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View Full Version : Slaloming at age 36; is it that hard to....


Bubble
04-19-2007, 09:11 PM
get up when you get older?

I used to ski like 100 times per summer when I was 17-19.

I'm 36 and I did get up about 9 years ago on a friends boat. Now, I bought a 99 Maristar 230 and I thought I'd just pop right up.

The water was cold so I only tried like 3 times but I almost got up.

I dropped weight from over 250 to down below 225 now.

Is 225 (6'1") small enough to expect to be able to ski on a regular sized slalom ski? I thought about getting a "big daddy" (the wider skis) but thought I'd have no problem and didn't want to drop 300 bucks on a ski I'd seldom use.

A 71 inch HO mach one is bigger than anything I used as a teen but I probably still weigh 35 lbs more.

Once I get up, I know I can still rip it and have fun.

I'm just looking for opinions or tips here, anyone go through something similar?

...going again tomorrow, and Sunday.

east tx skier
04-19-2007, 09:20 PM
Pick up a deep-v training handle if you think you'll have any trouble getting up. I skied sporatically all of my young life and only got to where I was skiing regularly after I bought a boat when I was about 28 or so. Bought the MC when I was 29 and have slowly improved. Getting up was never a problem once I learned the first time. Now that process of the initial time is another story.

Mag_Red
04-19-2007, 09:24 PM
Lets see............I'm still tearing it up at age 51! And that's after not sking for about 14 years

Footin
04-19-2007, 09:29 PM
Heck Bob, you learned to foot at 50!

JKTX21
04-19-2007, 09:32 PM
Last Friday I couldn't get up after about 10 tries (I got up a few weeks ago on my third try ever). Last Sunday it took me about 10 more tries before I got the hang of it. I'm 24 though and I have no excuse :)

You didn't get to see my skillz Doug, I was going back and forth like a madman before the end of the day!

Bubble
04-19-2007, 09:47 PM
I hear you all. I know I'll get up eventually. I was worried about grip. That wasn't an issue.

When I was really sking a lot I was 18. I just realized today, that was EIGHTEEN years ago.

Good lord!!!

The V-handle rope may be a decent idea. When I learned I used one, then I hated them because you couldn't let go with one hand without issues (the extra handle).

My psyche REALLY needs to get up THIS weekend. Otherwise, I'll keep losing weight and keep working.

(...wish I could find a fat daddy ski to borrow for a day.)

Mag_Red
04-19-2007, 09:49 PM
Heck Bob, you learned to foot at 50!Thanks to you my friend:toast:

Rich_G
04-19-2007, 10:03 PM
The wide-body ski is a good idea. They are not just easier to get up on, but so much less work once you're up. I'm not a big guy, but we got one years ago because some of our friends had put on a few lbs, and it turned out to be a good investment.

I would use it sometimes at the end of the day just to take an easy set. The one I had was fun, but wouldn't hold an edge like my KD. I don't have it anymore; I threw it in with a boat that I sold to a friend cause he was starting from scratch.

east tx skier
04-19-2007, 10:22 PM
You didn't get to see my skillz Doug, I was going back and forth like a madman before the end of the day!


Sorry I missed that. Bet you tore it up. Sunday was one of those great days. Anything that will get my wife into 60 degree water is a pretty day and smooth water.

milkmania
04-19-2007, 10:57 PM
anything wrong with dock starts:confused::o

sand2snow22
04-20-2007, 12:11 AM
Like riding a bike......

Leroy
04-20-2007, 02:47 AM
I found an EP wide trac that I have used for 3 years now and love it. Get the right ski to allow you to get up and have fun easily. My ski was $35 on ebay and $20 to ship. I'm ready to move up to something better and went on couple other skis last summer, but still like my wide trac!

Jesus_Freak
04-20-2007, 06:09 AM
Minor threadjack - I am trying to talk my wife into attempting to slalom. She is not large, just not very eager. So, Leroy is recommending the EP wide trac???

Jerseydave
04-20-2007, 07:41 AM
Bubble,

Like others have said, once you do it with repetition it's like riding a bike.

However, your 230 makes a great tow machine for WAKEBOARDING!

Grab a 143cm board and give it a try! I started wakeboarding 2 years ago and now my slalom hangs in the garage. :D It's an addiction, kinda like sex (only not as fun!)

Ric
04-20-2007, 08:24 AM
listen you old dog! Go back to the basics
you weigh more now than then and you havent done this in nine years. no matter how hard you may have worked out over the last 9 yrs it is not the same
keep those knees BENT, get your arms out straight and hoooold onnnnnn:D

jlf
04-20-2007, 08:32 AM
I learned to slalom and wake board at like 28, you aren't much older and I plan on continueing to ski well past 36. It will come back to you, I don't really think a new ski is necessary just some practice and you'll get it. Go back to the basics like others have said, keep your head up (that's one of my bad habits I look down all the time).

