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tschultz80
09-08-2007, 02:29 PM
Heyall,
Now that I have a great ski, and am ready to improve, I've decided it's time to get a course. I am on a public lake, and since I am not interested in making deals with the nieghbors whos lakeshore is going to have a course in front of it, and don't want to get a permit from the DNR, it's going to have to be a portable course. Do they work pretty well, or are there too many problems. I've read from some portable course websites and it usually says you can set it up in less than 15 minutes, but that's hard to believe.. how long does it really take?
And then the biggest question I need answered is which company to go with..
Accufloat,
EZ Slalom,
Insta-Slalom.
What are some pros or cons from each, and ultimately which one would have the best performance and be the most user friendly?
Thanks

tschultz80
09-08-2007, 02:37 PM
Also, would u reccommend getting the pregate buoys too? What would be the advantage of that?

Umm this is kind of embarrassing but.. how exactly to do you ski a set?
Do you start of at 15'' off and then after completing that, move to the next rope length? Sorry guys I'm new to the course, so and help would be awesome.
Thanks

Bert
09-08-2007, 03:03 PM
Heyall,
Now that I have a great ski, and am ready to improve, I've decided it's time to get a course. I am on a public lake, and since I am not interested in making deals with the nieghbors whos lakeshore is going to have a course in front of it, and don't want to get a permit from the DNR, it's going to have to be a portable course. Do they work pretty well, or are there too many problems. I've read from some portable course websites and it usually says you can set it up in less than 15 minutes, but that's hard to believe.. how long does it really take?
And then the biggest question I need answered is which company to go with..
Accufloat,
EZ Slalom,
Insta-Slalom.
What are some pros or cons from each, and ultimately which one would have the best performance and be the most user friendly?
Thanks
I have an Insta Slalom. Easy to set up and take down but don't believe 15 minutes. 3 people that know what they are doing working out of one boat can do it in a half hour to 45 minutes depending on wind etc. Take down can be as quick as 20 minutes. That is my experience with it. Also be prepared. Once you set it up it is a magnet for the wallys to come and stir things up and rip it apart. Trust me wallys do come in inboards not just I/Os. I just don't understand why these fools have to come near a course:confused: Actually had one fool slalom the boat through it, stop and yell, "I made it, I made it"

Cloaked
09-08-2007, 07:32 PM
Also, would u reccommend getting the pregate buoys too? What would be the advantage of that?

Umm this is kind of embarrassing but.. how exactly to do you ski a set?
Do you start of at 15'' off and then after completing that, move to the next rope length? Sorry guys I'm new to the course, so and help would be awesome.
ThanksNo Sir. If you are entertaining the idea of a slalom course, my opinion is to gain the knowledge and mindset of the official regulations and format that is used on the competetion circuit. A couse sets a measure of skill based on standards by several sanctioning bodies, AWSA being the first that comes to mind.

Your age will place you in a group. If you're in the Men I division, you'll be looking to start at a minimum speed (30-MPH if I recall correctly) on a 75' line. Once you master that pass, move up in 2-MPH increments at said line length up to 36-MPH. Once you get 6 balls at 36-MPH, then you start shortening the line, remaining at 36-MPH. On and on but that is the idea of slalom courses and the skills of improvement, based on the set standards and guidelines.

I have seen a portable course numerous times and some work very well.

The most observed problem I have seen with any course is the ignorance of public boaters (skiers, fisher-peeps, and leisure boaters). Most will present a challange to you in one manner or another out of their ignorance of what said course is all about. Don't get your expectations too high with cooperation and a trouble-free environment wherever you place a course.

A ski club can be beneficial in this manner of having access to a course.. On and on.. It's fun but it's not a hap-hazard skill set, which indeed requires a lot of time. :)

A great ski will not make you a great skier. It takes time on the water and patience.... :D


Welcome aboard.

JerryS
09-08-2007, 07:54 PM
30 minutes is a more reasonable estimate - and thats after you get used to the install and develop a routine. 2 people can work out ok if you are organized. 3 people works really well. More than 3 is a mess in a ski boat.

Portable courses take their toll on the boat. Your boat will get very wet on the removal. Lots of action on the platform, and lots of opportunites for scratches, knicks, tears, etc. Be ready. If you have a lot of weeds in the lake, get ready for that mess too.

If you have any special considerations such as wind, current, unusually deep or shallow water......installation isn't as straight forward and becomes more difficult.

I've owned both PortaSlalom and InstaSlalom. Both were pretty comprable. One of them was a poly mainline while the other was stainless steel cable.

Be prepared for those lake shore owners to get upset even if it is portable. Slalom courses are magnets for the wallies and drama queens. One old lady with nothing else to do that owns one of those lakeshores...and it wont matter if it's 'instant' 'easy' or 'permanent' She's gonna make a stink when you start running passes in front of her house.

Running the course is pretty straightforward. Start at full length or 15' off the standard line - and the slowest speed you are comfortable with skiing. 28mph is a good start. Make a complete pass through the entry gates, around all 6 bouys, and out the exit gates. From there you increase the boat speed in 2mph increments. Once you can run the complete pass at your max speed (34mph if you are age 35 or older, 36 mph if younger) you then maintain that max speed on each pass, but you shorten the line length. Of course, for practice, you can shorten the line length and slow down...up to you.

I skiied for years without pregates until this year. I like them. It helps inexperienced drivers and really helps the skier's timing for the entry gates.

Good luck!

Jerry

tschultz80
09-09-2007, 11:40 AM
ok so you start at 75'' or 15 off and then increase the speed at that rope length until you get to your top speed (34-36 MPH) and once you can run the whole course at 34 mph at 15 off you then start shortening the rope? Ok after you go through the course once, do you stop at the end of the course after leaving the exit gates and then the boat will pull you back up and go through the course the opposite way with an increased speed or shortened line length?

Thanks

Cloaked
09-09-2007, 02:06 PM
ok so you start at 75'' or 15 off and then increase the speed at that rope length until you get to your top speed (34-36 MPH) and once you can run the whole course at 34 mph at 15 off you then start shortening the rope? Ok after you go through the course once, do you stop at the end of the course after leaving the exit gates and then the boat will pull you back up and go through the course the opposite way with an increased speed or shortened line length?

