lifting and see how your body repsond's. A few years ago I taught my kids how to ski getting up and balance etc etc...Two day's later my arm's were not useable for a week they cramped badly it was a very bad after experience. But at the time it was glorious

                It should be very simple knee's bent in a deep crouch and simply stand up when your ready......Have you practiced some deep knee bends or squats to see how well you really can get into postion...what with this funny typo stuff
                Last edited by Tail_Gunner; August 28th, 2014, 12:11 PM.
                Stickly a opinion your mileage may vary.

                Horsepower is how quickly you can get to the wall
                Torque is how far you move the wall"

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                • #9
                  Milehigh,
                  You are not too old. I started skiing at age 57 (last year) I did the combo thing for about 10 outings then got up on a slalom ski. (HO Burner 67" Comp free ride).
                  I too am hooked. I have been out 30 days this year and expect 45. Getting up on one for me took a week. I tried 9 times to get up with both feet in and no go. When I tried to get up by dragging my right leg with pointed toe I got up in three tries. The next 20 ups I was up every other time. Now I am like a machine and have at least 160 straight ups. My advice to to drag a leg.and keep those shoulders back as you do that. YOU WILL DO IT I guarantee.
                  Good luck and keep us posted. Also I used a wetsuit when starting out to keep the drag down low. It helps greatly!
                  Brian
                  Last edited by bmowers; August 31st, 2014, 01:27 AM.

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                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      I like the Connelly Outlaw. I use that style of ski in 67 (@215 lbs) but 69 would be even easier to get up on.

                      PS - forgot to mention the Outlaw doesn't look overly huge like the Big Daddy and still cuts really nice. The 67, because it is shaped is 8" wide by the front foot, it is really like a 69 in surface area compared to a traditional slalom and the 69 is like a 71. I have to be around 29 mph for it to really open up. I'm 44 years old and just intermediate skier.

                      Here is a guy riding one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYhvbicHZOw
                      Last edited by SkiDad; September 3rd, 2014, 08:12 PM. Reason: added info
                      2003 Malibu Sunsetter LXI, Acme 525, Radar P6 ski

                      (I still like to help with Force outboards !)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll put in my vote for the 69" HO Triumph as it's what I ski. I'm currently 6', 215lbs but a few decades younger, lol. I was up to 240lbs and still didn't have any problems on the Triumph, but would struggle a good bit on a 67" even with a 265HP I/O tugging me around. My Triumph has the double Animal boots, so both feet have to be in from the start, but I still have zero issues popping up. I also second the use of gloves as it really helps keep the rope from slipping on that initial pull, which saves strength for skiing once you are up. My father kind of poo-pooed the gloves (I use HO 41 Tails) as well until he tried them. I've not ventured into wearing neoprene shorts and such, but I'm sure it would aid a good bit if you are working with horsepower/boat limitations.

                        Left to right: generic 67" Combo Set, 69" HO Triumph, 70's-era Cypress Gardens Banana Peel ~ 71"
                        Last edited by haulnazz15; September 5th, 2014, 10:29 AM.
                        1976 Mark Twain 200VBR w/Mercruiser 233 (Ford 351w) "Heart & Soul"

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                        • #13
                          Ahhhh, you're speaking my language Milehigh! I'm 45, 5'7" and 220. It's a whole different world than 25, 5'7" and 190lbs of pure muscle. BUT!!!!!!!!!!!! I DID IT!!! I did it this last weekend for the 1st time in probably 20 years! Mine was 100% body position. I kept getting pulled over the top of the ski. I had to try and go back and remember what I used to do. Well crap, I can't remember what I did YESTERDAY! So, lean back, chest high and LET THE BOAT DO THE WORK. I just bought a 2007 Tahoe with the 220 HP 4.3 L MPI and it pulled me out of the water without too much difficulty.

                          As far as ski's, search for the Obrien synchro. I just bought a 2014 blemished one with double targa bindings on ebay for...$199. They might have more, I'm honestly not sure. The seller is outdoorsportdeals. Yep, and I found them at wateroutfittters.com fro $249. I can live with a blem for $300 less than retail. I literally JUST ordered it. So, go see what you can find. Age is a stinking NUMBER. I'm not ready to give in to mother nature yet! I'll take pics and post asap. I expect you will do the same!
                          2007 Tahoe Q6, Mercruiser 4.3L MPI

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                          • #14
                            I love to see you guys still at it!

                            I started skiing young in life but with life, work and little kids I was skiing only occasionally in my 20's and 30's. My best tip for improvement is just "do it more!" It's a strength and technique sport that kicks my butt every spring coming back after the winter layoff.

                            https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vh71o7rvc...%2322.mov?dl=0
                            Last edited by skibrain; September 6th, 2014, 06:40 PM.

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                            • #15
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                              Great video. Thanks for sharing! Skibrain, I just simply refuse to quit. I got up once and I'll get up again...THIS WEEKEND! I refuse to get old before my time. Challenging myself keeps me as young as possible. It keeps me motivated to continue to do what I always have done...within reason. So, maybe it's time to lose about 20 lbs and keep it off. I'm in good shape overall just have let that little extra creep up on me. Having bad experiences motivates me to make those experiences better because, as mentioned, I'm not quitting! Oh, and neither are you milehigh!
                              2007 Tahoe Q6, Mercruiser 4.3L MPI

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