#47of100TeamMC
04-20-2007, 08:33 AM
Are you using Double boots or a slip in back binding? If your not using double boots, do you have both feet in the binidngs? try dragging the back leg... or try getting up on 2 and dropping one right away. a family member had the same issue. couldn't get up on his old slalom, so he starts on 2 and then drops one right as he gets up, just needs the extra buoyancy to get up and then cuts very hard once he's up, just doens't want to spend the cash on a new longer/bigger ski either.

Good luck!

JohnE
04-20-2007, 08:35 AM
You will do it. My best friend skied for the first time in over 10 years last summer. And he was 60lbs heavier than 10 years ago!!! And he didn't look all that bad. Very comical talking to him the following day, though!!!! He literally couldn't move.:D :D

Rich_G
04-20-2007, 10:00 AM
when someone is having difficulty getting up, sometimes an adjustment on the pull from the driver will make a difference.

You are not going to pop out of the water like you did when you were 18. Are you coming out over the top? Is the rope yanking out of your hands?

Have the driver back off on the initial pull..., just get you started gently towing thru the water, then think progressive power curve..., not try to yank you out of the water.

It's counter-intuitive -- when someone is having a hard time getting up, the driver tries harder to snap them out, when they need to go lighter.

BeavenX5
04-20-2007, 10:03 AM
My friend had trouble starting with my old slalom when he started back at 40 after a 20 years break. He got himself (4 years ago) a HO Charger 69" Comp Freeride ski and loves it. It is wider without being a widetrack and performant enough to enjoy, even in the course. M friend is 6'4" and 210lbs. At 220lbs maybe you can consider a HO Magnum 71" . You can find them on e-bay sometimes.

Bruce
04-20-2007, 10:18 AM
Rich G--Good advice. I've been teaching friends/relatives to slalom for years and have never had a failure. The driver is the difference. First I ask everyone in the boat to please let me advise the skier. Everyone wants to help but it only confuses. When skier says "hit it" I don't start till I can see he is ready and boat is lined up right, slack is out etc. Back to the basics and you will be fine. I have a 99 230VRS also. Way more power than you need. The secret is applying the power correctly.

JKTX21
04-20-2007, 10:51 AM
Sorry I missed that. Bet you tore it up. Sunday was one of those great days. Anything that will get my wife into 60 degree water is a pretty day and smooth water.

It was a great day and the water was awesome, I was still under the weather though...
I have some great pictures of the river when the sun was coming up, I'll upload them when I get a minute this weekend.

east tx skier
04-20-2007, 10:54 AM
It was a great day and the water was awesome, I was still under the weather though...
I have some great pictures of the river when the sun was coming up, I'll upload them when I get a minute this weekend.

There was no way I was going to be able to get out with the wife and kiddo until the air temp was at least 60. No sunrise pics for me.

JKTX21
04-20-2007, 10:59 AM
There was no way I was going to be able to get out with the wife and kiddo until the air temp was at least 60. No sunrise pics for me.

Ha, I hear ya, I was eager beaver that morning. The water was about 20 degrees warmer than the air. I did manage to lose circulation in a few toes though :) Supposed to be 75-80 this weekend, go figure.

I'm going to strip the boat down tomorrow morning and have an official slalom day!

SkiDog
04-20-2007, 11:14 AM
Anybody EVER heard of a guy they call 'Banana George'??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Nuff said!:)

Bruce
04-20-2007, 12:06 PM
SKIDOG point well taken George is "Da Man" At 74 I am just a baby compared to him!

C36
04-20-2007, 04:39 PM
anything wrong with dock starts:confused::o

Or you could try floating on a small tire intertube to give you a head start (half way up), if there isn't a dock close by. :D

when someone is having difficulty getting up, sometimes an adjustment on the pull from the driver will make a difference...

Rich_G has something here. Last summer my regular driver was getting used to our new-to-us boat > my deep water starts were about 30% successful. More experinced driver comes to stay with us for a few days > my starts were 100% successful :rolleyes:

Good luck and keep up the good work! Sounds like you are determined, so you will be up and ripping around in no time.

McFire
04-20-2007, 05:28 PM
I agree with the others - back to basics and moderate driver starts. It may help us if we know what types of falls you are having.

Keep at it though. Once you are back at it successfully, it is as good as you remember.