ThanksNo Sir. Start on a long line of 75'. Period. Run the slalom course for a clean pass of all 6 buoys at the speed of say 30-MPH.

By the rules of skiing in competition, you have a minimum speed of which to start. Again I think it is 30-MPH. Use 30-MPH to practice and gain the skill of a full pass on a 75' line. Then using the same length of 75', continue to make progress with a full pass at an incremented speed of 30-MPH.

Here's where one may get a bit bogged down with progress. Thirty MPH is a slow speed. In competition, there is a rule for allowance where one may waive that speed for a higher speed (of 32, 34, or 36 MPH) in order to start at a place where skiing skills are comfortable and confident.

Your body weight will also be a factor, in that you need enough speed to keep you on top of the water, and not dragging along sunk down in the water while skiing. So the 30-MPH may not suit you, so increase to 32-MPH. The usefulness of starting slower is to learn proper technique, then when entering a course, there lies the elements of timing and rhythm to run the course successfully.

Ideally, you'll enter through the course gates and exit through the course gates, but that comes later with practice.

Once you complete a full pass, the driver should take you away from the course and turn the boat in a figure-8 type configuration and pull you back through the course in the opposite direction. You can indeed elect to drop off after a pass, rest a bit, discuss your progress, think about how to better your skills, etc. In competition, you normally would not have that option. However, for now, you'll be fine in doing this.

For driving a course there are also optimum techniques for the driver to learn to keep the course free of rollers from your previous pass, and a particular a technique to stop the boat and turn while in mid-course upon a fall. If you're not falling, you're not learning. :D

Some folks choose to start at a faster speed and a shorter line and it's each to their own. I am telling you this from a rules and regulations, competetion perspective. If you feel a full pass at 15' off at 36-MPH, go for it. But to learn at a speed or line length that is not conducive to patience and proper technique, only bad form or bad habits of techniques will become of it, making your skills handicapped later on when you get into the course skills at a higher level. Take your time and learn your rhythm and timing on a long line of 75'. It will come easier when you do get up to the more stringent settings of a pass.

88 PS190
09-09-2007, 03:43 PM
I found I couldn't learn the course on long line, it just didn't link up for me. And if I can't ski smooth I can't ski well.

ProTour X9
09-09-2007, 03:49 PM
29 minutes 38 seconds, not sure what brand, I'll have to ask them. The important thing is to have fun with it, If you don't fall your not trying hard enough!

dsoby
09-09-2007, 08:30 PM
All of the above advice is great. 25 minutes minimum under optimal conditions with three experienced folks on the boat. I have an insta-slalom course with a poly mainline. I retrofitted it several years ago for pre-gates and to be frank, pre-gates are great but on a protable course, they are more trouble than they are worth. They almost double the length of the mainline therefore increase the time for putting in and picking up. The increased length also makes keeping the course straight in any crosswind almost impossible. There are techniques (pulling out when the left start bouy lines up with the 5 ball, for instance) that work almost as well as pre-gates.

tschultz80
09-09-2007, 09:07 PM
Ok so should I buy insta-slalom or ez-slalom?

Thanks for all the info on running a set--- so after you start on 75' longline, and would you go all the way to 36 mph on longline? After you can complete the whole course on longline at 36 mph (do you go through the course, starting at 30 mph, turn around go to 32, turn around go to 34, turn around go to 36?) do you stop, take a break, shorten the rope to 15' off, and then repeat the process (30, 32, 34, and then 36 mph) and then stop, rest, shorten to 22' off (30, 32, 34, 36 mph) etc.?

Thanks again

tschultz80
09-09-2007, 09:10 PM
also, how many feet long would the course altogether (without pregates) and then how long (with pregates) and what are the benefits of pregates/ what do they do?
Thanks

tschultz80
09-09-2007, 09:10 PM
also, how many feet long would the course altogether (without pregates) and then how long (with pregates) and what are the benefits of pregates/ what do they do?
Thanks

east tx skier
09-09-2007, 09:11 PM
Ed at EZ Slalom is great to deal with. That's where I got mine.

Cloaked
09-09-2007, 09:14 PM
All of the above advice is great. 25 minutes minimum under optimal conditions with three experienced folks on the boat. I have an insta-slalom course with a poly mainline. I retrofitted it several years ago for pre-gates and to be frank, pre-gates are great but on a protable course, they are more trouble than they are worth. They almost double the length of the mainline therefore increase the time for putting in and picking up. The increased length also makes keeping the course straight in any crosswind almost impossible. There are techniques (pulling out when the left start bouy lines up with the 5 ball, for instance) that work almost as well as pre-gates.Don't sweat the pre-gates. You'll find the spot that you need to start your pull to the #1 ball. I use a reference point on the boat, such as the nose or the tow bar, when it hits the entry gate, start the pull to #1.

dsoby
09-09-2007, 09:18 PM
I don't know the eaxact length but a course is roughly 900ft. The pregates are 55 meters so 55 meters on both ends will add roughly 370 ft to the mainline.

6ballsisall
09-09-2007, 09:20 PM
We regularly could set our portable out in less than 30 minutes. The first time each season was sloppy and took a while but once your memory remembered what to do, no problem. As said above, these things WILL take a toll on your boat no matter how anal you are about protecting your boat. If you can do it, get a jon boat and set it out with one of those vs. your nice MC>

LakePirate
09-09-2007, 09:27 PM
Second Eastie's comment.

Ed at E-Z Slalom is great.

Cloaked
09-09-2007, 09:29 PM
Ok so should I buy insta-slalom or ez-slalom?

Thanks for all the info on running a set--- so after you start on 75' longline, and would you go all the way to 36 mph on longline? After you can complete the whole course on longline at 36 mph (do you go through the course, starting at 30 mph, turn around go to 32, turn around go to 34, turn around go to 36?) do you stop, take a break, shorten the rope to 15' off, and then repeat the process (30, 32, 34, and then 36 mph) and then stop, rest, shorten to 22' off (30, 32, 34, 36 mph) etc.?

