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View Full Version : 55M Buoys - How long have these been around?


zorax2
06-28-2006, 01:49 PM
I haven't been following things in the water ski world for the past 6 to 8 years due to business and a new family. So what's up with 55M buoys? I think I bought my InstaSlalom course around 1996 to 1998 and I don't recall them being an option at that time. I've seen the term mentioned several time browsing threads and thought I'd try to find out. I checked out USA Water Ski and the course dimensions show them roughly 180' from the entrance gates.

Are the 55M buoys for timing using PerfectPass, a guide to starting an intial turn into the gates? I assume they would be helpful for folks running 32' off and beyond. Perhaps someone could explain when they came about, who they are most helpful to, etc.

For those of you with older slalom course, have you upgraded and added these? Given that my garden hose reel is already chock full of line for the course - what the heck do you do with all that extra line? In some of the lakes where I set up my course it would have been very difficult to add these due to length of lake available.

WTRSK1R
06-28-2006, 01:54 PM
The 55m buoy is for determing a "rough" turn out point on course entry. You are correct that they are approximately 180 feet from the entry gate since 55m is about 178.75 feet when you do the conversion. It is not used for Perfect Pass. Perfect pass timing is based on the Entry gate, the 3 ball, and the exit gate unless you are set up for "All ball" timing and have a magnet at every gate.

rodltg2
06-28-2006, 02:10 PM
they are helpfull at all line lengths... if anything a slalom course beginner benefits more so than a seasoned pro

beef
06-28-2006, 02:12 PM
If you stand outside the wake waiting for your pullout, the 55 meter buoys will hit the boat about the same time that you see the right hand gate ball and 3 ball line up. This will give you a feel for where they would be located. I've used this for timing on courses that don't have the pre-gates.

east tx skier
06-28-2006, 02:19 PM
If you stand outside the wake waiting for your pullout, the 55 meter buoys will hit the boat about the same time that you see the right hand gate ball and 3 ball line up. This will give you a feel for where they would be located. I've used this for timing on courses that don't have the pre-gates.

That's good to remember. I'll have to try that. The 55s are useful for sure to use as a pull out marker.

You should be able to add 55m setup gates to your portable course. I just bought a portable yesterday and didn't opt for the 55s. For a poly mainline, I think it's about $160 from EZ slalom give or take. I'll probably upgrade at some point, but wanted to take as small an initial hit on this thing as possible.

BuoyChaser
06-28-2006, 04:59 PM
That's good to remember. I'll have to try that. The 55s are useful for sure to use as a pull out marker.

You should be able to add 55m setup gates to your portable course. I just bought a portable yesterday and didn't opt for the 55s. For a poly mainline, I think it's about $160 from EZ slalom give or take. I'll probably upgrade at some point, but wanted to take as small an initial hit on this thing as possible.
the 55m or "pre-gates" are easy to add to your portable...when i had mine, just picked up a wire coil from Home Depot and ran the 55s on that...the small orange reel worked perfect...

if you're tring the "west coast style" you use the 55s, when you come to them to iniate your pull-out, do the one-handed extension then immediately come into the gates, like you just skied as hard coming around an imaginary 0 ball...

6ballsisall
06-28-2006, 05:01 PM
. I just bought a portable yesterday and didn't opt for the 55s. .

What did you buy East???

zorax2
06-28-2006, 05:03 PM
Does anyone recall when they started using the 55M balls?

east tx skier
06-28-2006, 10:02 PM
I looked at some old WSMs (circa 1994). Couldn't tell one way or the other.

east tx skier
06-29-2006, 04:18 PM
Well, Brent and I were thinking alike yesterday. He posted the question on the Nicholl's Forum. This is the response he got (after my wisecrack about him beating me to it ;)):

If I remember correctly: Nationals in BelAcqua in 1992 or so, they had "line up buoys". I think they were placed officially at 55M a year or so later, and were part of a international course in 1994, and an AWSA course a year or so later.

Brent
06-29-2006, 04:28 PM
Eastie you beat me to it in posting the the response on this end! :eek:

east tx skier
06-29-2006, 04:38 PM
You gotta get up pretty early in the afternoon ... ;)

zorax2
06-30-2006, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the answers!