View Full Version : Slalom ski course and rope info (FYI)

09-02-2005, 01:10 AM
Here are a couple of items I've come across. Both stolen from other posts or sites. My sincere appologies to the poster here at TMC that created thsi nice image of a course. I wish I'd saved the reference. If you notice this is yours please speak up since you did such a nice job.

The others is from one of the on-line water ski mags, but I can't give the credits since I can't remember which site I found it at.

Hope this is useful info for folks and that no one takes serious offense by me resharing this unacknowledged info.


Slalom Tow-Rope Conversion Info

Rope length terminology can be quite confusing if you have never had a lesson in the waterskiing number system.

5 @ 32 off

The first number represents the number of buoys around which a skier made a successful turn. There are six possible buoys, three on each side, in a slalom course a skier can go around in a zig-zag fashion. According to USA Water Ski "An athlete receives one point for each buoy that he successfully rounds. The athlete who skis around the most buoys and scores the most points wins the event. Each athlete begins with a 23-meter (75-foot) slalom rope at the minimum boat speed for his age/gender division. Once an athlete has run enough passes to reach maximum boat speed for his division, the rope is shortened in pre-measured lengths until he misses a buoy or falls."

The second number represents the rope length. A standard full rope length is 75 feet long, commonly known as long-line. Shortening the rope length makes skiing around the buoys more difficult. When the rope is shortened it is referred to as "off."

The six buoys are 37.5 feet from the center of the course. At 38 feet off, the rope no longer reaches to these buoys and thus the skier has to use their body to get around them. At 43 off, the rope is 32 feet long, thus five and a half feet inside the buoy. The world record is 1 at 43 off. (A tie set by Jeff Rodgers on 08/30/97 and Andy Mapple set on 10/3/98.)

Tournament ropes have incremented loops to attach the rope to the boat at fixed settings. Each loop is a different color.

The first loop is 15 feet from the rope's original full-length connection point to the boat. This if considered 15 off, which is a rope length of 60 feet (75 - 15 = 60). The following increments are 22, 28, 32, 35, 38, 39.5, and 41 off. In our example of 5 @ 32 off, the rope was shortened 32 feet. Use the following table as a guide for length and color.

In competition, after a skier completes a pass (all six buoys), the boat speed is raised 2 miles per hour each pass until the speed reaches 36 Mph for men and 34 Mph for women. At this point the rope's length is shortened one increment per completed pass. The winner is the skier who can ski around the most buoys at the shortest rope length.

For the more experienced skiers, the rope does not start at full length. They may choose to start at a shorter length.

The completed pass world record stands at 41 off.

Slalom Waterskiing Towrope Conversion Chart

Loop Color Meters Feet Feet Off
Neutral 23 75 0
Red 18.25 60 15
Orange 16 53 22
Yellow 14.25 47 28
Green 13 43 32
Blue 12 40 35
Violet 11.25 37 38
Neutral 10.75 35.5 39.5
Red 10.25 34 41

Kevin Hickey
09-02-2005, 12:07 PM
Thanks for that post. I have wondering quietly about the terminology for some time!

09-02-2005, 03:24 PM
[QUOTE=rlivingood] The world record is 1 at 43 off. (A tie set by Jeff Rodgers on 08/30/97 and Andy Mapple set on 10/3/98.)

Actually the official record is 1 1/4 at 43 off, set by Chris Parrish. Chris just ran 1 1/2 last weekend, and they haven't officially announced the new record. Chris also ran 2 @ 43 off earlier this summer, but officials claimed that there was some boat path deviation so they didn't count the pass as a new record.

09-02-2005, 05:05 PM
How do you get a fraction??? ie 1 1/4??

09-02-2005, 05:12 PM
WSM has a great article on this, Aug/Sept issue, page 22. Depends on where you get to WRT buoy, parallel to buoy is 1/4 across the center line of buoys is 1/2 and back to line of gate buoys is 1.

How do you get a fraction??? ie 1 1/4??

09-02-2005, 05:39 PM
I hope to break parrish's record this weekend (unofficially) :toast:

09-02-2005, 06:45 PM
Good thread, one problem, wheres the diagram for the Jim Michaels special course?? :purplaugh

09-02-2005, 06:50 PM
the evidence? ........he ate it

09-11-2005, 10:49 PM
the evidence? ........he ate it

Being a dentist probably means that it didn't get stuck in his teeth on the way down :D

09-11-2005, 11:21 PM
..but it looked pretty good after a couple of shots of his laughing gas
...........uh huh.

09-12-2005, 06:40 AM
For those who care.... The course diagram is one I posted a while ago. The numbers 1-22 refer to ball number & how long the sub-bouy needs to be at that ball. Our course has 1 anchor per ball & uses sub-bouys to keep it "temporary".

09-12-2005, 11:03 AM
did you draw this up in AutoCad, can you attach the *.DWG file or email it to me...would be great to add pre-gate dimensions as well...GREAT POST!!!

09-12-2005, 11:38 AM
Great diagram, I am just glad that I don't have to setup a course :D Its already there, we just maintain it. :)

09-12-2005, 11:57 AM
did you draw this up in AutoCad, can you attach the *.DWG file or email it to me...would be great to add pre-gate dimensions as well...GREAT POST!!!

I drew that up in Acad R12. Yes - I can forward it to you. What email do you want it sent to?