Thanks againYou are kEElin' me. :D

The minimum speed is a starting point by rules only. After you attain that skill level, move on. Then anytime that you want to start at a higher level (speed / line length) you have that option (by rules) and can waive the previous passes (of lesser skill requirements). You can start anywhere that you want with a beginning speed and line length. A very common place to start is at 15' off and 36 MPH. Other skiers have skills that exceed that level and their start may be at 22 or 28 off, at 36-MPH. World class skiers start at 28 or 35 off as a warm up and proceed from there.

Wherever you start, you'll get credit for the speeds and line lengths that come before this, as you would have chose to waive those passes.

All I would emphasize as my opinion is to develop solid fundamental form and techniques. Then you'll have easier success at higher levels of skill.

For example only, if you start learning at 36-MPH and 15' off, you may tend to look at the turn buoy and that makes you ski to the buoy. Now you have developed a poor approach to the course and will inevitably be running late each time. The buoy is the last place you want to be (literally) as your turn should begin long before the buoy and it should finish at the buoy, setting you up for an "on-time" pull toward the next buoy. With this poor approach and execution, you'll now have to relearn a different approach to each buoy in order to be on time for the next buoy. The skill levels then become harder to achieve with poor technique. Just an example of many things that can take place but as I said, I recommend learning solid techniques as you go, even if it means skiing at a lower level for a few days or weeks.

Patience, timing and rhythm.


http://www.usawaterski.org/pages/divisions/3event/2007AWSARuleBook.pdf

http://www.usawaterski.org/pages/divisions/3event/main.htm


.

H20ski Dude
09-09-2007, 10:22 PM
ez-slalom is a smaller, more compact course and worth the extra money IMO.

how is it harmful to your boat though?

h2oskiluvr
09-09-2007, 10:26 PM
Lots of good advice here on the board. I would recommend you also consider finding someone experienced with setting up and running the course to go out with you the first time. This will save you hours and hours of time and reduce your frustration level considerably as well. There is nothing better than running the course for the first time and I guaranty you'll get there faster with experienced person providing just a little bit of guidance. Good luck!

JerryS
09-09-2007, 10:30 PM
Taking 900+ feet of cable/rope in and out of the boat means you have to have a reel on the platform. Going from the platform to the boat over and over with PVC bundles...etc etc. Taking the reel in and out of boat - over stern to platform and back. Piles of PVC in the boat. PVC rubbing or getting snagged on the vinyl. Weeds from the cable all over the back locker vinyl. I could go on and on.

These are just some of the ways it can harm your boat...from experience.

H20ski Dude
09-09-2007, 11:31 PM
that's what I thought JerryS.. I have an older boat with no locker, the back seat and seat back is one piece and comes out so I will be pulling it to launch. the arms on the ez-slalom are 80" and 1 goes into another as they are 1.5" and 1.25".

I think there are 6 pieces per arm for the standard course and maybe 7 for the compact that is 80" each piece. with 1 going into the other, and assuming there are 7 (so 6 left overs + the 2 gates) that is 26 arms and they tie up together. the balls go into 2 mesh bags and the course is rope that goes on a reel.

I can see the potential for damage, but its worth it. I would take more care doing it than another person, but who knows...

what use is the boat if I don't have a course is what it comes down to

my crash boat is only 10' long 6hp so not sure if it would be best suited with all the gear... come to think of it probably impossible due to its size. thx

dsoby
09-10-2007, 12:23 AM
The older style boats without storage in the rear are much more portable course friendly. On these boats, you can do everything from inside the boat. On the newer style boats, it's best to operate from the platform and have a third person in the boat to hand over the PVC arms and bouys.

randyb
09-10-2007, 02:32 PM
I've been doing some research and looking for a portable course myself and have decided to go with the EZ-Slalom compact for its size and good reviews. I origially was going to get a used insta-slalom at half the price of new but the big reasons I'm going to get a new one is 1) Free shipping and 2) EZ-Slalom has a good reputation and gives you a 10 year warranty and finally, it should put together and work the first time: no broken parts, etc. like you might get with used gear. I've never put up one of these before and I'd like the first time to not be too painful.

I'm hoping that I'll not get too much flack as the last guy that had a course on our small lake (7-8 years ago) did take a bunch of crap from others on the lake as well as getting bouys cut loose. He had tried to leave it out permanently. I'm thinking of trying to form a little ski club to get some help in promoting and maintaning the course...we'll see how that goes!

Sodar
06-18-2008, 03:00 PM
What is a good deal on a used Portable Slalom course? I have a line on one with free shipping that is said to be in perfect condition.

The course was made by insta-slalom, has a poly mainline, no pre-gates or timers and comes with PVC and buoys.

Does $475 sound high? The guy bought it in 2005.

east tx skier
06-18-2008, 03:07 PM
What is a good deal on a used Portable Slalom course? I have a line on one with free shipping that is said to be in perfect condition.

The course was made by insta-slalom, has a poly mainline, no pre-gates or timers and comes with PVC and buoys.

Does $475 sound high? The guy bought it in 2005.

Assuming good condition, that's not bad at all since it includes the buoys and there are no shipping charges. The buoys will run upwards of $100. New, that would've probably run $650 without the buoys.

Sodar
06-18-2008, 03:15 PM
Thanks Doug.

What is a commom failure on these?

Also, the shipper will give it to me $75 cheaper if he does not need to send the anchors. Are the anchors anything special? I was reaidng that they use 25lb Navy Anchors, which is something I can get around here for about $30 a peice.

east tx skier
06-18-2008, 03:21 PM
Thanks Doug.

What is a commom failure on these?

Also, the shipper will give it to me $75 cheaper if he does not need to send the anchors. Are the anchors anything special? I was reaidng that they use 25lb Navy Anchors, which is something I can get around here for about $30 a peice.

I suppose you could have the mainline break, although often, the mainline comes with a warranty (not sure if it would carry over though). What about buoy lines and clips, are those included?

They are just tri-fluted 30 lb naval anchors (at least mine were). I wasn't getting much better prices here than Ed was quoting me and shipping was free. So I just bought mine from him.