Bubble
04-20-2007, 11:56 PM
First off, thx for the advice so far. There's some good stuff in this thread IMO.

Today I found a semi-wide ski for 149 so I just got it and off we went.

When we went yesterday I did not wear a wetsuit and was very close to getting up. I figured with this cheap wide ski, I'd just pop right up.

Well, my grip wasn't an issue yesterday on a Mach 1, but today with a wetsuit on, things went worse.

I finally realized the wetsuit probably weighs a bunch. Filled water it's heavy as hell. I couldn't separate from the water.

After that, the water was so cold, I was just pissed and spent time with my kids and stuff.

In hindsight, I'm convinced I'll get up on this cheap obryen freesyler ski on Sunday as long as I don't wear a wetsuit (tons of drag).

..... bottom line here is that I'm thrilled to know that once I get up on that mach 1, I'll be back on my game like I'm 18 again; (afterall, that's why I bought the VRS 230 in the first place).

Nothing that good comes easily I suppose. If I get up Sunday, I'll bump, If not; I'll bump in a week or two.

Once I do get up, me and my wife are hitting the wakeboard scene.

C36
04-21-2007, 12:39 AM
... Well, my grip wasn't an issue yesterday on a Mach 1, but today with a wetsuit on, things went worse.

I finally realized the wetsuit probably weighs a bunch. Filled water it's heavy as hell. I couldn't separate from the water...

If the wetsuit is tight on your forearms, it may also weaken your ability to hold onto the handle. :mad: But you have the right idea that the warmer you stay the stronger you will be. :D Just try not to restrict the mussels in your arms. Keep up the good work - victory will just be that much sweeter when it happens!

suedv
04-21-2007, 01:50 AM
Rick strained a muscle in one of his forearms a couple years ago and was having a hard time with gripping the handle. He got a good pair of ski gloves and was able to hold on. Maybe a good pair of gloves would help you.

pilot02
04-21-2007, 06:00 AM
The V-handle rope may be a decent idea. When I learned I used one, then I hated them because you couldn't let go with one hand without issues (the extra handle).



The rope he's referencing is not the old 2 handle ski rope but what's called a "right up" rope. It's got a regular slalom handle but the leads from the handle form about a 36" V that you can place the tip of the ski within as your taking off. Once you start to plane out on top of the water the ski slides out from inside the V. They work well for people that don't slalom often. I got one at West marine a few years back to use when transitioning kids from the boom to long line. Works pretty well!

Leroy
04-21-2007, 07:31 AM
Hey Bubble; I'll give you my feedback. The wetsuit will help you get up, you should notice you are floating higher. I guess mine is tight enough I don't get much water in it!

Dragging a foot getting up is easier getting up....I am still trying to go back to getting up with both feet in and cannot get up with both feet in. Tried again last summer and could not.

A little slower start may help, but most important is just getting a consistent pull from the driver everytime.

If I don't get up it normally is from letting the ski get behind me, keep pushing the ski ahead of you and with the big ski you will come up quickly but stay low until you get up some speed.

Good luck!

Bruce
04-21-2007, 10:31 AM
pilotO2 I am glad you addressed the V handle issue. I was just about to. I still use the V. He must have been talking about the old double handle bridles. (still have one of those also. Greatfor getting rid of slack)

mbpd312
04-20-2009, 12:46 AM
Last year I got my mother-in-law up on a one ski after a 40 year lay off. She's 60 yrs old and hasnt even seen a ski in 40 yrs. I was really impressed, because she has a hard time chewing bubble gum. If thats not incentive gents, im not sure what is. It just takes a few times and plenty stick-to-it-ness. Good luck

h2oskifreak
04-20-2009, 01:14 AM
Age isn't the issue. It's the lay off and the extra weight. If you have to use an wide ski to get back in the groove then there is nothing wrong with that. Just don't expect to be real good on one of the wide skis. Get up, get back in the groove, loose a little weight and see how things come along. My advice is to get off the "spoon" (wide ski) asap. I have a friend at 56 getting into 38 off, it's not the age.

FrankSchwab
04-20-2009, 01:54 AM
As a forty(mumble) something skier, and (mumble) pounds too heavy, I hear your pain. I try to get up on the slalom I used 10 years ago, and can barely do it.

Watch your form; things don't bend as easily now as they did then, so you have to think about it. If you're starting with two feet in, make sure to insert the back of your rear foot into the crack of your ***. That'll make sure you're at least in a good, low position to start.

I do recommend the wide-boy ski; just getting up and riding a bit on it will bring back a lot of balance and technique that you'd forgotten. Take a dozen pulls before you try the old ski; you should have redeveloped a lot of what you had before by then.

