View Full Version : Principles of Water

06-09-2005, 10:55 AM
I told MarkP I would post this. It's an article from Waterski Mag that is posted on the Trophy Lakes website. I think it's pretty cool the combination of science and athletics.

Waterski, March 1996:

Magic Water, and how it helps break records at Trophy Lakes
By Richard Brunelli

Ever think about water? I mean, really think about those undulating molecules of hydrogen and oxygen that form the perfect platform for water skiing? It seems fairly obvious that water would have a big impact on skiing. But precisely quantifying why some water at places like Trophy Lakes seems to be better than other water is no easy task. Certain laws about water at it pertains to skiing, however, are immutable.

In general, warm water is preferable for top-notch slalom skiing. This is because warmer water allows a skier to decelerate as he or she rounds the buoys. Think of maple syrup. As syrup gets colder, it gets thicker. Water, to a lesser degree, operates under the same principle. When water cools, its molecules contract, keeping a ski riding slightly higher.

"For top-ranked slalom skiers the hardest part is slowing down to make a controlled turn," says Mark Crone, who has headed our elite slalom test team in the past years and has competed at Trophy Lakes. "Having water that will help you do that is a real advantage."
Another factor is depth. Shallow lakes are faster because the water is compressed by the bottom of the lake. Conversely, deeper water aids top slalom skiers, who cut across the wake at 50-60 mph and need to decelerate around buoys.

Minerals and suspended particles also play a role. Skiing in water with a high mineral content -- salt water, for example -- forces the ski to ride higher in the water because the water is more dense. Suspended particles that deflect light and diminish the clarity of water can have a frictional affect on the ski. Clear water, therefore, has slightly less drag on the ski and allows for a faster run.

06-09-2005, 11:09 AM
Excellent post! :worthy: Now I have a whole new list of reasons I can't ski well. :D

east tx skier
06-09-2005, 11:54 AM
Excellent, Brian. You ought to post that on the Nicholl's site as well. Good money says you get responses with various fin settings for different temperature ranges (among other factors).

06-10-2005, 11:31 AM
Waterski magazine, many many years ago published an article that was done as part of a school science project on water "hardness". I can't remember the preferred water PH, but there was a difference.

06-10-2005, 11:40 AM
My fiance works for the State. She works with the water quality division. She said that if you knew everything that was in the water you wouldnt even put your boat in it. :(

east tx skier
06-10-2005, 11:48 AM
I shudder to think what the Mercury content of the water in my favorite lake must be. So I don't think. Ignorance is bliss.

06-10-2005, 11:53 AM
We have a unique situation down here with water, it is cheaper for the gov't to pay the EPA's fine than to rebuild the water treatment plants to handle all the waste....Oops we had a spill into so and so creek.
If I ain't dead yet....