Sodar
06-18-2008, 03:24 PM
I suppose you could have the mainline break, although often, the mainline comes with a warranty (not sure if it would carry over though). What about buoy lines and clips, are those included? Good Question.. :confused:

They are just tri-fluted 30 lb naval anchors (at least mine were). I wasn't getting much better prices here than Ed was quoting me and shipping was free. So I just bought mine from him.

Good to know!

Skipper
06-18-2008, 03:25 PM
Built my own course ($300.00 total). Use 5 gallon buckets filled with concrete that have a large eye bolt anchored into them as anchors. The anchors that come with the commercial built course are not any different than what you can purchase locally (even plastic coated).

Gonzo
06-18-2008, 03:50 PM
Bill, now don't get mad at me for this.... but can you put a short how to together? Did you take pictures?

Sodar
06-18-2008, 03:54 PM
I suppose you could have the mainline break, although often, the mainline comes with a warranty (not sure if it would carry over though). What about buoy lines and clips, are those included?

They are just tri-fluted 30 lb naval anchors (at least mine were). I wasn't getting much better prices here than Ed was quoting me and shipping was free. So I just bought mine from him.


The buoy clips are included, but the anchors are not... he wants $75 for the anchors. :mad:

So $550 total. Seems like a bit much.

#47of100TeamMC
06-18-2008, 04:06 PM
The buoy clips are included, but the anchors are not... he wants $75 for the anchors. :mad:

So $550 total. Seems like a bit much.

I believe the Insta-slalom would come with river anchors. which need to be drug across the bottom to set in.(see EZ-slalom's website for a little tutorial on anchor choice) I've found that 1 river anchor and one Tri-fluted anchor would work best. you would first drop in the River anchor set-up the course and then use the Tri-fluted at the end where you set the tension. the Tri-fluted will set better when tensioning since it does not need to be drug across the bottom to set in well.

Here is the snip from EZ-Slalom's website on anchors.
How much anchor weight do I need to use?
Anchor weight in and of itself may not be enough to get your course to go/stay straight. The design of the anchors must be suitable for the bottom conditions at your site so that they will "lock in" and hold in whatever bottom conditions you're dealing with. You will of course need a certain amount of weight for your anchors to work properly, but their design (in our experience) is more important than what they weigh. The whole idea of having a portable slalom course is that it is "portable". Massive, heavy anchors (i.e. buckets of concrete) just aren't really very portable, and they're unnecessary for portable course use. We recommend 30 pound tri-fluted river anchors for any portable course. They're heavy enough to go down quickly, they're really quite compact, and their design holds well in a large variety of bottom conditions. We've experimented with every type of anchor available in every bottom condition imaginable , and we have had the best experience with these. We strongly recommend that you invest in good, well designed, compact anchors for best performance. Consider it money well spent!
For a permanent or semi-permanent course we'd recommend heavier anchors (50 lbs or more) although dependent on bottom conditions at your site, the 30 lb river anchors may work. Portability isn't as great an issue with a permanent installation so heavier anchors would be preferable in most cases.

Skipper
06-18-2008, 04:17 PM
[QUOTE=Gonzo;506055]Bill, now don't get mad at me for this....QUOTE]

That's just my nick name. Don't know how they came up with that one.

The basic components for the arms are 2 in. and 1-1/2 in. schedule 40 PVC. I used a cut off saw to cut 3/4 in. rings from 2 in. PVC. I used PVC primer and cement to attach these rings on the ends of the gates to hold the guide ball lines and the main line. I left 3 in. of overhang on the ends.

AWSA publishes the dimensions for boat guide and skier gate width. Just set the 3/4 in. rings in the appropriate positions. Making it yourself you have many design options. For instance, I am not concerned about portability. I made my gates one piece - full length. You can make your gate telescope by splitting the distance with both dia. of PVC. All of my 2 in. to 1-1/2 in. connections are drilled eight in. from the end of the 2 in. and 4 in. from the end of the 1-1/2 in. Also, I use a jig to drill so any arm will fit any gate.

The arms just telescope in three sections with the end section a 2 in. peice. I placed rings on the end for the turn ball location. Again with the design options, you can make your telescoping sections as short or long as you choose. I leave my 2 in sections at 10 ft.

I use household water pipe insulation foam (what you put on your water pipes to keep them from freezing) on the inside of my last two 1-1/2 in. sections. This keeps the arms floating at the proper level and the water can drain out later. You can also just attach novice balls about 10 ft inward from the turn ball (they can be submerged as well).

In the back yard I make a jig to hold one arm in place. I build the mainline using 1/4" yellow plastic rope. I keep the diamond shape close to 45 deg. Then measure out to the location for the next gate. Build the mainline one gate at a time. I cut a 1/4" aluminum rod into 1" pieces. Insert one rod every 10 ft. Then wrap the rod in duct tape with a 1/2 in. overlap to hold it in place. This weighs down the main line. You can also buy a pre-built mainline of rope or wire.

I bend a 4 ft piece of rebar forming a loop in one end. Then drill a hole in a 5 gal bucket and insert the rebar all the way through. Bend another loop in the other end. Then fill with concrete. This makes the anchors.

I'll put together some diagrams and dig up some pics.

Also, one of the company offers a set of plans but I can't remember which one.

Skipper
06-18-2008, 04:47 PM
This diagram shows what the gate sections look like.

WTRSK1R
06-18-2008, 06:51 PM
What is a good deal on a used Portable Slalom course? I have a line on one with free shipping that is said to be in perfect condition.

The course was made by insta-slalom, has a poly mainline, no pre-gates or timers and comes with PVC and buoys.

Does $475 sound high? The guy bought it in 2005.

Sodar,
I just picked up a used Insta Slalom minus the anchors for $300 including shipping. It was actually $200 but the shipping from Texas to Wisconsin was about $100. I have seen several on Craigs List out west(Spokane, Boise, and other locations) for about the same amount of money in varying conditions. I would keep looking since I am sure shipping to you would be much less from any of these west cost locations.

Steve

east tx skier
06-19-2008, 10:55 AM
The buoy clips are included, but the anchors are not... he wants $75 for the anchors. :mad:

So $550 total. Seems like a bit much.

The anchors ran me $30 a piece (shipped) from Ed @ EZ Slalom.