Good luck,

/frank

CantRepeat
04-20-2009, 07:40 AM
I'm 46, 5'9" and at 180 I ski on an HO 65" Extreme that is about 15 years old. A little exercise goes a long way in this sport. I'm sure once you get up and start having fun again you'll get going on whatever ti takes to get it done.

bturner2
04-20-2009, 07:59 AM
Sounds like I'm not as alone in this "back to slalom" thing as I thought I was. I'd pretty much given up on slalom 20 years ago. Got side tracked with wakeboarding and pretty much lost all interest in slalom. I like many on this post also managed to get old (52) and gained way too much weight (strange how that happens).

Last summer my brother inlaw who is a great slalom skier talked me into trying slalom again on a dare. Had all the some problems you're talking about. I went out and bought a 70" Connely Concept with double fixed boots. It's still a @#$% to get up but it was getting easier. Used the experience to conviince myself to lose some weight (30lbs) over the winter and have been working out. The guys we ski with have been very supportive and recommended using those spring loaded hand grips to work out with to improve your grip so I've been doing that all winter too. Haven't gotten a chance to get out yet this year but hope to in the next week or two. With all the work I put into this I better be able to get up easier than last year. Good luck with your efforts.

pkskier
04-20-2009, 09:14 AM
Age isn't the problem, I am 49 and still rip it up and I regularly ski with a guy that is 62. He may be the best skier I have seen except for the pros.

BrandonKTM
04-20-2009, 10:17 AM
I have a friend here at Conneaut Lake who is in his 80's and slalom skis regularly typically a 9 mile jaunt around the lake. Its great to see him out there. When he shows off he has a ski with no boots, just the rough tred stuff on it. Gets up and skis a couple of miles on it. I have used it as well and after using that realized that boots or whatever really should not be an excuse for not getting up! Keep the butt down and weight on the back foot...

Bellinghamster
04-20-2009, 10:17 AM
I suddenly had a stint of tanked starts in the middle of last summer while we at Lake Chelan for a week. It was frustrating 'casuse I'd taken >10yrs off skiing, but managed to pop right up every time in the spring/early summer... plus my brother-in-law, who I used to ski a lot with in our college years, was there watching! I thought it was because I was tired (skiing a couple times a day for a week), but I finally figured out it was due to my shorty wetsuit. The legs would "scoop" water and I'd end up with a bunch of water ballast hanging off my butt that'd throw off my balance. The water was pretty cold, but once I ditched the shorty I spent a lot less time in it!

cmw
04-20-2009, 10:18 AM
I had the same problem last summer. I am 6'5" 220lb. and older. I was trying to ski behind and I/O. Never got up. This is the reason I bought a Master Craft. I remembered how easy it was to get up behind these boats. First time out behind out new to us 1990 maristar I got up. A fishing buddy had an old Cypress Gardens wood slalom ski with out traction tape on the back foot. I think the boat and the driver play a huge roll. It is like riding a bike and don't give up. My wife said "why would you buy a boat if you can't ski behind it". God I love her.:rolleyes:

panshovel68
04-20-2009, 10:24 AM
The boat and driver play a huge role. I mainly foot and I hate skiing with a new driver, but hey, gotta do what ya gotta do. Im not a pro so I have to deal with what I got! Wifey is turning out to be a good driver finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mccobmd
04-20-2009, 10:25 AM
I have a deep V rope and a connely Mid SX wide body slalom. I mostly wakeboard now but for getting up there is no substitute for surface area. The Mid SX cuts better than the "Big Daddy" but has close to as much surface area. I am 6'3", 190lbs and it is still a pull. I am a big believer in gloves helping the grip. I got back on it and then for grins thought I would try cutting it up on my wife's 67" HO Nitro. After 6 tries I was back on my wakeboard. When it comes to getting up on a ski size still matters.

panshovel68
04-20-2009, 10:32 AM
I am fortunate when it comes to size.... 5-10 180. Makes it easy:)

ncsone
04-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Its probably been said in here already, but the two biggest factors to whether someone gets up on a slalom ski are 1) the ski being sized properly for the skier and 2) a good driver.