Sodar
07-03-2008, 01:25 AM
I just picked up an Insta Slalom course for $250. Its been used twice and has everything except the anchors. I will call Ed @ E-Z slalom tomorrow for the anchors.

Does anyone have any instructions for setting these up that you can scan & email, so I can lay the course out this weekend? There is no paper work with the course.

André
07-03-2008, 09:54 AM
I just picked up an Insta Slalom course for $250. Its been used twice and has everything except the anchors. I will call Ed @ E-Z slalom tomorrow for the anchors.

Does anyone have any instructions for setting these up that you can scan & email, so I can lay the course out this weekend? There is no paper work with the course.

Check out this link.Hope it helps you with install.It did for me!
http://www.aquaskier.com/articles/portable_slalom_101.htm

Sodar
07-03-2008, 10:16 AM
Check out this link.Hope it helps you with install.It did for me!
http://www.aquaskier.com/articles/portable_slalom_101.htm


Thanks! I am reading it now. I am trying to lay the whole thing out in a HUGE parking lot, this weekend to make sure I have all the neccesary parts.

André
07-03-2008, 10:27 AM
Thanks! I am reading it now. I am trying to lay the whole thing out in a HUGE parking lot, this weekend to make sure I have all the neccesary parts.

Did you get only the mainline or with all the arms,buoys ropes,bungees and hooks?
If it's a complete kit for 250$ sounds like a real good deal!
Poly rope or stainless steel mainline?
Got the SS last year from Ed,permanent install,was at the bottom of the lake for winter,couldn't be happier with the product!Very sasisfied.
-Use a johnboat for the first couples of times you install it.
Good luck and have fun!

Sodar
07-03-2008, 10:41 AM
Did you get only the mainline or with all the arms,buoys ropes,bungees and hooks?
If it's a complete kit for 250$ sounds like a real good deal!
Poly rope or stainless steel mainline?
Got the SS last year from Ed,permanent install,was at the bottom of the lake for winter,couldn't be happier with the product!Very sasisfied.
-Use a johnboat for the first couples of times you install it.
Good luck and have fun!

yes, it is a complete kit. They said it might be missing a few buoy lines, but the poly mainline, buoys and buoy arms at all there. I need to get anchors.

Sodar
07-07-2008, 02:41 PM
Well, the slalom course was delivered Friday morning. I went down to the beach and laid the whole thing out. I have a few questions.

The mainline, PVC arms, buoy clips and bouys are all there. However, I do not know how the anchors attach to the course. On the mainline, there is a loop at the very end with a buoy clip on the end. Then, about 15 feet in from that there is just a loop with nothing on it. I am guessing that the anchors get attached to the second loop and then a bouy is attached to the first loop w/ the clip to mark the anchor. I am also not sure how to tension the mainline. I am sort of kicking myself for not unwinding the mainline off the real completely... I stopped once I reached the last buoy diamond. Did I miss the tensioner on that end? How do I tension the mainline? Anyone have any pictures? The link Andre send is great, but I do not see anything about attaching anchors and tensioning the mainline.

ncsone
07-07-2008, 02:47 PM
On mine (this was a while ago), you would drop the anchor on one end and start assembling the course. The other end was as you described it - it had a place to attach the anchor and a short section of rope to attach a buoy to. This is so that when you go to pick up the course, you have a 'leader' to find the first anchor, pull it up and start retrieving.

We always laid out the course, put the second anchor on and pulled the whole thing straight from the back of the boat using the 'leader' from the second anchor. Once everything was straight, we would let go of the leader, which would drop the second anchor. We usually then drove the course a time or two to and it would be pretty straight by then.

Hope this helps.

-Neill S.

causewayskiier
07-07-2008, 03:34 PM
Anyone have a picture of these river anchors do they actually weigh 50 lbs? Will a Dansforth Anchor work in mud?

Sodar
07-07-2008, 03:53 PM
On mine (this was a while ago), you would drop the anchor on one end and start assembling the course. The other end was as you described it - it had a place to attach the anchor and a short section of rope to attach a buoy to. This is so that when you go to pick up the course, you have a 'leader' to find the first anchor, pull it up and start retrieving.

We always laid out the course, put the second anchor on and pulled the whole thing straight from the back of the boat using the 'leader' from the second anchor. Once everything was straight, we would let go of the leader, which would drop the second anchor. We usually then drove the course a time or two to and it would be pretty straight by then.

Hope this helps.

-Neill S.

I get what you are saying. It is illistrated in this pic. http://www.aquaskier.com/articles/course_layout.gif

I was just curious how to tension the mainline. It seems like if you lock the anchor in at one end, tension the course as much as you can at the other end and then drop the second anchor in that it is not enough to keep the course straight because the second anchor is not set... I don't know maybe I am over analyzing.

ncsone
07-07-2008, 04:05 PM
Yeah, it is not like you are 'setting' the second anchor. The link on the previous page says to use the river anchors b/c they are superior to the 'navy' anchors. However, we used navy anchors and 90% of the time is was perfectly straight. The other 10% of the time, we were not good enough to notice.

If you ask me, I think that the perfect set up might be a Navy (or some type of fluke anchor) on the starting end and a heavy river anchor on the finishing end. The navy anchor will give you a good set and the heavy river anchor will give you a fast drop or set which is what you need to keep tension on the mainline.

Just my $.02.

Sodar
07-07-2008, 04:11 PM
I just ordered 2 30# river anchors... we will see how they work. I also have a design of a homemade tensioner in mind that should work well. Like anything, I am sure this first time setting it up will be quite a learning experience.

ski_king
07-07-2008, 04:21 PM
To straighten our course, we would grab the anchor bouy and pull it until the course was straight. There was no guarantee the anchor was set.

Be careful not to pull too much when tightening. I have seen the pipes in the boat gates buckle from pulling too hard.:eek:

NU-skier
07-07-2008, 04:23 PM
On mine (this was a while ago), you would drop the anchor on one end and start assembling the course. The other end was as you described it - it had a place to attach the anchor and a short section of rope to attach a buoy to. This is so that when you go to pick up the course, you have a 'leader' to find the first anchor, pull it up and start retrieving.

We always laid out the course, put the second anchor on and pulled the whole thing straight from the back of the boat using the 'leader' from the second anchor. Once everything was straight, we would let go of the leader, which would drop the second anchor. We usually then drove the course a time or two to and it would be pretty straight by then.

Hope this helps.

-Neill S.

We call the 'leader line' you refer to as the tension line on our fixed accu-sink course. We snap connect the tension line to the mainline at the gate for storage so we can find it to tighten the course as the lake levels change. One end is a fluke anchor and the other is two five gallon concrete filled buckets. We drag the buckets until the entry gates bob under water... wait for it to settle... then tug it again until they bob under.

Usually hitting the course twice will tighten things up, but keep in mind, we're just adjusting the course for lake level changes, not pulling a new course tight. Doing a new course takes a little more time as you have to wait for the arms to pull straight between tugs. Always be careful with your install b/c the mainline will be floating near the surface until you tug in tight and anyone cutting through the course will ruin more than your day. :(

Bruce Carr
07-07-2008, 05:22 PM
Isn't the mainline weighted to assure it sinks when the line is slack? The original portable, Porta Slalom, had weights in the core of the rope every 8-10 feet or so to make sure the mauline was on the bottom before the line was pulled tight or if it became slack during use.

TotalTom
08-11-2008, 03:34 PM
ez-slalom mainline has weights built in so it sinks.

my question is to Andre who left his course on the bottom over the winter
- how did this work out?
- did you just remove the buoys?
- how did you retreive the course in the spring?
- how deep?
- what kind of bottom is the lake?

sorry for all the questions, but I'm seriously thinking about doing this..

Sodar
08-11-2008, 04:11 PM
Be careful not to pull too much when tightening. I have seen the pipes in the boat gates buckle from pulling too hard.:eek:

Well, I did not listen to your advice and I buckled the 1st and 2nd buoy boat guides. Luckily, I straightend them and the held perfectly for the week, except when I went to remove the course those arms would not retract because of the irregular shape left from the buckle. Now, I am contemplating rebuilding the 2 arms with new PVC or just ordering them from Insta-Slalom. :o

Sodar
08-11-2008, 04:54 PM
ez-slalom mainline has weights built in so it sinks.

my question is to Andre who left his course on the bottom over the winter
- how did this work out? Good. It is easier to use a small boat or PWC to put the buoys back and a skiboat to take them off at night.
- did you just remove the buoys? Yes. I drove down the boat guides and pulled the boat guide bouys off first. I then came back and got the skier buoys. I found that if I pulled the skier buoys first, that they would sometimes swing to the wrong side and make it more difficult to set up the next morning.
- how did you retreive the course in the morning? I left one buoy with a 20' line tied to the mainline just before the first set of gates. I would grab the buoy, pull the rope, grab the mainline and pull myself to the first gate, first bouy arm, first buoy, etc. It took me about 30 minutes to put all the buoys back on the course, but was definitely easier than setting up the course every morning.
- how deep? It was about 10' deep at one end and went to 40' on the other end.
- what kind of bottom is the lake? Pretty much rock and gravel.

sorry for all the questions, but I'm seriously thinking about doing this..

I did not leave my course at the bottom all winter, but at the public lake I just spent my vacation at, the Sherriff made me sink the course every evening. I briefly answered your questions in your post above/

André
08-11-2008, 05:11 PM
ez-slalom mainline has weights built in so it sinks.

my question is to Andre who left his course on the bottom over the winter
- how did this work out?
- did you just remove the buoys?
- how did you retreive the course in the spring?
- how deep?
- what kind of bottom is the lake?

sorry for all the questions, but I'm seriously thinking about doing this..

-Absolutely no damage at all.Stainless mainline.
-Yes Sir!
-12' pole with a hook.Grabbed it first try!Course was perfect 30 minutes later,no need for thightening but i use 100# homemade Danforth style anchors!:)
-9 to 12'.
-Very muddy.

Doing it again this year.
Don't hesitate if you have other ?.
André

TotalTom
08-11-2008, 06:08 PM
thanks Andre!

I am in at least 30'-100' depending on where I put it... likely around 80 on either end if I put it where I want.

trying to come up with ideas...

any help is appreciated...

André
08-11-2008, 08:59 PM
thanks Andre!

I am in at least 30'-100' depending on where I put it... likely around 80 on either end if I put it where I want.

trying to come up with ideas...

any help is appreciated...

At this depth you will need a retrieve line of some kind,running to shore or to something that you can grab.Don't know if it will work as the bouys arms may sink in a weird manner.May be better to at least remove them...Give Ed at EZ slalom a call,he'll help for sure.
Where are you located?

Upper Michigan Prostar190
03-09-2009, 07:29 PM
OK, My friend recently got a permit to install a seasonal slalom course on our bay here in Lake superior.

I am reasearching slalom courses for him. what kind do you recommend and why?

I am looking at EZ slalom, and Insta slalom. I contacted them both and they both say their product is the best on the market. imagine that. ;)

So, I am open to all advice. nylon mainline or stainless cable?

keep in mind, this will be put in the water in teh spring, and taken out in the fall.

Talk to me folks.

Thanks.

03 35th Anniversary
03-09-2009, 07:33 PM
I would get the one that has LED Lights in the balls and makes it look like an airport at night.

That away you can get the most out of the whole week that the water isn't frozen up there.

ncsone
03-09-2009, 08:02 PM
I used to have a Insta-Slalom course with a nylon mainline and had no problems with it at all over 4-5 years. We never left it in the water for more than 3-4 days at a time, so I can not comment on long term durability if you leave it sunk. It always took us about 30 minutes to set it up and take it down.

Each brand looks about the same to me - I do not think you can go wrong with either. I would get the stainless mainline if I were going to leave mine in the water for an extended time.

TX.X-30 fan
03-09-2009, 08:15 PM
I would get the one that has LED Lights in the balls and makes it look like an airport at night.

That away you can get the most out of the whole week that the water isn't frozen up there.