Patrick Hardy
04-20-2009, 12:03 PM
Good boat, great driver and the right sized equipment all play a part in it. You definitely need to start with a wide ride ski, the 71" HO Magnum was a good ski recommendation. But IMHO the biggest factor is patience, you are not a teenager anymore, so stop thinking about how you skied in the past. You need to focus on the proper body positioning and have lots of patience in the water. Are you deep water starting? Are you trying to ski with double boots? The best way is to start at the beginning again, and then with time let you body muscle memory take over. Either way, welcome back to the ski addiction world. I am 45, have been skiing for 35 years and ski with people all older than me. I seem to be skiing better every year.

panshovel68
04-20-2009, 12:05 PM
Good boat, great driver and the right sized equipment all play a part in it. You definitely need to start with a wide ride ski, the 71" HO Magnum was a good ski recommendation. But IMHO the biggest factor is patience, you are not a teenager anymore, so stop thinking about how you skied in the past. You need to focus on the proper body positioning and have lots of patience in the water. Are you deep water starting? Are you trying to ski with double boots? The best way is to start at the beginning again, and then with time let you body muscle memory take over. Either way, welcome back to the ski addiction world. I am 45, have been skiing for 35 years and ski with people all older than me. I seem to be skiing better every year.

well said!

uncleboo
04-20-2009, 12:31 PM
My father was in the same position: used to be a great slalom skiier, took several years off, gained some weight, and then couldn't get up any more. We typically tell the bigger guys to drop a ski so they don't get so tired from the launch. He can do that no problem, but still was irked because he couldn't get up on one (even behind my LT1). He is a big guy 6'5" and probably 250 lbs. so I bought him the Big Daddy ski for his birthday last year. We got him up on the first pull. I am 6' 215 and enjoy the easy starts on it as well. It is a great ski to get those first timers or big guys up quickly.

bxroads
04-20-2009, 01:45 PM
I started back last year at 35 and had skiied very little before then and it was over 15 years ago. I got up with no problem. A wide ski is the key. Worthy of note is that if alter anything I can't do it. For instance, I wanted to try left forward but could not get up after repeated attemps. I was skiing RFF and right palm up. After being told I needed to learn the left palm up I have to switch once out of the water because I absolutely could not get out of the water with the left palm up. If I go RFF and right palm up I pop out of the water instantly. If I alter it in any way, you can hang it up.

FI skier
04-20-2009, 01:50 PM
Did You order your Slalom course?

Bilge Water
04-20-2009, 03:57 PM
Your just a pup at 36!

I'm 52, 6.0ft 260lbs. I did have to move up to a 72" ski a few years ago. My 66" comp slalom from my "yout" wouldn't cut it any more. For easy ski and warm up, I use an old "Hydro-Flite" Mahogany Slalom from the 1950's. It get's up great but cutting is quite a challenge:D

bxroads
04-20-2009, 09:41 PM
Did You order your Slalom course?


I did! EZ Slalom. It'll be here Thursday. I told Ed the situation and we made a few tweaks. I'm still using a rope mainline but we decided to go 2" Sch 40 PVS in 20' sections. Sounds like Sunday is the inauguration of Lake TaTa. Recon Jim wants to tag along?

bxroads
04-20-2009, 09:42 PM
BTW, Ed is a SUPER guy to talk to, but he did say that I needed to find someone else to teach me to ski! (grin)

Gamble
04-20-2009, 10:07 PM
my dad slaloms at 62.........you can do it, just keep at it!

wheelerd
05-03-2009, 02:39 AM
I got back into skiing last year when I bought my current boat. I'm 53 and hadn't skied much since my early 20s. As has been said, it's like riding a bike -- you don't forget. I put double boots (O'brien Bios) -- something I never had before -- on my new ski (O'brien Siege Comp) and I actually ski better than I ever did. And I actually find the start easier than the drag-the-back-leg routine which I used to do.

I just bought a wakeboard -- time to learn that so I can stay ahead of my kids!

Thrall
05-04-2009, 10:24 AM
I hadn't skiied for 15yrs before I bought the MC (5 yrs ago). I'm 36 now.
I always thought on one ski, the driver had to hammer it to get you out of the water. (Maybe that was true on the old Glastron we skiied behind as kids!:D)
Well, I couldn't get up to save my @ss. Kept getting the rope yanked out of my hands.
Had my wife easw up on the pull. (A LT1 pulls a whole lot harder than a 6cyl Glastron!)
I was up in no time!
Have your driver start out real slow, until you're "breaking" water with the ski, then progressively add throttle until you're up. This works great for me. I still need tthe slow tug to startgetting the water around my big @ss, but it's getting better. Now, it's slow for a second or 2 then give 'er and I'm up!
Disclaimer: this is still on a wide body ski, but I really want to get a better ski this year.

André
05-04-2009, 04:11 PM
Disclaimer: this is still on a wide body ski, but I really want to get a better ski this year.

Wider skis are "in" these days!!!:)
Take a look at the new D3 Z7 and the Goode wide ride.
Lots of money but very high end skis!