Does seem silly. :D

TX.X-30 fan
03-09-2009, 08:16 PM
Check with ETS He is way smart for a texan.

east tx skier
03-09-2009, 08:48 PM
I went with EZ slalom after a nice conversation with Ed, the owner. Great product, but I have not used it much since our club got a good site to use. By the way, Neill, annual meeting on 3/25 at 6:30 pm at Spring Creek BBQ.

mayo93prostar
03-09-2009, 09:07 PM
Oh, Spring Creek Barbeque brings back memories of great food and the guys behind the counter yelling "All the way!" for a fully loaded baked potatoe. wish I could be there....

Sodar
03-09-2009, 09:49 PM
I can die a confused man. Imagine that... UMP with a boat/watersports related question. Holy Hell!

UMPer, I got a used Insta-Slalom off the internet last July for $200. I have set it up a few times and it is great. I have the nylon, but if I were to leave it in for an extended period of time, I would go with a stainless.\

Also, everyone says that EZ-slalom is the way to go. It might be, but my Insta-Slalom works great also!

D3skier
03-09-2009, 10:00 PM
if it was my choice I'd go with wally skier -- best course out there hands down

http://www.wallyskier.com/default.aspx

45203

bainez23
03-09-2009, 10:01 PM
i have a insta slalom for sale pm me let me know

brat
03-09-2009, 10:27 PM
I'd like to see some video of that ice lake slalom skiing, that takes skill !!!:D:D

ncsone
03-09-2009, 11:39 PM
I went with EZ slalom after a nice conversation with Ed, the owner. Great product, but I have not used it much since our club got a good site to use. By the way, Neill, annual meeting on 3/25 at 6:30 pm at Spring Creek BBQ.

It is a shame your not having it on a Sunday eve, like last year. I could stop by on my way back from New Orleans. Then again, I might not be real sharp that day after all...

Lottawatta
03-10-2009, 08:43 AM
I have installed at least 20 courses in the past 20 years. Rope courses, cable courses, individual anchors, in rivers, lakes, through the ice, in a river current, in 3 feet to 40 feet of depth, blah, blah, blah. Hands down, EZSlalom is the best product out there for accuracy right out of the box as well as superior engineering. I installed an EZ slalom last year at a local lake and held the Jr. U.S. Open. The course was to world record accuracy right out of the box. It was also the strongest I have seen. We had to pull it straight through thick weeds and strong winds. After I got it straingt, I was able to set it with at least 500 pounds of tension on it with no problems at all. I can't say enough good things about it. Ed is a stand up guy and will be happy to answer any question no matter how small.

#47of100TeamMC
03-10-2009, 11:19 AM
I have an Ez-Slalom... Love it! Ed is awesome to work with. I have a friend that tried to get a hold of Insta-slalom with a few questions, and apparently their customer service makes Zero-Off's look good! :eek:

Having said that, you probably can't go wrong with construction on either, since you will be putting in and taking out once a year. The biggest issue you are going to face is trying to get the course to be straight and stay that way all season long. Which is giong to come down to your anchor choice. So depending on the depth of the water and lake bottom structure, you might want to consider that more than what brand you choose. Good Luck.

georgea0731
03-17-2009, 09:51 PM
I maintain a SC at Lake Martin, AL that Steve Hodges owned. The anchors are homemade concrete, 2 x 50 lbs, one end is 25 feet and the other is around 30. I use a 4 to 1 rope length. The water goes up and down and I have to adjust to keep it straight. The bottom is muddy. I'm thinking about putting an old barbell weight on the bottom tied to another one 30 feet away in sequence. Why? So I can lift one up at a time and move if necessary, but have them supporting each other. What do you folks think? Anyone got any suggestions. Two years ago, I moved one end out farther away from shore and will eventually move it in closer. Thanks and best wishes,
George

captain planet
03-18-2009, 04:29 PM
:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

Sodar
03-20-2009, 01:42 PM
Time to learn more and upgrade the course.

School me on magnets. I have a smart timer in the boat and want to start using it.

How many mags do I need for the course?

16 (2 at each boat guide)?

Where is the cheapest place to get these?

Witness140
03-20-2009, 02:23 PM
Sodar,

How many magnets you need is based on how many smart timers you have and what kind of timing you desire. If you are happy with just the 1st and 2nd segment, then you will typically utilize 2 smart timers and 4 magnets.

Typical setup for segments only:

magnet under right entry gate ball
magnet under right gate ball at bouy #3 (this is not used when going the other way)
magnet under right gate ball at bouy #4 (this is used as bouy #3 trigger when going other way)
magnet under right exit gate ball

If you want "All ball timing" you will need 2 smart timers and 8 magnets. (its sexy to hear all those beeps)

If you only have 1 smart timer, then you need more magnets.

www.skiertoskier.com is a great spot for magnets. The PerfectPass magnets need to be pretty close to the surface - where props and fins might be a concern. I've used SkiertoSkier stuff and can submerge them about 3 ft underwater no problem.

Your magnet choice, as you can see, depends on a lot of factors.

Public or private lake? Budget? It hurts to lose bouys on public water. It really hurts to lose magnets at $20 a pop. It really hurts when a knucklehead hits a magnet with his lower unit, destroys his prop - then blames you.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the info.

I only have 1 smart timer (At least that is all I have found in the boat, maybe I will poke around for another timer). The mags would just be for a portable course that I would set up for the week while on vacation and taken down. I do not need all ball timing. Just segment would be perfect.

So, I am pretty sure I have 1 smart timer (under the observer's seat). How many magnets would I need? 1 for each side of the entry, 1 for the left gate ball at #3 buoy, 1 for the right gate ball #4 and 1 for each side of the exit gate? (6 total?)

rodltg2
03-20-2009, 03:00 PM
you don't need two smart timers unless you want ABT. One smart timer is fine. You will need 6 magnets. Two at each gate bouy and 1 on the left side of three ball going both ways.

Zero off ABT any course , no magnets!

oxmach
03-20-2009, 03:02 PM
Yes 6 is all you would need. One more item though is to ensure the polarity is the same on all magnets. Does not matter if + or -. For example if you go with + up, then ensure every magnet will be + up once installed or you will either miss the pickup or get bad times.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 03:06 PM
you don't need two smart timers unless you want ABT. One smart timer is fine. You will need 6 magnets. Two at each gate bouy and 1 on the left side of three ball going both ways.

Zero off ABT any course , no magnets!

How does zero off know when you are entering and exiting the course? Does my stargazer do this?

Hollywood
03-20-2009, 03:09 PM
I believe ZO doesn't care if you are in or out of the course, it acts like you always are.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 03:13 PM
I believe ZO doesn't care if you are in or out of the course, it acts like you always are.

I understand that, but if it gives you All Ball Timing without the mags, how?

Hollywood
03-20-2009, 03:26 PM
I think that is just a figure of speech, I don't really know though.

André
03-20-2009, 03:52 PM
I understand that, but if it gives you All Ball Timing without the mags, how?

ZO will start measuring about 857 feet at the entry point and stop the timer at that distance giving always accurate times...
That's why you have to enter the gates positions in the ZO unit.
ICBtotallyW.:)

Hollywood
03-20-2009, 04:02 PM
Ah, what ever happened to the stopwatch and adjusting the speedo?

east tx skier
03-20-2009, 05:03 PM
How does zero off know when you are entering and exiting the course? Does my stargazer do this?

Sodar, with SG, you only need two magnets. One for entry one way and one for entry the other way. You can use it with 6, but it's not necessary. It plots the rest of the course for ABT "virtually."

east tx skier
03-20-2009, 05:07 PM
I understand that, but if it gives you All Ball Timing without the mags, how?

You drive slowly through the gates and hit a button to tell it where the gates are. It notes the coordinates and uses GPS to know when you enter and exit. The rest, as with SG is done "virtually."

With SG, the virtual course rings off at every ball like clockwork.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 05:11 PM
I got it! That is cool!

So, basically I need a mag on either side of the entry gate and either side of the exit gate (4 total), since I only have 1 smart timer? That way I can run the course in both directions?

Witness140
03-20-2009, 05:14 PM
Sodar, I have an extra smart timer I want to sell out of my TT boat. PM me - it will be simpler than dealing with extra magnets on a portable course.

Then you can just get 4 magnets. A pair for the gates and a pair for the 3 balls.

east tx skier
03-20-2009, 05:15 PM
I got it! That is cool!

So, basically I need a mag on either side of the entry gate and either side of the exit gate (4 total), since I only have 1 smart timer? That way I can run the course in both directions?

No, for SG, you only need two magnets. That's it. Assuming your Smart Timer is on the port side, you put one magnet on the left entry gate buoy going each direction. That's all. You can do it with more, but there's really no need.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 05:18 PM
No, you only need two magnets. That's it. Assuming your Smart Timer is on the port side, you put one magnet on the left entry gate buoy going each direction. That's all. You can do it with more, but there's really no need.

So SG does not require any thing on the exit to stop timing, just a magnet to start timing on the entry?

Witness140
03-20-2009, 05:19 PM
Also, FWIW, ZO's pull is always the same, in or out of the course. It's pull is reactive, based on speed input from gps.

Stargazer NEEDS to have the smart timer to get the correct pull. If you run stargazer free skiing, you will be free skiing in that pre-gate ramp up that Perfect Pass has. Remember, PP is RPM based. At a set speed of 34.2mph, PP and SG will approach the entry gates at 34.7 or so. Once the smart timer picks up the entry gate magnet, it will ramp up some more rpm to compensate for skier's initial gate pull. If you don't have a smart timer to trigger this via the magnet, you need a hand timer for the driver to do it manually passing the entry gate.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 05:27 PM
Also, FWIW, ZO's pull is always the same, in or out of the course. It's pull is reactive, based on speed input from gps.

Stargazer NEEDS to have the smart timer to get the correct pull. If you run stargazer free skiing, you will be free skiing in that pre-gate ramp up that Perfect Pass has. Remember, PP is RPM based. At a set speed of 34.2mph, PP and SG will approach the entry gates at 34.7 or so. Once the smart timer picks up the entry gate magnet, it will ramp up some more rpm to compensate for skier's initial gate pull. If you don't have a smart timer to trigger this via the magnet, you need a hand timer for the driver to do it manually passing the entry gate.

Make sense! When I free ski, I use GPS Practice with a -.5 to -.8 on the adjust setting. Normally puts me right at 34mph....

east tx skier
03-20-2009, 05:31 PM
So SG does not require any thing on the exit to stop timing, just a magnet to start timing on the entry?

Just one magnet at the entry on one side. I just reread the manual to be sure.

rodltg2
03-20-2009, 05:44 PM
i don't know your use , but putting 6 magnets will allow others to use your course as well and get times. if no other boats/people ever use your course then....

Sodar
03-20-2009, 05:48 PM
Just read that too! Good Stuff!

45451

Sodar
03-20-2009, 05:51 PM
i don't know your use , but putting 6 magnets will allow others to use your course as well and get times. if no other boats/people ever use your course then....

No one else uses it. Hell, I don't even use it! I just drag it out for our week long vacation at the lake. It gets put out 1 week per year... f-ing sucks! I wish I could do it more!

Witness140
03-20-2009, 05:53 PM
Just go for the ZO sodar. It's a cheap addition......LOL. New ECM, ZO system - pocket change.

Then you can re-learn how to ski in the ZO world of A B C, 1 2 3. Waste an entire season wondering which letter/number combo is good for you.

And then, when you have it all figured out, you will update your software and start the process again.

Sodar
03-20-2009, 06:00 PM
Just go for the ZO sodar. It's a cheap addition......LOL. New ECM, ZO system - pocket change.

Then you can re-learn how to ski in the ZO world of A B C, 1 2 3. Waste an entire season wondering which letter/number combo is good for you.

And then, when you have it all figured out, you will update your software and start the process again.

Sounds like a party I can miss!

I just want to throw my girlfriend into the driver's seat, say drive through the buoys in a straight line & do not worry about the throttle and have a little fun in the course... nothing more! :D

She did very well driving through the course last year, but we had troubles with the PP... I now know why. Hopefully we can get the magnets in and have some fun this year!

Witness140
03-20-2009, 06:08 PM
Make sure you baseline it correctly, it will really minimize your issues. Its a simple and easy to use system - when set up right. It can be a weird finicky pain in the backside if it isn't.